This week's challenge is to use one of two prompts as inspiration for writing. I chose Katherine Hepburn's quote:
“Rules were meant to be broken.” Not how I was raised by a demanding career military officer. Adults were to be respected and obeyed without question. Breaking any house rules was bad enough; fear of death was imposed on me and my siblings for breaking rules outside the home. Perfect students. When old enough to date, so many more rules. “If you ever find yourself at the police station, don’t bother calling home.”
I did break a rule, though. When I remembered my childhood after years of amnesia, I told. Even in my forties, it took all my willpower to let him know I remembered what he did to me. Courage was defined by the number of states between us. Immediately I was declared dead to the family and disowned. My mother had to abide to the ultimatum “her or me” given by her husband. I lost all contact even though I realized I could not have contact because of the extreme dysfunction. Still, it hurt.
I had already broken the rule of seeing a therapist when my second marriage failed in the late 70s and remained in therapy on and off until I began remembering. Then intensive therapy became my full time “job”.
Come to think of it, I broke another rule. In the early 80s I had a breast reduction. I have always been the smallest anywhere in a group at any time. My oversized chest made it the focus of my being. I asked my mother when I was 19 if I could have a breast reduction. My father overheard and came at me in a rage. It’s one of the few times my mother stepped in. However, I learned just before age 30 that health insurance covered the procedure and I qualified. Such freedom.
Then I started a blog about my healing and the horror that had been my childhood and into my adulthood seeping through amnesia. Each time I posted, I was sure I would be killed for “telling”. That had been so ingrained into my being.
Finally I can say I am healed and whatever had been rules made by others in my life that were meant to keep me from being a healed, relaxed, joyful person were tossed aside and I made me own rules. Keep what fits and discard the rest.
Breaking the rules is how we discover who we really are or can be, in my experience. I wish my life had been different but am thankful to be here now writing and sharing fearlessly. For me, the act of writing is brave…I mean for everyone. To speak what is truly on one’s mind is to forget anyone’s rules and tell it like it is.