Still pulling from my old blog, and this is easily one of my favourites. I loved coaching ball; the kids, the sport and especially my colleague in coaching. Good times! 😀
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.
~Meredith Brooks “Bitch”
I remember the first time I was put in the same context as the word “Bitch”.
I was 13 years old and my mother was in the middle of a nasty exchange with her sister. A bitter and eventually vengeful person, this woman had some beef and laid out her anger in a letter, including the reference that my mother’s eldest daughter was “a bitch”.
This wounded my mother terribly. I can only imagine how she felt inside as I know how I would react if someone made a derogatory comment about one of my children, never mind my sister.
At the time, I was shocked. I remember thinking I knew what incident she was referring to, but didn’t think that action would qualify me as “a bitch.” It took me a while to process the idea that there were people out there – in this case, a family member, who had a very dark impression of me.
Kinda heavy for 13…. That kinda crap messes a person up for a while.
I can remember referring to this branding throughout my teen years. Kind of an excuse for anything I felt contrary to – because after all, I was “a bitch”.
Over time the brand became a badge of honor. I had a backbone I’m not sure I would have discovered as young and my ability to stand my ground comes from the fact that while you have a right to your opinion, I sure as Hell have a right to mine. Don’t confuse my ability to concede or defer with weakness. I simply don’t care as much about the issue as you do. Because if it matters to me, I will go down for the count. And there are very few people whose opinions truly matter to me any more.
As soon as I realized this, the better I felt about myself. A type of empowerment, if you will. Why worry about other people’s opinions when there are very few whose opinions truly matter?
Which brings me to last week. I’m assistant coaching First Born Son’s ball team AGAIN – long story there I won’t bore you with – and it came time to hold the first practice.
Faced with 13 12-13-year-old boys, I realized there needed to be a strong impression made. The hormones are working. Some of them are as tall as I am and a couple of them easily out-weigh me. This is where you have to go for the weak spot – the brain!
“When I’m talking, no one else is talking,” I started, which beautifully shut two of them up. “When Coach J is talking, no one else is talking. That’s just common courtesy. When I’m here, I’m not FBS’ mother. I’m Coach Sarah to him, just like I am to you. He’s not my kid when we’re here. There are no favorites. You will work hard. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have fun and I’m not a prude – I’m not hung up on swearing or being frustrated when you are practicing. When we are in a game you WILL represent your town to the best of your ability, which means NO swearing, NO trashing the other team AND DEFINITELY NO tearing down your team mates. When I tell you to run, YOU WILL RUN. Softball is a running sport. When I tell you that you will be running an extra lap you, will do it, because gentlemen, I bring my own vehicle for a reason – and that’s to stay here until the lights come on if that’s what it takes. I will wait you out – that’s right, I am a BITCH.
At that point, one kid fell off the picnic table…. All of their mouths dropped open – except for FBS – he knows about my bitchiness.
Three practices later, if someone speaks while I’m speaking, I merely stop talking and look at them. They immediately stop and usually they blush. When I’m running a drill and they are not executing the way they should – I stop – spell it out for them and they immediately adjust their actions. They speak to me with respect, or genuine friendship, since they realize that 90% of the time, I’m very easy to get along with and truly want for them to improve. I despise shouting.
While I would not suggest telling young girls they are bitches as a means to create character, I would have to say what started out as somewhat of a damaging experience has since become something that I would not change even if I could.
I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I’m your angel under cover
I’ve been numb, I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.