4. Script Saga
Psychological tests conclude that women who hold on to their weight are weighed down by the burden of recall, both conscious and unconscious, on their life scripts and the roles they have to play. On some level, I knew all this, but had not considered it till I hit my early 40s, when I came upon the concept of ‘script’ via a cleverly-designed ‘Self Awareness Program’ run by an astute counselor.
Does this mean that all that I have felt, been and done was just an unconscious drama? That none of it was of any consequence or real value? I cringed at the memory of my Meena Kumari-esque phases.
The closed environment of the Sunday morning sessions became a womb, a holding space that I felt cocooned in. The skin of the group became an invisible mesh, which prevented me from sliding back into the treacherous ocean of the self.
At the end of the program, I had to write my life script and share it with the group over a cathartic session at a weekend getaway. I used deadpan humor to lighten the details of a life story that was not extraordinary.
“The people I love, especially the men who claim to love me, are not really there for me in any real sense. Yet they take up a huge place in my mind. The discrepancy between their words and actions keeps me captive in an arid valley flanked by twin peaks of love and despair,” I said, sighing with a dramatic flourish.
This unhealthy pre-occupation with other people’s lives was my Achilles heel. Unable to shake it off to focus on tapping my own potential, I seemed to be perpetually in waiting. Sometimes for an external savior, a knight in shining armour or just the big shower of Grace that I believed was my due. Neither came for the longest time, in keeping with the Law of Attraction.
The messages drilled into me in in childhood had been conflicting. My mother’s disparaging remarks and injunctions – ‘Don’t be important, don’t be you and don’t belong!’ – contradicted with my father’s gentle morals that urged me to, ‘Be good, help others before self and be careful.’
Self-erasure became a learned response.
A fearful child, I grew into an anxious young girl who was constantly seeking to please. Overly nurturing in adolescence, having had to play the role of caregiver and homemaker from an early age in the uneven environment fostered by a passive-aggressive, patriarchal family, I slowly grew very angry.
I never felt appreciated, not even by the long list of suitors who trailed my teenage self in college, who bloomed into a desirable young coquette, suddenly and startlingly conscious of her own seductive charm.
Yet, in keeping with my script, I played victim to the hilt. “After my wedding I slipped into yet another giving role in a kindly and supportive extended joint family. I was just 22 and became so occupied with doing, doing, doing and giving, giving, giving that I simply ceased being. In those days, girls of my ilk didn’t question. I tried terribly hard to do what was expected of me. My body bloated in protest. Food became my comfort.”
In my mid-30s I finally stepped out of the circle of my marriage by choice. Shaking off its debris, I emerged anew to play out new society-prescribed roles of Dangerous Divorcee, Glamorous Single Mom, Sultry Seductress, and, oh yes, Besotted Lover.
Fortunately, scripts can be altered since they are learned, not inherited.
Read Volume 3, here.
Read Volume 5, here.
About the author: Born with a silver spoon, golden girl Venus is a bright and witty fifty-something, whose persona matches that of her archetype. A wordsmith by profession, she believes in saying it as it is. Cougar mommy, woman of the world, she is part diva, part agony aunt, who believes that her vulnerability is her strength. Her life’s mantra: Find beauty, purpose shall follow.
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