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Old 05-02-2024, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Vermont
9,504 posts, read 5,295,637 times
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Well, it wasn't pretty. And I'm not sure I would call it 'obsessed' but my deep anxiety/vigilance centered on making sure my mother didn't set the couch on fire (again - she was a cigarette smoking alcoholic) and keeping tabs on my younger siblings. smh...Survival type stuff. Not much room for anything else.
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Old 05-02-2024, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Kentucky Bluegrass
28,976 posts, read 30,354,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
finding-out-about....

making things better

passing-myself-off-as...

hatching conspiracies

forming organizations

getting

revenge

becoming better than...

becoming good-enough for...

No wonder the other children wanted to kill me, or cause dogs to kill me. No wonder most of the teachers, and most of the skanks in the Principal's Office, wanted the children or the dogs to kill me.

My 'Cousin Crazy'(whose obsessions have always included a 'White Savior Complex' despite our being brown), who's just retired from teaching - a job where her atypical number of degrees and certifications earned her salaries superior to those of most attorneys, spent her entire career TRAPPED-WITHIN the school system of an especially-awful Southern city (early-on, a bureaucrat secretly "fixed her", so that she couldn't escape, to teach in any of the Midwest's whiteopian paradises, where teachers don't routinely have their lives threatened/destroyed/ended by students), has repeatedly bemoaned the absolute lack of curiosity among those she's attempted to teach.

She grew up very-rich. I grew up very-poor. Neither knew the other existed. She was out in her canoe, interacting with alligators and Water Moccasins and Copperheads, at the same age when I was out learning (on my own, with no help) how to kill and EAT them. The point being that something INNATE drove us each to explore and discover.

My childhood peers, were infuriated by my need to discover and to analyze: to "find-out-about". They were just redundant lumps of unthinking flesh, in the same way that Cousin Crazy's students were. Our librarians were inscrutable. Were they pleased, that SOMEONE, particularly a little girl who'd only recently learned to read, was reading "those weird magazines" (science and literary, ordered, presumably, by someone at state or national level) nobody else read? Were they pleased, that someone was reading those "empty-shelf-filler books" on native plants (I was wondering what, in the woods, I could eat, or brew as tea, or use as a spice, or to deodorize my clothes, to or put on wounds caused by classmates and dogs, or use to poison dogs and maybe the wells of my tormentors)?

Or were the librarians, like the Principal's Office Skanks, too distracted by the Service Merchandise Catalogue and the Zales Jewelers Catalogue? Did they think about ANYTHING, beyond buying, on payment plans, the hideous quasimoderndemitraditional diamond chip garbage in those catalogues (which looked exactly like the hideous diamond chip garbage STILL being sold by schlock jewelers, today)? Well... thinking about that, and cooking those family-pleasing recipes in the WhiteTrashWoman Magazines, like Family Circle?

Bringing things full-circle, Cousin Crazy's Dead Sister, who'd had a different set of obsessions (being believed; not being raped, anymore - toddlerhood through adolescence; not being tortured by her stepmother; not being beaten by "Daddy"; "having a good time"; charming the maids, so they'd like her enough to tell ANYBODY WHO MIGHT POSSIBLY HELP, that she was being raped and tortured; and finding money for prescription and illegal drugs - even at age 12), in one of her last jobs, before carbohydrates and Polypharmacy drove her, irretrievably, into a pit of madness and despair, spent two years as the Personal Secretary of a retired schlock jewelry mogul: I forget which chain/catalogue. In a mostly-empty Modern office tower, in the mostly-empty downtown of a dying Southern city, they had the entire floor-thru office to themselves, where The Schlock Jewelry Mogul pretended to do business, and she pretended to assist. They were perfect for each other. Having been the mistress of the richest JB in Myrtle Beach, she knew the language of Schlock - literally - having distinguished herself by selling 2-Dollar watches to drunken sailors, for 200 Dollars, in one of her boyfriend's beachfront stores. When your primary childhood obsession is being believed...

Even when little, I was obsessed with making things better. I planted the pits of half-rotten peaches I dug out of the garbage at the Corner Store (one corner of that wretched rural intersection). They bore good fruit, for years. I transplanted Mint and Asparagus, from the garden of the elderly lady for whom I pulled weeds. I took what was left of my Grandmother's only Dior - ever - and stretched fabric from the skirt, over one window of our shack. It filtered the air, and looked like floral stained glass - a genuine bit of Paris, in our two-room Mississippi shack. I got up under the "house", and stuffed a mixture of grass and mud, into the cracks. I improvised a hammer, and salvaged nails from rotten planks, to tack errant sheets of tarpaper back-straight on the outside of our house.

Much of my 'Finding-out-about' consisted of studying rich people, so that I could pass-myself-off-as someone good-enough to be around them, so that I could work for them. Thank you, Town & Country, for having existed. I only wanted to get close-ENOUGH.

