Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Persona Meet and Greet

I’d like to introduce you to DuFina. And, just so you know, it’s pronounced duh-FEEN-ah, not DUH-fin-uh or DOO-fin-uh. Please pronounce it correctly and don’t make fun of her. She knows it’s a weird name but she kinda likes it. It makes her special. She’s a shy girl of exactly four-and-three-quarters years which is of the utmost importance because, soon, she will be five and she can show you exactly how old that is by holding up all the fingers on one hand. It’s difficult to show you 4 ¾ because, well, how do you show just part of a finger? She hasn’t figured that out yet, but she tries.

She’s a little girl with adult-like communication skills that makes it easy to carry on full-fledged conversations, using words that are bigger than her with a clear understanding of their meaning. Until she gets to know you, though, she will keep that secret and be very quiet. She likes to hide, only coming out if she is sure she can trust you and that she is safe and her favorite pastime is drawing. She loves to draw with crayons and doesn’t have a particular favorite color because she loves rainbows which are all the colors, but black. Black scares her because it’s dark and that’s where things hide that will hurt her. She doesn’t remember being hurt when she was littler, (because almost-five IS so grown up, you know) but is certain, still, that the darkness hides things that will hurt her so she stays away from dark places and the color black, just to be safe.

When given crayons and paper and asked to draw a picture of herself, she drew a princess because she says that is what she is. Most of the time, except for when she’s sad because, certainly, princesses never get sad. I discovered that she is left-handed and surprisingly far-advanced in her artistic skills. She told me that sometimes people tease her because she takes so long to draw, but she wants it to be just right and wants to stay inside the lines so she tries not to listen to them. I included her artwork so you can see more of who she is.

DuFina is a playful child who loves to run, especially in the grass with her bare feet. She dances wherever she goes, rarely holding still and loves to sing. Even when she is doing her art, her body is dancing and she is singing. She’s brilliant at making up songs that go with the pictures she draws and feels really happy when she is doing that.

I asked her if she likes money, but she didn’t know what that was. I showed her a couple of dollar bills, she replied, “But that’s just pretty paper. What do you do with it?” Then I showed her coins. She liked the pennies best because of their pretty color and, especially because they were newer than the others so they were shiny. “I get these sometimes from my Grandpa. I just put them in my glass piggy on my nightstand, but I don’t do anything with them.” She explained to me that only her mommy and daddy did stuff with money. They don’t talk to her about it or let her have any of it.

She’s a precocious child with deep curiosity about all things, especially people and their bodies. She thinks it would be cool to be a doctor except for the part where she’d have to cut up people or see blood, so that’s why she wants to be a teacher instead. She loves playing games, especially Hi-Ho-Cherry-Oh because she loves counting the little cherries and she always wins. Her Grandpa plays with cards and she thinks it’s cool the way he shuffles them, but she can’t do it right so he gets mad because the cards fall all over the floor and make a mess.

She ate Play Dough once because it smells so good, but it doesn’t taste as good as it smells.

When I asked questions to which she didn’t know the answers, she would get scared. Her eyes would get big and she would say, “I don’t know.” That happened when I asked her about money. It also happened when I asked her about who her friends were. Apparently, she doesn’t have any friends and she wouldn’t say it, but I think she feels really sad about that. She feels lonely quite often and is in a world that she doesn’t truly understand, though she talks as if she does.

She doesn’t know who taught her to be the way she is because, she says, “It just seems like I’ve always been me. I’ve always just been the princess. Nobody teaches the princess how to be a princess. She’s just supposed to know how to do that on her own.”

She’s a gentle, loving soul with a very tender heart. She longs most to be loved and safe and to have someone pick her as their special friend. She’s never really had a special friend and wonders if that means there is something wrong with her, but then, she rationalizes, “I guess, sometimes, the princess doesn’t have any special friends because she IS the princess, after all. Princesses have to do princess work and ordinary people can’t do that. That would make it hard to be friends. Maybe I don’t want to be the princess after all...”

Things I picked up while talking with DuFina:

I’m wondering if, when I was little, I was actually a “lefty” that was made to go right. I was so surprised to discover how easy it was to draw with my left hand. As I was drawing, I kept checking in to make sure that it was DuFina doing the drawing. I heard her inner dialogue, “Stay inside the lines. Remember to make it neat. Oh. Wait. I can scribble like the other kids...”

I’m getting the sense that my “I don’t understand” money programming goes way, way back to this age or earlier. I found it interesting that she talked about not having any money or not being able to do anything with the coins she did have and that her parents didn’t talk to her about it. I’m beginning to believe that she is the persona that shows up any time I have to deal with money. Her “numbness” around money felt very familiar.

I did some intentional resting after interviewing her. I set the intention to have the DuFina energy with me as I slept so that I could gain a deeper understanding of her. I realized that, as DuFina, I didn’t want to get out of the covers into the cold night air and when I was under the covers, I was in fetal position. I was curled up in a tight ball with my arms snugly around me. That is not how I sleep as Angie, so I paid attention. My hand accidentally brushed my bare nipple as I curled up and I immediately heard, “NO! That’s bad, bad, BAD! We don’t touch ourselves. EVER!”

I was also surprised by the reveal that this persona is afraid of the color black. That is my power color now and I’m wondering if that has put her in a state of constant fear.

Interestingly enough, I had a judgment going into this that this persona was going to be very needy. What I discovered, though, was that she is so timid and gentle and then receptive when she lets you in, that it is easy to love her. However, she is painfully shy and doesn’t show herself to just anybody. It took some coaxing for me to get her to talk and she only did so after she started drawing her picture. There was no neediness or desperation in her, just open love and welcoming energy. My story is that as the years progressed and more advanced personas started showing up like my Ineeda and Tyra, they began running the neediness that evolved from the need for a trustworthy relationship/friendship that was left unrequited.

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