Saturday, October 30, 2010
at 1:08 PM
As I understand it, Proprioception is what we all have that allows us to know where the parts of our bodies are in relation to each other. For example, we know that our hands are at the ends of our arms, but it is also what makes us aware that we are upright and what allows us to right ourselves if we lose our balance. It is a connection between the mind and our body in motion or at rest. It allows us to grasp the glass on the table without thinking about it. We trust that our hand will get to the glass and when it does, it will know the right amount of pressure with which to grasp it.
It was fascinating.
That movie shows me looking quite cute, I think, in my pixie haircut and green knitted sweater, made by Grandma Waters, the B Grandmother. What do I mean by "B" grandmother? Anyone with two grandmothers has an A and a B Grandmother. My other grandmother was clearly the most important female in my life and was the A Grandmother. Grandma Waters was the only one who knew how to knit, though.
But, the black eye I had gotten the night before this movie was taken during a game of Blindman's Bluff, something I found hard to say back then. It was a tongue twister and it made my Dad laugh when I mispronounced it. But that game of Blindman's Bluff was one of those wonderful memories of my Dad playing with us, when it was just the two of us: Chuckie and Suzie. Sisters Cindy and Becky hadn't yet come on the scene.
Mom wasn't in the living room with us. I think Dad was supposed to be keeping us occupied while she did something in the kitchen. Maybe she was making my brother's lunch for his first day of school. Why do I think that? I guess because it was strange for us to be "occupied" with Dad after supper. Usually, he'd read the paper or something and we'd occupy ourselves. I don't remember my mother after supper. Ever.
This particular night, Dad took off his necktie and tied it around my head, covering my eyes, spun me around a couple of times to disorient me and set me off to find my brother. I took off toward his voice and walked right in to the corner of the console table. Bang! Five years old and exactly the same height as that table.
I hated that it happened. What do I mean by that? I hated that it ended the game. I remember that it hurt, but I was more disappointed that it ended the game, the mood, the fun. What do I mean by disappointed? My Dad was a celebrity in my eyes and I felt so special when he spent time with us. What do I mean by a celebrity? He worked long hours and we didn't see him as often as we would have liked, but he was also the handsome prince who rescued me from the wicked queen. He was fun, and though it was a rare treat, when we were together like this there was always laughter until my mother came into the room. What do I mean by that? Well, of course I cried because my eye did hurt and my mother came flying into the living room to see what happened and she just lit into my Dad.
"I told you not to play that game with those kids!" she screamed. "Now look what you've done!" I actually thought there was something wrong with Blindman's Bluff because he was in so much trouble for having played it with us. What do I mean by "something wrong"? I thought it was sinful, I guess. My mother used to say that gambling was a sin and was not allowed in our home and I just thought card games were fun. I think at that moment I was a little confused about why Blindman's Bluff was prohibited, never thinking it was dangerous, really.
That was the first time I remember defending my Dad against my mother's cruel remarks. What do I mean by that? My mother often angrily berated him in front of us and he said very little in his own defense. That night, I remember speaking up and insisting that it wasn't his fault; that I walked into the table myself and my mother shouldn't blame him. But, she ignored me and continued to yell at my Dad while he held ice on my head.
I just wanted to console him and let him know that it was okay and I wasn't blaming him at all. I guess I frequently put the feelings of others ahead of my own in that way when I was growing up. It was hard to feel anything when a mother's feelings had to be considered first. What do I mean by that? My mother raged much of her life, leaving no room for my feelings. My energy went into diffusing situations and redirecting her wrath away from her victims: back then, my Dad or older brother Chuck. I wonder why I ended up taking on that role? What do I mean by that? I always felt such sympathy for my Dad. He would try to kid with Mom and twirl her around dancing to a song on the radio and she'd push him away, angry that she'd been interrupted from whatever she'd been doing. Or he'd be singing with us and she'd complain that he should be taking out the trash or something. Poor guy. He was just trying to make things fun. But it was as though she resented any fun he would be having, especially with us, and it made me want to cry.
And remembering that night of Blindman's Bluff makes me smile, of course, but it reminds me of those times I felt I needed to protect my Dad from my own Mother and it makes me want to cry today still.
After I read this Write out loud, the instructor actually told me it was "wonderful", which made me blush a little. Then she asked 'why do we all take on roles in our families and why do we all as children feel we have to protect our parents or other adults in our lives?' This instructor was so good because she gave us little suggestions about future Writes along the same lines or small details she thought we should explore more. But also because her comments made us all realize that our stories are all unique yet the same. The human experience is just. fascinating.
So, see, it was therapy! And at only $150 for 18 hours it was a bargain!
Have a great week and why not try to do your own "Write". You never know where it will take you.