2005-04-03 @ 3:35 a.m.
Int: Non-descript room in a local building where groups like AA meet. There are 20-30 chairs set up, and people are starting to filter in. I’m nervous because this is my first meeting. I don’t really know what the rules are, but I know the general premise of the gathering from its title. Drama Queens Anonymous. DQA.
I see a lot of people I know. My mother. Almost every one from my support group. Some people I work with. Some people I’ve met through “A”. They’re all there. Its not surprising. I am totally surrounded by Drama Queens. I can’t throw a stone without hitting a drama queen, it seems, and I have even become one myself, if only guilt by association. I wasn’t always one. But I was given birth by one. I often wondered how one woman could garner so much attention with so little education or real skill. That, it turns out, is key.
“Hi, my name is witty, I am a drama queen”
“Hello witty” is the general murmur heard throughout the crowd, although, who knows if they are really greeting me, or just sizing up my potential as a possible worshipper at their altar. Because that is what drama queens do. They look for people to worship them. And to wait on them. And to listen to their many, many, many, many stories about themselves. They may ask you how you are, and you may feel awfully special having this really important person, looking down on your sorry ass, wondering how you are, but don’t be fooled. They are really prepping you for their Royal Court of Followers.
I should know. I’ve been a Follower of many. It’s really a result of having low self esteem. Which is the result of having a Drama Queen for a mother. They don’t want you to get too full of yourself, because you’re liable to see beyond all the smoke and mirrors that is the Drama Queen. You may see the fidgety old guy behind the curtain, like in “The Wizard of Oz”, and realize that they are merely humans and not the Taj Mahal of Wonderfulness that they think they are or what they want to project. So they do tend to try and sabatage the discovery of the guy behind the controls. Because who doesn’t want a legion of followers?
There really are different kinds of Drama Queens and different ways they rule. My mother for instance, rules by Illness. So whenever it seemed like she wasn’t getting enough attention, she would haul out the big guns and create elaborate scenarios of impending death. I know about all these scenarios, because I lived with her for about 5 years. At first I totally fell for them. They seemed real enough. The chest pains. The grabbing of her chest. And a couple of times, they even were real. But after a while it became a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. She used it a little to often. Like if I said I was going out...she’d have instant chest pains. If I said I didn’t want to watch ice skating (I find it incredibly boring)...she’d have instant chest pains. If I said I was going to go to the movies and she wanted me to mow the lawn...she’d have instant chest pains. The only reason I knew these were all fake was because if somebody called her or came to the house, she’d be instantly cured. She’d be laughing and joking in like 30 seconds flat. And I’d be like, wha’ happened here?
So basically everytime anyone tells me they’re sick, I don’t believe them. I could go down to the local cancer ward and have 23 people tell me they’re terminal and I’d probably say “You’re yanking my chain”, all because I’ve been so conditioned by Drama Queen fakery, that I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not.
The next kind of Drama Queen is the My Sickness/Life/Spouse/Job is Worse Than Yours Drama Queen. And boy do they aggravate me. I run across alot of these in my support groups. First of all, they seem like a really rapt audience while you’re talking. It’s all very flattering, until you realize they’re mentally taking notes, so that when they start talking they can take that shine right off your apple.
Like for instance, if your husband is cheating with a check out clerk down at the yuppie grocery store, this type of Drama Queen will have to have a husband who has cheated with a check out clerk down at the yuppie grocery store who she later finds out is really a transvestite midget who got arrested on drunk driving charges and stole money from the local Little League banquet fund so now they can’t build a new field which they were going to name after a kid who died of cancer. See how that works? I mean how can you not feel for that woman? Wow. What a horrible husband. Oh let me dry those tears. Lets do lunch. I think you should do my pilates class with me. You’ve really had a rough time.
And than I’m sitting there...with my original TRUE story...getting absolutely no sympathy. Why? Because I’ve been the victim of a Drive-By Drama Queening.
But that is a perfect lead in to the next kind of Drama Queen. The Poor Me Drama Queen. I used to be one of these. I still have a smidgen of it, but I am working on. I’m a recovering Poor Me Drama Queen. You can all say “Awww, good job witty!” But only if you want to.
