When I was a teenager I had 2 incidents that happened months apart. Both were authority figures telling me I couldn’t DO something.
One, I was able to override and keep pressing on to success anyway…it took me a couple of years but I eventually found my way. The other I am JUST starting to address. Let me tell you more.
The first incident was a bike accident that I had had. I was 16 and loved to run and was on the cross country team. A bike accident left my limping for a week and into the Doctor’s office. For some reason my mother dropped me off and wasn’t in the room for the x-ray reading. The Doctor came and abruptly told me I wouldn’t be able to run again. Did I mention that I loved running?! Running was my life. As a High School Junior I was already getting recruited for college programs. Unfortunately, I had no parent next to me to process the news and steer the conversation into questions or right conclusions. Instead, I just took the Doctor’s words at face value as my heart and running dreams sunk. From that moment on, I turned to cycling and spent the next couple of years pursuing that. Cycling became the next thing for me and I channeled my need for fitness, being on the move and adventure through that.
– At age 17 a trip to Germany with a Jr. cycling team
– At age 18 a trip across the country (U.S.A.) with a touring group
– At age 19 joining a collegiate cycling team and learning to race in college
Life was good. It wasn’t until Spring of my Sophomore year in college (now age 21) that a friend asked me if I could run with her. “Well no,… I can’t run.” I replied. What do you mean you can’t run?!?!” she said, “how can you do 100 mile bike rides, and not run?”
“Yeah, you are right” I said as my voice trailed off and I started thinking about it. That voice inside me saying, yeah, maybe I can run now?!?! It’s been a long time. Why not try it? I bought a pair of running shoes a week later. Low and behold, I’ve run 10 marathons since and running came back into my life. Healed.
So what about the other incident? … this one was with a Teacher…
The 2nd incident was just a couple months later, still at 16. I was a new student in a new high school. I was thrilled one afternoon in a creative writing class as graded papers were being passed out. We had been assigned to write a play. The excitement I felt when I saw that I was given an A+ was a complete thrill. But my joy lasted but a moment. I didn’t even have a chance to celebrate. As my eyes gazed up the teacher was glaring at me. Stern eyes, tight lips, gruff voice…. “I want to see you outside”. She barked at me….
I was shocked, okay… I rose from my seat and bewildered followed her out of the class. Next thing I knew, she was turning my paper over. There she had written an F, I still remember that red pen. Next thing I knew I was being asked, rather told. “There is no way you could have written this play? Where did you get this mature content?” This women was glaring at me demanding where I had plagiarized the play. I was speechless. She knew nothing about me. I had poured my heart, observations and creativity onto these pages and she was rejecting them as mine. I started rattling off the plays I had been to as a kid. I also rattled off the plays I had been in. I started rattling off the family matters that had grown my wisdom far beyond what was appropriate. She just kept yelling at me determined to get a confession from me. I had nothing. Just a scared young girl looking at a teacher. She threatened me. She told me one day she would find that published play and come and get me.
Sadly. My parents were never called in. This teacher just decided I was a kid who was cheating. Not only did she mistreat me the rest of the quarter she had my twin sister the following quarter and her judgement of me followed to my sister as well.
Sadly. I was young. I didn’t know better. I didn’t know that my parents should have been invited into that conversation. Perhaps they could have stood up for me. Perhaps they could have validated me and told me to keep writing. I didn’t really get that this was going to be a block for the rest of my life. Well, until now!…
It’s never too late to overcome who they told you ~you couldn’t BE or told you~ what you couldn’t do.
In my healing journey I will say this. To that English Teacher wherever she is, who told me I was “too good” and it was “impossible” I could have written that play…. let’s just see what I can do now. I will try to resolve this block one story at a time. And I will write in the energy of healing and a heart opened in forgiveness, not in the energy of anger. I may or may not ever in my lifetime have an apology from this teacher. She may never know what she did to my writer’s spirit. In fact I looked her up in the yearbook and she wasn’t even on staff so I don’t even remember her name. But none of this matters. What matters is I have the awareness of the block now and I can show up and work my way through it.
I will send her healing and huge forgiveness anyway. I am also sending so much healing and huge love and forgiveness to the 16 year old I was who was afraid to put myself out there since. Time to do this differently.
Please take a moment. Is there something inside you:
– left undone?
Just because someone; a parent, a teacher, a doctor, anyone of authority…told you you couldn’t do something? Well, here I am to say, let’s go do it!
Then of course let me know what you do.
Yours in the Healing Journey
Meredith K. Mills