The Matilda Complex

by kkmeow

7 year old Kristen had a lot going on in her head.

She was really shy and switched elementary schools in the middle of the year, and made the mistake of wearing her favorite lime green alien t-shirt on her first day. Everyone in her class was stupid and thought she was from some crazy far away place, even though she had just moved across town. So she let this snotty Rachel girl boss her around at recess every single day.

At home, Her dad wanted her to have short hair and wrestle with him, her mom wanted her to like fast food and nail salons and REALLY like sunday school, and her brother wanted her to quit reading books and watch more shit on TV with him.


Unsurprisingly, this was one of her favorite books/ best imaginary friends. Matilda felt misplaced too, but Matilda was MAGIC. Kristen really felt like Matilda was herself, fictionalized.
Kristen held on to this for many years. This conflation of her own life with Matilda’s probably became pathological, for at times she really felt like she had some sort of untapped telekinetic powers. She often confused her intuition, deja vu, and foretelling dreams with truly magical powers, but she lived in an oppressively conservative environment. She didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. She knew she wasn’t magic, but she knew that if her surroundings were normal, she wasn’t that either. She loved it, she hated it. This love/hate for being marginalized permeated all sectors of her life for many. many. years.

Fast forward- Kristen is now nineteen. Recently proposed to Kristen was the idea that heroes/ “role models” are detrimental to personal growth. That they’re archetypal and limiting. (I should be even more than magic) (Are all of the ways in which we categorize ourselves dehumanizing?)

Bye, Matilda