I went to bed a seventy two year old woman who lived on a tropical island. A woman who had no one but herself.
I woke up a nineteen year old in a hospital bed in a busy city. And standing at the foot were my parents, as they were fifty three years ago.
It is knee jerk to assume that long life on that tropical island was a delusion. Save and except the knowledge, the memories, the insight that can only come from living seventy two years.
I woke up aware of the mistakes I had made. And I committed to avoiding them.
I would become a different me.
The New Me
I created a new self. A fabricated personality more than acceptable by my parents. I knew what they wanted and would give them a double dose.
I can pontificate why I had such a bad relationship with my family in my 'first' life. My ego, my education, my political leanings...
Getting a chance to replay, I'd be a different me. I would be complacent and agreeable, let my parents 'rule' my life. I would have no opinions, no preferences.
I wouldn't let national events touch me. I would focus on my parents and do what they wanted. If they said, "Let's go here!" I'd agree. If they said, "Let's stay home!" I'd say, "Okay."
I gave them absolute control and they loved it.
I looked back on my First Life and realized playing along with those around you is a path to success.
What I actually thought and felt did not emerge from my mouth. This was the path to a quiet stress free perfect life; To be the person other people wanted you to be.
Who I Had Been Who I Was
Growing up, I was an active outdoor girl. I was riding a bicycle, skating, running, always active, deep into sports. My sister was, as my father had called her a 'non'.
Non-swimmer, non-bike rider, who stayed home to walk behind our mother like a tail on a dog. She had always been a mist in my life, to be honest, of no greater importance than a teddy bear.
In Life One, when I married and moved away we had some contact, but when I left the country that failed.
It was decades later, contacting her on the Internet, I was viciously attacked and charged with oppressing her. I realized my being oblivious to her existence had been reworked by her twisted mind.
Now, getting another chance in Life Two I turned the game over.
Instead of making a suggestion to her or admitting my desires; "Hey! You want to go to the Museum?" I would go to Mommy and say, "Can we go to the museum..?"
Mommy, who was relishing this new subservient me, would agree then ask my sister, "Do you want to go with us to the museum?"
This gave her a choice. Her game of being dominated by me was lost.
My parents babied me. After all for two years in their world I had been in a Coma. They had thought they had lost me.
As I healed into this new sweet daughter and became stronger they took joy.
I decided I wanted to go to college. I knew I could get in if I got 14 credits with a 'B' average at night school. For that is how I did it the first time. I had worked, saved, then went.
This time, I told my parents I wanted to go to college. They checked around, and found out that if I paid to go to night school and got 14 credits with a 'B' average... So they paid for me to go to night school.
I took the courses I had taken originally. Meaning I knew the subjects and with a little extra work, got four 'A's and switched to day.
In Life One, during my college years I'd spent a lot of time involved in sit ins, demonstration, hanging out in the Liberation Library.
Now, I spent time studying, I had no social life, I didn't want one. I wanted the degree and the grades. I would major in the same subjects, save leave out African History and Political Science. I would stay far from those who had been my friends and co-conspiritors in the past.
I saw them as I walked the campus. I knew their names, a few incidents, remembering how close we had been. But leaving it in memory.
I'd see them, make no eye contact, remain a stranger. I stayed to myself, speaking to those in my classes who spoke to me, but keeping it light.
During that first term, I got A's in all my subjects. Assured of success I considered getting a husband. A man of the same race, religion, background as myself. A person my parents would more than approve of.
This meant I needed to move in a different circle than I had in Life One which wasn't a problem at all.