Facade

I awoke at 4am. I don’t remember my dreams but I do remember “thinking” from within a dream-like state. I was remembering and replaying in my mind a memory from a long time ago.

It was the day our senior class voted on various items prior to graduation. All 33 of us gathered in a small classroom and Mr. F stood in front of the class and began explaining all the slots that needed to be voted upon. First up was the “Most likely to Succeed” category for one male and one female senior. Every year these spots went to the class Valedictorian and Salutatorian if they were male and female. I expected to be nominated when my name was called. I did not expect for someone to nominate my best friend who was 4th in rank. I also did not expect her to accept the nomination.

I remember a classmate of mine looking my way and raising her eyebrows. She knew what was going on. Everyone did. The person who had nominated my best friend was a girl who had hated me ever since middle school when I had called her out in front of the entire class for attempting to cheat off my Algebra test. Unfortunately for me, she was a very popular girl. Not only was she beautiful (flawless good looks) but she was also a cheerleader and the leader of the “popular” girl group. All the boys drooled over her but most girls secretly hated her. I was one of the few to voice my disapproval of her. This was common for me. I rarely kept my opinions to myself. Unfortunately for me, this created in her a huge enemy and she often badmouthed me to others.

When my best friend agreed to the nomination, I knew she would win. Everyone liked my best friend. Few really liked me. In fact, I had no other close friends. My heart sunk a little because I was certain this meant a humiliation was coming for me. I thought about withdrawing but I had hope that my best friend would withdraw her nomination at the last minute. I held my breath as we were sent outside during the vote.

As we waited outside, I looked at my best friend who smiled at me. I asked her why she accepted the nomination. She said, “Why wouldn’t I?” I was surprised by her candor and lack of consideration of my emotions. This was unlike her. I told her, “You know you will win”. She just smiled and said, “We’ll see”.

When we went inside, I already knew the outcome. The popular group, led by the girl who had hated me since middle school, clapped loudly and congratulated my best friend. I sat down without looking in their direction and quietly looked toward the front of the room. The girl who had looked at me with suspicion earlier told me, “I tried to get them to vote for you, but she kept arguing against it. I’m sorry. You deserved it”. She put her hand on my shoulder to offer me her sympathy. I also felt the eyes of several others looking in my direction. I fought back tears as I looked past the girl and ignored the looks of everyone else. I knew if I looked that I would cry and I could not let them see that and win.

We continued to vote, but it was all a blur to me for the most part. I numbly participated and continued to get comments from the girl next to me about how unfairly I was treated. I wanted to crumple into a heap on the floor, but I stood my ground and held it all in. I really, really hated that girl!

When it came time for the class moto, no one had any ideas. I was wearing a t-shirt that day with a cartoon of a fish being hooked by a fishing pole. It said, “So far, so good” on it. The girl who hated me since middle school pointed at my shirt and said to everyone, “How about what her shirt says?” Of course, everyone loved the idea and it instantly became the class moto. I was a bit surprised by this. Why would that nasty girl do that? Was she trying to look good to everyone else because she knew people were thinking she potentially swayed the earlier vote? Did she feel guilty or was she just caring about how she looked? Most likely the latter.

When we were finished, I left the room and waited for my best friend outside of it. I asked her why she accepted the nomination, explaining the girl was obviously trying to create a conflict between us. She seemed surprised and a bit condescending when she responded, “Why wouldn’t I? Did you think I would step down? They thought I deserved it.” I got a bit upset with her and said, “It was supposed to go to me and you know it” and walked away without giving her a chance to respond. I noticed that one of the girls she had been hanging out with approached as I was leaving.

That was in the spring prior to graduation. I had noticed a gradual distancing from me that started after the Christmas holiday. At first it was not too noticeable but eventually it became obvious. She began to call me less and less frequently. When I inquired about it she would tell me that she did something with a girl who was a grade level below us. This girl was known to smoke pot and drink. When I inquired why we were not hanging out as much she said, “I want to meet new people”. I remember thinking that she was being nice but really just didn’t want to be my friend. I pushed the thought away and did not allow myself to angry. I decided I would just hang out with other people, too. So I started working more and spending more time with my coworkers who were also students.

