Toads and Witches and Childhood Angst

When I was a child I had 3 or 4 quite prominent warts on the side of my little finger on my left hand. They disappeared as I grew older, but I can feel them now as I think of it. It was something I was terribly ashamed of, and I despised anyone holding my hand for fear – entirely warranted – they would shrink away, or ask if I’d been touching toads, or scream that I would give them warts. All of those things happened at one time or another, until I was so paranoid that I felt the ‘horror’ of the warts was the only thing anyone could see on my whole hand.

I used to rub them with the thumb of my other hand: not sure why – checking to see if they had gotten smaller, to see if I could rub them away, to focus on my ‘flaws’ because that’s all I could think of – all those things I suppose. I just found myself  rubbing that finger now, unconsciously, even though they have been gone for years.

I tried all kinds of remedies, over the years, to remove them; banana peels, bandaids (to keep out the oxygen), various creams and ointments from the chemist, cutting them out with scissors…nothing worked, and the remedies were frequently painful. The memories of the very specific pain from the cutting, the sight of the blood, the pale, washed-out look of them after removing another bandaid, are very clear, but I can’t remember what ultimately caused them to go. I have a vague memory of a doctor’s implement embedding itself again and again into them, so I suppose they were frozen, but it seems odd that I can remember having them so clearly, but the memory of the removal of them is so fuzzy.

I even hated the word, and I still don’t use it very often (like I’m avoiding it right now). I felt stigmatised, and every time there was a conversation about witches, or toads, or anything else that could be associated, I shrank a little, hoping that no-one would look at me. It seems very silly and overblown now, but I was deeply self-conscious about it then.

Just recently, a close friend and I happened to get to talking about warts and she mentioned that she had had warts in exactly the same place, as a child, and that they, also, had gone away. I was amazed, but even more so when we compared our hands as they currently are, and found a couple of tiny, barely noticeable, warts in, again, exactly the same places as each other.

I have one wart on a finger joint on the palm side of my right hand, that appeared just a few years ago. I often find myself unconsciously rubbing this one in the same way I did as a child, but, this time, strangely, I like it. It’s a quirk that reminds me I’m me.

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Private Eating Habits

Sometimes, when the bread has gone mouldy, I just cut the visible mould off and eat the rest. And I also drink straight from the juice bottle. And I finish whatever meat is left on the bones after my husband is done with them. And I lick my plate when the meal has been particularly tasty – but only at home. And I put more sugar in my tea and coffee than I admit. And I generally eat WAY more than my share of a chocolate block…

Long Ago Teenage Angst

When I was in High School, I would sometimes go to class late because I was afraid that no-one would sit next to me if I sat down first.

Reasons I’m Grateful For My Husband #3

I’m a bit nosy.

I don’t mean to be, I think it comes from trying to be ‘helpful’, trying to ‘fix things’ for people. I’m quite socially aware, always paying attention to what’s going on around me, especially in terms of people and relationships and interactions. When I see a situation that’s potentially awkward or embarassing or painful I feel the need to intervene and insert humour, or smooth ruffled feathers, or avert an humiliating scene.

And that’s all good and well.

But, I seem to feel responsible for things that aren’t my responsibility: worrying about hurt feelings when I have done nothing to cause them and can do nothing to soothe them; intervening in arguments/discussions/questionings that have nothing to do with me; being concerned that people don’t have ‘all the information’ and trying to give it to them; feeling irritated that ‘that person shouldn’t be doing that, it’s wrong’.

I don’t know why I do it. Maybe it’s something to do with being uncomfortable with conflict, feeling empathetic, being a bit judgmental…who knows…but it’s not healthy.

HL isn’t like that as much. He’s more of the ‘Who cares? That’s their business.’ kinda school. Not that he’s uncaring about people, but he’s not burdened in the way that I tend to be. And I’ve learnt so much from that. It’s not always up to me to ‘fix things’. I don’t always have to remove all social awkardness. I don’t have to patch up other people’s arguments. It’s not my job to be weighed down by situations I didn’t cause and can’t solve. I don’t have to be in ‘other people’s bidness’. I can’t live other people’s lives for them.

And I’m grateful for that influence from HL, that tempers my drive to insert myself into places where I’m not needed.