And then I got to college, where my GETTING obsession paid-off. I'd GOTTEN virtually every dark solid schmatte which ever got hung on the Used Clothes rack, up in front of the Corner Store, in good weather. Such rags were RARE. Mostly, things were pastels and patterns and tees with tacky graphics. I'd scrounged old copies of The New Yorker, too, and knew how to look like one of those people up in Yankeeland. - the right kind. I didn't know to call that 'New England Boarding School', or 'Manhattan Upper East Side'.

Then, at 17, in Economics 101, at a college for poor kids, I was recognizable to an atypical group of kids, who ALSO read 'The New Yorker'. Even with my lower-than-White-Trash accent, they individually decided I was ONE OF THEM, because of what I'd GOTTEN as clothing. So, when I said, "We need a study group!", that first day of class, those substantial kids moved toward me. This was the first organization I'd formed since Second grade, when I was recognized by teachers, as "The ringleader of those Coloreds". (I CONSPIRED with those playmates, to do all sorts of things, before my poverty and their prettiness turned them against me).

My talent for conspiracy, stood me in good stead, with my first "real" childhood employer, for whom I counted illegal cash, as it was passed through his car window. This probably saved my life - having a powerful protector in a community where there'd been multiple suicides of bullying victims.

My struggles to GET, as a child with no sources of clothing but piles of cast-off rags, honed my ability to ACQUIRE, when my new friends took me to the original Steinmart Saks Sales. I knew how to MAKE THINGS BETTER. I could and did take articles being sold at one and two percent of Original Retail, and repair them. For the guy who knocked-me-up, and taught me Math for Economics while knocking-me-up, again and again, I acquired and mended two Saks Fifth Avenue Armani Suits and a Hugo Boss. I got him Fendi ties, Burberry accessories, executive-length English socks, and shirts from Hilditch & Key https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hilditch+%...ages&ia=images .

And whose workstudy office girl would YOU want to poach for your own office, if you were a big somebody at a university? You'd want the one in the Ungaro and Rive Gauche outfits, with the Italian handbags. That was ME. Which one would be likely to get invited to parties, with her husband, to show off to distinguished alums? And while elite religious sects do not exactly ban undesirables, you can imagine which up-and-coming couple, when wondering what to become, thus pondering the parable of King Bulan's Dilemma https://duckduckgo.com/?q=king+bulan...&t=ffab&ia=web , would find welcoming mentors within both Episcopalianism and the top sect within the faith to which we ultimately "returned" (triggering my "pass-myself-off-as" obsession, again, until writing a few big checks, and getting good-ENOUGH at both languages - plus DNA analysis and some geneology - turned me, unimpeachably, into The Genuine Article. Mostly, it was the big checks, and a few conspiracies, which turned the trick.)

You see how my childhood obsessions coalesced.
I loved reading this and how you pulled yourself up, and all kidding aside, you should write a book on your life...you as a child...which would most likely be a great source of inspiration to other kids who wanted to work for something better....you did it...and you should be proud....you built those obsessions into something real, something better....amazing.
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Old 05-02-2024, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Kentucky Bluegrass
28,976 posts, read 30,354,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
Mine was animals. I wanted every one of them as a pet.
They used to advertise “exotic” animals sold as pets in the back of some magazines. I remember wanting to order a baby woodchuck. I thought my parents ordered one for me. They may have told me they did to shut me up, lol. I waited daily for months for the mail truck or delivery service (UPS, I guess) to bring that baby to me!
Sadly for me, it never came.
I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up.
Did you become a veterinarian?

I wanted to buy a ranch for all those children who loved horses, never happened....but all in all, my life was fulfilled and complete, I was able to experience so many kind people in my travels, who were so much more experienced and smarter than myself....I had an obsession with curiosity, and wanted to absorb everything...

I to wanted to become a veterinarian, but tossed the idea when I found out how difficult it was scholastically.
Then I toyed with an Airline Stewardess....
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Old 05-02-2024, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
2,046 posts, read 4,566,197 times
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Reading. My father would get on me for reading too much. Not that he didn't like me reading but because I had a bad habit of not putting a book down until I finished it and would stay up all night sometimes. He was a math (numbers) guy which made it even harder for him to understand my obsession with the written word.
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Old 05-02-2024, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,427 posts, read 14,745,069 times
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Oh yeah, I was an obsessive reader, too. I learned early and I was one of those kids who took a book everywhere at all times. I loved fiction (especially fantasy fiction, historical fiction, and sci fi) and nonfiction, Shakespeare, poetry, comics, you name it. At age 9 I memorized a poem I liked and would recite it to anyone who would listen, and what's funny is that it was loaded with innuendo that I didn't get and it scandalized teachers and librarians to hear me speak it out loud. I actually STILL have it engraved in my memory. It's called "Maternity," written by Robert Service. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...-56d226998f062

