Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Persona.

(With apologies to The Knack
Ooh my little fearful one, fearful one.
When you gonna give me courage, Persona?
Ooh you make my heartbeat race, my heartbeat race.
See me runnin' for my hole, Persona
Never gonna stop, give it up.
Such a nasty mind. Always got it in for the girls
of the nicer kind. My my my i yi woo. M M M My Persona...

Come a little closer huh, ah will ya huh.
Close enough to look in my eyes, Persona.
Keeping it a mystery gets to me
Running down the length of my spine, Persona
Never gonna stop, give it up. Such a nasty mind.
Always got it in for the girls
of the nicer kind. My my my i yi woo. M M M My Persona...

When you gonna give it to me, give it to me.
It is just a matter of time Persona
Is it just destiny, destiny?
Or is it just a game in my mind, Persona?
Never gonna stop, give it up.
Such a nasty mind. Always got it in for the girls
of the nicer kind. My my my i yi woo. M M M My Persona...

A week ago, I received what is most probably my final magic mirror. This is the one I've been most eagerly awaiting. I haven't talked about my dad much here on this blog because in some ways our relationship is too special to share. I've never been good at sharing him, but at least I mostly kept that jealousy inside my own head. . .I hope!

The validation I talked about with my therapist several weeks ago was definitely validation from my parents and from my dad in particular--Mainly because I get to talk to my mum more often and I felt a little more comfortable asking her for validation in subtle ways. Dad's always been good with gifts: he gave both me and Mum bunches of flowers or choccies every so often. Anything my brother and I truly wanted he'd get it for us, often surprising us when we least expected it. The gift of his presence and involvement in our competitive sporting careers, (Mum was there too, but this is about Dad.) and pretty much every aspect of our lives he was there. Mostly silent but with complete support.

In Year 7, he drove into the school grounds one day after school to pick us up, and stopped near the boy I'd been mooning over for weeks and asked him out for me. (Talk about embarrassment at the time! These days, I understand it's because Dad thought I was so wonderful and my happiness so important that there was only one course for him to take.) During the speech he gave for my 21st birthday, he got no more than a dozen words into it before bursting into tears. Mum told me that for the wedding speech he practiced and practiced so he could get it out without the same result happening. And I saw him nearly brought undone when he referred to my father-in-law during one part...looked over, as I found out later, and saw HIM sobbing with happiness.

Unfortunately I only have brief memories of that speech. The battery ran out on the video camera two speeches before his. That's partly why this particular mirror was so important. A tangible piece of his words I could keep. And his words are a big part of who I am. I mean that literally. I always thought we'd got our writing talents from Mum because she wrote great sci fi stuff at an early age. Reading my father's magic mirror I was completely blown away by his eloquence. The man has the soul and eloquence of a poet. As if those earlier gift examples weren't enough for me to recognise! They weren't. Not really.

Reading that letter I had the physical sensation of a lock turning in my chest. I felt simultaneously hollowed out and filled to the point of pain. I felt like I did when watching the play Wicked. Like I'd been watching this familiar old movie in my head for the last 31 years...and all of a sudden I came across the reel from a different camera. One that focused a few degrees off stage from the previous one and showed me a whole different viewpoint. It added layers and shades of meaning to old scenes, conversations and actions that I just didn't have the key to decipher before.

I was sobbing from the first sentence. I reckon I went into shock as my whole world view shifted. My voice, my mannerisms may be so similar to my mum's that the dog has trouble telling us apart but my face and my inner workings all resemble my dad. Mum really meant it whenever she said, “God, you're your father's daughter!” And knowing that, deep down, I could look at my father's childhood in that new light, put myself in his place and OMG! Blew me away completely. Suddenly everything and everyone made sense.

I made sense. There was a reason for the mesh. All of a sudden I could see what was mine, what was theirs and other people's in my life and how our individual meshes all blended together into a whole quilt. It's like I've been looking through the keyhole at my life and now the door is wide open. I'm wide open. And one line in particular that he wrote stuck in my head. “Some people have a persona of confidence, you are a confident person“

He's right. I've given off the persona of low confidence and hidden behind LSED because that's not what nice girls do. Nice girls don't have the confidence to stand up and say “I am as you see me.” Or “I'm not being a bitch, I'm simply saying No” To that I say BULLSHIT! Nice girls DON'T go along to get along. Scared girls do. Nice girls are nice to themselves as well as to others. And that means having both confidence and courage in themselves.

I've been an afraid girl for so very long. Afraid of what other people will say. Afraid of how they'll react. Afraid of what I'll say or do. Afraid of trying new foods or challenging old beliefs. Afraid of so damn much! That's not nice. That's heartbreaking. I'll be forever glad that I had the confidence and the courage to send those magic mirror letters out to people. And I'm grateful I had people in my life who respected me enough to respond in the vein I asked. Positive attributes they recognise in me. Now I recognise them in myself.

Self help books that I've read, magic mirror letters, therapy, my blog and its readers, blogs that I read, my friends and family, all of these are things that are helping me on my journey. But they all have one important thing in common. Me. Me and my courage to seek out and then do what I need to find myself.

I even found the courage to eat cottage cheese. But more on that later.

2 Nibbles:

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I don't have much to add, but I just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading these posts.

cmae said...

Oh Kada...I am so happy for you! I wish I had the courage to send out magic mirror letters, especially one to my dad. Did you ever you didn't deserve to send them out? I feel like that if I think about sending them. I'm so glad you shared this, and all of your therapy insights. I can learn a lot from your statement that scared girls go along to get along. So true.