Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday, 2/5/09 - "LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD"

(Living in a fantasy world wherever I could find one!)


Dear Readers,

"The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him." - Jan Patocka

When I was young, I lived in many fantasy worlds that filled me with joy, happiness, excitement, filled up the places inside me that were empty and frightening.

I had two girlfriends who were sisters - Jane, my age, and Peggy, the younger sister. The three of us spent countless days, hours, and minutes living in worlds that were other than reality. I really don't know how common this is. Perhaps it is very normal for young children, but I took it to the extreme and carried this practice into my adult life. At that point, it failed me entirely.

We would play records of musicals and dance, sing, and act them out. This was one of our most favorite pastimes. We repeated it over and over in their living room. I loved being in their home. There was something about it that lured me to it.

We also created "other" homes wherever we could find them, and lived out nonexistent lives of imaginary people. We had houses in trees, in abandoned houses (very dangerous now that I look back on it), in garages behind other peoples houses, anywhere we could find one. There was actually (believe it or not) an abandoned mansion called Blair Mansion in Silver Spring, Maryland. That was the bonanza of a fantasy land. It was a true mansion with huge grounds including arbors and gazebos. It was multi-storied with many rooms, many still containing dishes, old letters, odds and ends. These made for fabulous inventions in our young minds.

These sisters lived in a very large home. The girls' bedroom had a huge walk in closet that actually had a window in it. This made for an absolutely perfect alternate reality setting.

I was and wasn't a "Tom Girl". I could play cowboy and cowgirl with the best of the little boys in the neighborhood. I had my cowgirl outfit, bike with saddlebags and pretend rifle attached. At the same time, I had an entire "other life" going on under the dressing table in my bedroom. The dressing table had an area underneath it that was hidden from view by curtain material that could be opened by pulling back two movable arms of wood. When opened, there was a doll's home of my creation underneath. There was a doll bed, other furniture and a life teeming with activity beneath that piece of furniture in the privacy of my room.

I played these invented roles constantly and well. But the fact that when I moved from childhood into adulthood and did not leave them behind caused me much pain and confusion. I had no grasp whatsoever on "reality".
I believe that these fantasy lives helped me cope with a world of emotions and thoughts that were too painful to acknowledge.

As an adult, with college life, the work world, marriage, and children, these worlds of illusion lost their ability to work for me and I was left with the realness of life that was far too painful. I just could not function.


Alcohol allowed me to escape in a more adult way. No more dolls, no more forts hidden under gigantic pine trees, and no more living a life of plays, T.V. shows or musicals. I had outgrown these childish ways, but was left with an adult life that I had no idea how to manage. Alcohol made it all go away. I didn't care, it masked the pain and confusion (for a while).

BUT THEN - it nearly destroyed me.

It seems that God had actually assigned me a role that was real and not make-believe. He reached down before I could completely annihilate myself, plucked me up out of my alcoholism, set me on the path of the 12 steps, and has gently moved me into the destiny He has assigned me.

What is my assigned role? I can only describe parts of it that have been revealed to me.

So far, I know that my role (God's will for me) is to:

Stay sober, help other alcoholics, and practice the principles of the program in all my affairs.

Be open and ready to freely give of the healing touch God has so lovingly given me.

Write poems, blog, express myself by the written word no matter how I may judge them myself and wish to stick my thoughts into a hidden recess of my desk.

Share my experience, strength, and hope with others.



Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Water & Ice By Triphammer)


steveroni said...

This is one of your top three best, PG. Great flashback stories, well-told. thanks.

Zanejabbers said...

I just never imagined you with a gun, much less a gun rack on a bicycle. I DO DECLAREH.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Yes yes!!! YOU know me! I used to dress up like sherlock holmes and run around our 5 acres and many acres surrounding solving mysteries woven in my head, built fairy houses under the drooping branches of large evergreens, built look-out houses in the treetops, forts out of large rock piles under the trees, cardboard box cars and homes, alter universes in my closet and under the bed, and my own world behind the curtain in the bunk over the cab of the motor home my family used for travel. Living in the doll world, the fairy world, the pirate world, conquering fear, conquering limitations....

My favorite book series is still Anne of Green Gables, she... with her amazing imagination...built her way out of the horrors of an orphan's existence while she was young, God gave her that gift, but she learned how to balance that in her reality, to use it as the gift it is. What I didn't read back then, that I now see so clearly as I read it over again in adult-hood (recovery) is how Anne's life was changed, transformed, gifted to her through a faith that Marilla and Matthew shared with her.

She, so broken and desperate for a family, accepted the love and direction of a family that God chose for her - they couldn't help but keep her. And through them found a faith that transcended any human trial she faced. And through her they found childlike wonder and a joy and enthusiasm that knew no bounds.

Me too! Me too! Me Too!

Thank you for continuing to reflect Light, to reflect me back at me... I see God in you!

1 Corinth 13:9-13 ... you reflect the Light Anna!!! And God heals with you even in cyber-touch!

Thank God for you! Blessings to you always!

Syd said...

I really like this post and can relate to the fantasy world that you had as a child. I had one too with my forts and hide outs. I gave up those fantasies to go to college and then right on to graduate school. I traded my fantasies for books and data. But today I'm back doing fantasy stuff with my boat. Dreams coming true.

Hope said...

I love this post. Love your honesty as it gives me a glimpse into your journey. Thank you for that.
It also reminds me of my daughter. She lived in a fantasy world as a child as a coping mechanism for the abuse. She still has a hard time accepting life on life's terms - that it isn't like the fantasies in her head.

clean and crazy said...

I love your share, that was an awesome trip down memory lane. I can relate, we had tree houses and places we hid from people that were dangerous, we used to walk the length of the train tracks, under the tracks but above the San Gabriel river bed. About 4 stories off the ground. We would hold on to these steel beams that were as wide as my hand and walk across the bottom beams of the same width and we would have to stare down at the ground until we got to the middle concrete piling. There was a place in there as big as a twin bed just about 3 foot tall and a couple of us could fit in there. We never fell, and I don't remember ever hearing of any kid falling off there, but thank goodness a train never went over us as we were walking across.I would never do such a thing today and I would kill freak out if my children ever did such a thing