Inside the dimly lit coffee shop at a small table near the back corner of the overfull space Katie sat. Headphones in place trying to drown out the world around her. Spread out on the tiny wobbly table sat photos of a time long ago and a red leather notebook. Daydreaming for a moment, she is taken back to a random day 15 years ago:
“Damn it Katie put down your cross, someone else needs the wood!” Bo shouts through the closed bathroom door.
“Why? This is how it always works. Bo wants to do something that by all means everyone better wants to do it too. Or there will be hell to pay.” came the retort.
“I don't know what you are talking about. It was just a suggestion then you got all crazy and ran in here muttering to yourself. How is your run in with crazy all my fault?” Bo banged on the door and walked away.
Katie took a slow drink of her now room temp latte, picking up her pen. Look at the blank page she knew just what to write about.
This was not the last time that I was called out for being a martyr. Thanks to my family dynamic it was better to martyr oneself then go against the grain. It was safer that way no way to draw any unwanted attention your way. There is 8 years between Bo and I. In that kind of time a lot of habits can be firmly set in stone.
The fact that I was, lets see what was the word oh yeah an accident didn't help. Once that little gem was out of the bag there was no putting it back. It lurked quietly in everything that was said in my house, truth be told it was even there for the unsaid stuff. Don't get me wrong my family loved me they just didn't do a very good job at making sure that I knew that all the time. They did the best they could but it still crept in that I was not part of the plan.
A fact of life is that we all learn to adapt to our environments. I was able to hone my skill as a people pleaser. That is really all a martyr is a people pleaser at great cost sometimes to oneself. It didn't end so well for Miss of Ark now did it. I guess the upside to my story is that there was no beheading for me. Just a lot of tears shed in anger and frustration, hurt feelings that will follow me in to my current life.
I don't think that anyone wakes up one morning and decides that today's goal is to become the best martyr that I can be. For me it was how to have the least amount of negative attention fall on me, at some point it just became a habit. One that I can't seem to shake.