I have no idea why I liked it so much at the time, I just did...I'm sure that the incredulous looks on the faces of adults only encouraged my retention of it.
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Old 05-02-2024, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
18,544 posts, read 18,821,963 times
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Hated having to wear specs since I started school at five... took them off as soon as I left the classroom.. didnt want people to know I had such bad eyesight.. hid it for years and went around half blind.. , in the cinema I would take them off as soon as the lights went up... detested them and even now Im in my 70s I still dont wear them outside the house... Have struggled all my life trying to see numbers on buses .. alawys tried to find jobs where I didnt have to wear glasses, which is very difficult... call it vanity... I dont really know... but it took over and still takes over my life.. so Id call it a type of obsession...I think I was teased by my mother for having to wear glasses when young.. as she saw it as an embarrassing handicap.... of some sort.... she had perfect eyesight most of her life.. lucky her... and maybe didnt like her imperfect daughter..
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Old 05-02-2024, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
2,046 posts, read 4,566,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Oh yeah, I was an obsessive reader, too. I learned early and I was one of those kids who took a book everywhere at all times. I loved fiction (especially fantasy fiction, historical fiction, and sci fi) and nonfiction, Shakespeare, poetry, comics, you name it. At age 9 I memorized a poem I liked and would recite it to anyone who would listen, and what's funny is that it was loaded with innuendo that I didn't get and it scandalized teachers and librarians to hear me speak it out loud. I actually STILL have it engraved in my memory. It's called "Maternity," written by Robert Service. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...-56d226998f062

I have no idea why I liked it so much at the time, I just did...I'm sure that the incredulous looks on the faces of adults only encouraged my retention of it.

lol, what a funny little poem. I can imagine the looks an innocent child would get reciting this.
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Old 05-02-2024, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Midwest
2,200 posts, read 2,337,244 times
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I was raised in a cult, so as I child I was obsessed with being a very good person so that I didn't make God angry enough to kill me and my family.
Other than that, lol, I didn't have obsessions, but I did get fixated on all the trends and fads through the years. Barbie and baby dolls, bubble stickers, jeans, my hair...the usual. Probably no more than the next growing girl in my circle.
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Old 05-02-2024, 05:01 PM
 
Location: on the wind
23,447 posts, read 19,085,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cremebrulee View Post

I to wanted to become a veterinarian, but tossed the idea when I found out how difficult it was scholastically.
Then I toyed with an Airline Stewardess....
Probably the most important lesson I learned from college was never say never. You can accomplish almost anything as long as you realize what the prize is and you keep your eye focused on it.

As a child, I loved and was fascinated by wild places and the creatures that live there, but as I got older, the only professions this city kid could imagine that would let me indulge those interests was either "park" or "forest" ranger. Yeah, I realize neither of those terms are very meaningful.

Then someone, a student counselor or teacher informed me that pursuing either of those professions would require lots of college level math and hard science. Both of which I feared and hated. So, I abandoned them in favor of another interest that came much easier: visual and illustrative arts. I was fortunate to have some innate skills there, so that's what I prioritized up until and into college. A local gallery owner/art instructor was kind enough to mentor me and give me showings in her gallery. Sales of the work helped me pay college expenses. I'm sure she didn't mind the revenue either!

All was well and I was happy. For about two years. Then the rot started to set in. It was too easy. I got increasingly frustrated, puzzled, even bored. I found while I enjoyed applying those skills and enjoyed the creativity, pursuing art for its own sake just wasn't enough. I considered them communication tools, not ends in themselves. But tools to communicate for the benefit of what?

Long story short, I had an odd sort of epiphany during a chance meetup with the director of a nature reserve while walking a trail near the college. I realized what I cared about more than anything else was ensuring places like that would always exist for all the creatures depending on them. Stemming from that single conversation, I ended up changing my major, my university, and ultimately what became a 40 year career. Didn't know where to start making the change happen, but a conversation with an anonymous woman on the phone with the state's employment agency helped me figure out what professional titles came closest to matching what I wanted to do. She read me the prerequisite college coursework and degrees necessary. I'll never forget pouring my heart out to my mother on the phone about this huge change in direction. She was understandably concerned. "But honey, you don't like science!"

All those horrible classes like chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics still lay between me and a useful degree, but they became a means to an end. Once the motivation changed, they weren't so terrible. Were they easy? No, but they were non-negotiable, thus survivable. I also found myself in "soft" sciences like biology, veterinary physiology, taxonomy, biology, and my ultimate favorite; ecology (you know, big picture thinking and study of entire systems such as the Nile River watershed, boreal forests, deserts, etc.) Just soaked the stuff up almost effort free.

Sorry for the life story, but I firmly believe you can achieve what matters most to you. You just have to let yourself realize what that is.

Last edited by Parnassia; 05-02-2024 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 05-02-2024, 06:42 PM
 
7,152 posts, read 4,871,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cremebrulee View Post
Did you become a veterinarian?

I wanted to buy a ranch for all those children who loved horses, never happened....but all in all, my life was fulfilled and complete, I was able to experience so many kind people in my travels, who were so much more experienced and smarter than myself....I had an obsession with curiosity, and wanted to absorb everything...

I to wanted to become a veterinarian, but tossed the idea when I found out how difficult it was scholastically.
Then I toyed with an Airline Stewardess....
No I didn’t. I was not encouraged to fulfill that dream, we couldn’t afford for me to go to college, it I think.
I’ve had a very satisfying life also, all things considered.
I still love all animals and still am very interested in anything medical, human or animal.
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