While getting ready to be picked up by some friends recently to attend a popular musical in a nearby city, many thoughts kept coming to mind that I haven’t thought of since I was a child. At least this much thought.
I do not give myself such luxuries to attend these types of events often enough. One, because they are too expensive and I am not too terribly fond of musicals. Perhaps for this very reason I am writing that I am not a fan. This one had a meaning, as my son was in the orchestra pit so you bet I would pay and make myself available to be with others to enjoy. Slowly crawling out of my shell, too.
Since it has been years, like I said, I was a young child and I might have been ten, if not a bit older but not by much. There was this girl at the other end of our small, country town and we were becoming friends, hanging out, as we talked on the telephone like most girls do, which was all nice. While I liked her friendship, I knew she was more outgoing and just better than me. I have always thought everyone was better than me, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.
It was when Jen called me at home one evening. As a typical young girl, I played outside, did not dress up much and spent just an ordinary day at home, most days and weekends. Her call was to ask me if I wanted to go with her, her mother and maybe another person to a play, a musical or something fancy. Knowing and thinking that I may never have this opportunity again, I agreed and thought it would be fun. Of course, with that agreement, I had to be ready within minutes. Sure, I am ready, I said. Now, I had no idea what or where we were going, just with my friend. I felt special knowing I was asked to go. I felt special and important.
It was when they arrived to pick me up and my friend, younger than me by a year, walked through the door with her mother. I remember the exact place I was standing, looking at them, probably thinking oh my. I’m sure my mom and others in the living room were thinking, what the hell. While I do not remember what the mom had on, I do remember my younger friend looking like an adult. All dressed up, wearing her mother’s mink stole and makeup. They were both classy looking. Here I am, probably greasy hair somewhat, in my normal clothes from the day. Remember, I only had five minutes to be ready. Not knowing what to expect, definitely not this night or what followed.
I do remember my mom asking me if I really wanted to go. I know now that was to protect me from being hurt due to the way they were dressed and the homely look I portrayed compared to them. At that time, I did not give much thought to this, although I remember the shock when they walked through the door beaming, but I made a commitment to go so off we went. No doubt my mom was concerned, but I did not know how to say no and to go somewhere was a luxury.
As I gave thought to this fancy outing with my friend dressed to the nines and here I stand with them in the lobby area of the event feeling very insecure, as I see people stare at me. To them and those around, I did look homeless and I am sure I was an embarrassment to them, sorry they even asked me.
As I got ready to go to the musical for my son, I felt a little apprehensive about what to wear, which brought up all of these memories. Dealing with excitement to go but the torment from the past. I was dressed nice, my Sunday best somewhat, but I caught myself scanning those that picked me up and others in attendance around me. Fear. I found I was dressed appropriately although I was overdressed probably to some. Anything goes nowadays, anywhere but not so much back in my day.
Interesting how my morning getting ready to go dealt with the night almost fifty years ago. I felt as though the Lord was revealing some hidden hurts that need attention and healing. No doubt, enough to make my head swim.
So many thoughts took me back, as a lot of negative roots in my feelings of myself and even others grew from that night. I remember them all dressed up and we are standing in the foyer area to enter for seating. It was like I was frozen watching others look at me and then those I was with. Strangely enough, I do not remember anything else from that night. I was there physically but nothing more.
I wonder if I disassociated myself during that outing and have allowed that to happen throughout my life, at times, when hurt or placed in predicaments where I was uncomfortable. I felt anger from these thoughts of that night. As I thought of this event and that this so-called friend used me because probably because a classier friend could not go or maybe others and I was was the last one on her list. Last resort is what I felt like. To still remember seeing myself standing there feeling like dirt, perhaps that is why all my life I have felt I never measured up. Interesting how such things affect us throughout life. I freeze in fear and other issues. How sad that such an event that should have been a big deal and enjoyable but it caused some major issues for me that I have kept buried.
No surprise, our friendship did not last. Even though I never discussed this back then with anyone or since, it all affected me. Here almost fifty years later, I am remembering and writing about it and acknowledging the moments. I understand a little more about me, which brings more healing. That in itself, I will accept and move forward.
In fact, my fourth grade timeframe has been zapped from my memory and I never could understand, as I have mentioned to my counselors. No doubt, I bet this event lines up, as I was swallowed up with shame.
Feeling used and ‘used’ might not be the word I am searching for but I do know how hurtful it was and to feel like a no-good human being due to looks, clothing, etc., can be devastating. This whole scenario was wrong in so many ways.
I hope and pray that from this point on, remembering and analyzing the dynamics of this classy musical or whatever it was that was fancy enough for them to wear mink and to appear more than what they were, I hope I never put on an air to be something I am not and make someone feel so worthless. Also, to cause some hidden hurts that I have carried due to this situation but I must forgive them, too. My friend’s mother passed away many years ago and sadly my friend, too, just years later.
I have no doubt that the Lord saw me then and knew I would be at this place now. He has carried me way too many times in my life of hurts. How awesome! 💕