discovered as a child: new identities. I am related -linked- to other people. I do not come first in their minds / worlds. I came first in my world. As I wake up I think of me and what I want. They do not think of me first, not even my mother does this. And I thought she had my needs as a priority – more childhood discoveries: all people are selfish. There are, however, degrees of selfishness.
In one of my identities I can be an obedient child. Only because I want the rewards of obedience. My mother sees my behaviour, and she is pleased, and I am rewarded. My motivation was selfish from the outset. I wanted the praise, and, of course, the treat, so I modified my behaviour to obtain my goal. It was no great hardship and I can lapse between being an obedient child and a terror, as I am sometimes called.
The label “terror” is just being recognized as the self that my mother has hidden. She sees herself in me. She sees her days of freedom in my moments of carelessness. I care deeply. I want everything I know is due to me. I am not prepared to compromise at these moments of pure light and Mother knows. She knows because she feels it in her memory. Her fear forces itself into words, it tries to stop me being open to my dreams. She calls me a terror because of the slate that skins her desires, the flint that cracks open the hidden reaches of her dormant selves.
I am just a mirror. She does not fear me. (It is envy.)
As the obedient child I co-exist with your plans – what a temporary state we swing through – eclipsed in the arc of life. I never intended to act in accordance with your will. The bigger picture has captured us both, unknown. You often forget how it was. I fight to resist more compromise. It’s not you I’m against, it’s me I’m for. Age makes you blind to memory. I refuse to forget who I am.
I want to run, so I run. Into the street, around the corner, onto the grass. Rolling, rolling, laughing. I feel the pleasure of laughter in my skin. I lay on my back and the sky moves me around. The clouds make faces for me and draw me upwards. With handfuls of grass I stretch and retract myself. My eyes are now closed and I feel myself falling, falling into the centre of the earth, falling into myself. I laugh out loud and enjoy the rush as I plummet nowhere.
Your voice snatches me back from myself.
I know where I was all the time. I can find you anytime. You have lost all the skills of a child. Your panic is expressed in small beads of sweat that decorate your furrowed brow. You grip my arm and I have to let go of the grass that was stabilising me. You have made me angry. Breaking me down. I don’t want to leave myself behind, but you insist. I hate that.
I like the company, at times, but still I want myself to know all there is to know about me, me alone, me as me. Not as a sister, or a daughter. Just as me. When my most important identity has been understood, by me, then I can think about being another identity. Right now I’m busy getting to know myself.
Stop interrupting me.
© Marjorie H Morgan 2012