Dusky sent her a text. "Ni**as is tryin' to talk shit about you. Nothing nasty but passive-aggressively saying backstage needs to be a little tighter." She was obviously upset, and he texted back "They're actors! I'm telling you, actors are garbage."
She thought about the scuffle she had with the directors, and now this. She was busting her ass with a 103 temp and still struggling with strep. They weren't even making their call times. She was going through a divorce, they were lucky she wasn't in one long crying jag from the get go.
A crying jag was indeed, impending. She started to do a slow leak...it went through the rest of the show, their "talkback" for an hour after the show, and up until 7:00 AM the next morning. She couldn't stop crying, and she couldn't figure out why 3 actors talking trash about her was upsetting her so much. She was all emotion and zero understanding, which just made her cry more.
Mid morning she finally got her clarity. It was the parallels that were getting her. She wasn't being appreciated. Not by the directors, not by the actors...and especially not by her ex for the past 15 years. It was a feeling that she had been running from, but she accidentally turned a corner and slammed right into them. The realization hit hard and fast: The more she tried to be good and help, the more of a determent it was. She was never going to be "good enough" for anyone.
"I give and give and everyone puts me on this high pedestal, but only so they can knock me off of it. Or once I climb up they just build it higher so I can't reach it. I don't know, my metaphor is weak." She told Dusky.
Once she realized this, another crying jag erupted from within her. This one only lasted a few hours.
A few days later she was explaining her feelings to Mo over the phone.
"No," he said. "No, who you are describing isn't my friend. That's not Penny. The Penny I know causes amazing differences in people's lives. She is the one who tells me to go for jobs I would be afraid to go for, and now I'm starting with the airline at the beginning of next month. That's only because you told me to go for it, and now I have a better job and am going to be making more money for my family, for my wife and our unborn child. You made a video application for our co-worker who knew nothing about video editing, you directed it, and she got that job. You might not have gotten the praise you deserved for that, but you changed her life for the better. You are making a difference, those same people complaining about you, your ex...you made a positive impact in their lives. The person you are talking about isn't you. If those people can't see how much you have enriched their lives just by being there, fuck them. You did it, they just don't see it. That's on them, not you."
Her tears slowly stopped. He was right. She just needed to hear it.