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© 2010 by Katherine Gallagher and Marliene Isaacs. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Once Upon A Time

"Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away".........there lived a little girl who grew up in a warm, loving home.  She lacked for nothing, but there was something very wrong.  

Looking back, the best word to sum up her life was "unsettled".  As a child, she could remember feeling as if she wanted to rip her skin off.  She now remembers times when it took all the control she had to keep from screaming.  She was too young to recognize that she was filled with a sense of rage and overwhelming sadness.  She learned very early how to mask her feelings, and if they couldn't be masked, then how to detach herself, pull away, be alone.  How do you explain to someone that all you want is to be somewhere else, anywhere but where you are?  Life felt wrong and disjointed.  Why?  

As a young teenager, her imagination, always very active, blossomed, and she spent as much time as possible in her room where she would escape to the fantasy world in her mind.  It was there that she could be calm, where everything felt better.  She like herself and no one could hurt her. It was a terrible thing to feel out of place in her own life, to be convinced that she was misplaced in time, to long to be somewhere else, but not know where.  Reading gave her the same escape.  She could lose herself in a book.  Was this what spurred her to begin writing?  She started writing at about age 15 and has never stopped.

It was also at this time that she began to sense that she had a "guardian angel".  There was no other way to explain it.  There were too many times that  she was pulled out of a dangerous situation, or saved from her own stupidity.  Things just seemed to work out.  This was something else she had to keep to herself.  It might have been frowned on because of its impracticality. 

She became a master at squelching her true feelings and putting on a mask.  She wanted to do something creative with her life, she longed for it.  But, the watch word in her home was "practical".  Use your the right thing.  So she did the practical thing and went to Nursing School.  The funny thing was, once she was out of school and working in the operating room, she loved it!  She threw herself into her work.  She married a wonderful, loving man who happened to be a medical student.  She loved him.  He was everything she wasn't, and he made her laugh.  On their wedding night while he slept peacefully, she sat on the floor of the hotel room, rocking and crying.  It was all wrong.

For many extended periods of time, she directed her life well.  She felt happiness.  She and her husband produced two beautiful girls, and she loved being a wife and mom.  Busy, busy, busy.  All those pesky negative thoughts were tucked away out of sight.  What a relief!  It lasted several delightful years.  But finally, the girls grew up, the ruts of daily life deepened, and her feelings of isolation returned, worse than ever.

Her father died very suddenly and unexpectedly.  The feelings of rage, sadness and grief almost destroyed her.  But, the odd thing was how familiar they felt. These were the same feelings she experienced so many times before, but could not recognize them for what they were.

After her mother died, she simply gave in.  She pulled into herself and stayed there.  She had always taken great pride in her appearance, but now she stopped fixing her hair and wearing makeup.  She gained weight.  She was always clean, but sloppy.  She stopped seeing her friends.  She just stopped, period. 

(the next installment.....It Begins.)