NEVER ALLOW HATE TO MAKE YOU A HATER.
"From childhood.... I learned what it’s like to be bullied, resented, unloved, and controlled. Shortly after being born, I learned about HATE from the one person who was suppose to love and nurture me.
Now I’m a “grownup” and I still experience bullies and haters--miserable people who HATE me for how I look, talk, walk, sit, sing, eat....and on and on. Some jealous and ugly humans HATE me because I dare to live life as an adventure; because I dare to attempt the "impossible" and...because I enjoy helping those with defects, those who look different, and those with multiple challenges.
I know me well. Inside, I’m a no-frills, kind-hearted person who loves to love everything/everyone BUT.... I also know that on the outside-- my self-assured look, poised demeanor, and apparent confidence threatens my critics-- angers those who are mean and evil-- and "stirs-up" the endless bullies who simply LOVE to HATE.
Even today, I experience HATE on an almost-daily basis. But unlike my young years, HATE no longer has power over me. I’ve grown strong through the years and now…I know how to “fight back”. I relish the idea of confronting haters “head-on.”
For me, the “Beauty Queen Life” began in 1958, as I was completing my sophomore year at Lindenwood College for Women, in St. Charles, Missouri. It was early May, a few weeks before the end of school. That particular night, a hall monitor knocked on my door to say I had a phone call. I knew it was my mother. She phoned every night, demanding the usual accountability but this call was different; this night my mother announced I was now listed as a contestant in the Miss Pine Bluff Contest!
She explained that local Jaycees were sponsoring my hometown’s first beauty pageant, an official preliminary of the Miss America Pageant. Having read that I'd recently won the Young Artists Contest, the Jaycee President called to ask for my phone number. Fearing I would decline the Jaycees’ invitation to be in their pageant, my mother insisted on signing the entry forms…“on my behalf”…officially entering me in the pageant. When I tried to protest she interrupted, “Stop thinking about yourself all the time. You’ll be in this pageant if I have to drag you on stage, myself!”
The idea of competing in a beauty pageant made me ill; I could predict my critics’ resentment and possible retaliation. Since earliest school days I was bullied by several classmates, some teachers, and a few so-called friends. It seems that my accomplishments---winning a vocal competition, being voted prettiest/ most poised by high school classmates, and having my own weekly television show--- caused females of all ages to attack me with hostility, hate, and jealousy. My mother and her gossipy-phone friends enjoyed sharing the various names my haters called me like: stuck-up-bitch, queenie, and snob.
I still remember the afternoon I audition for the senior high school choir. After singing portions of different songs, I stood quietly (5ft.10" tall) as the female choir director (4 ft. 10" short) closed the piano and in a cold, dismissive manner, looked up at me and said: “I am not letting you sing in my choir this year. You have a solo mentality and act like you're something special. That will change or you'll never be in my choir.”
Within weeks of that stinging criticism, the Pollyanna Club (a high school social club for senior high girls) voted on new members. I learned later that before the final vote, an older member named Patsy Pettus spoke out against me to the entire membership, saying “Sally Miller is a stuck-up bitch who thinks she’s pretty. She needs to be “whittled down to size.” Following those words, Patsy Pettus blackballed me.
The vote was historic; no Pollyanna Club member had EVER blackballed a prospective member. That evening I received phone calls from club members and their parents, all expressing shock for Patsy’s hateful actions; every caller apologized for the blackball vote. I appreciated the phone calls and the show of support but--- all the apologies in the world--- didn’t change the final outcome.
The following year, I received invitations to join both the choir and the Pollyanna Club. Wanting to move forward with my life, I politely accepted both invitations but The emotional lesson I'd learned from HATERS, the year before, was permanent. It's with me-- even today:
"Like a tattoo, HATE leaves a mark that never goes away. HATE hurts people's feelings in such a way—they never forget."