June 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm #78912
Who is this child beater that your mother holds up as a model woman. How sad that your mother thinks that abusing children, physically or mentally, is worthy of emulation. Is your mother still alive and part of your life?
Jim/JamieJune 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm #78916AnonymousGuest
“There is a recurring dream I’ve had all my life. In the dream I am by myself but wearing girls clothes. All of a sudden I hear people coming and I panic; looking for somewhere to hide. I’m can’t find anywhere to hide and I’m running in circles, terrified of being seen. The humiliation of being caught would be too much to bear. I get in such a panic that I usually wake up at this point.”
I responded to part of my understanding of your dream earlier, the part that girls SHOULD wear girl clothes and boys should wear boy clothes, the social conditioning to that effect. From there my mind jumped to my mother saying Rita- the child beater- was everything a woman SHOULD be. Shoulds…. So much suffering caused to you for SHOULD. It is nothing but social conditioning. Men wearing women’s clothes is often an element in comedies. You were and are, so unfortunately, against such a potent social convention. I am overwhelmed by the thought of being in your shoes, against such conditioning. It means nothing really, it is of no real offense to anyone and yet, there is no way you can walk around in women’s clothes without a big fuss- not by yourself.
Back to that woman, Rita. i don’t know if my mother knew about Rita beating Harley, her son. My mother did beat me, last time was in my early twenties when I stood up for myself for the first time by exerting just enough force against her so to keep her immobile. She didnt attempt it again to my dismay… I was so angry that the beast I imagined her to be was so easily defeated. Why, i wished I did it years ago. I can’t tell you the humiliation of being kicked, hit, slapped and called a big nothing and many bad words i blocked out so efficiently.
Your dream is amazingly interesting. Running around in circles. The panic. I have an image: I am walking in a mall with little Jim/ Jamie, holding the little boy’s hand and the little boy is wearing a flowery dress with a lacey collar, and short brown haircut and a dreamy, little boy’s smile. And your hand in mine, I am an adult, a grown woman. And it doesn’t matter who looks or what, your hand is tight in mine, secure and nothing and nobody can hurt you.
Is it strange, I wonder, for me to have this image? If I was to conjure an image of me being the little girl that I was, you, Jim/ Jamie the adult walking with me in the mall, my little hand in yours, maybe you are wearing a dress and I don’t care at all who is looking or not. One of the people walking and looking at us is my mother andshe disapproves of me and of you but I don’t care becaue my hand is in yours and you look at me with affection and I know I am okay and I look up to you and you are okay. And nothing else matters.
It is hot here this afternoon, a heat wave in Western Washington. So hot. How strange life seems to me these days. What is it…? Funnyh, having lived my life the way I have, so remote from who I was and who I am. Isn’t it the strangest thing- a lifetime of hiding and running in circles, afraid to be found out.
Hiding and running in circles.
If someone asked me: tell me about your life. I may say: I ran in circles.
…. anitaJune 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm #78932
Hi Anita. I am so sorry what you went through. I had no idea that you had been physically abused also. I just can’t imagine having a parent that would do that to a child. I may have felt rejected by society but my loving parents were the bright spot that made my early life bearable.
That was such a beautiful image that you had. Either you as the adult and me the child or me the adult and you the child. Walking hand in hand with the unconditional love a parent and child should share. Both of us feeling safe and secure no matter what kind of clothes I was wearing. Thank you for telling me about it.
Isn’t that amazing that we both felt the need to hide and run in panicked circles. I still keep going back to the opening I missed as a teenager when my mom sat me down and wanted to know my truth. She knew something was wrong and was ready to listen with compassion. Opening up at that time could have possibly saved me years of pain. I have such regret that my “fear of rejection” took over in that instant and I crept back into my hiding place.
We are at opposite side of the country. I’ve moved around as an adult but have lived here in Virginia for the past 20 years. We’ve had a hot, humid month of June but today was beautiful. Much cooler and less humid after the thunderstorms last night. I hope you are having a nice day Anita. You are in my thoughts and I’ll write again soon.
