Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Most of the time of my childhood after age 7 our family struggled up and down the Alaskan mountain to and from our homestead. By the time I was starting 8th grade (1963) a new high school had been built in the middle of a forest that is now, of course, surrounded by subdivisions. Because there were not enough 9th through 12th graders to fill the school we 8th graders were allowed to step across that pure new threshold of Chugiak High Schoool into a new world built — from my point of view — around the gorgeous black stallion painted on the entry floor-way within a circle filled with aqua. Black and aqua school colors. Mustang school mascot.
I just went through a process of searching online to no avail until I finally called my great healing trauma buddy to find in my memory what the original school song was. This is further testimony to the fact that my brain works better when I am talking to him! School song? Such a GREAT one though there is no mention of it online in today’s connection with the school:
Uploaded on Jul 27, 2008
This song was written by Stan Jones on 5th may 1948, It was Originally recorded by Burl Ives on 17th February 1949.
Well, I would be very disappointed if that school has lost its history by losing this song!! It is so fun!!
Well, on with my little story snippet about something that was the opposite of fun. I was such an abused child and had been since birth. I walked the halls and sat in the classrooms of my school career as if was myself nothing but a ghost of a human being.
My memory this morning as it has returned to me many times through the years of my writing about my early trauma history was of myself making “an informed decision” to FEIGN a limp whenever I was in the halls. Somehow I thought two things: (A) Someone might then NOTICE me as if I existed at all, and (B) that someone might have caring, compassionate feelings and direct them invisibly and silently to me. I of course had no word “compassion” in my thoughts and had never experienced anything but the slenderest tendrils of caring from my grandmother who we left behind in Los Angeles when we moved far away to Alaska right before my 6th birthday.
Looking back I consider my choice and its actions to be pretty damn intelligent. Very primitive. Very desperate. Very simple.
It was a kind of experiment, actually. Did it work? No possible way to know.
I was trying to get my attachment needs met in the only way I could think of as if – if the limp could be noticed I could exist at all.
I am currently reminded of other sets of memories from this year. The school had as it opened enough money to provide cross country skis for everyone in a class. Outside I FLEW and glided across the pristine snow. I did not FEEL my body but I skied like an angel. Perfectly. I never tired no matter how long I skied or how far I traveled. I was motion itself in its purest form.
That purity also shone on the gymnasium floor as I again experienced perfection in playing basketball. Even from the far side of the encircled mustang emblem painted in the center of the gym floor I could turn in full movement, toss the ball without actually AIMING at the hoop over everyone’s head on that floor. I NEVER missed. It evidently wasn’t possible.
(I KNOW this was the same arena I played in: Autistic Boy Becomes Basketball Hero – YouTube)
The school DID notice me and asked me to join the Girls’ Basketball Association. I never noticed anyone noticing me. I was entirely un-self-conscious out there playing. I did ask Mother. She would OF COURSE say no to me, which she did: “Girls don’t play basketball.”
Oh in a different world I could have said, “Oh YEAH? WATCH ME!”
This was also the year we had to begin wearing those hiddeous short one-piece blue gym suits and shower in a large communal shower. I remember feeling SO EMBARRASSED in that shower. I backed up against the far wall to hide the hundreds of bruises from the base of my neck to my heels, arms and legs too, in all their stages of yellow, green, brown, blue, black and purple.
I NEVER had the thought that anyone ever looked at those bruises when I was in that revealing little blue suit during class. They would have been on total display as I danced my dance of perfection on that basketball court.
NOBODY EVER cared to notice THAT! Never! Not one single time during the 18 long years of abuse that I suffered did ANYONE ask me, “LINDA! What happened to you?”
Meanwhile…. What all of this is tied to is a very subtle yet definite and probably extremely significant shift in my thinking connected to my “classical” drum lessons I am taking. I have not yet asked Brett, my teacher, about my playing WITH my conga drums — which I loved to do along with music such as this
Last Sunday at my daughter’s house there was a conversation about my drumming involvement within which a stroke of lightning entered my thoughts and hopefully does not leave them. “Everyone follows the percussionists.”
Well – seems to me there is a level of responsibility at stake here. “Playing along with” music on my congas is really — I see — nothing more than dancing to THEIR music with my hands on my drum head.
Dancing is fantastic. That drumming is HUGE fun! (Try the “Latin Essentials” station on Jango online radio for a taste of my favorite kinds of beat.)
But ME? The child fake-limping down a crowded hallway and hiding against a communal shower wall?
LEADING anyone ANYWHERE in ANY WAY?
I have no idea where I will be going with my “stick” drumming. I have a practice pad that virtually makes no sound. A soundless instrument? Definite paradox there. I FOUND one!
Brett states that what I must learn to actually DRUM takes many months of class and practice on exactly that — a practice pad. Down this road I am going with great joy. Perfection IS the goal. Brett has probably mastered that perfection as far as is humanly possible. I have a LONG way to go!
But I think this shift in my awareness is very important to me in my process. ME? A LEADER?
It is interesting for me to find how completely separate the operations of my left side/hand are from my right. I think of the brain development changes that happen from early severe traumatic abuse. Yup. Quite the opportunity to work on healing with those issues. Also, that is the side my two breast cancers appeared in that I went through treatment for 6 1/2 years ago. Surgery probably messed some muscle and nerve stuff up over there.
But I am DETERMINED!! I think Brett can do his two-stroke diddles — drum rolling kind — at 800 or better beats per minute. I can pretty much keep my form in form now up to around 200 beats per minute. But I have lots of finger-hand perfection to work on before I can go faster.
Soon: Move over sound waves. Here I come!
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!). Click here to view or purchase –
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site