>Sister spent a good portion of the afternoon yesterday cleaning out a storage closet in the basement that formerly served as our dad's office. Not only does the room - a walled off section of the basement - contain toys that we have not used in years, but it also has records from our educational careers. Every report card, including ones from Sunday and Hebrew schools, was saved. My dad began compiling dossiers with the material.
My dossier contained a psychological report from testing that I underwent on June 3, 1983 and June 10, 1983. I was in first grade, and my mom and I cannot figure out why I was referred for testing. (My best guess is because I developed serious asthma that year and nearly died.) What fascinates me are the following findings:
[Suzanne] appears to be a sensitive, aesthetic child who also demonstrates issues with power and control... who is experiencing very little difficulty in terms of her own perception of her behavior, intelligence, school functioning, personal appearance, popularity, happiness and satisfaction, as well as perceived level of anxiety. It appears that Suzanne has a very positive self-concept and that she is experiencing herself in very positive and instrumental terms.
Yay! Go young me. Too bad all that disappeared a few years later when puberty hit like a tons of bricks, never to be recovered again.
In this [mother-daughter] relationship, it appears that Suzanne could be experienced as oppositional, negative and determined to seek her own way even if it is at her expense and contrary to even her own best interests. At times, it appears that Suzanne views herself as having carried a power struggle to such extremes that she has ruined things for herself... She does appear to perceive herself as capable of winning these power struggles and when she does so she may even give in to her mother's original demands because she may even, in her heart, agree with these demands. Her power struggles may include highly manipulative and effective methods which at times may be highly dramatic (e.g. running away).
It scares me that even at 7.5 years old, I was doing things that I do today. Except that I'll engage in battles of wills with just about anybody, not merely my poor mom. In the end, though, my evaluation said that, "She appears to enjoy her home life and views it as a great source of protection and contentment." Very true today as well.
Speaking of enjoying home life, in the ride to my grandmother's party last night (which I only wish I had the foresight to podcast), we discussed teddy bears, butter biscuits, and beavers. This is Granny's lingo for breasts, vaginas, and fur coats.