What is on my mind this morning? A short one. Welllll, during the week I examined my friends that are no longer part of my journey at this time (because of holding a grudge), and I had certain friends not like my pursuit of positivity (because I am working with brain strokes) and I found out that my daughter is still alive. Life is good. So, today I want to ramble some more. Today’s subject is about my lifelong pursuit of beauty. My sister teased me about all the pictures I had of myself. I had pictures of myself all over the house. Welll…..
Everyone has a story. Some of us tried to be parents. Some chose not to be. We built our foundations during life, according to what we knew and/or what we think we learned. I can only talk about what happened to me. You know what happened to you. FYI, if this is too personal, stop reading ! I am working on solutions and this might not be for you.
I did not want to be like my mother, so I built my foundation differently from hers. So, I thought. (sigh) she’s 15 in this photo
I don’t think my way worked any better than hers, even though I thought so at the time. Now, my kids did not want to be like their parents and each child is doing it differently. And so it goes. But now, I need to reconstruct everything and take risks. Each child is still alive so there is still hope.
What happened? Let’s look. This is what I remember. It may or may not be accurate.
Dr Davis delivered me at home. He was the general practitioner who did it all. One stop shopping. And he was my family doctor for years after that. In later body work, i was told that my skull had problems – possible birth damage. Lopsidedly off in a way not fixable. Oops. My birth certificate says 11:30 a.m. but it was done from memory and after the birth. Tuesday, March 30, 1937. So accuracy was not important at that time.
I don’t think mother wanted another girl. She did not want to be pregnant. Daddy wanted a son. So I was another girl with a lopsided skull. Oops.
So I was raised to be a son replacement. He taught me how to shake hands, make speeches, work in his office as a clerk. He introduced me to the farmers and groomed me to take over the business one day. He did not care what I looked like. Mother did. Darrell did. The neighbors did. Hollywood did. I did. Still do.
How perfect you were when you were a tiny baby. Babies do not have to do anything to become perfect; they already are perfect, and they act as if they know it. They know they are the center of the Universe. They are not afraid to ask for what they want. They freely express their emotions. You know when a baby is angry— in fact, the whole neighborhood knows. You also know when babies are happy, for their smiles light up a room. They are full of love. Tiny babies will die if they do not get love. Once we are older, we learn to live without love, but babies will not stand for it. Babies also love every part of their bodies, even their own feces. They have incredible courage. You were like that. We were all like that. Then we began to listen to adults around us who had learned to be fearful, and we began to deny our own magnificence.
Nothing was ever good enough for Mother. I will let you think about what I remember –
Don’t judge. They wanted to be good parents. They wanted to love each other. Mother did what she thought was right.
Earliest Memory: I had a pink blanket with white reindeer that I loved. mother and daddy decided I needed to let go. One day it disappeared. Mother told she had burned it in the trash can. It was gone forever. I was broken-hearted. I got over it. Later I was looking in the dining room chest of drawers and discovered that blanket stuffed in a drawer. Mother had lied. She could not be trusted. I no longer cared about the blanket. I learned – NEVER trust anyone! People lie. No love. No trust.
ANOTHER EARLY MEMORY: Someone was going to get us children and take us away and harm us. He had a name «peeping Tom», so look under the bed and fix the blinds and shades to prevent cracks and spaces EVERY NIGHT to be sure no one was under there before going to bed for the night.
I WAS NOT PERFECT ENOUGH FOR A GIRL: I had certain imperfections that had to be fixed – a space between my two front teeth, and I sucked my right thumb and might have buck teeth. THAT WAS NOT OK. So I had a wire thumb guard taped to my right hand at night with adhesive tape. That did not work. Medicine that burned my mouth was put on my thumb. Lots of begging me to stop . Something worked. I stopped sucking my thumb. But my teeth had to be fixed to get rid of the space. Surgery to remove the cartilage in the middle. Uvula. That was done. Then braces to correct. And a retainer for years to maintain correction.
NOSE IS WRONG: And my nose had a bump. Oops. Someone called it Roman and that was not a compliment to Mother. She took it personally. She did not like her nose. And it looks like she had a space between her teeth. OOPS. Put on list to fix in the future. But teeth come first.
DON’T TOUCH GIRLS. EVER. I don’t remember getting touched by mother I was touched by Mamie (the hired help) but mother fired her for having an uppity attitude and Daddy NEVER TOUCHED ME. Daddy only touched me to lift me up on a truck for a show. And down he taught me a speech to do, he thought I was cute doing his speech. Mother only would touch me in church and let me put my head in her lap. AND, I had to take Miss Hosch’s elocution class to be ready for the recital. I had to do a speech “I m Just a Raggedy, Raggedy Doll” and go limp in the performance. Perfection was the goal. So, I learned to hide the truth, pretend not to read the truth, and not to speak the truth. Bury the truth, show off to please.
Well that does not work for me for me anymore. I am not sure what does. It must be reconstructed new. In PARIS. NOW or in the future – hopefully.
I am contemplating what I want to work going forward in the post pandemic time ahead. Saying YES to life and taking risks and playing and writing and discovering new things and people and breaking my own rules. Yes. I am starting over, and I begin again every day
Best, JANET / JAY