I’m not a duck.

I’ve been debating whether to write about this. I have decided that sharing this extremely uncomfortable thing is the most authentic way I can stay true to my values. To share my experience with those who are interested in hearing how I am coping with difficulty and being able to live my values and grow through it.

I’m letting her words be heard, just as she intended they’d be. Not for her. For me. For my readers who want to hear my experience of how I drew on the lessons and the strategies I’ve learned to help me move through this process.

Because unfortunately life involves being hurt by others, and it’s these times of deep hurt that it’s really hard to stay the course. It’s really difficult to pick yourself up and hold your worth and your knowing. It’s at this time that your values, your strength, and your grit must carry you on wards.

A few days ago there was a very hurtful, personal attack, published on my blog. Hate, ignited by a lie. A rumour that was spread throughout my former family like wild fire, resulting in flames being thrown my way from all over, including this post.

Dumbfounded!
joanhatcher@barbours.ca
156.34.108.106

How could you be such a hurtful person, the wounded little dragon rising from the ASHES, BULLSHIT! You need to live with the hurt you have caused several members of my family at a time when they were the most vulnerable. All they asked for was the TRUTH and some understanding of what was happening to them, as a result of your actions.

You talk about living your personal truth and being your authentic self through this journey you are on, well it is NOT supposed to be at the deliberate expense of another human being. You are not definitely not in the right profession, in actual fact you are making a mockery of others that take it so seriously.

Unbelievably dumbfounded by your actions over the last 6 months!!

I’m not going to pretend here. This devastated me. For someone who rarely cries, I sure made up for it that day. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t believe someone I loved, and felt so close to, could believe such cruel things about me. Believe them so completely that they decided it was even within their right to lash out at me publicly. From ‘one of my biggest fans’ to this.

Flooded with emotions. Hurt. Grief. Anger. Disbelief.

I know the best thing to do with this is to lean in and just let myself feel it. All the shitty, horrible emotions. In fact, I know this lesson so well now that even when encouraged to look on the bright side, or move on too quickly (before acknowledging all the feelings), I dismiss it. I’ve even taken the opportunity to share why it’s healthier not to do such things at this time. So I’m letting myself be what I am – heartbroken.

I don’t do well when people are mad at me. It feels unsafe. It goes against my safety map of keeping others happy in order to be worthy and safe. It’s been an opportunity for me to practice holding my own worth. But it hasn’t been easy. My body is stuck in fear response. I can tell I need to put more efforts into self-soothing. I wish I could let this roll off my back, but since it’s sitting heavy on my chest instead, I really need to be careful not to beat myself up that I can’t “shrug it off” and make sure to show myself compassion.

I’m not a duck. If you really know you’re not a duck, and someone calls you a duck, you don’t question whether you are one. And, though I find it hurtful that someone believes this about me, I am not in any way looking down and checking for feathers. I’m not questioning my actions, the love and support I gave them, or how authentic, compassionate, or true to my values I have been. You can call me a duck. I’m not a duck.

I found it interesting that one thing that I did let get to me was the remark about being a life coach. It’s very cool to me to see this reaction and understand exactly why that is. I’m a new coach, and it’s something I am deeply passionate about. That being said, it’s also something that brings up doubt and fear. If there’s any doubt lingering about whether I’m a quack (haha see what I did there?? :P), someone saying that you are is enough to throw you into a tail spin. I’m proud I didn’t go too far down this road; having the awareness to know exactly what was happening helped me stop myself from taking these hurtful remarks as some sort of truth or indication that I should question my ability to be a life coach.

It still feels absolutely maddening that she decided to personally and professionally attack me without even giving me the dignity of being heard. I wish I had been given the chance to defend myself. To ask the questions my mind keeps shouting into a void of frustration. To deal with the frustration of being accused of not sharing my truth with the very ones who wanted me to hide it. My work will be letting it go, making peace with never getting that chance or being shown that respect.

I know why they ate this gossip up like chocolate. It’s no mystery to me why relatives from all over were jumping down my throat within a few hours. People believe lies when the lie serves them.

They want, maybe even need, me to be the bad guy here. It’s easier for them to see me as some monster, someone who they’d never want in their family anyway. If I am this evil person, they don’t need to feel sad I’m gone, they can rejoice. It makes this loss easier for them. It also makes it easier if their family member is someone who they feel they can trust, support, and empathize with.

The more the lie serves someone, the more confidently they believe it – even when the truth is staring them in the face. It is this knowing that has provided me some comfort. It really didn’t matter who I was, what I did or didn’t do, and how good to their family I had been. I keep dwelling over it using logic and rational thought; wondering how they could even believe these things about me, when I had given no indication that I was ever that kind of person, and especially considering the source of the information.

Over and over in my mind it goes “I wonder why you’d be dumbfounded, perhaps because it’s UNFOUNDED?! You hear one thing that goes completely against everything of who you thought I was, and instead of questioning or even checking if this new thing was accurate, you instead use the rumour to decide my entire being of who I am is a fraud. ”

What I’ve realized is that none of that mattered because it wasn’t even factored in. They aren’t thinking rationally. They aren’t sitting there trying to make fair judgments. Their emotions are the only things in control here, and if the lie makes it easier emotionally, then there you go. It’s easier to condemn the one who isn’t there than to challenge the one in front of you. It’s easier to hate than to feel grief and loss.

