I remember my mom scolding me for kissing my favorite bus driver on the cheek.
Even then, she knew the love I had to give knew no bounds, so she went out of her way to try to protect me.
I had dolls and teddy bears that got fed and clothed regularly, because all I wanted to do was take care of them.
I wanted to take care of everyone.
I went to school.
I was scary smart. I read so many books by the time I was 7 that I was severely nearsighted and couldn’t see the board anymore. By the time I got Coke bottle glasses I was also shoved into a gifted program.
The severe overbite didn’t help. This was when the name calling started.
Four eyes and rabbit teeth got old by 4th grade.
The love for everything and everyone never went away, but I had to learn to temper it. The bullies didn’t care, and the leeches just took advantage of my generous nature. And I let them, because I was so LOVING.
I just wanted people to talk to, because I had so much love to give. But when I tried to make friends, it all came back to what could they get out of me. If I didn’t help them cheat on a test, there went the friendship. The resulting gossip was even more hurtful.
I had a couple of people that were able to really SEE me. They became my lifelong friends.
Other than that, I retreated into my shell because I didn’t want to be hurt anymore.
I pretended not to care, but that was the furthest thing from the truth. I cared too much, and I had the scars to prove it.
And this was all before middle school.
The bullies became more numerous and vocal after everyone started hitting puberty. The need I felt to be loved just got worse, and this time, I allowed myself to be taken advantage of. The moniker four eyes was still present, but at the onset of braces, rabbit teeth morphed into train tracks. Add to that, I was a black girl who was still in the gifted program and advanced classes but no one thought I should be there, and now I was just confused.
You didn’t dare cry-if you did, you were a baby, and the one thing a teenager NEVER likes to be called is a baby.
High school was one word...lonely.
I ate lunch by myself all four years and saved the lunch money I was given because I lived on Nutty Bars and milk. I never got a chance to keep all the lunch money, because someone always needed it and promised to pay it back. They never did.
The last 2 years I finally started to find myself. Music theater, drama, and choir helped. I now had a way to express the loneliness I had and the love I wanted to give.
After joining the work force and becoming independent, I thought I had it made. I was still waiting to find the person that would fulfill my dream of having people to love and nurture. I found him when I was 21.
Or so I thought.
What I found was the worst type of person...a narcissist who was looking for a victim, someone they could siphon the energy and life from and convince everyone else that THEY were the victim.
It took me 17 years to leave and 21 to finally cut all ties.
The best thing to come out of that relationship were the two things I could finally love unconditionally-my two beautiful girls. Unfortunately, by now I was so damaged I unwittingly passed the trauma on to them.
After several failed relationships (including one with a boy 20 years my senior who later decided I was too old and crippled to be with), I knew I had to do something different.
This is when my inner goddess came out.
Because I realized that all the love I was trying to give away to others, I had to give away...to MYSELF.
I healed my inner child—the one that tried to find love from outside-and told her she didn’t need to do that anymore.
She already had all the love she needed inside herself.
She forgave all those people-because she realized it wasn’t their fault. They were victims of their own dysfunction. But, it wasn’t her fault either.
She let go of everything...the hate, the doubt, the hurt.
She healed the broken relationships with her daughters and guided them how not to do what she did.
She found her voice, both in telling others about her experiences and (still) through music.
And she finally began to crawl out of the shell she had surrounded herself with for protection.
THEN she became me-and found another Cancer like her that could share all her triumphs.
FINALLY, I am me.
I am the nurturer.
I am love.
I am the goddess.
I am Cancer Rising.