Evocation: Part 2
When this wheel stopped squeaking, it started moaning quietly, giving me more points of self-consciousness and insecurity. Shortly after the “seal cough,” I began experiencing all manners of skin eruptions. First was dermatitis, in the form of big water blisters on my hands and feet. (Some were as big as two inches wide.) Using a straight pin to poke holes in them and drain the fluid became part of my daily routine. Then there were different forms of dermatitis, eczema, hives, cysts, plantars warts, one benign tumor on my back, and then puberty brought oily skin with acne. An allergic itching and swelling reaction to mosquito bites ruined more than one vacation day and I got my first cold sore before I’d had my first real kiss, and of course, I had one on senior picture day.
After hearing about Murphy’s Law, I adopted the moniker. If you don’t know Murphy’s Law, it states ‘whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.’ Every “bad” experience or outcome in my life was met with a response of “typical” or “of course.”
Accepting compliments wasn’t part of my skill-set because I just couldn’t believe them. (I had a light-up magnifying mirror. I saw my self naked; I knew what I saw.) It took me a while to be able to use the less rude response of “thank you,” as opposed to my typical ‘ I think you should have your eyes checked.’ I was aware that giving compliments wasn’t part of my skill-set either.
Having other people believe in me did not help me believe in myself. With self-consciousness as a constant, inhibiting companion, I withdrew. There were too many things I saw, in addition to all the things pointed out to me, to think I could be acceptable.
I became a follower and a doormat.
Energy and Focus
No one knew how many different ways I tried to channel my energy when trying to pay attention and sit still. Each one I tried was met with “stop that,” thus declaring my attempts unacceptable. No one ever presented me with any alternatives.
No one knew the safety pin I wore on my jeans in high school was used to poke holes in my fingers during class. (I believed it was to relieve boredom and somehow, as an energy release.)
At home, I became the ‘hobby queen’ just to keep moving. Doodling was all I could do in college and grad school.
I was forced to comply and conform after being humiliated in front of my 8th grade English class for talking with my hands during an oral presentation. My teacher stopped me in the middle and told me to sit on my hands. I don’t think I did another oral presentation for many years. I remember cutting and taking zeroes, even in drama class. In addition, I started keeping my hands in my pockets or crossing my arms, to keep them still when talking to anyone. This compensatory strategy got misinterpreted as me being standoffish. So, talking with my hands and what to do with them became another “thing” for me to be self-conscious and self-critical about, all because of one comment.
Nine credits of public speaking were required for my college major. When I found out, I freaked out. During the first class, I actually ran out in tears. After surviving my first speech, this professor then made me aware that my rate of speech needed to be slower and I needed to make more eye contact with the crowd.
Silence was too distracting and too easy to fill, so studying required music. I assumed it kept my right brain busy so my left brain could focus; basically, to override my distractible mind and quiet the continual stream of self-abusive thoughts.
I didn’t think I was smart enough for college but to avoid disappointing my father, I went. With that as my drive, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree as a Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped with a minor in Psychology and went on to get a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. My grades in college were better than high school and my grad school grades were even better. But no one knew I used to take drives to cry while exacerbating it by listening to sad songs.
No one knew how often or for how long I contemplated suicide. No one knew how often I ran sharp objects over my wrists.
Until I was seventeen, no one knew the secret I carried: no one knew I had been violated.
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May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
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