I waited a couple days to see if there would be an attempt at an apology or remorse over this comment, as I know emotions can get the best of us and perhaps with reflection she may have a change of heart. I was disappointed when it didn’t happen, and yet not surprised. By making this public remark about me, she upped the ante on how much she now needs to believe this lie. She needs to believe these horrible things about me, not only because it’s easier, but now her own choices and values are all tied up in it. To see the truth now would involve facing a lot of her own stuff, and as much as it’s disappointing when people don’t own their stuff, it’s also not surprising.

So I get it. But it still hurts. It still sits in me like a knife in the gut; that people who used to be my family, that I loved so dearly and wholeheartedly, can be so cruel. That they can not only reject me so harshly, but outright attack me and try to demoralize me.

It fucking sucks.

But really when it comes down to it, that’s all it does. It just fucking sucks.

It doesn’t say anything about me. It only speaks to who they are.

Their beliefs and actions will not affect how I live or who I am. I am committed to living my values, at the best and worst of times. I will use your words and false judgments to reinforce my knowing. Not to convince others I’m this or that – but to be true to my authentic dragon self.

I will stand strong and fierce.

My heart is broken, my wings are not.

20 thoughts on “I’m not a duck.”

  1. This is so powerful, authentic and raw. Thank you for talking about this it resonates with how I am being treated by other and gives me strength to stay strong in the process. Mindful dragon you matter and I am so proud of you and appreciate you, your sharing and your wisdom!

    1. Thank you Noreen <3 I am sorry you are dealing with the hurt from others, and I am also glad you are able to take some strength to stay strong in this difficult process. Your support means the world to me. Fierce Love <3

  2. You are a dragon, and I am proud to be a member of your tribe! Thank you for sharing your truth and for continuing to inspire your readers with your authenticity. I will come back to this post the next time I start checking myself for feathers.

  3. Nail on the head. “It’s easier for them to see me as some monster”. This is just so true. People usually dont default to the best path, we default to the easiest. Much love for speaking your truth with respect even though you havnt been granted the same. <3

  4. Wow .. your remarkable brace and all this turbulence will make you fly higher n brighter ! Ty for sharing 🙏🏼

  5. I loved this;

    “I’m not a duck. If you really know you’re not a duck, and someone calls you a duck, you don’t question whether you are one. And, though I find it hurtful that someone believes this about me, I am not in any way looking down and checking for feathers. I’m not questioning my actions, the love and support I gave them, or how authentic, compassionate, or true to my values I have been. You can call me a duck. I’m not a duck.”

  6. I am sorry that this happened to you, but feel grateful to have read your story, as always. You inspire me to rise above. Keep shining, keep sharing. The world needs a life coach like you :).

  7. So incredibly proud! Keep spreading your wings and show the world how truly powerful you are. You are just beginning!

    1. Thank you Inspired Living Medical! I can’t express how much it means to hear you are incredibly proud of me. Here’s to developing those second pair of wings! Fierce Love <3

  8. I can see how you might bounce between understanding/forgiveness/empathy and astonishment/saddness/etc. This is a bummer of a situation. Your quotes for this post are particularly spot-on and show the depth of your desire to be an absolutely solid person. I feel for them too. It’s clearly a very tough time. Not to pass the buck, but to trace any hurt back to you as the source doesn’t show appreciation for the complexity of your lived experience over the past year and back even further. I know you do not act without careful consideration. But, as you acknowledge, pleasing everyone is not realistic. Even the people we think of as those bold, inspiring people definitely have had and do have people who tear them and their ideas down. Don’t forget, you are among those ranks. So, good, lean in and feel it. And when you’re ready to come out the other side, know this is just part of the process to greatness. At some point the idea of ending slavery was denounced by many of the “best and brightest” so even things that are so obviously clear in retrospect were once questioned. So hold strong, you’re doing this. This will not be your excuse to be small. That’s not the force I know.

    1. Thank you Erin, it’s very sweet of you and flattering to hold me to those ranks you speak of. The words from your comment that sit with me most (and ones I keep coming back to read over and over) are “This will not be your excuse to be small. That’s not the force I know.” I can’t tell you how powerful those words are to me, I read it and can feel the acknowledgement of the part of me who still hold that desire to be small in these situations, and then the overwhelming dragon force that anchors to that unrelenting knowing that it sure as fuck is not the force I am. Thank you for your support and for those words that have helped me through. Fierce love <3

  9. I am moving into my mid 50’s and am still unsettled and upset when people are so quick to judge and blame rather then stop and reflect. I am surprised how little many people reflect on themselves or their reactions but then I am guilty of over-thinking to the nth degree.

    Human nature seems to want people to be just one thing- either good or bad. The truth is that we are both. I had a conversation last night at dinner discussing a recent arrest of someone and how he couldn’t be guilty because ‘he was a nice guy’. I pointed out that (an extreme example to be sure) that the commandants of the Jewish concentration camps went home to their families and were probably very nice and loving.

    We can be more than one thing but it’s easier to think in cartoons- you are either Arial or Ursula. I am sorry that this person’s pain caused her to lash out and cause even more pain. And it’s clear that she wanted to do that because otherwise she would have called you to talk. Attacking is safe and the internet makes it safer. So you are cast as the villain in this little drama and I’m sorry because it’s not fair. But you are facing it head on. Well done because that is hard.

    1. Thank you Teresa <3 Your point about human nature wanting us to see things in black and white, instead of being able to hold all the messy and normal gray is so dead on. We certainly can be more than one thing, and often are in every situation. It's those of us who sit and reflect and become aware of this that are able to hold all the different parts of ourselves and others, even when it's hard. I admire this awareness and willingness in people, and I thank you for reminding me of how this fits into this situation too. Thank you for offering this perspective and for all of your support. Fierce love <3

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