She was also trashing my daughter (who is 8; although I think the trash talk probably started when my kid was 3.)
This is how trash talk makes me feel:
Angry, really F$%$%$# angry
While I can puff my chest and say this "friend" is a horrible person and say I don't care what horrible things she has to say, the truth is, I do care. I care because it is hurtful. I care because I am a human being, who is just doing the best I can. I care because I would, never, ever say mean things about a child to an adult with the hope it spreads.
I care because I am nothing that woman said and I am everything she did not say. Even if someone believes it, that is their own shortcoming, not my own. My daughter is not her victim. The only victim is my "friend." She is a victim of her own horrific behavior; she is the victim of her ugly, jealous, mean words that will eat away at her.
But how do I stop those words from eating away at me too? How do I stop the insidious spread of angry, ugly, hurt, broken, excluded and reduced from gnawing away at me? It is not enough to know she was wrong. It is something to know that people have defended me and my child. It is more to know that she must be mentally ill or possessed or just a sad, sorry person.
But I still care.
I care because I cannot erase her horrific behavior, nor can I make her stop nor can I change her mind. I have no control over her. I barely can control the bubbling anger I feel.
I don't even know what to say anymore--do I lash out? Do I walk away defiantly? What do I do?
For now, the only thing I can do, is remember who I am and know that I am everything. My children are everything. And you are everything. And as long as light out weighs the dark; as long as a twinkle of sweetness resides in my heart, we are everything.
And well, sadly, she is nothing.