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WHEN I GROW UP(BLOG)

WHEN I grow up I will be dead.  This is because I never really had a childhood,so I am doing it now. 

As a child I grew up in fear,listening to my parents fight violently,and trying to hide from my big sister,who tormented me.  I found solace in books,as soon as I learned how to read,and in pretending I had another life,where I was a star on the stage,singing and dancing and acting,married to a producer who put me before anything in his life!

In reality,my early teen years were spent fighting off ridiciule at home and at school.I had thick glasses and was painfully shy,so the boys had a ball teasing me.AT home I was next to the youngest in what was now a blended family,living with my dad and stemother and two stepbrothers. In high school I transferred to a girls prep school and those years were happy ones.I got contact lenses and my whole world changed.Suddenly I was going out on dates and by 12th grade had a boyfriend for 4 whole months. But it got scary when he pushed to end my virginity,and so we broke up.( in those days girls were still virgins in high school,most of them,at least)

In college I met another guy,and we followed the typical pattern of a 4-5 month relaltionship.WE c ould talk for hours and were so in love(or so I thought).but I was too intense for him and he eventurally moved on.

I married when a junior in college,this time attending a conservatory,as I had flunked out of a local University(I had been told I was not college material by our school principal),but I finished up at the conservatory with a degree in piano performance,and the following year we moved into a house(where we still live,now 42 years later)

I had 3 children, 2 boys and a girl,and when I had my first I had no clue as to what to do,nor any frame of reference to follow,so I did what I thought was best for him,going against the tide of scheduled feedings,etc. 

AT this time Woodstock happened. I wanted to go in the worst way.but i could not bring my baby to that mudpile,even to hear Jimi and Janice and all the others.  Soi instead I ironed my husbands shirts to "foxy lady" and "purple haze". My oldest son still remembers that.

In my thrities I was still out of touch as to whom I really was,and we were having marital problems,and I escaped into alcohol and random wild behavior. I was going to school at the time,this time doing very well,after passing off many courses,as my major was a five year program and i went full time.

Upon graduating in 1984 several things happened all at the same time:

 I started my first job,at age 40(terrifying),I stopped drinking,I got treated for my depression,which had been lurking for years,and the reason why I drank,and I began the rocky road to sober living,slowly coming into myself for the first time.

But I never really grew up.I pictured growing up with playing a staid game of bridge on a Saturday night like my parents,dressing my age at all times,never speaking of any negative emotions,never being real..just going along,playing the grownup role,for the sake of my kids and parents and husband,feeling somehow I didn't fit. I joined AA and Alanon,and gradually began to gain more self respect.I changed jobs to one more fulfilling, I began to set boundaries(when before I had none),and slowly began the process of finding out who I really was.

Things were,in my life,beginning to feel like shoes that were too small.But I saw no way out.Having no money of my own to speak of,I was totally dependent on my husband,even though I was working,because my salary was next to nothing.

And I kept working my programs,trying to be grateful for what I had,and trying to make myself fit the life I was living.

I was becoming more content,at least on the surface(I had buried my real needs so deep I couldn't even access them myself)

Years of therapy didn't make a dent in this.But last March someone finally did what no therapist had ever been able to do,using the medium of "love therapy"

It was by chance that I met him,on a website that was political.We began to share our stories with eac h other,and I felt like I was looking into a mirror. He said "you draw me like a moth to a flame"  and so he did. And I fell in love. He lived way across the country and was single,after 2 divorc es.

Never having had this happen in all my 64 years,falling in love with one because of who he really was,rather  than his good looks or sex appeal.He  was sensitive,creative,and shared my views in politics, and heard what I was saying,as I did him.  Both of us had sufferred many losses,and so were walking on eggshells,afraid the other shoe would drop,but instead the trust deepened,and we really began to share what we were both really about. there were many major similarities.And he wasnt a drunk.

And the moth flew into the flame,and crashed and burned.  He couldn't take the intimacy,the "getting in close",and so one terrible day in August,2009,he ended our cyber relationship with one quick clean slice,and I was left bewildered,feelilng like my soul was cracked open and bleeding all over the place with no one to bandage it up and help it heal.

And now,months later,5 to be exact,the same amount of time we were connected, I see how he was the catalyst who broke me open,to being my real journey as myself.  so now I feel about 17. i guess, And we are still connected by an invisible thread,both of us still adolescents despite being in our sixties.

Will we ever grow up??

"only time and tears,sweat and laughter will let us know"(a quote from one of his poems to me)

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Writing is Such Good Therapy

Heather,

You have followed your path wonderfully and I hope you get to play every day between know and when the Creator calls you Home.

Have a great childhood! It's people like you who put me out of business! (As a pastoral counselor - not an author!)

Blessings,
Reece

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Being grown up.

You tell your story with so much honesty and energy. You obviously have a wonderful mind and a willingness to be open to your inner self, plus the courage to keep moving yourself toward healing. The fact that you could see the person that hurt you as a catalyst is remarkable.

Something you wrote intrigued me:

"But I never really grew up.I pictured growing up with playing a staid game of bridge on a Saturday night like my parents,dressing my age at all times,never speaking of any negative emotions,never being real..just going along,playing the grownup role,for the sake of my kids and parents and husband,feeling somehow I didn't fit."

This is such a great description of the stereotype of a "grown-up," one which I think is commonly held by millions of people. But I think it may be no longer applicable to a large portion of the Woodstock generation. So much of our generation moved beyond it, just like we moved beyond the blue-rinse beauty parlor hair-do's.

I think that being grown-up nowadays is accepting that there is ambiguity and confusion, rather than hiding from both those things by ultra-conformist behavior.

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thank you,Ruth

Thank you,Ruth.BEing a fledgling writer comments form other writers on this site are most welcome! I have never published anything as of yet,but my friend,himself a gifted poet(and on this site,only hasnt' written since last Feb,before we met)was the one who got me started.
My Dad used to write sonnets to my mother,and my paternal grandmother wrote poetry,too.so it is in my blood.I hope someday to publish smething,but have no idea where to begin!
Heather