Friday, January 11, 2008

A Souvenir of my visit to the underworlds

But what do I do with it, now?

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who was the center of the Universe. Or at least, that was how it seemed to her. She lived in the midst of a large, close family. She was the first child of her parents. The first grandchild. The first great-grandchild. She was loved and cosseted and told how smart and beautiful she was. And, she was smart and beautiful, because the people she loved told her so, and she believed them.

Then, one day, her parents had another baby. Suddenly, the little girl wasn’t the first anymore, she was just the older one. Her parents, her grandparents, her great grandparents coo-ed and oohed and aahed over the new baby, who became the center of the Universe. The little girl felt replaced, her position usurped. She was no longer as interesting and was told to “hush” because the baby was sleeping. Or much later, “hush, we know you can read, we want to hear your sister.” The now, not so little, girl felt that she was no longer good enough. Smart enough. Beautiful enough.

But, she grew up, anyway. Forgave her sister her very existence (and they became best friends). But deep in her heart, deep in her psyche, she had become convinced that she could expect imminent replacement. No matter how good she was, no matter how smart, how beautiful, how loving, there remained always, the very good chance that those she loved would replace her, find someone else more smart more beautiful more loving. And when something would happen that pried open those deep, hidden places in her heart and psyche, her fear, and her anguish knew no bounds.

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