Quote of the day:
It is our stories that will re-create us. Doris Lessing from tasting rhubarb
The book is now in the publisher’s hands for review and editorial comments. However, three days later I am starting to awaken to the strange feelings and dreams I have been having after sending the first completed draft out there. I have been walking around in a fog. At first I thought it must be my blood pressure, but when I checked, it was normal. Then I thought I must have a fever, but when I checked my temperature was normal too. And then I received Jean’s comment, and I began to understand what was happening to me.
Writing about my emotional development and early childhood discipline brought me into an atmosphere of yester-year – ancient memories and a long time ago when little Tamar was first developing her self identity surrounded by all those significant adults in her life. That period of my life had taken hold in my brain and was lively and awakened, shaken up from under and beyond. It was astir and pulling me back to those old dark feelings of shame and fear.
I have been concerned for some time now about all young children and how they acquire emotional memory and develop their self identity. Partly because I know what a struggle it has been for me, personally, to survive my own emotional history. But mainly because of the state of the world. I believe our culture of Patriarchy, dominance, and violence just keeps on being reinforced and recycled by how we are treated since infancy. I constantly think about all the raging adults out there, who were never taught how to accept or express their feelings, or allowed to validate their early childhood humiliations, shaming, and abuse. And the hellish system constantly and relentlessly repeats itself.
It has taken not a small amount of courage to write this book, which I have been wanting to do for some time now. It felt as if I was dragged down for the first book I wrote (and the stories on my blog), even attacked and called names. And there were times I felt myself spiraling into an ancient abyss of shame and fear, because even though I had expected and prepared myself for the reaction, it still hurt to the core.
For three years as the storm raged around and inside me, I stood firm within like the huge old oak tree outside my living room window – sometimes weeping as though my heart would break when it was just too painful to bear. And at the end of it all, I came to understand that it was not about me. Rather, people unconsciously trying to pull me back into my box to keep the family system in balance.
So, yes, Jean, as usual you read between all my lines and see into the core of me – you were right in saying: "what a deep place inside you this book has come from."
Working out on the treadmill with energy rushing around and reorganizing itself in my body and brain, I felt myself pushing the shame and fear away these past few days. I even laughed out loud with joyous relief when I realized what had happened. For if my personal story can help even one teacher realize her own emotional history, bringing her emotionally closer to one child in her care – it has been worth every fuzzy brained moment.
I am reminded of a huge vibrant poster that hangs in the entrance of my office – and Audre Lorde with outstretched arms reaching up to the heavens, saying:
When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Online Holiday Concert; and Almost time to fly