Friday, July 26, 2019
Free Floating Fridays
In between stuff like a corporate tax return and rehearsals and the book launch of a friend and social gatherings and working on SOS, the Support Our Seniors mandate we are putting together (fact checking is a job unto itself), I am trying to find time to work on my new card. And design a new afghan (sofa blanket) for a niece who's getting married.
It's all quite wonderful, I feel confident in the stage work and we are having our first cast party tonight so we get to know each other a little better. I try and pay attention to the spoon theory which I wrote about before. When I do, I find my life balances out a lot better. Exceeding my spoons makes me cranky and exhausted and well, useless to myself and others.
I wish I'd arrived at the stage sooner where I didn't give a rat's what anyone thought of me. What causes these insecurities do you think?
I remember being enormously self conscious starting at about 13. I was way taller than my parents and the comments of extended family would crush me. "Where did you get her?" "What are you feeding her?" "She'll be patting your heads soon!" And on. Then the breasts. Men would leer at me, a child, on the streets, so much so I would bind my breasts as these men frightened me in ways I couldn't articulate. I remember being singled out at rehearsal for a school play when I was 14 (I had a great voice and good articulation) when the director shouted at me in front of everyone "Stop walking around as if you're ashamed of your very existence!" My father said to me when I was about 16, with a heartbroken look on his face: "Your brains have been wasted on a girl."
Those words stick and damage and hurt and shame forever. I felt terribly lost, ugly, too intelligent, too introverted, too out of place, too everything.
I hit the age of 19 and suddenly I found the solution to all these insecurities. Alcohol. With a few drinks I could charm the pants off anyone, sing at the drop of a hat, pack up the guitar and throw down the self-consciousness, hang with intellectual friends, not be ashamed of all my reading, my questioning, my stage-work and not feel out of place anywhere.
Alcohol saved my life for about 10 years.
Then it slowly began to turn on me and for the next ten years it owned me, body and soul.