Monday, May 20, 2013

The Story of a Special Little Self: The Story of Me...and You


OK, so life is no easy business for anybody.  But I’m going to stake my claim right up front and say that children who have it extra tough are very susceptible to becoming adults who have it tougher than most folks. 

Allow me some room to explicate…I am not speaking of DSM Axis I diagnoses (anxiety spectrum disorders, depressive spectrum disorders) but of children who spend most of their days [and nights] from the age of “Hello, World” to “I’m finally outa there” waiting for (what they dread, and it will happen), or hoping for (what never happens, even though they believe with all their hearts), or wondering why (he doesn’t like me, she doesn’t notice me, I’m so bad, [there are a million of these]). 
These are the children who, from the age of Hello, World to the age of I’m Finally Outa There, never ever feel:
1      Safe
       Loved
       Able to trust
       Able to be trusted
       Whole

And chances are, they are never going to feel any of that, except possibly in direct relationship to the intensity of a given relationship, but not in and of their own beings.  The self that connects in one dimension with the cosmic all (Paul Tillich’s “The Ground of Our Being”) and in the other dimension with the particulars of persons and pets and machines and all the crazy stuff of life, with the influences and intrusions and need for boundaries that come with it…that self requires a certain amount of TLC as it negotiates its way through the first very overwhelming years of life.  That little self desperately needs a tender grown-up hand to hold, just to know he or she is not alone in the world. 

 That little self is emotionally so much more wise than the grown-ups give him credit for: he is perfectly aware when he is in the company of a person who is with him, tending to him, cheering him on, and available for him to fall into.  And he knows in a flash when he is with a poser.  Little selves can smell the difference between people who really want to be with them and people who pretend to want to be with them…can smell it at a thousand paces.  

Amazingly, they have a unique capacity to forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive…until they don’t.  Then beware!...they never forget.  They never trust again.  They are lost…potentially forever, unless there is just that one somebody, somewhere in the background, awaiting a chance to bestow the affectionate, honest relationship that Little Self thought he would never have. That one grown-up can make all the difference in a little life.  We hear about that grown-up all the time: most often it is Grandma, sometimes Grandpa, or another relative or neighbor friend. 

Even where that substitute grown-up has given the Little Self enough to get by, there may not have been enough consistency to allow for continual growth of the Self, dare I say Soul.  What emerges out the other end of adolescence is a kind of desiccated Self, not a full, rich, ripe Self ready to take on the world in her 20’s, hiccoughs, blunders, and all.  But a fragile, wall flower Self who dares not venture too far from whatever beacon of safety she can call her own, not sure at all why she is so afraid, never guessing she is afraid of what she herself might do, given that she has never felt the sheer gumption to do anything at all.  

And so she waits.

And waits…until her mother dies and cannot any longer see the real her.  (What a lovely her she is.  But her fearful mother would be so panicked, she would suffer miserably.  The girl could not allow that to happen.  So she waits.) 

She waits with worry the whole time about what the people think, just as her mother taught her to.  Don’t be fat, don’t act lowbrow, don’t be too sexy, don’t show off, don’t this, don’t that, just don’t.  Be a lady.  Take the blame.  Always take the blame…especially to protect your man’s pride.  He can’t cope with his massive pride by himself.  You must do that for him.  And never injure him by letting him know you have rescued him.  Ergo: do whatever he tells you.  Never Get Angry…because…[See above].  Also, it is one of the Ten Commandments:  Wives, Do not be angry with your husbands, for they are men, and men are always right.  For they are too weak to cope with their masculine pride; they cannot admit they were wrong.  Whereas you have no pride:  you can admit you were wrong when you were not wrong.  To you it is nothing.  You are nothing. 


If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 
If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 
If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 

I am not nothing.

If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 

I am a woman.  I am not nothing.

If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 

I am a woman.  I am not nothing.  I am a woman and I have value.

If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 


I am a woman.  I am not nothing.  I am a woman and I have value in my thoughts and ideas.

If I’m going to come out of this prison, I’m going to have to do it myself, one step at a time. 

I am a Little Self living in the body of a big self.  I am breaking out of this prison with a plastic knife.  It may take the rest of my life.

I can do this.




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