Jim/JamieJune 28, 2015 at 8:02 pm #78955AnonymousGuest
You do regret so that time you had the opportunity to tell your mother, to get then the support you so needed as the years progressed. Full of compassion as she was, I imagine she would have given you the love you needed to not run in circle for decades to come, or at least that could be so… It did get cooler here later in the day. Rabits everywhere. Rabits in the morning, rabits in the evening, rabits, rabits everywhere. Birds singing all the time except for a few hours late at night. First singing is after 3 or 3:30 am. I was born in Israel, grew In as I say there. Been in Virginia once i think. Lived in NYC for a little while. My husband is a great cook. I wonder what you like to eat, what you like to do- what you look like. I wonder about the dream. I wonder a lot…
anitaJune 29, 2015 at 12:15 pm #78985
Dear Anita. I wasn’t sure what your marital status was but I’m happy to hear that you have a husband. I hope he treats you well. I thought it would be fun to put one of my “Jamie” photos as my avatar. This is my favorite one although I have to be honest in that it was taken about 12 years ago when I was in my late 40’s. I’ve always felt and dressed way younger than my actual age (this is a prom dress). I guess I do still have a lot of my inner young self that wants to be expressed.
You wondered what I like to do. One of by biggest passions that started in childhood and continues to this day is riding a bicycle. I love bike riding! Yesterday morning it was so nice out and I went on a 35 mile ride through the quiet countryside. Those 2 hours I spent riding was exhilarating and peaceful at the same time. My mind clears, I take in nature, and I feel like I don’t have a care in the world. I really feel like this passion is what made it possible to live with shame all these years. Instead of feeling bad all the time, I had something that could make me feel good for at least a few hours a day. This was a much healthier way to block out the pain rather that turning to drugs or alcohol. I’ve seen people a lot older that me still ride a bike so I’m going to keep doing it as long as I’m physically able.
At what age did you leave Israel? Do you like living in the US? I hope you are enjoying your day Anita. I took today off work because the weather is still so nice. Talk to you soon.
Jim/JamieJune 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm #78986AnonymousGuest
That is you then, wow, my goodness- you look fabulous. It is not a close shot but you do look incredible- such a nice, delicate bone structure, and those legs, wow- WOW and you are in your late 40s there? I wonder if it is the bike rides keeping you slim and wow- love the small frame, narrow bones, legs- my goodness, for some reason I am pleasantly surprised- why did I view you in mind’s eye as less attractive, I do not know. Maybe because reality is most people are overweight- the great majority of people, especially at a certain age. Just seeing someone who is not in this obesity epidemic world is the exception to the rule. My mind’s voice keeps saying WOW as I type this, keep wow-ing. My goodness! Wow. Here I said it again.
I wonder how tall you are and how much you weigh. I am 5’5” and i was skinny until my middle 30s. I gained and was 150lbs in my early forties. For the first time attempted weight loss- made it. Then got off heavy duty psych meds i was on from 35 years to 52. As I got off- failed and got off again, I developed a DSM eating disorder that I am recovering from. At one point I weighed 103 lbs. I most often weighed around 108 for years until this year. My binge eating caught with me and I gained only I refuse to go on the scale. I recently placed my zero size pants up on a shelf as well as any number under 4. But I am doing better, eating is still involving anxiety but I am eating less. I no longer go from deprivation to bingeing. I do love to eat- although the anxiety added via my latest torture of few years is “raining on my parade” of enjoying food.
Anyway, I am going on and on about my weight triggered by your photo- did I say WOW already? What a beautiful dress! So very white- you do look good in it! In my mind’s eye I thought you wouldn’t look good walking in the mall with woman’s clothes but I changed my outlook now- how can you look so good in a dress? Beats me. I mean, I can’t imagine anyone, woman, man or alien looking any better than you in that prom dress.
Isn’t it strange how I go on about this- yet, there is nothing calculating about my response here- I type what and as I feel it. I figure it takes someone meant to be in this dress to look so good in it.
Okay, enough. I don’t like riding a race like bikes- only the bikes with the handles high, hope you know what I mean. I have a good memory of riding such a bike in a Kibbutz in Israel in early 80s. No cars only bikes (a few cars for everyone’s use were in a central location in the kibbutz. Most areas were free of vehicles. So quiet, trees and nature and the dining hall for all who are interested- how lovely. My only problem there was that I was so lonely. I left Israel in 1985 with a plane ticket to San Francisco, lived in NYC Sept-feb 86, flew to New Orleans, back to Israel, NY, Las Vegas, lived there, then Los Angeles, stayed there, teacher of some kind (Public Schools) substitute, then got married finally at 49 (a couple of mean-nothing marriages of shortest duration before) and left not alone, this time to Wash State.
My life was mostly misery, really. I believe I am over the great pathology characterizing my life of five decades. My pahtology, severe, overwhelming – has been my mother in my life and in my psyche. Like in the movie Psycho, the original, well kind of like it, seriously debilitating- I BECAME HER. I did not view my life and myself through MY EYES but through hers. Of course it was me, but psychically it was her, her representation in my mind. It has been terrible. a Torture. It is only recently through a lot of work… I can’t believe how horrible it WAS.
Hope you are enjoying your day off work. I had my daily 3.5 mile up and down walk this morning and was able to walk briskly. Love the exercise.
Another… wow. Donefor now wow-ing you.
anitaJune 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm #78987
Anita you are making me blush!! Thank you!! I thought I would change it up so you could see “Jim”. Again a good picture from about 12 years ago in my late 40’s. Have to go out for a few hours but I will write back this evening. Lots I want to tell you.June 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm #78988AnonymousGuest
very pleasing to the eye, indeed! Very pleasing. Good looking guy!
My goodness. You look good both ways although there is special magic to the prom dress photo, here you are a good looking guy, there you are a stunning delicate … flower is the word that comes to my mind…
later- your photos make me smile and that is a good thing!
anitaJune 29, 2015 at 8:28 pm #79004
Hi Anita. Thank you again for your kind comments. I agree in that the Jamie photo is much more magical. “She” is my fountain of youth in a way and more of what I feel like on the inside. I also like her better. Jim was scared, cold, and regimented whereas Jamie is much more fun, compassionate, and loving. I’m actually glad that she is more of who I am now.
Wow, you’ve moved around more than I have. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and still go back occasionally to visit my sister. I started moving around when I joined the military in my early 20’s. You mentioned Los Angeles. I lived in Orange County, CA from 1984-88 when I was finishing up my military time. I was married for a few years back then but it was not a happy marriage. I’ve never gotten remarried.
I’m sorry you are struggling with an eating disorder. You mentioned a recent “torture” that triggered it? I wish there was something I could do to help you with your struggle and lessen your pain. I hope our friendship helps you as it has helped me. When we communicate I feel like we are best girlfriends in a way. I like that feeling. Hope you are enjoying your evening and I’ll talk to you soon.
JamieJune 30, 2015 at 7:00 am #79013AnonymousGuest
Dear Jim and Jamie:
It was something else yesterday, I felt very lively, full of life seeing Jamie’s photo and writing to you. It puzzles me only because, I suppose, I … normally don’t get excited about things or people. Said in a better way- I often don’t let myself get excited about anything much. The pleasure of eating, for instance, often enough frightens me. Letting emotions take me where they may scares me. It crossed my mind last night as I was thinking, that the very going-on that I did in my post to you, wow-ing Jamie, that this post will get me kicked out of tiny buddha. Just crossed my mind and I realized that i find it that when I get freely emotional, I get scared that I will be attacked or rejected and a punishment will be there. I asked myself: why did you get excited? What is wrong with (me)…
This is all part of the shame. Feeling that feeling itself, that my feelings are shameful, bad, wrong, just wrong… and will get me in trouble. Of course, this is a replay of my horrid (I believe the word “rorture” that I used refers to this) childhood where I was attacked often enough not knowing why, just for feeling good, maybe. I think i was attcked for the times I felt good, happy, excited… I was punished for it. So I feel off, weird whenever I do get excited as if I lost control. There is a sense of losing control in excitement, just writing whatever the emotion leads me to write…
You write about being Jim and being Jamie as two different people: fun, compassionate, loving jamie and scared, cold and regimented Jim. It is my analytical mind perhaps trying to understand, to see more of what is: tell me more, if you will… about the interactions between Jim and Jamie and is there a manager of sorts with you that navigates who is on who is off and when- and is one subdued when the other is active…
I like you feeling like we are best girlfriends… I do long for a girlfriend, have for a long time and I do cherish our communication very much.
anitaJune 30, 2015 at 8:58 am #79023
Good morning Anita. I have had the same feeling the last few days. Alive, joyful, even euphoric. I’ll explain and tell you much more tonight. Got to get ready for work but I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you are having a wonderful day.
