I’m trying something. Can I just take any photo and make a story from it, like a writing prompt? Dragonfly. I saved this photo from Elizabeth’s Wildflower Blog, which I read almost every day. I was very interested in insects, even as a young child, and also plants.
I blame my interactions with the pedophile next door for killing my chances to become a botanist or an entomologist. I blame those interactions for splintering my personality. I credit those interactions with sending me on a long quest. I credit them with leaving me few options. There’s nothing like limited options for spawning creativity, right?
One of my inner imaginary “parts,” is a dragon named Fighter. She is five years old. But she can’t fly, not that I know of.
Fighter is my natural ability to fight. She is not vengeful, like The Archer, who tries to wound her opponents exactly where they are weak. She is not sophisticated, like Sharkey, who plays his cards strategically, without the need to wound.
When I was a little girl, before we started school, my best friend was Timmy. He lived beyond the white picket fence at the back of our yard. Timmy was a handful. As my father was looking out of an upstairs window one day, he saw me give Timmy a good hard shove. My father told me much later how happy he felt seeing that. He liked knowing that I had the ability to stand up for myself. I like knowing that my father wanted that for me.
I loved my Dad.
When I was in therapy before, 15–20 years ago, I used to imagine a scene. There was a deep pit, like a quarry. You had to descend a very very tall ladder to get down into the pit, which was all orange clay and rock. At the bottom of the pit, off to one side, was a hidden passageway. At the end of the passage was a dwelling, where I lived with my therapist. She was a barefoot goddess at the stove, wearing a dress, happy and comforting, smiling and motherly, always stirring something with a big spoon. Then there was my own mother, a frail blue wisp of a person, dragging a dead baby around with her everywhere in a wagon. She also had her spot, on the couch. The dead baby stayed in the wagon, never moving. Then there was the pet dragon, named Fighter, who slept on the rug by the hearth. In wintertime, there was always a fire in that hearth.
Those are all the characters I can remember. I don’t think I was part of the scene, I WAS that scene. There was also a back doorway which led out into a forest, where my true love lived. He was a renegade, like Robin Hood.
I was a pretty tough little girl, very physical, happy in her world. I was not skinny, I had some meat on me, and I loved to eat. Somehow, through the trauma, I managed to hold onto my love of food, one of my few remaining sensual enjoyments. The toughness, too, remains, but it is no longer as physical. I am mentally tough. I will consider anything. I am not afraid to question. I also have a strong imagination — I got that from my Dad.
Mr. McCormick! You took my joy! I want it back.
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - Lucinda Williams. Yeah!
“You took my joy
I want it back
You took my joy
I want it back.”
That’s Fighter! She’s back! Mr. McCormick, the pedophile next door, not only took my joy, he took my spunk, he quashed my fight. But archetypes don’t die. They can resurrect.
Fly, dragon, fly! I bet she can. I can picture that now. She’s not asleep all the time any more. She doesn’t hug the hearth. She goes out on nighttime missions, she has bat wings.
Timmy and I used to play a game called Dragon. In that game, dragons were our enemies. We fought them, we fought hard. We always won. We were five years old. That was before Mr. McC. moved in next door.
Now I am imagining Fighter as one of my allies. I like having a dragon for an ally. I think Dad would like knowing that I have a dragon at my side. He would be happy to know that I can once again give someone a good hard shove, if I have to. Thanks, Dad. ❤