This is probably one of the most despicably dishonest versions of the Drama Queen there is, which is why I’m working on un-joining the club. Because what they do, is gather a small crowd around them, and tell everyone how unfair the world is to them and how they’ve been victimized by every last person in the universe (and they’ll be happy to print out a list of every one’s name if you want to wait) and then they will regale you with all the individualized stories of how their mommy was mean to them (heh, heh, ok, I still do that), and their boss criticized ONLY their work and their husband said they Iooked fat in their floral print pants and their cat bit their finger so they must not like them and the midget transvestite clerk at the yuppie grocery store keeps smiling at them and calling them “Mike”. And of course, being a member of her Royal Followers, we must all stand around and gasp appropriately and shake our heads at the sheer terribleness and meanness that has transpired in the last 24 hours. I mean, how could one woman withstand so much traumatic wrong-doing and still be standing???
Frankly, I don’t know. Why? Because probably 98% of what was just said has been skewed so that it’ll sound like our Drama Queen has been wronged, which will make us take her hand and pat it thoughtfully and hope that things will get better tomorrow. And that is so wrong. I have somebody in my support group that is like the Queen of the Drama Queens in the Poor Me Sector. I have never heard so many sad, sad stories about anyone. The reason she tells all these sad stories is that basically nobody likes her in the group, but she does elicit responses when she tells us her mother yelled across the beauty shop that she was fat and she was humiliated. Sure, it might have happened, but the way she tells the story is so nauseatingly needy and poor-me-ish, that I just can’t cough up any pity. I just can’t see why anyone would want attention via pity. And these stories have been going on now for 3 years. She has never once tried to just be honest. I think if she wasn’t so gratuitously needy I would like her better. She just recently finally confronted me about blocking her on AOL. I had to. It was hard enough listening to the Poor Me-a-thon during group, but then she was popping on my computer and saying “My husband called me fat. My son hates me. My daughter in law called me a bitch.” and I would be in the middle of playing a video game on POGO, you know, having some fun and then I would be confronted with all this negative energy shit and I would be like, what do you say, sorry, but I’m on the verge of finally winning a video game, can we talk later?
Another woman in my group is a major Illness Drama Queen. She has an illness, but she also uses it for both pity, and for excuses when she decides to blow off group. And then she lies about it. And I know she lies, because she can’t keep her facts straight, like times and dates of trips to the ER. Last summer she missed the group which was scheduled to help me when I was in crisis mode. I was hurt, but I was told she had gone to the ER. Ok. Fine. And then the next time we had group, before she got there our facilitator told me that she had talked to “C” at noon, the day of my group event, and she had been fine and she was surprised when her partner had called later and said “C” wasn’t going to be there. And then “C” walked in and started talking about her latest trip to the ER and said, “Yeah, I went in around 9:30 the morning of your thing...”. Me: Huh? Naturally I didn’t say anything (Drama Queen Commandment IX: “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Lie”), but I was pretty pissed.
So this little lying thing and not showing up thing has been going on for quite a while. My friend finally called her on it recently and it made for like the Drama Queen Olympics. All stops were pulled out. She was truly multi-tasking that day because....she had the Illness Drama Queen thing going, the My Sickness/Life/Spouse/Job is Worse Than Yours Drama Queen thing going, the Poor Me Drama Queen thing going. I kinda expected some kind of Olympian athlete to run through and pass the torch to her or at least burn the house down, so that the Drama Queens gathered could all try to take credit for a terrible event and get maximum pity/attention. But no such luck.
Instead it’s been two weeks of anger and finger pointing and Drama Queening. Oy. And I had pretty much been out of the line of fire since it was my friend who brought up the intermittent attendance issues. I really don’t care if the two drama queens in our group attend. They’re just drama queens. They really don’t bring much to a support group. They’re really only there so they’ll have a captive audience for their tales of woe and terribleness. But I did put in my 2 cents about, yes, I did think attendance in a group was important, because I was just coming off a week at work where a group I was Co-facilitating had NOBODY show up. And that was really discouraging since the group was new.
Well, this angered Her Highness it seems, and suddenly I was in the line of fire, for no reason whatsoever, except that I didn’t agree with her decree that she should be able to do whatever she damn well pleases, because she’s a DQ. So she said something that angered me so much that I thought my hair and eye brows were going to simultaneously combust. I won’t go into it here, but it was obviously meant to be inflammatory and you know what? That is the end of my association with my support group. And I’ve been in it for four years. And its really important to me. But I just can’t see, putting myself in the line of fire and getting hit with this verbal shrapnel and not taking any action. I was verbally attacked for no reason whatsoever. The facilitator did nothing to stop it. The Drama Queen was obviously drunk on the power of her support. I don’t see things changing. So I won’t be going back.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty