Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve devoured each of her books. As much as I love her writing, her Ted Talks and her website, I’ve not been able to do much with her information. The only step I’ve taken is this blog, in which I’m trying to re-claim my authentic self, and share it.
As is usually the case, my therapist suggests something, I deny it, then eventually capitulate. One of her recent suggestions is that I must feel rage. I was sure she was wrong. Rage is for really screwed up people………..wait …yup: Rage.
It took kicking out my son, and reading his interpretation of our issues, to bring on the rage. It is there. When it hits me my stomach feels like it’s making a fist, my eyes start to bug out of my head, and my brain shuts down. I know I have to wade through it, which is what I’m doing; begrudgingly. To help with the process I picked up:
Healing Rage: Women making Inner Peace Possible, Ruth King
As so often happens, there is much in her book I can’t access. I guess I’m reading college level recovery books, when I’m still in the elementary school of my recovery. (Hey – where are the Kindergarten recovery books?)
Her 1st exercise is a list of 23 questions, which she suggests you write down and answer over days or weeks. Some of the questions have been easy to answer, but towards the end of the list is the pivotal question:
What Is Your Fondest Childhood Memory.
This question stopped me dead in my tracks. It took me a while to answer. Since then, I’ve been asking people the question. Everyone has the same reaction: they inhale sharply, become rigid, and take forever to answer. Admittedly, most of the people in my life are pretty screwed up, but not all of them!
I thought it would be interesting to hear from all of you how you’d answer the question. I’ll share my answer, my sister’s answer, and the answer of a good friend, and I hope you add your memories to the mix.
ME: Playing Bloody Wolf. This was your basic tag game, but we played it at night, and the person who was “it” was called the Bloody Wolf. Off into the dark we’d head, trying to find the perfect hiding place that gave access to home base but excellent coverage, which was hard to do since we played it often and knew all the hiding spaces. The Bloody Wolf counted to 20, then set out looking for us. What was so great was this: the 1st person to see the Bloody Wolf would scream, really loud, BLOODY WOLF, and the panic would set in. Once shouted, all hell broke loose. Everyone would try to run to home base, the Bloody Wolf would stalk us, trying to tag us, and it was terrifying! Here’s the thing – I hate being terrified. I always have. I don’t like amusement parks or scary movies, so why would I like this game that provoked such terror? It finally dawned on me that I loved it because we were terrified together. As afraid as I was, there were people all around equally afraid. This was the only time I shared my fear with others, the only time I did not feel alone in my fear. I wish I could start an adult Bloody Wolf league!
My Sister: Running behind the mosquito trucks at the shore. In the ’60’s, at the Jersey Shore, trucks rumbled through the streets at night, spewing pesticide to kill mosquitoes. The pesticide smelled delicious, the mist was cool on our skin, and we followed the trucks with all the other kids. Yes, this is disturbing, and might lend some clues to some of my health issues! We all did it though, and we loved it. When she reminded me of it, I did some research and there are numerous pages devoted to the topic. Isn’t it interesting though, that her fondest memory involved poison?
My Friend: Playing in her back yard with neighborhood kids. Her father had built a play house in a field behind their house. In front of the house he’d dug a hole, put a plastic pool inside, and filled it with water. As she described it, I got the impression that the pool was like a moat. She spoke about how much fun it had been playing with the other kids, and how much she loved that they were at her house. She went on to say that her relationship with her father was awkward at best, but the effort he put into building that play area was important to her; she remembered it with fondness.
So, I’d love to hear your favorite childhood memory. And, your reaction to the question.