By the age of 14 I was feeling disconnected with myself and the world around me. The times they were changing and I, an immature naïve kid, ran with my desperate need to be an adult. I had skipped a grade, was maturing very slowly but more than anything I wanted to fit in. I fought hard against the restrictions placed on me by my protective mother.
There was simply no holding me back.
The world started to go sideways. Confusing visions of Doris Day and Janis Joplin swirling and colliding in my head, live TV footage of the most atrocious things, a war no one could understand, and didn’t want, civil rights marches with people being violently hose-beaten in the streets, assassinations and 500,000 half-naked stoned people dancing in mud at a rock concert that became the vanguard of change. My less than fully functional moral compass lacked the ability to show me the way. I watched as my mother became more and more afraid of the consequences of my indiscretions. She would have locked me in my room for a decade if she could have and the result of that could well have been a positive one.
I was someone who loved being alive; standing in the sun with a full day of dirt on me, jumping in puddles on rainy days, terrorizing the neighborhood with my bike, rolling in the snow till my toes were numb. That shift from child to adolescent during a cultural revolution was a crazy time for a young girl and I was simply unprepared. I didn’t want to listen to my wise parents. I wanted to taste that life that I thought I could see and feel but had no means of defending myself, even though I instinctively knew I might get hurt.
And get hurt I did.
I didn't listen to my little inner sensible voice and because of that, I ended up sharing my life with an unexpected guest that has appeared and reappeared throughout my adult life. This guest whom I invited purred soft and soothing words that were just too tempting. We all fall victim to desire and when we do these choices can open doors that don't always open to kind places.
I did my best to survive some unpleasant experiences, but the Dragon continued to visit and made a very comfortable home for herself and was quite content in my turmoil.
Through my mistakes, and misfortunes of being in the wrong place at the wrong time I lost my young self for a long time. I rode the Dragon’s back and watched the years fly by and the young girl stood and watched and waited. I longed to reconcile with her but could not imagine she would understand who I was. In the last few years I am remembering her more and more, embracing her innocence and welcoming her back.
I love her!
The Dragon is not impressed and she refuses to be removed by a child.
I am amazed at the power that reconnecting with her has given me. She is a creative, funny and happy girl and she makes me happy.
As a matter of fact, she is me.
My Dragon still hangs around and sometimes it becomes a battle between the Dragon and a young girl but strangely enough, the Dragon is becoming afraid of her. I am more careful in discerning the voices now and the Dragon isn’t pleased with me much of the time because I am feeding her much less.
I don’t yet have the courage to slay her. I don’t think I can.
Maybe because it still feels like she has a right to be here because I invited her, and now she is beginning to feel less welcome, so she becomes more and more insistent.
I have discovered that guilt is the place the Dragon lives. When I drift off to sleep she reminds me with her whispers that she is still here and that I am still guilty, and she continues to inhabit that happy cozy lair that we built together oh so long ago.
But the little girl is becoming strong, and I have discovered that she is fearless, beautiful, invincible and …