i believe i am a woman of substance. I am over 51 years of age, live in India, been married, had a child, raised her, been divorced, been in relationships, worked full time as also loved, fought, claimed, offered, received, rejected, accepted, reached out, ran away, denied, acknowledged, hated, ignored, cared for and been loved.
i have had a difficult and a very interesting life .... difficult because that is how i feel about the experience, and interesting because it still fascinates me.
the idea of illegitimacy can occur in people's lives in many ways ... through owning and disowning, by status and power, and by being rejected and by rejecting. legitimacy in the sense that i am talking about is not about social status but also of what belongs where in our emotional world.
i remember as early back as when i was 3 years old, the status that i received from my father were that of "being his wife" and "his companion". my legitimate status of being his daughter was held in strong evaluation by him and was never approved. in fact he did not know how to approve as he always looked up to others for approval of himself. His legitimate role of being a father to me could not fulfilled by him emotionally and psychologically. he would use me to fulfill his aspiration of being approved by his highly disapproving family members and as a result, no matter what i did, it was never enough; i could never be a "good, desirable daughter'. what i mean by "his wife" and "his companion" is that he expected from me (as a child) to understand his pathos, his grief, his loneliness, to approve of him, to be his friend and companion and to redeem himself to an utterly unforgiving and insensitive family system.
the primary roles that emerged for me in my mind were as follows:
- the resourceful one and
- the rebellious one
they are a trifle contradictory to one another as being resourceful is not good enough if they are not being put to proper use in a context, and being rebellious did not offer enough scope to me to be a part of any context and put my resources to any use. in the world of action, thus, i remained a whole unto myself and kept testing, flirting, toying with the idea of being a part of a larger whole.
in the world of relationship then, being a rebel would mean always looking at what am i deprived of, and being resourceful would mean negotiating a place for me by being useful in the context. so metaphorically i would offer endless possibilities in a relationship, but in reality would block every avenue of any actual union and merger and a movement forward.
this is the illegitimacy of the identity that i am writing about. the illegitimacy is about not knowing what is your rightful place in a context and even if that is spelt out, how does one experience it the way it ought to be as i have had no positive experience of it in my growing up process from my primary and only care giver.
so i stumble, i fall, i get up again and start all over -- only to realise that i repeating the same thing over and over again -
what i have figured out as of now are some of the blocks ... one of them being a cruel and utterly insensitive attitude towards myself. when i am faced with a negative situation, i turn to myself like a hired assassin, a cruel and hostile killer, a tormentor, and i tear myself into pieces with a pervert glee which screams "you deserve it, you bitch".
i know when this entity came into my life ..as early as when i was 6 or 7 years old. i used to be beaten up by my aunt and other relatives quite mercilessly and at some of those moments, i would turn to them, tears in my eyes but with utter contempt on my face and would tell them "how much more will you beat me? at most, you will kill me, right?, go ahead, do it, but i will not listen to you...". i can see the same entity today who is saying the same thing today but this time, to me, to my other voices which are seeking a fundamental shift.
as of now i don't know what to do with this one .... except to be patient and loving to it. it has blazing eyes, its mouth curled cruelly upward, fists are clenched and the heart is beating fast, really fast and it is not ready to forgive anyone.
i can only wait, with love .....