Monday, April 10, 2017
Glad I got that second chance!
"You never get a second chance to make a great first impression!"
Remember learning that quote and realizing how true it was. How even if it wasn't you making that first impression, but those first moments were etched in your mind forever. Whether it was a good or bad impression, I can somewhat recount the conversation and how the person presented themselves. It's just something that sticks. Being a military spouse, I meet new people all the time. Many of them have become some of my best friends. So needless to say that I've had many first impressions. Thankfully, there hasn't been one where I wish I could redo. I know I come off hyper, loud, blunt and opinionated, but I want the person to know right from the start that I don't have time for games or childish things and that I consider myself real and down to earth. As they get to know me, they will find out that I love helping people, I'm bubbly and that I'm very protective of my children. There's good and bad about me. I know that when people meet each other, they're creating their own assumptions. That's typical and normal. The bad and the good.
Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for someone to make assumptions about me BEFORE even meeting me. Before even shaking my hand or hearing my voice. Or even before getting to know me through social media. I'm not going to lie that it really shocked me how a person, a woman and another mother, could make such strong and cruel assumptions about me just from reading less than 5 messages. When we found out we were moving to South Dakota, I made a friend/future neighbor via messenger that offered to help me with whatever I needed to make it an easy transition. It was helpful and I expressed my gratitude. Love military spouses and their innate need to look out for one of their own. However, little did I know that the ONE item I requested would be twisted and turned around and label me as needy. That's not even the bad part! She spread that rumor and other rumors about my appearance and how I was a neglectful mother. When we arrived, my neighbors had already heard more about me then I expected.
Please don't get me wrong though, that when I arrived, I was welcomed with open arms. I'm not going to lie, because they really did a great job. I even wrote on this very blog that they were absolutely welcoming and that they raised the bar. I'm thankful though, now that I look back, for my first impression (which really was my second if you think about it) because I was able to defend myself without even knowing I needed to do just that. As one neighbor recently said, "I loved you from the beginning and I didn't really see where she got that idea about you." I'm glad that when I needed a good first impression, I gave one, because I'm afraid as to what would've been said then.
When I learned about this, Eric said only one thing, "Don't kill her." He knows my feistiness too well. Thankfully 35 year old self realized that I needed a day to process it and I'm glad that I took that day. 25 year old self had something far worse planned. That one day afforded me the time to cool down and really sort my thoughts and reaction. I was hurt, confused and felt betrayed. It's not like being a wife and mother is hard enough, but now I had to deal with middle school drama. I made the decision not to confront her because I think she will deny it even though we shared private messages everyone else seemed to know all about and because what would it really solve. As far as I know, her rumors stopped immediately once I moved here. Yes, what was said can never be taken back and I've accepted the fact that I don't think she has ever viewed me as her friend. Seeing how we are neighbors and military spouses, we will have to see each other at functions, so I'm determined to keep it friendly and civil for the sake of Eric and our neighborhood. Do I see myself confiding to her about my deepest and darkest secrets, no. I do see myself acting like the adult I am, including her in neighborhood events and treating her how I would like to be treated. It seems to be working well so far, so it confirms that I've made the best decision. I'm afraid she was speaking on behalf of her own personal insecurities and unfortunately voiced them out loud. Do I hate her, of course not. Do I wish her horrible things, absolutely not. I still think her kids are the sweetest and they still play at my house. I only wish that she learns to never judge someone before meeting them and to question her motives before spreading things that only hurt people.
Why am I even bringing this up and posting it? I feel like I have to write it down to get it off of my chest and this is my personal blog. Also because this is honestly the first time I have had to deal with anything like this since high school. Seriously! It's still shocking to me. I've never had to deal with this crazy kind of drama with other military spouses, playgroup mothers, co-workers or fellow PTA members. This is the first time when someone had such a strong opinion about me BEFORE Day 1. Don't get me wrong, people have made assumptions about me and have said some cruel things, but ONLY after meeting me. Heck, I know I've had horrible thoughts about other people as well. I at least got to know them first. The things that she said about myself and about Eric, I waved off. Yes, Eric didn't go unscathed either. However, to make such a hateful remark about me as a mother before even seeing me in action is below the belt. Yes, I could've kept this to myself, but I think it's important to share with people the stuff that you don't see behind the perfectly posed profile picture. That we all come across these ugly experiences and hateful words. I'm glad that the only thing that I'm responsible for is giving her some grace and not going on an angry rampage. I will continue to do what I always do and that is try to be the best person I can be and surround myself with uplifting people who thrive on positivity and happiness.