My best friend Jessie has been going through a tough time. When I say tough, I don’t just mean the usual sleep deprivation and teething woes of her beautiful daughter, no.
About a week ago she lived through a nightmare. She looked at her husband’s mobile and found naked photos of another woman. Not porn, a real woman that he’d met. One in a bath. One in a bed.
Her heart was wrenched out and she felt broken.
To add insult to injury, this ‘woman’ wasn’t even attractive. Somehow if she was attractive it may have made the whole debacle understandable, right? After all, the grass is always greener and all that and relationships can come under intense pressure when you have a baby.
I’m not making any excuses for his behaviour, but it happened. This story isn’t really about what happened. It’s about power and how it makes or breaks us as a person.
My friend is beautiful. Not just in terms of looks, which she vastly underestimates, but she has the brightest personality of anybody I’ve ever met. She lights up any room she goes into. She’s honest. She makes me laugh daily even though I only talk to her on messenger. She has the biggest heart and I can’t even begin to tell her how much I love her. She will forever be my best friend.
The idea that anybody would want to hurt her frankly makes me feel angry – although that word feels far too light.
Like many women – especially mothers, she struggles with self-esteem, but my God she is a powerful woman. She is strong willed (which can be a pain when you’re trying to get her into a taxi when she was drunk in our early 20’s) and she just knows what to do when the going gets tough. She doesn’t see how strong she is but I wish she did.
The pub tramp
Dan had been sent the photos from a woman who works in a local pub that he’d been at. From somebody who KNOWS he has a significant other. From someone who KNOWS he has a child.
Some pub tramp had single handily tried to rip my friend’s world apart and I hate for her that.
She showed me pictures of her and her hair was brighter than a set of felt tip pens in each photo. One was pink, one purple, one blonde. It frankly looked like a wig. Her nose was bulbous like some comical clown and she honestly looked like a man in one picture.
Of course, my thoughts first went to protect Jessie. I poked fun out of the women and how hideous she is in comparison to her. But then I began to think.
What sort of person does this?
In that moment, I saw past her bright hair and saw her. I really saw her. Her bright hair, designed to grab attention masks a woman with low self-esteem. Someone who feels she needs to constantly change herself to please others. Someone who feels the need to roll onto her back like a tame dog and display her nakedness to a man in a form of submission via a text message.
It wasn’t sexy banter between two lovers. It was a desperate plea and it reeked. It wasn’t reciprocated. She prays on men like Dan who are already taken. Men who already have a loving wife. A child. But who may, just may want to roll the dice of desperation.
No woman needs to seep that low in life to need to scrape the bottom of the barrel. She needs help, she needs to find some power but she’s not going to get it from me.
In light of everything that’s happened in a world that seemed to be crumbling around her, Jessie continues to hold her head up high.
When Dan’s family crawled out from under the woodwork like cockroaches telling her that she was ‘overreacting’, that she’s a terrible person (and many other words that I won’t repeat) and that she has nothing in her life, she brushed them off and moved forward. Sure, it still hurt, but she did it.
A lesser person would have name called back, but Jessie knows better. Even while she’s feeling vulnerable, she still sees the bigger picture. She takes that big breath and thinks clearly.
Life isn’t an isolated incident. Everything has consequences and you have to deal with it one way or another. It’s how we deal with incidents that makes or breaks us as people. Where we either cower and lose our power, or whether we dig deep and build our strength further.
She’s walking side by side with Dan to work things out but it’s obviously not a straight road and not an easy one.
As for the pub-rat, she’s continuing to walk alone and will do until she understands that men – the sort of men that she wants – are attracted to powerful women, not those that roll over. To the sort of power that Jessie just oozes.
The morale, is that power always wins. It’s not always the easy route, but it’s the higher one – the better one.
*I’ve changed the names for obvious reasons!