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The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.

Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...

And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shame and Flattery

She believed him when he told her they must have been soul mates in a past life. She felt important. She felt cherished. She felt loved. By a man. This man also loved her mother. She only five years old, but age doesn't matter in soul currency and she was an old soul. Everybody said so. And she felt open and connected to the universe. Why should she sort and be selective? This man was giving her love...maybe true timeless soul level love. How on earth would anyone ever try to turn away from that kind of love at any age, but especially as young as five. She didn't, because it would never have occurred to her to turn him away. Love is responded to with love in an instinctive way at that age. And anyway it was mostly words then. He treated me like an equal when he was loving. But not in a fatherly way.

So the bond was strong. My love for him and acceptance of him was thorough. And in important ways he disrespected my mental boundaries. He would surprise me by yanking back my chair unexpectedly. This was scary because it was high and backless, and after he did it the first time, or maybe it was after the fourth or fifth, but at some point I asked him never to do that to me again. But he did what he wanted. I was watchful, and scared, and didn't trust and maybe I giggled as young kids might in fearful anticipation, and somehow signaled to him that the game was ok or funny, but it was not ok and my fear was real and a nervous giggle should not make me complicit. And I loved him.

And he tickled me mercilessly, maybe because he liked to hear me laugh, which always started joyful. But then I would run out of air, and he would still be tickling me, and I was afraid I would die because I couldn't breathe in and I was begging him to stop so I could breathe and he must have stopped because I am alive but what it taught me was that my "no" was worthless. And I loved him. And I also wanted his love and approval.

When his friend came over, they smoked cigars and drank beer and I wanted to be included somehow, and he told his friend to watch while he tilted his beer and dribbled a few drops on my head. I felt like I was less than nothing, less than human, less than less than less than. And still I needed his love. This man that hurt my feelings, this man that did what he wanted, this man that offered me soul-currency lip service love. And I didn't understand his love, but I wanted it. And I loved him because my love was pure.

He tested me in a strange way once, without realizing it would be a test. Maybe we never fully know a test is a test until we go through it. We were walking up to an outdoor bank teller and a little old lady in front of us in line had dropped a hundred Deutsche Marks but being old and that it was a bill and not a coin she hadn't heard or realized it. I picked it up and he told me to run with it. I never would have, no matter what. I pity him in a way. I handed her back her money, and that is just who I am from the core of my being. He didn't make me even question it, though I suppose he tried to.

Just as I question everything, I can understand now how he hooked me and then dangled me like some fun toy for his amusement. How he could use my natural curiosity to make me an accomplice so that culpability could be blurred enough that he was never alone responsible. At that age, there were few sexual intentions, though bath time he allowed me to explore his body in ways that were...questionable...he never fondled or abused my body. I suppose I feel lucky that he waited until a much later visit when I was a highschool young lady. Do you see? I feel lucky that he waited? Not the outrage you expect, because I still love this awful man maybe even now, today, on some cosmic terrible illogical level in some timeless weird and twisted way. He did more than I wanted him to do, but never penetration or rape or even other things. My experience is so miniscule compared to some I feel shame even claiming I was abused. Shame even calling it what it was, a violation of father-hood. Because while I didn't let him do things, I couldn't stop him from talking about or maybe I'm the lucky one still because like I said, his tongue didn't make it past my teeth when he tried to french kiss me, his hand didn't make it above my knee, he only held my breast through my shirt and I'm lucky. Lucky and guilty and lost.

Because how can a lucky girl like me recognize the cosmic love again when it has paraded through my life in disguise up until now? How can I separate the love and the treatment when they were so entangled at such a young age?

This all happened to a different me, a distant me, more than 30 years ago something twisted and strange and I am healing the patchwork as I can. I came across a picture of our little family unit briefly a couple weeks ago and I was unprepared caught unawares and I felt my mother's eyes on me checking to see if I was ok.

I'm Not Okay.

4 comments:

  1. Hugs.

    You may not be okay now, but you will be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Regardless of what others may go through, it doesn't lessen your experience at all.
    And while it can't be easy in any way, go you for healing.

    ReplyDelete