Teachers never liked me. I didn’t excel in every subject but I was a bright child. I wasn’t naughty and disruptive but I had an attitude of haughty insouciance that bordered on arrogance.
From a young age I demonstrated this attitude as a reaction, I suppose, to my mother’s indifference toward me. As a child, I wasn’t mature enough to question where the source of her indifference; I merely lived with the pain of it as it tore into the tender core of my innocence, hurting and often humiliating me. Gradually a wall formed around that heart, hardening and thickening it like the shell of a crustacean, protective yet impenetrable.
This method of coping got me through my childhood but it left permanent scars, so deeply etched that I am still grappling with the repercussions of that treatment today as an aging adult
.Perhaps it is this coping mechanism that is responsible for the very absence of love in my life today. Trust does not come easily.The gates are heavy. They do not creak open without a gargantuan effort. Occasionally along the way a teacher or friend has helped me to shed that reluctance and encouraged me, sometimes unknowingly, to open up and trust but the old behavior pattern persists, reluctant to change.
When friends acted in a way that felt like a betrayal as it did so many years back with my mother, I have turned on the old indifference and haughty attitude and if that didn’t work, I’d cut them loose.
As a girl I’d withdraw into my bedroom. I’d bolt myself inside and retreat into the safe world of solitude. A place where I am still very at home. I found comfort in music and books. This only served to further infuriate my mother, who couldn’t reach me when she wanted to. Then it happened.
“When you are twenty-one you can do what you want. But as long as you live in this house, you have to obey my rules.” And my parents broke my bedroom door down.
My mother’s invasion of my privacy continued until I moved out. She snooped through my drawers, read my diary, listened in on my phone calls and opened and read my mail.
Over the years I thought that I had let go of the harmful anger and resentment that I harbored as a teenager but maybe remnants remain and are still causing sorrow and handicapping my ability to love and be loved. In my desire to grow, change and be free from the past, I set pen to paper and fingers to keys. There is hope. It is manifest in the faith of the writer and it brings me one step closer.