What was most upsetting was that we had chosen the same school to go to. I should have changed schools the minute she began to avoid conversations about going to school together. I didn’t even attempt to room with her. Through the summer we still hung out, but she was hot and cold about our friendship, as if she wasn’t yet sure if she wanted to still be friends. Once school started, I bumped into her during registration and she completely gave me the cold shoulder and acted like she didn’t even know me. I remember feeling like a complete fool. I finally got the message that I was on my own for my first year of college. A few times we saw each other on campus. She told me she was sorry and continued to explain her actions away as being related to her trying to “find herself”. She hung out with people totally different from me, so it really didn’t matter by then. Plus, she continued to hang out with people who did drugs and a few times told me of her one-night-stands. I was not into that kind of thing.

When I awoke, I entered a moment of intense grieving over the memory. I have often wondered what happened. She has apologized to me several times, saying she was “confused” and that the divorce of her parents put her into a tailspin. I accepted this as I really just wanted my friend back, but I knew I would never fully trust her again.

As I thought about this, I recalled her once telling me why she continued to be friends with a girl who was horribly self-centered and treated others as objects. She told me, “I feel sorry for her”. That statement has long stayed with me, but I never knew why.

Then I wondered, perhaps she was friends with me because she felt sorry for me? I was always very blunt and opinionated growing up. I did not like it when people blindly followed others and felt I had to point out to them the fault in that. It often isolated me from others and by high school I had no true friends of my own.

Perhaps she felt she could help me, too? She often described herself as a “giver” and one time told me that she attracted “takers” into her life. I, of course, assumed I must be a “taker” since we were friends. All of a sudden, I recognized this to be totally untrue about myself. I gave so much to her. I loved her like family and would have done anything for her. The fact is, that she was as much a taker as a giver and that, at some point, I did not give her enough to satisfy her.

I became suddenly very angry at her. I began to cuss her out in my mind and eventually the emotional hurt dissipated. The anger did not last, though, as I remembered that we were both playing our pre-determined roles. I distanced myself from that role and looked upon our friendship as an observer would. A peace fell over me as I successfully disconnected from the memory.

I saw why I was the way I was in high school. I recognized that I am still much like that young girl. I still separate myself from groups. I still bluntly point out or criticize others who do not fit my own ideals. I continue to not have many friends. I continue to travel my own path, often very alone and isolated from others. I seem to just not fit in and the more that this occurs, the more I resent those who do. This further isolates me from others as it keeps me from finding any connections with them. I always assume they will not like me, so they don’t. I justify my continued self-imposed isolation by pointing out the failures and shortfalls of others. This cycle is a continued cycle of self-suppression. I do not like it.

Then I think about my friend and how her chosen role was “giver”. She sought to help others who she perceived needed her help. At the time, I was “loner” yet I wanted desperately to not be, so I opted to try on the role of “follower” while also retaining my “loner” facade. We fit each others purpose, so we became friends. I followed her and did so quite well, becoming completely blind to many things about her. She fed my ego in many ways, as I did hers. She allowed me to continue to be the “loner”, sharing it with me, or so that is what I allowed myself to see. In reality, she was my friend but she had many other friends who merely tolerated my presence because of her. I wonder how many people asked her, “Why are you friends with her?” I know she told me she was once asked that about me. I wonder if she told them, “Because I feel sorry for her”? I suspect she did respond this way, as most of her friends tolerated my presence until she opted to unfriend me during our senior year.

In recalling all this, I became angry at myself for not being true to who I was. I recognized the fear that held me captive. To confront my only friend would surely alienate me from her forever. It far was easier to forgive her than to confront everything I can see so clearly now. I imagined telling her off. I imagined how life would have been had I not allowed myself to be treated that way. And I recognized how much I needed her. I do not think I would have survived my high school experience without her assistance, even though I was blind throughout much of it. I needed to be ignorant of the truth. I could not have handled it and may have spiraled into a very deep depression.

