Yes, missophelia, you are allowed to be happy
Why it's taken so long to acknowledge that happy time in my life? I think my life, and my childhood in particular, have been so overshadowed by all of my pain and anger, that maybe the good times haven't actually become a part of who I am.
A sense of confidence, a sense of pride, feelings of happiness. I lost those things, bit by bit. They were taken from me by those who I had no control over. Instead of feeling good, instead of being able to think that I was worth feeling good and happy, every part of me was warped to only accept pain and anger.
I'm going back a little ways, because it's important that I add this to my story.
From the time I was a little girl, I loved to draw and paint. One of the few things I was allowed, that I wanted, were the supplies to express myself through my art. As I grew, as my passion for art grew, I became a big fan of Norman Rockwell.
My mother had a book about him. I was taken by his paintings that were so life like, and the volume of his work is something that I've always aspired to being able to create myself. I've even been to his museum in Stockbridge, Ma. Twice.
I may never remember what possessed me, one day when I was thirteen, to sit down and write him a letter. I don't even remember how I got a hold of his address. But there must have been something inside of me that felt good enough about myself to let me send him a letter, along with some of my drawings.
In my letter I relayed to him my great fondness for his work. I told him I was sending my drawings because I wanted him to see them. I also asked him for any advice he had on how to pursue a career in art.
Just thinking back on my ability, my GUTS, for sending him the letter, makes me wonder, wow, what part of me was capable of that.
I don't remember how long it was before I got a package in the mail, from him. It was exciting, seeing something arrive in the mail from Norman Rockwell. I eagerly opened the package, and inside found all of my drawings I had sent him. Then I found the letter.
I still have this letter. Typed on paper with his letter head. Signed by him. He thanked me for sending my drawings. He said they were very good. He told me he wanted me to keep them as part of my portfolio. Then he said that if I was still interested in art after high school, to go to a fine arts school instead of taking art courses at a regular college.
Talk about pride, and confidence? Those things, along with my happiness, knew no bounds that day. I cherished his words, and read that letter day after day for a long time. Still, to this day, I can read that letter and be filled with a happiness that is indescribable.
My parents weren't blown away with praise for me, but they reacted in a reasonably happy way for me. The most important person in my life to show it to at the time was my art teacher. He had high praise for me.
I've been missing this memory, and the happiness it still fills me with. I don't know if I've convinced myself that I'm not worthy of being happy? I don't know if pain and anger were just so reinforced in my life over the years that I lost all sense of happiness? Maybe I have just denied myself the feeling for some reason?
All I know is that all day I've allowed myself to be comforted and elated by this happiness. And it feels absolutely wonderful. So, maybe it's just the right time for me to allow myself to feel happiness when it comes my way.
Tonight, what I think is this. In order for me to heal, as I work my way through my story, and deal with the pain and anger I feel, I have to always remember the good and happy times. If I don't, I don't think I can truly heal.
I know I must always remember that happiness can be, and is, a part of my story.