" Whoever you are, I've always relied on the kindness of strangers". Throughout my life, I have shared a connection with the tragic Blanche Dubois in this classic film. Her character had no where to go. She was trapped in a situation that she had no control over and was prey to the people surrounding her. She spoke of deliberate cruelty and how it could never be forgiven.
During my childhood I felt trapped by the very people who should have protected and nurtured me. I wonder if the people whose job it was to protect me realized that they were deliberately cruel. Each day of my childhood was to be endured or survived. I never knew what it was like to have a real family. I watched a lot of "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best" and I would wonder if families like that only happen to white folks.
This was poor preparation for me as an adult. My examples of real love and trust were either from television or books. As I grew into womanhood, I would suffer mental and emotional cruelties from the men I shared my life with because I had no positive yardstick to compare their actions with. The only thing I did know was this: I would put a man in an early grave, if he even "thought" about hitting me. Madea, had nothing on me. I carried around a gun from age 13 and I was never shy about shooting at someone. The Lord must have had something better in mind for me, because I never hit anyone . Of maybe I was just a bad shot. But you can best believe, when I got older "Nobody " would fuck with me. My anger had a life of its own. It terrified me and didn't make those around me feel all that secure either. Even now I find my anger a problem. I guess because as a child I couldn't my express anger so I kept it buried inside. Some times it has a life of its own.
Okay back to growing up.
I didn't know that mental and emotional cruelty inflicted just as much damage as someone whopping your ass. I am my mothers daughter. She found escape in the bottle. I sought my escape in my tattered version of what a family should be . My description of true love came from fairy tales where everyone lived happily ever after. My favorite fairy tale is Cinderella. Like her, I survived the evil sisters. Where is my Prince Charming? Where is my Happily Ever After?
I look back over my youth and weep over all the time I wasted looking for my happily ever after. The examples from childhood never prepared me with the knowledge that I deserved better. I subconsciously choose men who were emotionally distant and unable to return love. I think now, that no one can really make me feel secure or loved. I am damaged goods. And I wonder...will I ever escape my past.
I take the meds now and I get the therapy...but will I ever heal? Will I ever break the bonds? I am riding my own streetcar of desire. I desire to be loved. I desire to love. I desire to forget my past and the dirtiness. But it keeps coming back now. I have kept it damned up and protected myself from it for so long. But the memories are revealing themselves to me now. I don't know if I can survive them. I don't want to remember them. I hope writing about them will lessen their power.
My friends... the few that I have let get close to me are a godsend. But how much can I reveal to them? Will they judge me? I am so scared of letting people get close to me. I've put up so many roadblocks to friendships because I'm afraid of betrayal and hurt. The same shield of protection that I've put up, isolates me. I'm so anxious . My past made me feel so worthless...so alone...so little. However, no one who has ever met me would believe that. I have always put up such a confident facade, I've been a chameleon all my life.
All of my life I have hidden behind the masks. Strong, sexy, educated and secure.
Now when I look in the mirror I see that little girl wedged in the window. Searching, afraid....and lonely.