JamieJune 30, 2015 at 10:17 am #79025AnonymousGuest
Thank you gorgeous Jamie- will be back to computer later and hopefully read your post!
anitaJune 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm #79073
Hi Anita. Your making me blush again. It makes me happy that I had a small part in making you feel very lively yesterday. I really think the reason I’ve felt so joyful the last few days is that for one of the few times in my life, I have felt an emotional connection to someone. I’ve never been a people person. Because of the protective walls I put up, I’ve never let people get too close. My friendships were more superficial as I was too scared of rejection to really open up and have a deep, emotional connection. You are the first person I have felt completely safe with so as to tell my whole story. In the past 10-15 years as I started telling certain people my secret, I would only tell part of my story. I wouldn’t tell them about the deep feelings of shame, humiliation, and self loathing that I’ve lived with. The thought of telling them that was too scary as it would expose myself as timid and weak. I feel safe letting you see the real ME!!
That is so sad that your mother punished you for no reason. She was probably so miserable (misery loves company) that she couldn’t stand to see you looking happy or joyful. You deserve to feel joy and happiness without guilt. I hope in time your inner child will feel safe with me. We are best girlfriends after all.
I’ll tell you more about how Jim and Jamie coexist in my next letter. I thought about you a lot at work today. I hope you had a nice walk and a peaceful day.
JamieJuly 1, 2015 at 10:37 am #79088AnonymousGuest
I am so … what are the words, reading your note feels like fresh air to me, like fresh air of childhood, that hope… being under the clear blue sky and gently shining sun, that promise of long ago- I feel it now. Reading your post above makes me think: I will not betray your trust in me, the feeling of safety to be seen, that you describe. That little Jim, that little Jamie trusting ME- oh, I will not hurt little Jim or little Jamie, neither, both. I will not hurt you. That precious trust, that vulnerability. Please let me know- do let me know if anything I write/ communicate to you doesn’t feel right to you, ask me to clarify. Misunderstandings/ inaccurate projections do happen. My intent and committment is to be completely worthy of the precious trust of the child in you, the child (or children) part of you. Let me know if you feel badly about anything I write so that I can review what I said, examine it and communicate with you honestly about whatever it is.
I feel honored because I know what it takes to trust someone. I am open and willing to be and become and continue to be your best girlfriend. I am. I am. I am.
My core belief of being shameful, the feeling of shame attaches itself so very often to almost anything. I may express an opinion and immediately feel shame about what I expressed, feeling that distress, discomfort. It seems to happen dozens times a day, if not more often: catching a view of me in the mirror, no, I think more like hundreds of times a day, only I am becoming aware of some of those times. A very pervasive thing… At times I feel good. One day I felt good was when we both were in Orange County, CA- my first trip to DisneyLand, September 1985 (You may have been deployed but you lived then there)- a magical day, extremely short lines and i went on rides like a child, beautiful time. Knots Berry farm the next day and Universal Studios the next, magical three days, DisneyLand shining the brightest. Following psychotherapy and healing of few years since 2011, I had moments, more and more of peace of mind when I thought I was done with the shame but it came back again and again, often catching me by surprise when I am tired, someone says hello while I was spaced out and I think I was caught in all my inferiority and shame and I say to the person: “I was spaced out… it’s so hot”or something like that, explaining why I was … not right, not up to standard as they must have seen, I figured.
I realize this very morning and hope I remember well that shame will come back again and again, accepting the inevitable is better than denying it and being surprised again… and again.
I just looked again at the photo of Jamie- I feel like saying the same words I said before and I am smiling again. There is lack of pretentiousness (is there such a word?) in how she is standing, lack of pretense, hands in the back, head straight, not tilted up or looking down. Something very simple, direct, natural, not complicated, about her standing there.
Looking forward to your next note.
anitaJuly 2, 2015 at 7:10 am #79115
Good morning dear Anita. I feel so blessed right now to have met you. I also feel alive right now; more alive than I’ve felt in a long time. I promise to let you know if something you write bothers me so we can clarify. I hope you’ll do the same if I write something that made you feel bad. I wish I had time right now to write a long letter but unfortunately its a work day. I’ll try and write tonight when I get home (I work a 2 PM to 10:30 PM shift) but if not, I’ll be off work tomorrow because of the holiday.
I wanted to know if you would feel comfortable if I gave you an email address to use. I have one that I don’t mind posting here so we can talk more privately. No pressure, but I was thinking this thread will be up to 100 pages in no time. I’ll be thinking of my best girlfriend at work today and hoping that you are having a peaceful day. Tell you more soon.