Gatekeepers are the middlemen, those that stand between you and moving upward in your career just because that’s how it’s done.
Perhaps this lesson is why my first post-secondary institution is on my mind. Perhaps this is why a particular dinner table conversation in childhood popped into my mind.
My mother managed to run the gamut of all creative monsters. Her own blockages and disorders made her into a person who could not stand to see her children more creative or successful than herself. No, better to have us both languish in mediocrity or perform at something we didn’t enjoy than have us pursue the wild and hopping interests that most children have.
I can’t remember how we got on it but she had just launched her program of “you’ll have to accept your place in life.” It was the late 1980s.
I remember the when more than the conversation, because in a hilarious disruption from my sister, she interrupted the conversation with the Adam Ant song: “There is always room at the top/Don’t let them tell you that there is not.”
It cracked me up, my mother threw a hissy fit and that was the end of her royal mislead that day. It was so out of character for my sister to actually have a sense of humor, let alone for her to be supportive of me/run interference that her mischief still sticks in my mind. At the time she was in the middle of some ongoing war with my mother, and in this single moment I was a beneficiary rather than collateral damage.
Sadly I had been brainwashed through high school into believing that the Gatekeepers had some higher wisdom. That they really knew something about me that I just didn’t yet recognize myself. Only as an adult do I realize I was the victim of narrow minded blindness, that I was denied opportunity not because I wasn’t enough- but because they actively refused to see that I was more than enough, that I was quite stellar when given any room to be so.
Then I came across my first amateur Gatekeeper. My first year of college the school decided to introduce a residence hall council. I raised my hand to volunteer to run. An older girl, seeing my hand, turned to the resident advisor and insisted that freshman not be allowed to run.
I thought that sucked, but it was my first semester on campus so I let it slide. It’s a long story, but the next year, even though I hadn’t run again and had not even volunteered for the ballot, I got called into a big meeting about the election results. This same girl, trying to justify this blatant abusive behavior on the part of the entire board, informed myself and the friend that got dragged in with me, “Well, you are only sophomores…”
I then realized that this woman was absolutely, 100% full of shit – and that whatever agenda was in her crazyass head involved keeping me from taking my rightful place in absolutely anything.
To the shock of my friend I simply stood up, said “You have no authority over me,” and walked out.
He played the game. But he could. As an athlete, he had leverage on that campus that I never would.
In that case, the Gatekeeper technically one – but she knew it was only a technical win. I eventually took all her toys away until all she had left was harassing me with the occasional nasty phone call.
In one of my first Wiccan rituals, I symbolically sacrificed her to the gods of karma. I don’t believe she’ll ever be a genuinely decent human being – but if she stands between other people and greater opportunities, karma ideally will tear an artery out of a butt cheek. My success would have taken nothing from her – so what she was doing was out of the most base, selfish and sociopathic of motivations.
Since she was a hot blond, my male friend probably never stopped long enough to think about her behavior or even to ask questions. Nope, questions were just for us fat brunettes.
I’ve learned to watch for the Gatekeepers since then. In face to face life I find they are relatively rare. But this is sometimes because I don’t try that hard.
Paganism is filled with these Gatekeeper types. “Are you initiated? Are you initiated enough?” I have spoken voluminously and often of the raging morons that look to the legitimacy of my initiations rather than the legitimacy of the projects I do. One of the initiators in my most recent lineage has started a line of almost rebel initiations just because of this behavior.
She saw the Gatekeepers, including ones she herself created by accident. So she found a way to let a few of us hop the gate.
The Gatekeeper types will never stop being the Gatekeepers. Sadly, because I live in this society I understand why a few think they are serving a higher purpose – but most are just protecting themselves in a manner childish, selfish, absurd.