I am going through a growth spurt right now. Not physically but psychologically.
It all started when I joined a dream group. The leader of the group is very astute on the subject. She has been studying on this for 17 years. Our dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us something in the real world. It has made me very aware of some things I have suppressed for far too long. 42 years to be exact.
I am driven by fear. I know this. I have known it. It is part of who I am. It is how I operate. If something is wrong, it is always my fault. When something goes wrong at work, I am a scapegoat. Because I sit back and let it happen. I have fears and I know they are unfounded. I have done stupid disguised as bravery out of sheer desperation. Being in this dream workshop, based on Jungian psychology, has helped me to discover some things about myself.
Here goes, it is confession time for me but first let me set the stage for you….
It was 1973 and I was in kindergarten. The teacher was fresh out of college. There was one day I didn’t want to take my nap. So when the rest of the class went out to PE, I was left in the room and locked in. I remember how quite it was. There was no relaxing music, the other children were not there, this was in the days before digital anything so I could hear the clock ticking. The lights were off, the only light was coming in through the big windows. I was left there (this is only a guess on my part) to think about what I had done. When the teacher returned she told me not to tell anyone what had happened or I would get a paddling.
So I never told. For three years parents, grandparents, uncles, family friends would all take me to school because I would not ride the bus to school. In my five to eight year old mind, getting on that big yellow thing meant I would be locked in a room by myself again.
My parents didn’t know why I wouldn’t get on the bus. They just acclimated to what needed to be done to get me to school. They never thought to ask my teacher, the person responsible for my care during the school day what had happened to me. Why would they? This was a trained professional.
Now before you get up on your soap box , I have done some deep thinking on this the past few days. Yes, locking me in a room by myself at the age of 5 was not only irresponsible, it was also dangerous. What if that old building (that my parents went to school in) caught on fire? I don’t know what happened to her as a child that made her think that was remotely okay.
It took the teacher’s assistant three years to tell my parents what had happened.
By then the damage had already been done. The fear that would control my life became ensnared in my very core.
You react out of fear. You try to keep everybody happy because you know what can happen if you disappoint or upset them.
I was asking for help when I was jumping off the school bus daily, refusing to go to school and being left in the office until the school secretary would ease me into class later in the day.
I wasn’t being heard, so when I feel like I am not being heard at my current place in life or I work up the bravery to use my words and they go unheard or unacknowledged, I automatically go into defense mode.
It is self protection. I don’t want to displease or upset anybody so I shove my feeling inside and I just sit on them until they explode. What is the point in speaking if it doesn’t matter? Why waste your breath if you are not being heard, if you ideas are heard then someone else takes the credit for it if it is good or blames you if it is bad.
Growth spurts are not easy, they are somewhat painful. This one has been very painful. Realizing that one of your first interactions with an adult outside your family left such a lasting impression, it kind of sucks.
I am at the place where I am ready to sit down and talk to 5 year old me, kindly and gently and tell her that her life turned out pretty good. That she would find someone and fall in love, she would lose that love physically way too soon to death. That she will fall in love again and that is a great thing. I want to tell her that all the adults in the world are not like this one person and because she had to go through this, when she in the future worked with children, she would be kind and loving because she knew how badly words and actions can hurt.
I will tell her that she is loved, she is beautiful, she has a voice and it is okay to use her words.
I will love her up, hug her, give her a kiss on the forehead, I will let her cry if needed and I will hold her while she does that. Then I will unlock the door and let her out of that room where she has lived for far too long. It is time for her, for us, to have peace!!!