My Tuesday morning musings, awaiting your perusal. Today (and actually every day, I am weird that way) I am going to try really hard to be authentic and allow myself to be with all of my feelings. I still find it a challenge to luxuriate in all of my emotions, I find it so much easier to split off from my so called 'bad' feelings and just feel - nothing. Growing up in my dysfunctional family of four, feelings were not allowed to be spoken or felt. If I dared tell my mother I was anything less than fine, I would be told to go to my room to think about all the starving children in Africa and how happy and grateful I should always be.
The following story hopefully further illustrates the situation:
My younger sister gets the prime role of Mary in our public school's Christmas pageant. (Yes, way back in the sixties public schools were not yet politically correct. What is amusing to me now is that our school was at least 80 percent Jewish as were we, but I digress.) My mother says "Katharine, tell your sister how happy you are that she won the role of Mary!" Now normally I would tell her, except this time I am actually not happy because I think my sister is a bum kisser and a so-so singer and I know that I would have made a kickass Mary and instead I have to play one of the wise men which totally sucks because I don't want to put on some fucking itchy beard, I want to be radiant and beautiful and wear flowing dresses and play Mary and I am so mad and jealous and perhaps underneath all that anger there is a smidgen of respect for my sister Susan for getting that prime role, but it is buried under all my angry feelings that I am not supposed to feel and here is my mother saying, "Katharine you are a bad selfish girl for not celebrating your sister's triumph!" and then Susan flashes me her trademark evil wink and whispers in my ear " See Mommy does love me more!"
I wanted so badly to be loved and accepted that I pushed all those confusing dark feelings far far down in my gut. Now what was I to do? I did the 'right' thing. I got married and had a child and there I was, a not so young anymore adult and fifty pounds overweight and out of shape and constantly trying to please my angry verbally abusive husband and my demanding daughter and I didn't understand why or how I ended up here when all I had ever done was try to be good.
Here is the moral of my rambling road of a story:
If you did not have a parent(s) who validated all of you, who mirrored back to you in word and deed that your feelings are just that -- feelings -- not actions nor deeds; then you will spend your life running from your crazy. I had separated so completely from my ' bad' feelings that I had to marry a man who acted out my buried rage so that in return I could berate him for daring to act out my unspoken and un-allowed feelings. I hid from my true feelings for so long that I couldn't acknowledge even to myself that what I most deeply wanted was to be with a woman, until I was almost forty years old and when I did finally choose women, the only thing that changed until I changed, was the sex.
So please please please my HuffPo peeps, love all of yourself. Tell yourself every day that you do matter and it is more than okay to be angry and feel angry and think angry thoughts and that doesn't make you a bad person, that makes you a real one.
This morning ( and every morning, see above) when I wake up I look in my bathroom mirror at my reflection and I say out loud " I love and accept all of me. Every bit of my me-ness from my wild hair down to my weird looking scrunched up tongue." Today I am going to allow myself to feel my feelings and do my best to not run from them and in doing this brazen act of self -- love and acceptance I will set myself free.