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Tears streamed down my face.

Minutes earlier, I was happy and chipper. Snapping photos. Joking with the decorators at the community hall. I told them, “I’ll see you in a few hours,” and I skipped out.

Then I collapsed in my SUV, and I leaned into the seat. As I palmed my cheeks, I glanced at my Smartphone – and yes – I started to message an ex. To ask him if I was an “awful human being” as I’d been called hours earlier. Toxic. Childish. Selfish. Ungrateful.

I needed to know, was I horrible to him? Was our relationship hell on earth? Was every moment with me dreadful and painful? From what he remembers, was I toxic? Poisonous? A b***h?

But I breathed and backspaced. He didn’t deserve to be dragged into my crazy drama. The insanity that’s been my life for as long as I can remember.

It hurts when people misunderstand who you are. But it hurts more when you begin to question who you are. And I’m at a personality crossroads.

oct-3-blogI know I’m not perfect. Looking back on a couple of my blogs, I’ve admitted I wasn’t kind at times. But the words “toxic” and “awful human being” struck me like a kick in the stomach.

Would a toxic, awful human being and an ex-boyfriend’s dad genuinely hug when they meet on the street? Would her sister’s ex-boyfriend hug a toxic person whenever he sees her? I like puppies. Does that help?

Yes, I’ve hurt people. And I’ve owned up to that. No, I haven’t always been a good, gracious and grateful person. And I owned up to that.

But when someone who barely knows me – whose opinion still matters for some ridiculous reason – calls me “toxic” and an “awful human being” and more – without evidence – all that’s out the window.

I feel I’m back at square one. Questioning why do people like me. Are they acting? Using me for their own purposes? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

And I’m tired of the fight. I’m tired of the back and forth. The lost in translation arguments. The futile texts. The pointless messages. I’m done, and I’m out.

There’s no choice but to force that smile, sweetheart. Buck up, baby. Pretend everything’s okay.

At least those acting lessons are paying off.