I saw this post on Facebook the other day that said, "Google your name followed by, "is a" and, because curiosity often gets the best of me, I did it.
I got, "Pam is a dark winter." And this, of course, led me to do some thinking. Surface at first and then deeper. I think that just about sums me up.
Now, I like a dark winter. I like the coziness of a fire and blankets and all things flannel and cuddly snuggles and snow storms--the kind that do not cause damage to people's selves and homes---and the early night fall...
But, I thought, a dark winter is not that great to most people I know. To these people, dark winter carries negative connotations. Even I can see that side when I look deep inside. It can, if I'm not careful, remind me of lost innocence.
When I think of losing my innocence, I remember first relating it to the moments, and there have been many, when I realized my parents were not being completely honest. And it was devastating.
In my mind, my parents were amazing in every way. They were smarter than any other parents anywhere. They were my safety net. They always told the truth. They would always be there. Blahblahblah.
I suppose we all felt that way about our parents. There's nothing wrong with it. Until you realize that they are mere humans. It took me forever and a day to get over it once the realization hit me.
I am one of those people who is too trusting. Or, I used to be. I've been betrayed by nearly every single person in my life. With the exception of one college friend, who remains dear to me to this very day, my grandparents and my lovely daughters. Every single other person whom I let in, just close enough, betrayed me in some way.
Some of this betrayal may seem nothing more than a betrayal from a child's perspective. But, that's where it begins for some of us. It can begin as something so simple as telling someone that Santa is 'not real' and go move from there to using our innocence against us in making us do things we don't want to do but do anyway because we want to be loved and accepted.
The things that I allowed people to use me for make a fairly long list. And yes, even as a child, it was I who allowed them to use and betray me. And yet, I was foolish enough to believe that out there in the world, somewhere, surely, there were people who would love and accept me without expectation of some form of payment.
I have to say, to this very day, there are people in my life still using and betraying me. To. This. Day. So it's no wonder that I have trust issues. And that I keep everyone at arm's length.
I can tell you vivid stories of betrayals from the time I was in elementary school until recent times. I won't. I'll spare y'all the details.
I am not looking for sympathy. If there's one thing I can't stand it's being pitied. I hate that. I don't pity myself, why would I want it from others?
No, I am quite aware of the people who surround me in my personal life. They have at some point, and some continue to do it, betrayed me. I believe, for the most part I have forgiven but forgotten? Never. Let them closer? Not going to happen. I remember. I remember clearly. And I've shut them off from that part of me that they can hurt. That won't happen again.
But there are good things, good people, in my life. Things that I am astutely aware of especially during a dark winter. Some of my best memories are of dark winters. That's probably why I love winter so. And I'm almost certain that my adoration of autumn is partly due to the fact that it prepares me for those dark winters.
So, yeah. I Googled my name followed by, "is a" and I got 'dark winter'. And that is who I am. What I am. And I'm quite good with that.
Are you going to Google your name followed by, "is a"?