Saturday, 23 January 2010
A wicked spell has been broken after 40 years!
I was a happy little girl. I lived in my imagination and in books. I was always having adventures in my head and would build dens to have these in. The Bedouin tent in my bedroom, the sea going vessel under the table, the little house under the stairs. Sometimes my sister would play too, but it didn't matter I was okay playing on my own.
Between the ages of 10 and 13 I had a very rough time. One which I have talked about before, but suffice to say I was moved to this snotty all girls school and for the duration of my time there I was bullied and had no friends. And would wander round at break time pretending it didn't matter.
My parents finally realised when I was 13 how terribly unhappy I was and moved me to another school. This time co-ed, which coincided with my hormones starting to take hold of me.
I discovered that through flirting I could get attention. And I started on a path that for many years was very self destructive.
One of the things that used to happen to me was events would happen, and I would be part of them however unpleasant or difficult, as if I had no power to remove myself from them.
One of these happened when I was fourteen. I'd gone for a sleepover, with this girl in the year above me. Her parents took us to the cinema and left us there, they wanted to go for a drink. They would pick us up later to go for a meal.
So we are watching the movie and there are two lads sitting in front of us, I can't remember how they got to be sitting either side of us, but they did. And then they were kissing us. Again it's so long ago and such a vile memory that a lot of it is blanked out. But I came out of the cinema with a massive hickey on my neck. I'd never had one before, so I hadn't known what the affect of the lad sucking my neck was going to have.
Lots of trouble ensued as a result, particularly the next day on my return home and my mother seeing my neck. I could never explain how it had got there. And history was rewritten by my parents as a result that impacted seriously on my life for years to come.
However the point of this post is not to write about my past, otherwise I'll be writing for hours and hours!
The point is today for the first time since that horrible episode I have confronted my fears. I have always been happy to go to the cinema with other people. But in the last 15 years, there hasn't always been someone around, and so I have waited for any film I wanted to see to come out on DVD. I could not bring myself to go to the cinema alone.
I couldn't work out why, after all if I can drive round the Washington beltway as a Brit going to stay with a complete stranger; if I can travel transatlantic by myself; if I can travel by train half away across Germany, why couldn't I go to our local cinema.
And finally I thought to myself maybe I could do it. I wanted to to see the latest George Clooney cause he's gorgeous. So by spending some time allowing my mind to open as to what the difficulty was, I finally unearthed the memory of that horrible night when I was 14.
So this afternoon I went armed with the knowledge that if anyone came near me I could now shout or scream. That I am no longer powerless to have things done to me.
That my self esteem is strong and that I have choices about who or when I have things to do with people, without being dependant on them for approval.
And it was a mixture of difficult and easy. It didn't feel nice when the girl on the cash desk, after I asked for one ticket, looked at and said 'you just want one?'
But actually sitting down and losing myself in a movie was easy.
So I have broken a bad magic spell that has held me in its thrall for many years. And now I know that lonely Saturday afternoons can now be escaped by a good dose of movie wonder rather than feeling trapped at home.