Wednesday, May 09, 2012

THE GIRL MILDRED BUILT

As far back as I can remember I felt awkward and self conscious over everything...the way I talked, the way I walked, the way I looked, the way I thought. When I was a child, it wasn't fashionable for women to be tall. I had to buy boy's Levi's so the legs would be long enough to cover my lanky gams. Wearing Levi's spared me from looking like I was getting ready for the Great flood. Yes, I was tall. In fact, I was always the tallest in my class until I reached Jr. High School/ Middle School and the boys had a chance to catch up with me. I was tall and didn't have any hips until sometime after I started having children. I think one of the most damaging things my mother did to my feminine psyche as a child was when she made me get all my hair cut off into the new "Twiggy" look. All that accomplished was to make me look more like a boy. Maybe if she had followed up my new look with showing me the virtues of make-up and how tall, thin brunettes could be as stunning as their short, curvy counterparts my struggling ego would have had a chance to develop a positive "hey, look at me" attitude instead of the negative "fuck it" attitude I did develop.

I was tall, wore glasses and was kind of nerdy without even knowing it. Instead of just accepting who I was and making the best of what I had to work with, I over compensated for all those things I deemed as imperfections and flaws by never letting anyone see how vunerable and self conscious I really was. I was the class clown. I was the first to do anything and everything. I had no fear...no regard for my personal safety. I wanted to fit in and be noticed. I just wanted to be loved. I overkilled everything I did until I woke up one day and I really was what I tried so hard to be. I was that cool kid who had friends from all socioeconomic back grounds. I didn't judge people by the standards most people were judged by. I tried very hard to look inside and as I came so very close to being what my heart ached to be, I started to gradually shutdown. The horrors of life, my life could no longer be kept at bay. Those addiction demons found me. I no longer could hide from them so I started to run. I run fast and furious to a place I felt safe. It was a place no one could touch me or hurt me. It was that place all addicts become familiar with as they become comfortably numb.

When I emerged unprepared many years later, I looked at myself in a new way, but instead of a real change I simply traded drugs for other addictions. Yes, life was nothing more than a huge, confusing barter system with many interesting trade-offs along the way. My metamorphosis had truly begun and I once again spun out of control. I allowed the slow road of self destruction to mold every aspect of my life. As I aged I grew weary and my body started to breakdown. Years of abuse had finally caught up with me. I was no longer that skinny, self-conscious girl who just wanted to be loved. Instead of choosing to find love and happiness, I chose the path of chaotic, unhealthy, drama-filled relationships that never had any chance of succeeding. I chose a road that would only bring me misery and despair.

I sit here now wondering why I felt I needed to punish myself so severely for such a long time. I wonder why I was always able to forgive others, but never myself. I sit here now afraid of what the future will bring and want so desperately to change the road I chose so many years ago. I wonder if all the harm I've done to myself in so many ways can be reversed. I wonder if I can heal and finally feel the peace there must be in being healthy. Have I waited too long? Sometimes a change in course takes drastic measures. Yes, my health is bad, but I have taken the necessary first steps in attempting to correct the ills that have ravaged my body for the past decade. Those steps I'm sure may be viewed as being drastic measures, but anyone who knows me wouldn't expect any less from me than a new journey started via drastic measures and the tenacity of a hard-headed Irish lass.

13 comments:

  1. You certainly didn't see yourself as others saw you. I saw you in such a different light but perhaps thats because I didn't feel I measured up....you was the tall dark haired girl with the lanky legs that I so wanted instead of the short stubs I had to run around on.... I remember the twiggy hairstyle on you well....I wanted so much to wear short hair but wasn't allowed. You always had the correct answeres in class and I on the other hand "the wrong"....I think we all punish ourselves and find ourselves the hardest of all to forgive....

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    1. I think it would be wonderful for all of us to be able to see ourselves how others see us. Perhaps it would cut down on all the angst we experience growing up.

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  2. I sit here now wondering why I felt I needed to punish myself so severely for such a long time.

    thank goodness you caught on when you did !

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    1. There's nothing like pounding your head on a brick wall for many years! LOL You talk about being hard headed! Do they hand out prizes for that sort of thing?

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  3. I wish you had been able to see yourself through my eyes. I saw you as everything I wished I could be! I was so plain, awkward and shy. You were the one that we all wanted to be around..you were fun, popular, and those legs!!!! I think we all wanted to have legs like yours!! I think we all want to be something other than what we are at one point or another in our lives. I'm just beginning to come to the point where I'm (almost) happy with who I am....notice the word in parenthesis!!
    I'm was so pleased when you told me of your plans for a healthier future! Know that I am with you every step of the way!! I love seeing the tenacity come out in you!!

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  4. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence until we jump the fence!

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  5. Everything we joyfully experimented in and partook of was to keep us from facing low self-esteem issues...created by parents who were supposed to build us up. If I had been told "I love you," I might not have looked elsewhere (drugs, alcohol, sex) for the comfort those words would have given me. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

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    1. Okay, but does that mean I can't say "I love you" now that you're a bitter old cunt?

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  6. I wish you all the luck and happiness that you deserve, from one self-destructive, self-abusing, self-conscious, blah blah blah to another.

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  7. bitter old cunt? oh, you know me too well. bring on the love.

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