Good Girl

(click to enlarge)

September 1996
Watercolor & Colored Pencil on Paper
20”x 27”

This is the 9 of Earth in Lane's Greenwitch Tarot:

We unconsciously bury ancestral scars, a way our egoic self tries to protects us from pain. These wounds fester becoming the source of our physical and emotional challenges. We now have the opportunity to shift this strategy. We can root them out with the help of healers - shamans, body workers and alternative medicine folks. That’s how I discovered that being the “Good Girl” was my survival technique growing up as an empath. We can also allow creativity in any media or form to bring unconscious hidden parts forward to speak.

What are your survival strategies ingrained since childhood? Do they still serve you? Or is it time to let some of them go? The Call is to uncover their origins and replace them with what will move you forward into the future you desire. The stars are aligned for your work. My flower essence blend Going Deeper can help.

She who didn’t live out loud.

Given the state of the world I came into [see also Crowning/The Break], my baby self vowed to assuage the griefs of both the family and the world by being very, very good. Hair & clothes just right. The perfect Big Sister managing the chaos of a large family. Planning events. Rushing about to make things beautiful, so that the potential for painful reactions was minimized. Vibes watcher. With a tree, always a tree by my side.

In the process I also took on the emotional pains of everyone in sight. Without conscious thought I somehow absorbed feelings of others, tucking them in safe places throughout my body. Later, without realizing why, I tried to distance myself. Going away to school. Moving to the Midwest and finally all the way across the country to Oregon. But somehow even at a distance the practice of being a cauldron for others’ feelings held.

I ate to cover this up – assuage the feelings – until the food itself began to make me sick. It wasn’t until the feelings became slowly recognizable through massage and healing work that I began to see them for what they were: bargains of my baby self to keep things happy for Mom and Dad. Bargains to keep the peace – the fragile peace amidst….what??

Journal 9/18/96

Dana Zia said to get in touch with the child in me and I saw such a good little girl standing there. I cried and cried over her and also for her as a little baby being wept over by her Mom who was missing her Mom who died 4 days after I was born. And once again – as with other healers and the painting class – I delved into the issue of my vow to take care of my Mother.

Last night thinking about all this, I had a new hit on it. It’s always bothered me that I’ve come to take on a rather “poor me – I had to take on my Mom” martyred attitude. The tears and sadness were real but they were the tears of that little girl – not my tears. Plus I always get stopped thinking about what to do with it all in the now. Stop taking care of Mom? Drop my relationship? Be cruel or distant somehow?

I suddenly realized that the vow was a baby vow. I thought I would be taking care of her if I were very good.

Important note to self: It is the being good part I need to shed!

“Being good” meant taking care of others, not speaking my needs, following all the rules – spoken or unspoken, so that I wouldn’t bother Mother or rock her boat (or others' she didn’t want rocked, especially my dad).

The taking care of others is in my astrological chart – Double Cancer! – and my nature according to several readings. I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of that. And don’t really want to. But I can let others take care of and give to me. I can speak out about what I want. I can disobey Mother’s rules about Spirit – which I have been for some time….And I can rock Mother’s boat. She doesn’t have to take care of me anymore and I don’t have to guard her from upset – though I can take care of her in other ways.

Note January 2024: 

Amazingly I actually did get rid of that Double Cancer thing! For many years I thought I had been born in the early morning and had imagined my mom laboring all night. But when I double checked both my birth certificate and Dad's hand drawn baby announcement in the process of doing my original website, it turned out I was born at 6:29 in the evening. This changed my Rising Sign to Sagittarius - fire rather than water! A very different assignment. Now did I just miss that a.m. vs p.m. (it's a little indistinct in the announcement but not on the birth certificate) or did I actually change it in an act of unconscious magic and frustration with the whole Good Girl taking care of others thing?? We'll never know. But it's fun to speculate! ;-)

Dad hand drew my 1949 birth announcement. Mom did the writing.