I have always been the one with the jokes.
I found out early that laughter can ease a lot of tension in a dysfunctional household.
I, also, found myself as the butt of a few family jokes as well.
Not pleasant for an awkward chubby kid like myself.
Then I learned the trick-I could beat them to the punchline.
Never mind that it dragged myself esteem from a 4 down to a 0, on the proverbial scale, of 10 being the highest.
So, through life I beat myself up and beat them to that punchline.
I gained respect from no one (no surprise there) and did myself a disservice as well.
Finally, it dawned on me if I wanted respect, then I would have to respect myself.
Does this mean I never laugh at myself, not at all.
Does this mean I will always bristle and get pissed if someone teases me some, again not at all.
You see it is motivation that really counts.
No one has a right to make me into a joke for others to laugh at for their own dubious pleasure.
I have an obligation not to let them.
I no longer feel the need to be punished for not living up to others expectations and so I no longer beat myself up.
My dad use to say, “If people do not like me they can just look the other way.”
To paraphrase, “If people do not like who I am they can keep it to themselves.”
Whatever they choose to do I will no longer try and beat them to an abusive punchline.
Everyone deserves respect, even me.