“As long as I live I will be redefining my daughterhood in the light of my motherhood.”
ive been thinking of my old childhood trauma and drama lately, and the above quote, from “What do Women Want”, spoke to me. Well-as an offshoot thought it did. Basically as I lurch into middle school with my daughter (age 11), I am forced to recon front and redefine my horrible, bullied, neglected-feeling middling years. I want to protect myself through my protection of her. I want to provide her the things I never felt I had. Cliche?
There is still an indignant Tweenager in me who got spitballs in their hair during CCD, and my hands get clammy waiting outside for my daughter when her catechism classes are over.
The clothes. Oh, I protect her with clothes, and if I could afford it, I would bullet-proof her social status with Lululemon and JCrew for kids. I was terribly dressed as a tween and thus never had a chance to make a good impression.
As the years of childhood race by, we are entering the terrifying years of my past. Where, soon, “I” will dissacociate, reading about possible sexual trauma I endured as a toddler. That’s in 9th grade and was a major blow-one that still feels like the beginning of the end. Then comes the alcohol poisoning, every year, often every month, for the rest of high school. Sometimes I think that alcohol poisoning is subconscious suicide. How long that went on…how I despair that no one took me home from he hospital and said “You. are .worth. living.” And bought me horseback riding lessons (my extreme allegory of what I imagine quality familial love to provide)…
How can I define my adolescence, even face it? Such a powerfully shameful period in my not-THAT-long life. Yet-as mother to a Tweenager, I am being drawn back, drawn…back.
Self-regret is painful and luxurious.