Recently digging through an old box of school memories. So many surprises. Surprises? Well yes I lived my elementary and middle and high school days but was shocked to see some things stored in the plastic bin. Perfect attendance middle school – what? Why? I can’t make it a month now without taking a day off. I guess going to school was way better than spending the day at home with my crazy mother. Even a Math test looked good.
Then there’s all the awards. First place in this and that. I mean Jesus Christ even a gold medal finish in the 880 race. No memory of winning. At all. Looking at the blue ribbon, no memories, no feel good, no pride. Back then, and I’m guessing, the win prob felt good for like 5 mins then I quickly buried it under all the heaviness of the time. Winning or being perfect was like oh well, check it off the list. It was empty, dead, devoid of feeling or celebration. Too much light/aliveness was always extinguished.
My parents sorta expected that we were fabulous but there was no recognition for it. We quickly had to snuff out and semblance of joy and feelings of pride. It’s like having everyone cheering for you and you look down and everyone’s gone and your stuck feeling stupid and ridiculous with a smile on your face for absolutely nothing.
So do your best, I was told. Excel and win everything so you make us look like good parents – was the idea. But don’t you dare actually OWN or HOLD the joy or excitement or light for too long because then you’d be full of yourself. And full of light. And we can’t let you have that either because that pushes on our wounds of inadequacy. And we can’t have you running around all fabulous, bragging and knowing your worth and actually feeling special. Lord knows you won’t belong in this family.
All the while, everyday you told me I was a special girl and so loved. Praise, encouragement- All lies, all empty. All the time. No safety. No validation or recognition. No where to land. That’s all I knew. I learned so well. Was handed the self hate/dumbed-down baton and ran with it. I ran hard and fast. I was the best. Of course I was, I had no choice. Your presence no longer required for the massacre of good in me. Bloody massacre. I gotchu. I got this. I’m a good, obedient child. Fuck
Now estranged from the original executioner, I’ve noticed ancient strands still in my fabric. Threads of fear. Fear of being seen succeeding, not belonging and pressure to be, have and do the best. All self imposed. My material unraveling now. Dry rotting. As I starve those parts, silence the outdated voices -by noticing how I dim my own glorious light.