My Softie….

The Domenick family vacations had to have been the inspiration for the Griswolds! We had many little mishaps along the way but took them all with laughter and love.  Our 1963 Chevy Impala was packed with our clothes as we set out on our two week vacations.  I sat in the back with my brothers while dad drove and mom doled out snacks that were packed in the white Styrofoam cooler at her feet.  That cooler didn’t always make it home as someone inevitably would sit on it or somehow break the top. There were trips where hotel reservations were never made so we ended up at a cheap 4 hour motel with fly swatters, and vibrating beds.  There were trips where we weren’t even out of our hometown and we found that my dad cut up the wrong credit card and had the expired one with us.

On one trip in particular we were in Lake Placid heading to Niagra Falls. We were swimming in the in-door pool at the hotel when something came crashing through the ceiling! It was a raccoon! And probably a rabid one at that given the time of day! We all screamed and my dad safely got us out of the pool area so the hotel could deal with this mishap! We left that hotel somewhat shaken but concerned with the misfortune of the poor animal, and how scared it had to be dropping in on us.

We were a few hours away from Lake Placid when I realized that my softie was missing. My softie was a pink blanket that I took everywhere, a security blanket of sorts. My softie went everywhere with me. I loved to sleep with my blanket, it made me feel as if nothing bad could touch me. It was security in a way although I didn’t think of it that way as a child. As a child it was soft and pink (which was my favorite color until I found purple!) and was all mine. As the youngest, there wasn’t much that was all mine.  We had to change our plans so that we could stop in Lake Placid again on our way back from the Falls in order to pick up my softie. It was that important to me.

Security is so important to a child, and I always felt secure in the knowledge that I had parents to care for me, and brothers who loved and watched over me. But as with anything, over time that secure feeling began to become shaky. Others in my life would rock my secure little world. Whether it was friends who broke trust or boys, and then men, who would break my heart, security began to waiver.

Insecurity began to take hold of me as a young adult. Society does not help security. A big point of security for me has always been physical. My body, no matter what shape I have been in, has always been a source of insecurity. I am not built like a Barbi doll or like a model. At 5feet 1inch tall, my legs are short, I have hips (boy do I have hips) and of course not well endowed.  I do believe many people have physical insecurities, caused by media and carried through bullying and hurtful people. So my insecurities physically aren’t unique.  Having two husbands cheat on you certainly doesn’t help that insecure feeling but I have healed a lot of that over the years and realize that is about their shortcomings and not as much mine. And certainly less about the physical and more about the rest of the relationship but it is so easy to look in the mirror and think that is what caused the act.

This year, through a series of incidents and circumstances, I have come to realize that insecurity is broader than that for me. I realize that my insecurity runs very deep and touches a few areas of my life. As you recall through prior blogs, I had my confidence rocked over the summer. That is insecurity in my own competence and abilities. I sometimes wonder when everyone is going to wake up and realize that I’m really not that good at either my job or other areas of my life. A major source of insecurity that I have been working through all year.

I have had questions regarding my place in life, who will be there for me later, my feelings of being alone and unloved. Again, my insecurity running deep. Those feelings, my feeling insecure as I have no one who is there for me, caused me to retreat this year. I spent more time alone than ever. Although not a bad thing to spend time alone, I was brooding and becoming more melancholy. So for me, at this time, not a good thing!  I do go it alone and that isn’t always a secure feeling. Especially as I am watching my parents age and realizing that once they are gone, there is nobody who truly loves me unconditionally, worries about me and is there for me always.  Who will care for me when I need it? That has been an uncomfortable insecure feeling that I have had to deal with a lot this year. That culminated in my having a conversation with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew to make sure that they understood my insecurity. Although I feel better about this, this insecurity still lingers at times.

Interestingly, when I shared these feelings with a good friend recently, they had a very different take on all of it. They viewed all of these feelings as societal labels and not who I am. The focus was on my passion and my ability to feel my feelings and own them. That didn’t make me insecure. Instead it gave me depth.  Although it was a wonderful depiction of me and made me feel good, I’m not sure I agree.

I think the lessons of this year were all to heal these insecure feelings at a deeper level.  The good news??? I understand them and am working to heal them.

The even better news!?? I still have my softie and it is still a shield for security. When I look at my pink blanket I can remember my childhood and my sense of complete security. Nothing bad can touch me as long as my softie is by my side.  

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