D'Andra: I Am Not Verbally Abusive

"It really upset me that my mom would say I am verbally abusive when she was being emotionally manipulative," says D'Andra about this blow-up with Momma Dee. Plus, find out what she's apologizing for. 

It’s only the second week and we already have some BIG drama happening! There are secret baby showers, some VERY PUBLIC showdowns, and a whole lot of Momma Drama, courtesy of the Simmons women.  

 Let’s get to it! You could probably tell by my face at my anniversary party that I was a little shocked to see Brandi Redmond show up…and especially at the end. Why was she there when she said she wouldn’t be? I know there’s something wrong between us, but I’ve yet to figure out what it is? I had a lot of questions for her, and I knew I didn’t want the Spanish Inquisition going down in front of everyone at my celebration. In any normal circumstance, I probably wouldn’t have been as nervous about that confrontation as I was, but, it had been a long night of “toasting and roasting”, and I wasn’t prepared for a showdown, Texas style! I was feeling no pain, and the shock of seeing Brandi took me completely by surprise! Luckily, Stephanie Hollmansaved the day and put a lighthearted end to the serious moment by jumping on the lion statue and making us all laugh hysterically!

I did feel better after my talk with Brandi. Thank you, Cary Deuber, for that one last tequila shot! The liquid courage was much appreciated. It was kind and courageous of Brandi to come by when she was so upset at me, and, even though I didn’t understand at the time why she was hurt, it made me feel better about the potential of moving forward in our friendship. This is a huge thing for someone to do when they feel that they have been wronged. I am glad Brandi realized it wasn’t the time to "get into it" fully at that moment. The fact that she showed up and made the effort to bury the hatchet meant a lot! I loved that she came to celebrate me, and I was THRILLED that she invited me…after all that…to celebrate she and Brian’s new baby Bruin!

You may have noticed that my mom and I have STILL not found that perfect blend of personal and business life balance. It was very awkward to watch myself tip-toe around my mother’s office like that. Once again, I was NERVOUS. I knew a blow up was coming, by this time in my life I can just feel them in the air before they are about to happen. I abhor confrontation!

I was visibly upset having that conversation with my mom. In that moment, I felt like I was a teenager again, arguing with my mom over why I couldn’t stay out past curfew on Saturday night!

My mother’s fear of change was clearly overwhelming her good sense in that moment. I understand why she felt she should still receive a salary. She has worked very hard her entire life and built this business basically on her own. My sincere hope is that her legacy and this business will still be around when we are both gone. The request for her salary to be put back in the company was to rebrand and grow the business even further!

While I admire my mother for her business acumen, it was laughable that she would insinuate I am jealous of her in any way! And, speaking of poking the bear, I said some pretty unkind things as a retort to my mother’s jealousy comment. I was mad…really mad! I’m sorry mom. The whole thing caught me off guard because that is just not where I saw the conversation going! You NEVER cease to surprise me!

Just as my mom considers this business her baby, so do I in wanting it to grow and flourish. That is the reason for wanting to make drastic changes. I don’t have my own children, so this business is really my pride and joy. I built Hard Night Good Morning from my savings, with everything I had at the time. As for Ultimate Living, I have been involved with this company for over 20 years in one way or another, so I am invested in both companies and want them BOTH to succeed.

  

It really upset me that my mom would say I am verbally abusive when she was being emotionally manipulative. We all get mad at times, but trust me, I am not verbally abusive. This seems a little like “the pot calling the kettle black” if you ask me.  A verbally abusive person takes your character traits and starts to pick at them to bring you down so you start to doubt yourself and thus, begins a pattern of self-hatred. This is not what I was doing or have ever done.

Both of my parents were both very supportive when I created Hard Night Good Morning. It hurt my feelings when my mom said she doesn’t "give a rip" what I do with my business. My mom tends to shut me down like a child when I try to act like her business partner, but our relationship, unfortunately, revolves around finances and work, because I work in a family business. When I suggested that I should take my company elsewhere, I was at the end of my rope with these chasing our tail conversations that never solve anything. It was obvious to me if we continued this business together, our mother-daughter relationship would crumble along with the companies. I had some serious lifestyle decisions to make and some crucial personal spending to curtail in order to take over my company without any notice or preparation. This was a complete shock to me. I think we both have a lot to learn about taking off our "Mom" and "Daughter" hats at work, and leaving the office problems at the office. You would think after more than a decade we would have this figured out by now!

Fast forward to “Bubbles and Bruin”, I never thought Kameron Westcott would figure a mystery out before me, but miracles happen every day! I had NO CLUE I was walking into a baby shower! My pantsuit probably gave that away. I looked like the “wet nurse” showing up to breastfeed! Cary, you’re welcome for my gracing you with my girls. What can I say? It was supposed to be a cocktail party!! Who knew, obviously NOT me???

I was a tad suspicious when I walked in and saw all blue, but I was much more focused on the amazing champagne wall, so I just decided to let it play out. Stephanie threw such a clever party and kept everything under wraps!! When Brandi walked out with her, now completed, family, I just was overcome with happiness for her. I know what it’s like to want something so badly, and to finally get it is such a blessing. Brandi’s friendship truly means so much to me, and I am glad that we put our issues aside long enough to share that moment with kindness and happiness.  

 I want to let Stephanie know how touched I was that she shared her suicide attempt with everyone this week. I know it took a lot of courage to share this deep dark secret, but by doing so she helped another person that was in despair, and I commend her for that. As the daughter of someone who committed suicide, the loss is unbearable, and there is no reconciling for those left behind. I can’t imagine not having precious Stephanie as a friend, and I am so glad she is here today because she is a beautiful and lovely person with a huge heart. I am honored to call her my friend.

I have always had trouble with confrontation when it comes to people I care about. I have a great fear that I will lose a relationship I care about over a fight or disagreement. In business, it’s easy. Either a partnership works, or it doesn’t. You cut your losses and move on with your own goals. But, in FAMILY business it’s a different story. There is a lot more at stake!

Love,

D’Andra