BLOG: I’m the Armadillo in this Episode

Friday. Seriously underestimated how exhausted I would be after Mardi Gras. I kinda figured, “How is it any different than any other period of time since 2020 when I’ve locked myself in a room with a TV and some snacks for a week straight?” Turns out there is a difference. I can’t really explain what that difference is to you, but I know it’s there. Either way, now I understand why everyone takes the rest of the week off afterwards. I definitely took an extra day yesterday to rest and recover. I’ll just make it up today and tomorrow. After all, I only have one thing to do and it’s send out job applications, so…

Spent the last two days binging Ugly Betty on Netflix. I haven’t seen it before, so the writing came as a very pleasant surprise. It’s so good! I’m about to finish the first season. Kinda wild to see a character version of Holidate Guy (I just keep giving him random new names) show up in the first couple of episodes, but as I was watching that little plotline, all I could think was, “That’s just like him.” Lots of exes, lots of kids, lots of complications, just shows up for a good time then bounces to go back home again. Typical. Alas. Dem snakeskin cowboy boots were totally worth it though!

Actually kinda helped me feel better about the whole thing. After all, what do a roadrunner and an armadillo really have in common after all? It could never really work out between us. We are far too different. Then I looked it up just to be sure and discovered that no, he does not make another appearance on the show. He was just a 3-episode plotline in the first season that eventually gets forgotten by everyone involved. Perfect metaphor is perfect and exactly what I needed to see this week!

Definitely gave me the strength I needed to keep my ass firmly planted in my chair and not mosey on downtown to sneak around some dark skeevy bar with him. As a result, I woke up in my own bed feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on the day. I made the right choice for once, y’all. Now the person who has been dedicating so much of their valuable free time to writing me obnoxious screeds in the comments about my “choices” can officially back off. Congratulations, your feedback was received. Now you can finally sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and go back to worrying about your own life.

Another fun side effect of my efforts not to leave the house last night was the creation of an amazing Cajun Alfredo pasta dish with bell peppers, spicy crispy chicken, and chicken andouille sausage. And cheese, of course. Lots of cheese. It was so delicious. Officially another amazing creation from Betsey’s Kitchen. Now I understand why my mother wouldn’t let me cook, like, ever, and when she did, she had to sabotage it. She didn’t want me to outshine her, clearly. That’s why she also sabotages every effort I make to improve my life. She doesn’t want to see me shine. But now she’s not here anymore, so I can shine however I want. And right now, my star is shining in the kitchen. I’m so proud of myself for learning to cook. I feel so empowered right now. Love it.

I realized the other day that the only reason I’ve finally been able to “recover” is because she’s not around anymore. I was reading about this in The Red Road book. If a tree is sick, it can go off to rehab and get better, but if it comes back to a forest full of sick trees, it’s only going to get sick again. That is so on-point for my life. I’ve never been able to fully recover from the various traumas I’ve collected in life because my mother was always there to make sure that I didn’t. Now, I don’t have to come home to some random screaming meltdown anymore. I don’t live with her. I don’t communicate with her. I have told everyone in my family very, very clearly that I do not want any kind of relationship with her ever again. She has hurt me so much. She has never apologized. She is never going to. She’s not going to change. And I don’t want to be her punching bag anymore. I’m leaving the forest of sick trees. I’m moving to Fangorn Forest to be with the Ents. I’m not a regular tree. I’m a magical 100ft tall talking tree, aka an Ent. I am the keeper of the wisdom and knowledge in this world. I don’t belong in a dying forest. I’m belong with the Ents, marching to their deaths at Isengard, running Saruman and his evil army of darkness out!

SO THERE!

I don’t know why writing that triggered such a deep, emotional response within me, but it did. Probably because my mother and older sister used to gang up on me together and bully me for liking Lord of the Rings. Because back when I was 14 and obsessed with Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, that was the thing that was always cited as the reason for everyone disliking me and me being so unpopular. If I just shut up and stop talking about that nerdy stuff and just put on a polo from Abercrombie and pop the collar, then I’ll have friends too. Now, here I am, all these years later, and I live in a place where no one wears polos with popped collars (not even to play golf), and people still hate me for wearing “nice clothes,” most of which were purchased second-hand at a thrift store or scored off the sale rack. Nothing changed!

It’s like, you’re just mean and nasty. You’re just bullies who want to tear other women down and hurt them. Why? I don’t know. Clearly my mother has serious psychological issues she is never going to address. And as for my older sister? Well, she’s always been a massive bitch. Now she’s an adult woman who literally pretends she doesn’t have any siblings. She straight-up pretends my little sister was never even born. She won’t speak to her. She doesn’t know her. She makes no effort to get to know her. She doesn’t want to get to know her. She’s just… off in her perfect little Connecticut world. On the rare occasion I do see her once every five years, she’s still the same nasty, negative, judgmental bitch she always was. Only now, I’m not talking about Star Wars and LOTR anymore. I’m talking about learning Portuguese and planning a trip around Africa. And people still hate me! Why? Because people *ALWAYS* find new reasons to hate me! That’s what they do! That’s why I don’t like them! In high school, it was the fact that I was a geek who wrote fanfiction. In college, it was the fact that I had the NERVE to come all the way to South Dakota from Washington, D.C. when everyone knows USD is for LOCALS ONLY (according to the Locals, Only). As an adult, it’s the fact that I’m Betsey Horton, whatever the fuck that even means. I don’t even know anymore. It’s always something new. That’s why I don’t listen to them. Like, yeah, sure, I guess I could change into exactly what this particular group wants me to be at this given moment in time, but then they will just find some other random, new, made-up, totally invented reason to shun me. Then I’ll be left with a wardrobe full of shitty clothes I don’t want to wear and an identity that isn’t mine. And for what? Just to “fit in” with people I don’t like? When I already know I never will? Exactly.

… Anyway…

No idea how I got onto that track. My brain is just…. ugh. I’m still sorting the files, so to speak. I remember when I was living in my downtown loft from 2016-2018 and writing constantly. I had so much trouble piecing together the story of my own life. It would just come out in random bursts. Totally out-of-order. Totally incoherent. No connections made. Just a pile of papers divvied up into short stories. Now the connections are finally coming. I’ve been able to start connecting those lines. You know, these stories of my evil mother and sister’s abuses, all these bullies collected over time, all these terrible guys I’ve dated, all these toxic jobs I’ve worked, it’s all connected.

There is a reason why I accept bad treatment from bad people. It’s because that’s how I was raised. I was raised to tolerate abuse. I was raised to be a scapegoat. I was raised to be a punching bag. That’s the only role I know how to be in. The entire reason I became a writer is to defend myself from that. Literally. I totally get it now. It all makes sense. Writing is my way of punching back. It’s my way of standing up to them and letting them know I’m not going to just sit there and take it anymore. I don’t have to hide in the cave worrying about when the sabre-tooth tiger is finally gonna get me. I’m leading the hunt and bringing home a feast for the tribe. And a nice new fur coat for myself, of course. (We all know I would’ve been a very fashionable cavewoman, btw. Just saying.) I am not afraid of the predators in this world that intend to hurt me, even when I’m surrounded by them like I am right now. I’m the one in charge now. I’m the one in control. I’m not gonna sit here and take it anymore.

So, if you want to join the “We Hate Betsey Horton Club,” you can go right ahead. They meet at Bloody Mary’s every Wednesday night. They’re been having the exact same conversation about me for eight years now. EIGHT. Do me a favor and at least *try* to invent something new, please. I get soooooo bored listening to them tell the same stories over and over and over and over and over again. I wish they could hear themselves talk sometimes. It’s genuinely soul-draining.

Overall I would say I’m doing pretty well given the circumstances. I’m well on my way to recovery. Now that I’ve said that, I’m sure some random person will be outraged and feel the need to write another long nasty screed in my comments section full of insults. Next time, I’ll just hit delete. Thank you for your feedback. Have a lovely day.

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