Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Five: Where on the Stairs?

Thinking of your childhood as a stairway, when did you feel (and how did you feel then)
1. At the bottom? I think I felt "at the bottom" a lot as a kid. I was bullied a lot. I realize now that is what is was, although back then they called it teasing. But I was overweight and shy and felt a whole lot more comfortable around adults than I did other kids. This meant I sought out the nuns, which made the other kids think I was trying to be a "pet," or worse yet, ratting on them, further alienating me from my peers.

2. At the top? Getting out of grade school was a great improvement. I was determined that I was going to the all girls Catholic High School vs the coed one that most of the kids from my school went to, and over the vigorous objections of my dad because 1)we couldn't afford it, and 2) I was going to "take on airs" because it was more of an upper middle class school, and my pastor since the coed place was supported by the Diocese, I got myself a scholarship and WENT! All in all it was a great decision, and really quite an incredible thing for me to take my life into my own hands in this way at that point in my life. The world opened up for me in all sorts of wonderful ways. I learned about music and art and culture. I traveled with classes and on a junior year tour. I really believe that there's a chance if I had not chosen "the Viz" I might never have known I was smart, and may not have gone to college, as no one in my family had done this before.

3. Halfway? Where I got "stuck" due to the complications of the spiritual abuse that took place in my sophomore year. That was the downside of my high school experience. My strong need for approval and connection led me into a relationship with a nun who was getting her own needs met in some unhealthy ways with a group of "followers" she cultivated. I have written about her at various places in my blog, including my liberation from the introjected voice of her in my head last year. The interesting intersection is that in imagery and, in actual does take place on a stairway. Because she had such power over me, her words had the ability to do great harm. One day I was sitting on the stairs....halfway up a landing....and she said some incredibly awful things to me. Things I now know were her perp rap. Things designed to keep me powerless and caught in her grasp. But at the time I thought they were the Truth about me as only she could know it, and they devastated me. A part of me stopped there, at fifteen on those steps, stock still, shocked and stunned to silence. I only moved from there after lots of therapy and good soul work, and I'm not halfway anymore.

4. At this point in your life, where would you place yourself on your own stairway? Well, timeline wise, as I have said before, I still like to labor under the delusion that I am in midlife....apparently I am going to live into my hundred and somethings. And why not! Life in general-wise? I am standing at the top of one of those lovely and graceful stairs that have balconies. I am overlooking some great things that have been. But I am getting ready to go get dressed for the next thing....because it's gonna be great too!

5. Identify a place for you that "isn't really anywhere" but "somewhere else instead." The picture above is from a bluff in my hometown. It's not the one from the park I wanted, that's on the other computer....but it's "up" and that's the main thing. When I needed perspective, escape, Maria, I went to the hills, or my case, the river bluffs. And there I wrote, cried, pondered, contemplated. Living on the prairie I miss "up" and have to content myself with "out" instead and am grateful for the huge expanse of prairie sky and of course...the light.


Rev SS said...

You've had to climb a steep staircase, but you did it ... and I'm so happy that your view from the top is so beautiful!

P-Squared said...

With you. When I wrote my original answers they sounded much like yours...