Then I thought about her life since we graduated high school. How she chose the path of drug use and wanton sex with strangers. How she ended up married to an alcoholic and porn addict. How she felt forced into having an abortion because he didn’t want a baby and she couldn’t confront the idea of bringing a baby into a world without a father. How she cheated on him and then divorced him to marry the man she cheated with. Then, when she was finally happy, she got cancer and had to confront the possibility of death. For a moment I was in awe of her. I began to compare myself to her, thinking I must be a coward. Then my guide reminded me, “You have already done all of that”. I knew he was right. I just chose to do those things over entire lifetimes while she bunched them up all into one. We were different, that is all. There is nothing good or bad about the ways we chose to live. It is the choices and the lessons we learn that matter.

Life Facades

In the book I am reading there is much discussion about facades, or masks we wear in life. These are all aspects of us that, if allowed to have too much control, can run amok and cause us all kinds of problems. These facades are many, but most of us has a major one we struggle with for many lifetimes. This main facade breaks into smaller ones as we try to compensate for it when it runs amok. I was able to quickly see my role as “loner” in this life as one of these offshoot facades. I instantly recognized my attempt to compensate for my main role which had run amok on me life after life: leader.

I was able to see after that the many offshoot facades that developed as I tried to control my power monger facade. In truth, my main facade is leader, but unfortunately, the leader is not always a good one. My leader has three offshoots that I have been able to identify thus far – the teacher, the power monger and the masochist. Each of these offshoots has smaller facades that were created to help play them out. For example, the teacher facade came out in my lives as a philosopher, teacher and psychic. It is currently still trying to come through, as it will always do. In past lives I have run into the negative side of this facade, the power monger, so many times and suffered horrible results that I have sworn to never let that side of me prevail again. This has led me to explore other facades that help me suppress the power monger. The masochist is among the most explored of these facades. I have been a nun, a victim, a follower and a loner all in order to try to avoid the power monger aspect of the leader.

In taking on the many facades I have in multiple lives I have run into major fear of myself. It is sad, really, that I so fear the potential of my power monger aspect. Yet, I completely understand it. I have recalled past lives where I have allowed the power monger to wreak havoc. For example, I had a past life from another planet where I led a large group of colonists to a planet I knew was about to be destroyed. I did this to make money with full knowledge of what I was doing. I dropped off hundreds of hopeful families and left them to die, which they did, and continued on without much thought other than to the amount of profit I made. This was way before my time on Earth. Yet this facade followed me to Earth, the fear of it causing me to embrace other facades like teacher and police officer, which allowed my leader to shine without giving the power monger the fuel it needed to do harm.

As long as I can remember, I have feared my potential for destruction yet at the same time longed for positions of power and prestige. I came into this life bossing people around and taking little interest in anything but myself. As I grew older and my conscience kicked in, I began to associate this negative aspect of my personality with the hurt it caused others and myself. It is as if I remembered my past lives without knowing it. Only now, as I delve deeper into myself, do I see the true extent of the destruction I have caused along my life path. It is no surprise to me that I seek to help and bring out the positive attributes of my leader self while suppressing the power monger.

The loner aspect I currently implore, serves to disassociate me from groups which in the past have been a springboard for the power monger facade. It also helps me introvert more, therefore asking questions of myself that I need to ask in order to grow. At the same time, the teacher aspect of myself came out and, though I resisted it at first, became a positive outlet for my leader self. In addition, I opened up to my spiritual ability which enhanced my teacher self while also enticing my power monger. Thankfully, it was not my intent in this life to push the limits of my leader because I do not believe I am yet strong enough to overcome the negative aspect of it.

Edit: Happy birthday, Daddy. I’ve missed you.

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