Then I question my motives. I mean, which bloggers go out into the blogosphere without a desire to develop some sort of following and say really pertinent, powerful things? I'll admit it, I want you to read what I have to say and be a bit wowed by it. Then, I think - that's why I'm not totally into it lately because I'm trying to please you. Something I've promised myself I wouldn't continue to do.
Alas, I will just write and share this. Oh and this really actually happened.
So, I coordinated my last wedding on Sunday. I had already decided and shared with the bride at our last planning meeting that this was the last one and that I was pleased that I was able to give of my time and energy in this way for the lovely couple. I was prepared for the crazy but was sort of dreading it too. I wasn't prepared this time. Usually, I thrive on handling this level of detail and being the one in charge and directing and delegating a small army of volunteers, but I did not experience the same charge in preparing for this opportunity to serve but plowed forward.
Here's the lynchpin - the groom's mother said she wasn't coming to the wedding. Her name was not on the program, she had not been a topic of conversation for several weeks leading up to the date, so I checked her right on out of my party planning mind; I had enough other details to deal with.
Hindsight is always, well most often 20 - 20 and perhaps I don't feel like I have clear vision on this event yet because I'm still sore and in shock but there is a bit more clarity. I should have asked more questions, I ought to have pried a bit more and definitely, absolutely and without a doubt should have uttered the following words, "What would you like for me to do if your mother shows up to your wedding?"
Long story shortened...
- Mother of groom (I don't know her) decides she is going to push through to the room where the bridal party is sequestered for pictures and in order for us to clear the church.
- I attempt to introduce myself to this stranger to buy time to assess the concerns.
- Mother of groom decides to curse me out and push past me
- I think it's wise to stay in stride with mother of groom
- Mother of groom raises her elbow to hit me in the face
- But thinks twice about it
- Instead grabs a huge hunk of my hair at the back (no weave, thank you) and tosses me like a rag doll
- Woman I've not had a proper introduction to tosses me into my friend
- My friend falls and hits her kneecap into the concrete floor
- Before getting back to my feet, I find myself humiliated by the fact that for even 3 short (long) seconds my feet were above my head
- I dialed 911
More profanity, more physical assaults. Ambulance, police, lots of witnesses and still a reception needs to be underway. I chose not to press charges until I speak with the newlyweds and I will not waste typing strokes to speculate as to why this all went down but rather share with you how I've felt since Sunday.
Punished. Angry. Shocked. Unprotected. Sad. Sore. Confused.
If you don't know this about me, I'm a vice-principal in an elementary school in Milwaukee. It's rough. And I truly felt like and actually at one point said, "I'm at work." I've had similar intense situations at work but was not mentally prepared to mirror them at something like this. I go to church with the couple and work with the groom and yet somehow with the touching on the topic of his mother, I neglected to think that something like this could happen in a room full of Christians. I mean, I've coordinated four other weddings and had nothing even remotely close to this happen. I am angry because I didn't feel protected and I'm still trying to flesh out why. Men stepped up and she was as aggressive with a couple of them as she was with me, but still somehow it felt personal.
Also, I felt punished. Punished because I pushed on. Later many told me that they would have wanted to shut it down in fear that the mother would return to reek havoc on the reception. I was having none of that. Though there were many hugs and there were no physical injuries (one man has a huge scratch on his face, the other woman had to go to the hospital and is wearing a brace) on me, I was hurting and struggling not to cry. And there has been little follow up with me about how I'm doing and I wonder if it's because I held it together and pushed through to completion. I don't want people to fawn over me, but it almost seems like there's no room to be looked after if you're "strong" or willing to live out perseverance.
I know my feelings are just feelings. Valid yes, but I can not live in them - and I won't. I'm still sore and expect that with more rest and self care, I will be back to my 40 year old self in no time. I will be okay on the outside and inside but right now am just plain struggling and...blogging about it.