Ever since I was a child, I have had difficulty with choice and choosing.
The small town where my family had a summer cottage had a Five and Dime. Every Saturday, all of us grandkids would traipse up to Main Street with our Zaidy (Yiddish word for grandfather). Zaidy gave each of us a nickel for candy; this was enough for each of us to get a small bag full of blackballs, Lik-M-Aid, Bazooka Joe bubble gum and my personal favourite , strawberry marshmallows.
While the rest of my cousins were already happily eating their treats, I was still standing by the counter deciding; because if I bought the marshmallows, I might miss out on the Pink Elephant popcorn where you got a prize with every box, but if I did buy the popcorn maybe I wouldn’t get the prize I wanted, the coveted ‘diamond’ ring ( because even as a child, I was into bling!) , and my choice would be for nought. I would just stare and stand motionless in front of the counter until my Zaidy, in his heavily accented English would say “Choose! We are leaving right now!” I chose but not without major angst.
Press fast forward on your eight track (remember those?) and jump ahead twenty years.
I had just moved into my first apartment. My building housed mostly twenty something’s, and almost every weekend a party was held. Inevitably I would meet a ‘good’ boy, and his ‘bad’ boy cohort. I would start out talking to the good boy, but always left with the bad one. After a few disastrous dates with Mr. Bad I would chastise myself for choosing the wrong man. I would then try to date the ‘healthy’ one, but healthy held no lasting appeal.
In my thirties when I awoke to my true sexual nature, I chose to date women instead of men. While this discovery changed my life in many way for the better, my pattern of choosing the bad broken birdie remained. Intellectually I understood that I should not be choosing the bad and the broken, but the happy and healthy held no psychic attraction for me. Why was this the case?
I was brought up in a family where drama and pretense reigned supreme. When I tried to bring them my truth, they banished me, but not before attacking me both physically and emotionally. So I have until now, chosen women with whom I can repeat my family story with. In other words: I choose women who are in the story/ the lie/ the drama, so that when I try to bring them into their truth, they will respond by punishing me, and then banishing me. I used to call this foreplay, but now I just call it painful.
Full disclosure here; just yesterday morning I called my mother looking for some solace (I know!!!) and when I was rebuffed and dismissed and set up again, I made the executive decision to not let my own little broken birdie be in charge of phone calls to my mother. I, the adult Katharine is going to hold my little birdie tight until she no longer needs to choose pain over pleasure, ever again.
If I can somehow disconnect from my matrilineal pain centre, and rebuild healthy pathways to women, then I will have found a way to share my truth and be able to choose a healthy and happy woman to co-create a wonderful life together.
In the words of ‘ The Little Engine that Could’; ” I think I can, I think I can”!