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Going Back to Go Forward (3)

by JustEliza on 5 December 2010

I was sixteen. It was partly cloudy. I sat in the middle of five columns of desks, one row from the back. So, their disbelief and disdain were obvious to me, when I raised my hand, saying "I disagree," and saw 19 heads turn around.

The history teacher tried to hide a smile. He knew I had more to add. But the other Elizabeth (one of three) in front of me had already interjected, turned completely in her seat to engage me: "Don't be ridiculous. No one could survive complete rejection like that."

I wasn't angry. I felt almost transcendent.

"Why do you disagree, Eliza?" The teacher asked.

I looked directly at the other Elizabeth. "You assume majority rules. But the way I see it, when everyone in the world is against you, telling you what you are, you have two choices: believe them or not. Just because everyone agrees on something, it doesn't make it true."

The teacher glowed.

I revisit this scene and this dilemma often. Was my logic wrong? Is it possible to persist in complete and absolute opposition? Without suffering psychological or physical damage? Without giving up or changing your belief/self?

By the time I was sixteen, I was already fully entrenched in my schizoid, dissociative ways. So it was easy for me to say it was possible. I believed I was living proof of 'girl versus world:' constantly under attack and utterly alone. But the poignancy of that memory reveals more: I also believed it was possible to prevail, regardless.

I relate to that girl. Another win for integrative theory.

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