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Sue . . . the Hestia child (Hestia, the ancient Greek virgin goddess of hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, family, and state) . . . isolated

Isolated, quiet, gentle, always-smiling child. Peaceful as she walked with her dog Princess through the fields and along the river banks. Peaceful as she talked with God and the aspects of God in nature. Peaceful as she laid on her back in the spring wheat fields and looked up at the perfectly blue and clear skies and knew that she was safe. Life was gentle. The fields were safe and her dog Princess was always at her side as she wandered through the fields at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Escaping from any conflicts or irritation with people. She wanted to be quiet and happy--and being alone assured that. Alone with nature doing absolutely nothing assured her that peace to be at one with Source, with God, with nature, with whatever it was that was total peace and safety.

Detached, not needing to read or watch TV unless for escape from other people. When left alone she was so very peaceful with the musings of her own mind. Being with people always brought expectations and perfectionism and work . . . the ever present Old World work ethic. Work until you drop. A job worth doing is a job done right the first time. Pretty hard to have the courage to learn new things when the expectation was to do it perfectly the first time and every time thereafter. She was a gentle, creative soul who liked to see how things worked and to see how things would evolve. She was not a perfectionist, she was an expressionist--in a family that did not allow time or room for personal expression. Do it now, do it right, and keep moving. She found ways to escape to the fields to talk with her angels and Divine spirit and be peaceful and escape to a world of her own.

Relationships . . . hmmmm. Her father was a man of very few words and a lot of action. When he did give a directive it was well thought out and it had better be executed exactly the way it was presented. There was no room for collaboration or creative solution finding. He made up his mind and then gave a directive . . . and that was the end of it. It had better be done right or you would never hear the end of it. Lots of pressure and never acknowledgement or praise. If you didn’t get reprimanded for not doing it right than you better just assume you did do it right because there was no such thing as praise or acknowledgement.

Mother was an intellectual. She was happiest with her nose in a book or in conversation with stimulating minds . . . and on a farm there is not much opportunity for that. So, she escaped to books and gardening, a pastime that gave her much peace and surrounded us all in beauty . . . and a lot of work to maintain--two acres of lawn, gardens, trees, and shrubs to weed, mow, and maintain. But, it was peaceful and enjoyable and what a show place!!!!

Sister was a tyrant perfectionist. The worst thing that could have happened was putting those two girls together in the same room. It was cold war from the first moment because the older sister had always had her own room and suddenly she was 11 and had to share a room with a 6-year-old . . . how offensive. She always made her bed and had everything in order and demanded that everything that was hers be “untouched”! The younger one, probably out of defiance, would touch, not make her bed, and hated to hang up her clothes. There was continuous animosity and the younger one felt unsafe, picked on, always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and stayed away from her room unless it was time to sleep. It was not safe there. It was not safe around her older sister because she would always find a reason to yell at her or rat on her to their parents. Her primary intention was to get her parents to eject the younger one from her room but, because of lack of space in the house, it was not going to happen. The younger one learned that she could not trust women because she always felt like she wasn’t wanted no matter where she was in the house. They lived in the country and the closest people were a half mile away, not close enough to walk to or to talk to until she got into her teens and could ride her bike on the road and get some freedom.

It wasn’t safe to talk about her feelings . . . her sister would use it against her and sabotage her and no one else cared. So, she played in silence in the sandbox with her younger brother for hours and pulled weeds when told and dried dishes when told and stayed out of the line of fire as much as possible the rest of the time.

How do you grow up to know anything about having relationships when you are afraid to talk because it will be used against you? Afraid to talk with the person you share a room with. Afraid to talk with your parents because they are just too busy. Afraid to talk in school because there are only two rooms for eight classes and there is no time for creativity or play. So, she just existed, survived, played quietly, made no noise, and bothered no one until she was a teenager and boys became very attracted.

This could have been a very fun time in her life, however, just before she entered high school her sister became pregnant and had to get married and she was clearly told that boys can get you into this kind of trouble and disgrace so stay away from them and you are not allowed to date until you are 18. OUCH!!!

The high school was 15 miles away and an hour and a half bus ride morning and night and there was no such thing as going to the dances or school events because no one would drive her there so that normal opportunity for socialization was thwarted. How do you learn how to fit in?

So, she learned that her only value in life was to work--work hard and be quiet and be thankful someone would pay her. She went to college to become a teacher and found out in practice teaching that she had absolutely no coping or disciplinary skills and was completely intimidated by the students and abandoned the idea of teaching and went to work in an office for $265.00 a month and got married to a man she didn’t love. She had no idea what love was, or even liking a man / boy, she just knew he liked her for four years until she could date and she wanted to move out of the house and had no self confidence or life skills. So, she married him and worked two jobs so that he could graduate from the Milwaukee school of Engineering and they could have a good life. Did they talk? No. Neither one of them knew how to communicate. He went to school and studied and she worked two jobs, and they never had any money for fun and never had any friends, and he would disappear sometimes for a few days and she would cry because she was married and lonely and still hated her life and she had no time and no place for peace and lived in the city and no fields to walk in and no dog to be peaceful with and no identity. She just worked. Life was empty and even though she smiled through every day she was sad and lonely and still never had a girlfriend to talk to. She certainly didn’t have her mother or her sister to talk to to help her understand about having a relationship in a marriage. She knew nothing and things were getting worse because he was staying out more often and when he would come home he was not nice. She had no skills and no one to talk to and no idea that there were resources that could help her. She felt totally alone, isolated, inadequate, unattractive, just a worker. Go to work, pay the bills, clean the house, be home when he came home. No identity. No reading, no TV. No friends . . . acquaintances from work but no life. Twenty-three years old and nothing but work for a company that was Old World German and no one was allowed to talk during work. We took our breaks at different times so there was no inter-connecting. No one knew about the sadness and isolation and emptiness behind that smiling cheery face who always wanted to brighten the day for others.

Then she read the book Love Is Letting Go of Fear" by Gerald Jampolsky, and she made a new choice--to find ways to live in love, attract loving people. She chose to repeat to herself daily: "I am safe and loved and I belong where ever I am," and that is what her life became . . . full of JOY and love.

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