My friends have mixed feelings about the name of this podcast. Some who share my sense of sarcasm think it’s hilarious. They know I’m not bitter, and they know I’m actually not petty either. They also understand how important it is for me to speak out about what’s happened. The other half of friends I queried said they greatly disliked it. They said it put a negative spin on what I was trying to do because petty and bitter were both bad. They too know how important it is for me to speak out, but they don’t want the name to distract listeners from the message and the purpose. I decided to keep the name.
I’m keeping the name because they are both right. I’m not bitter. I’m not petty. But, there are many who will view me being both. When I thought about launching a podcast, I had a few concerns about it. Chief among them was the echoes in my head of people who have said to me...don't be bitter....be dignified and co-parent with him in peace.... you don't want to be petty and unforgiving....you have to let all that go. It was amazing to me how many people threw these adjectives and commands at me without hearing how I felt. Bitter. Unforgiving, Petty, Vindictive. These had become four letter words to me. No only did these ‘loved ones’ not explore how I felt, in one case, a friend even told me she wasn't sure if I had even been abandoned. My bed said definitively that I was.
A hurt woman spends a lot of time walking on eggshells if she has been left or betrayed. If she cries too long, if she wants him back, if she prays in faith that God will restore her marriage, she's not living in reality and needs to face facts. If she talks negatively about the scoundrel that left, she's unforgiving. If she stays angry for any prolonged period of time, she's bitter. If she responds to his vilification efforts with “Nope. Not true.”, and explains the reality of her relationship or what transpired in the dust up, she's being petty and telling too much of her "business". Since when is that petty? Who decides what is petty?
Petty is defined as being of little importance and trivial. Me telling how I feel is not of little importance. Me standing up and saying this is not right is not of little importance. Me taking charge of my life and not allowing a lying cheating husband to rewrite my story without being checked is not trivial. Helping another woman who, God forbids, experiences the unique set of circumstances of being blindsided like this is not of little importance, and it is not trivial. I want her to know she is not alone. But see, those are the things we have allowed to be called petty.
If that's petty, then I'm about to get real petty. And I’ll stay petty until we redefine the negative connotation of the word. If the world won’t stop calling it petty, let’s redefine it then!
I’ve had friends cry about their jobs, money, not having kids, not having enough kids, not being able to find a boyfriend, all kinds of things. But as they talked about it the word ‘petty’ never came to my mind. Bitter never came to my mind. Somehow my angst over dissolving a 29 year relationship in the worst way I could imagine brought petty to mind for some people.
So I'll take it, own it, and redefine it. The phrase folks meant for evil, I’m using for good. It gives my podcast a snazzy title and the cover art is amazing!
Hi, I’m Ree-Ree and I’m not bitter. I’m petty.