First Memories of my Body and Femininity… When I was 9 years old, I was attending this Lutheran school where I just couldn’t grasp the culture. I couldn’t understand what was being taught, I couldn’t understand the dynamics between the children, I couldn’t understand where I fit in. I couldn’t remember the books of the Bible. I missed the lecture where they explained how dinosaurs existed in the Garden of Eden. It didn’t help my feelings of alienation, that I had acne, breasts and a menstrual cycle. My own body was my biggest enemy because it was unruly and mysterious. I just couldn’t get it to behave.
Well, one day, we had to change for P.E. and I was in the room with all the other girls in my class and I had to take off my clothes. I remember sitting in the changing room which wasn’t a locker room, but more like a storage room with an open space that forced us into an unsacred circle. I remember sitting on a chair, paralyzed with fright. I had to take off my clothes! All I could hear were the taunts of the ‘pretty’ and ‘popular’ girls who were slender and straight with ‘good hair’ and light skin and other affirmations of their right to live.
“She’s afraid to take off her clothes!”
“She don’t wanna show those big titties!”
“She ain’t got titties. She’s just FAT.”
Ooooooh. I remember the feeling of squeezing back the tears, the burning in my throat, the aching in my chest. I remember not wanting to show my vulnerability, yet wanting help from somebody; something to fucking help me. I remember feeling alone and helpless.
This morning, in my meditations, I went to my inner child and I sat with her. I held her hands, massaged her chest, gently touched her neck and shoulders and urged her to relax. And as she surrendered and let the tears fall, so did I. Together, my inner child and I sat in solidarity with our feelings of fear, dread and self-loathing. Together, we wept. Together we screamed and stamped our feet. As the pain in my Inner Child dissipated, I felt myself getting lighter and freer.
And then we turned to the girls who taunted us. My Inner Child introduced me as Herself and she said, “This is ME. If you mess with ME. She’s going to beat you up!”
I stood there in all my glory, with my hand holding my Inner Child’s hand with confidence, love, unity. I said to my Inner Child’s adversaries, “I am here to serve this Goddess. This young woman is the Goddess and you will treat her respect and love.”
The young adversaries shrunk back from us with the humility of those who had just witnessed the awesome. And we were AWESOME, my Inner Child and I. Our hair was ablaze with the fire of Truth. Our skin glowed with the radiance of our own Divinity.
I left my Inner Child to change her clothes with confidence, trust, and a sense of belonging, not to the group, but to Herself.