1. Told I was special, but was always getting hit or yelled at.
  2. Told I could do anything, yet not allowed to experience anything.  Kept on a tight reign.

My Aunt Gerry did her best to encourage me to go to college at every opportunity that presented itself to her, but the environment at home was “no-can-do”.  I also had an impending, almost doom-ish sense of a deadline for going to college before settling down and raising a family.  So what’ was  the point if I was not planning on a career?  I now realize this crazy gender defined role I was to play was ingrained into me… Get married and have kids.  This stereotype was  supported and encouraged by the career events held at school.  Nothing interesting for women at all.  Secretary.  Remember this was the mid ’70’s.  Who would have the time for college with 2.5 kids running around my skirts?  Plus, I was immensely interested in the sciences, but a disaster with any kind of math that was higher than addition or subtraction…. nix that idea.  Chemistry?  Physics?  Seemed like a death sentence at the time because I could not understand any of it, or the memorization required was something I could not accomplish…. Upon graduation from high school, I promptly started working as a file clerk at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and stayed there for five years doing the same thing:  filing insurance applications, pulling insurance applications.  What the heck was I thinking?  Nothing apparently.  Absolutely nothing, Nada, zero.  I hadn’t even discovered myself yet and would not for another 15-20 years.  Ahem… I was clearly a late bloomer!  As a side note, Metropolitan did boast that it paid for college tuition, but the courses had to be job related.  WHAT type of courses could I have taken for filing?  Back then it seemed very unlikely that I’d find something compatible with my job, so I did not pursue it.

My mom and I right before my first marriage. Amazingly she knew what the future held for myself and the whole family. We called her the witch because she intuitively knew a great many things.

Get married Have kids.  You have such a pretty face.  When are you going to “settle down?”  I heard this constantly as a young adult and finally, at the ripe old age of 24, I got married. Ha, this idea of “settling” “down” was exactly what I ended up doing.  I ‘settled’ for a man and he was more than a step ‘down’, in my opinion.  Not that I hold myself above him, because we both had a lot of growing to do; but he was someone who was incapable of entertaining an open mind and his personality rebelled against it, in believing he was perfect.  I have not heard from him in the last seven years or so, but I did now and then up until that point.  While he said that he had changed, I have my doubts because in his conversation with me, I could see that he was the same, vindictive person with a superiority complex.  I was married for eight years, was then single for eight years, now I’ve been remarried for almost seven years, come this February.

The second time was the charm.

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What’s the point of these reflections of a time so long gone by that I can hardly remember?  I need to confront my past.  My flaws and failures as well as my qualities and victories.  In understanding my past, I might be able to provide insight to my son for his own issues; which of course, is dependent upon him asking me things.  I believe that in becoming more comfortable with myself through reliving and analyzing my past history, I will project an approachability to my son (or anyone).

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