Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And then I said to myself, "Self - if history repeats itself - you are doomed."

I have this memory of a girl scout trip, when I was younger. I'm going to guess 4th grade. I could call my mom on this one and get the details, but I'll tell you what I've pieced together. {Warning: this story is likely going to zig zag. But if you stay with me (read it slowly and not scoff at the possibility you may need to re-read) and follow me - it's going somewhere.}

Anyway, I was young - a little kid.  We were going out on boats - it might have been a school trip maybe not girl scouts? There were canoes.  I was friends with sisters, they were twins  (well they still are- that's how that works) and I wanted to sit next them or be in their boat (if you can't tell it's a little foggy).  Innocently enough, the boat was full or perhaps they were like, "Hell no we won't sit next to you." Either way, my feelings were horribly hurt and I'm fairly certain I cried about it. Like wailed and freaked out about it.  I was always a pretty sensitive kid. This story is just one freak out moment I had (of many).  Things upset me. Big or small - it was always a lot to me.

As the stories (still) go, I'd often find myself running to the bathroom at my grandparent's house, locking myself in the bathroom - you guessed it, crying. "She's so sensitive."  they would say.  Yeah, I'm sure it had nothing to do with the tension you could cut with a rusty knife, parents that clearly no longer liked each other or a grandmother that gave body issues & self esteem neurosis out instead of kisses.

Yeah, so I guess I'm sensitive and a wee bit sharp on the defensive.

The point is this: I felt things deeply and some might say out of proportion with the reality of the situation.

I remember having friends, but I also remember in middle school trying WAY too hard.  I remember being nervous (as I am now) when trying to make friends, or being awkward in social settings.  I never liked to feel left out, but often did.  I may not remember specific details, but I remember feeling sad beyond sad and gutted. All of these memories; why am I reliving them now?

L has started being more sensitive.  I see her putting important stock in the friendships she makes and how relationships go. I see how much she feels and how deeply she feels those feelings. She is sensitive to how we say things, what words mean and how they make her feel.  I see myself.* 

I barely survived adolescence - now I have to go through it again with not one but two daughters.

Somewhere in-between middle school and high school things started to shift.  Though it's around this time hormones kicked in so my sensitive woes turned into sharp tongued attitude.  I also remember my mom spouting something, I suspect I will (beyond my control) repeat: "I hope you have a daughter just like you - that gives you just the same crap you give me." Consider the curse underway, Mom. While things got (slightly) better, it wasn't until college that things leveled off for me.  In college I think I eventually found my way. As young adults do, they begin to find some sense of prospective. If history repeats itself? She isn't going to be off to find her way for another 15 years.*

I remain a sensitive person, but depending on the setting I (would like to think I) have better control over it.  In some sick twist of the universe (or curse, thanks again, Mom) ever since I had L I cry like the "good ol'days" at a drop of a hat.  At first it was the go to statement to say, "baby hormones." But years later? It isn't that, anymore. Now, when do I get hit the hardest? When my baby girl hurts. It's like that sad beyond sad and gutted feeling magnified beyond comprehension. She's (only) 4 people. I do not honestly know if I will make this.* 

*Read: I'm screwed.

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