My “stories” are incredibly old, and incredibly hard on myself -
“Nobody likes me, really…”
“I don’t believe in any of the Positive attention I do get – I’m only worthy of contempt for being such a consistent fuck-up – since Grade School, I’ve been a fuck-up!” And here’s the reinforcements that pop up:
Sister Donna Marie – the principal! – insulted me in front of the whole class when she handed out final report cards, for getting a B instead of an A in math – because “you’re so smart!” That the rest of it was all A’s was completely ignored!
And Sister Ansilion not only didn’t tell me about what I did well (right? in ART???), she gave my sister a harder row to hoe, too, by telling her “I hope you apply yourself better than Karen did”! So Barb, who was better at follow-through to begin with, got an extra boost of “git’er done”, and I got an extra slam of “Don’t bother even trying to finish – it won’t be good enough, anyway”…
Heck, in kindergarten, the sub in penmanship (printing) class (also the principal!) didn’t believe me when I told him that Bruce grabbed my pencil at the end of class, when they were collecting the pencils… and as he pulled it out of my hand, I put a slash on my paper – (and of course, we weren’t trusted with erasers!) … my printing was fine (great even), but I got marked down (and called out in class) for that slash. AND, my explanation (excuse? I don’t think so) was publicly either not believed or dismissed!
I missed social cues right and left: at the only birthday party I was ever invited to in high school, Brin, the birthday girl’s used-ta-be boyfriend, hit on me, so we went under the stairs and made out. I completely missed the importance of him being the *only* boy there, and that she wanted to get back together with him… I got tagged with “tramp” before the end of first semester of freshman year!
… And it seems like “sexy”, and even worse, “easy” are the place that guys gravitate to first…That’s soooo not what I want them to remember about me! I want to be valued for my intelligence and my creativity, and being funny…. sexy is a good thing, and I enjoy it (I’ve always known that, too) but not #1, #2 AND #3, please, dammit!!!
I’ve been a painfully People Pleaser since g.s. too – when I was in lower grades, I was “allowed to” hang out with the 7th and 8th graders, because I’d hold their coats while *they* jumped rope or played hop-scotch. And I wrote imitation excuse letters from their Moms for the “cool kids” – and I gave them the answers on tests, or let ‘em copy my homework…
In 8th grade, when I gave Tommy one of my “sharing size” class pictures, he tore it up in little pieces and put it back on my desk!!! Owww-eeee!
So, what do I do on a Friday morning? Write – self-indulgently! Instead of getting on the road, and taking care of my immediately-income-producing job…. What the hell is *that* about??? Another post, methinks… I have some thoughts, but no time now!
Deep thanks to my friend Sarah for writing a very vulnerable (and valuable) post yesterday (just saw it this morning). And to Shanna Mann and Ariane Benefit and Sue Rasmussen and Mark Silver and Linda Anderson and Kay White and David Caine – for pieces of what’s starting to come together, even as I write…. (links this evening… I’m out of time – again)
5 minutes after “Publish” – I’ve already remembered more contributors ~ Bridget Pilloud, and Ken Bechtel and Lissa Boles…
(2-15 ~ more links to come – please check back!)
I love you-all for reading this ~ Happy Valentine’s Day!
(I am feeling better about myself, just for having written this…