A letter from my previous self before I realized that I AM A WORTHWHILE PERSON
| I suppose there are times in everyone's life when they feel the need to step back and reflect on where they have been. Maybe even fantasize about how their present situation may have been different if only they could change the past. I don't believe that I was ever the type to "dress to impress." This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with clothing, but in some instances, it might.
I can't really explain why, but I have been basically a loner all my life. Sure I'd like to believe that I had friends, one or two good ones at that, but I spent most of my childhood alone. I never understood why some people thought being around tons of people was important. I like being where it's quiet enough to hear myself think. Maybe this grew from the fact that other kids had a tendency to ignore me or maybe they ignored me because I liked to be alone. I lean towards the first theory. I believe that no one was ever meant to be forced to be alone all the time. God created man so that He Himself would not be alone. He created Eve so Adam would have companionship. No, people are not supposed to be isolated from one another all the time.
I believe I grew to like being alone as a result of being ignored by both my family and my peers. I say peers because saying friends would mean I actually had some. Forced to seek solace in my imagination, I created a fantasy life where I was always the center of attention. I was extremely popular, there in the world of my dreams!
I turned to writing and poetry to release my frustration at the world that was forcing me to stand on my own. My mother warned me that my independent personality would cause me grief. She said that men are turned off by women that think for themselves and don't need them to survive. Being independent according to her was a handicap to be overcome by trying harder to become or at least feign dependence.
Doubleday's definition of DEPENDENT: depending or contingent upon something else, needing support or aid from another, subordinate.
SUBORDINATE: secondary, minor, lower in rank, subject or subservient to another.
Thorndike Barnhart defines DEPENDENT: controlled or influenced by something else.
SUBORDINATE: inferior in rank inferior in importance, secondary.
SUBSERVIENT: tamely submissive, slavishly polite and obedient, servile.
Imagine that! My mother was telling me to be a slave, to become unimportant, to be inferior!
This is very confusing to me even now. If she wanted me to be inferior, then why was I supposed to get only good grades, hell, why even go to school at all? I suppose that if I had listened to her, I probably would have been able to get any man I wanted. I would have had them fighting over which would be the lucky stiff to win. Me being such a prize and all.
If I was as good looking as the homecoming queen, then that tactic would have worked. But, alas, I was cursed with brains and everyone knows the two rarely go hand in hand. Maybe I was a disappointment to my mother. I've seen pictures of her when she was a teenager, and frankly, I can see that her looks were more than enough to get her whatever SHE wanted. Oh well, how did I get on that train? Oh yes, seeking solace in my imagination when others ignored me or battered me either physically or verbally. That's where I boarded that locomotive to hell. I suppose the reason my mother ignored me was that I was a disappointment in the beauty department. And when people who value beautiful things are confronted with something less than perfect, they tend to shy away. I guess that could also explain why none of my closest friends were what one would call beautiful, either. I guess it is true what they say about birds of a feather.
I retreated deeper into myself. Not narcissistically, but intellectually. Aha! I shouldn't mention intellect. A lady should have no brain, remember, subservient, always be someone's slave. Slaves are not supposed to be intelligent. I began my writing career with poetry. I never liked to conform to anyone's standards, either. I wrote from my heart, my soul, and if others tried to set a time signature or rhyming scheme, I would flinch. I had to BE ME!
I rebelled against everything my mother said I should be and look where that got me. Alone, depressed, often suicidal, not many friends, and oh, yes, ridiculed by everyone---NOT! Well, at least NOT NOW.
Maybe she had a point. Was speaking my mind really worth it? Would I have been happier being a mindless little twit, hanging on a man's every word, waiting for him to tell me what my opinion should be?
Looking back honestly, I do believe that there are some things I would have done differently. I actually did try it her way a few times, and if I could go back, that is what I would change. Those times when I gave in to her way of thinking, that a woman should be a man's inferior, are when I had the most heartache. Those are the times when I had the most thoughts of death. Those are the times when I was the farthest away from happiness, farthest away from reality. If I had never given in to her ideas, I would have never let men perpetrate the horrors I endured. She actually had the nerve to ask me why I put up with the unending mistreatment and even advised me to leave them! I was only doing what she said I should do, being subservient, depending upon men to make my life worth living. God, what did she want from me? Why couldn't she make up her mind? Oh, I forgot, women weren't supposed to have minds, maybe that's why she never left, either.
OK, I know, I shouldn't even bring this up, it is so depressing, but I must. Outer appearances. Yup, I am going to talk about the way I look. I know that no matter how many times my new husband tells me that he thinks I am beautiful, I know he's lying. I look like my father. For a man, he wasn't bad looking, not awesome like Robert Urich or Paul Glasser, but nowhere near Quasimodo, either. But put that face on a woman and we have a great argument for keeping abortion legal.
Okay, if I apply make-up properly, I can pass for a fairly decent looking woman, but unfortunately, I am allergic and buying non-allergenic make-up is too expensive. And, yes, I do get tired of people in stores referring to me as 'Sir' when asking if they can help me. Especially during the cold winter months when clothing has a tendency to hide my more feminine qualities. I guess they think I am some throw-back to the sixties when more men had long hair! I seem to have boarded that train to hell again. When did this happen?
Beauty is something I can comprehend when speaking about flowers, babies, other people, but I have a hard time thinking about it in reference to anything about myself. ON the subject of clothing, I suppose that when I dress-up, I do look more feminine as well as more human. But I personally prefer to be comfortable rather than fashionable. Once in awhile it is appropriate, like when going to a wedding, but I will never understand those women out there who cannot walk to their own mailbox without getting all dolled up. This is just plain ridiculous.
Why didn't someone shoot me before I wrote that!?
Okay, Alright, that was then...
This IS NOW!!!!
I am a unique individual with interesting things to say to the world. This is the last time anyone will ever hear me complain!
SO SORRY FOR THIS, but I felt that it was important to show where I came from in the past to be able to set the stage for future more intelligent themes. The above rambling was actually written about 12 years ago. I have since gotten over that self-image problem and I hope you will enjoy reading my later works as much as I enjoy writing them!
UPDATE: That was posted about 12 more years ago. It is now 2019 and I must confess, lately, I feel much better about my appearance. No, I didn't magically drop the excess weight (although I am trying), and unlike my father who's hair stayed a rich, dark brown well into his 50's, I still occasionally must color my locks. The change is that people who knew my mother have been saying how much I look like her. I never saw it, but looking at my photos now next to hers, I can see the resemblance. I suppose I am aging a bit more gracefully than I had hoped. Thanks for that, Ma.