Thursday, October 26, 2006

“Everyone Makes His Own Happiness”

Reply to Questionnaire on P. 45 of Vassar Alumnae Magazine, April 1969

1.) I like children who are spontaneous, not too “manicured,” but with evidence of some discipline.

2.) The most important thing for children to learn is that everyone makes his own happiness.

When I was a child …
3.) …I had the most fun when I could catch a sense of my own identity. Of course, I did not then think of my reaction in those terms. The way in which I got a sense of my own identity is surely a clue to my early psychic life: I liked to climb a tree higher than any other children; I liked to make a house for myself in a tree; I liked to go off by myself to pick blueberries to sell; I liked to swim, particularly underwater, when I could open my eyes, or battle ocean waves.
4.) …I felt most secure when I could catch my parents’ fleeting attention.
5.) …I used to daydream about college.
6.) …I used to be afraid of the dark, punishment (spanking), my parents’ rejection.
7.) …I liked grownups who were friendly or found me intelligent.

8.) I wish my parents could have understood that, at the age of three, a pretty little girl should not be put to sleep in the same double bed with an unmarried uncle in his twenties; that when a neighbor reports seeing little girls take down their pants at the order of little boys, a father should not beat a six-year-old and tell a four-year-old (me) that “Little girls who do that cannot live in our house,” with the child’s clothes being removed (at night) from the closet and the child feeling that it would be too far to walk to Grandma’s house; that sex is not evil.

9.) My life will be reasonably satisfying if analysis can bring a feeling of release from my anxieties, greater sexual freedom, and an acceptance of my children’s major decisions.

10.) I seem to have been a child who was very insecure, unhappy without realizing it, sexually repressed, and who turned to distinction in studies as compensation.

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