I almost understand
I think I know where my joy went. I think I maybe locked it away in a room with her, the little girl in me that I never attended to. I think SHE is the one who has all of my happiness, joy, zest for life. I think it’s her that holds the key to getting them back.
I think, what I did, was scoot her five-year old spirit off into that corner in the dark and left her there, like I said in my last post. With her, I left all of my own expectations and goals…the things that made me feel passionate and happy, the things I loved about life and myself. I gave all that to her and turned around to face the chaos…the chaos just never really stopped and I forgot to go back for her. I kind of thought I hated her (I totally hated her) and didn’t really want to ever go back anyway….it was too hard to face…became a game of racing ahead as far as I could so she’d never catch up to me and I’d never have to face her.
I think she would have stayed there forever had I not been forced through therapy (and one special friend who seems hell bent on calling her out on me) to acknowledge her at all.
I had a dream once, about M and her in a room together. I was there too, but way off in the background. I could see him talking to her…he was smiling down at her tiny little frame, being very careful not to frighten her. She had her teddy bear with her (Acrobat, his name is, I have him now..my mother kept him for whatever reason and gave him back to me when Colt was born) and she kept pressing her face into his soft head, too shy to look this strange man in the eye. He squatted down and held out his arms to her but I couldn’t stand the thought so I ran in from where I was and I attacked her, yanked her back into the wall (we crawl through walls in some of these places I dream of. She is one of the seven who wander with me but always trails behind). I didn’t speak to her but I remember kicking her hard in the face, as hard as I could…it filled me with shame, to strike such a defenseless creature. (Keep in mind, I was dreaming, I’d never strike a child…crap, a fly even, in real life). M just looked at me and shook his head with a patient smile on his face and left. I woke up panicking and filled to the brim with guilt.
So. How do I go about accessing her? She’s in there with that instinctual part of me that I’m finding actually knows right from wrong most of the time. I can consult my instincts now better than I could before and I’m allowing some of that info to influence my decisions. It seems to be working because I find I’m reacting better to life than I was before. There aren’t so many low low low’s or hyper sensitive moments where I feel completely lost and abandoned and I’m not bringing people into my life who are bad for me anymore. I have managed to keep away from that website were I kept drawing from a pool of broken, needy people, and I’ve spent more time here, thinking, and talking to people who genuinely care. I’m doing well with this, feeling good about it too…just need to take it another step forward.
How do you make peace with the parts inside you that were never tended to? How do you own up to being the one who neglected them? Can I just say I’m sorry? I don’t know how to take myself into my own arms and tell me that I deserve to be loved. It sounds impossible. I want someone else to do it for me but when they do, I see her in there with her giant brown eyes and long sweeping lashes dotted with drops of tears, and she just puts her head down and sighs.
I kind of want to talk to her like she’s Colt. Come up with fun things to do…make her giggle. If she giggles, do I giggle too? How does it work? Do I do childish things to satiate her needs to be engaged and active? I’m damn sure none of the docs I work with consult their “younger self” on many occasions so I’m trying to figure out how to be the adult I am while communicating (somehow) with a five-year old me. Maybe a letter to start…
Dear Little Grainne,
Hi there. I can feel you cringing away from me even as I write these words but I want you to know that my dreams are a place where everything is against me. If you can feel the anger in the dreams, please understand that it’s not yours to own.
Hmm. She’s five.
Ok. Hi honey. Don’t be afraid, I won’t say anything that hurts you. I want you to know I’ve not forgotten you any more than you have forgotten me. I’m sorry you have been locked away for so long, you’ve probably felt very abandoned and lost. I know you were with me on those nights on the streets when everything seemed so unfair that nobody loved you. I put a lot of you into a young girl I met out there, you’ll remember her I’m sure. She was the one I took in to make up for what you had lost. She was such a good girl, like you, and she always did what grown ups told her to. I didn’t want her to hurt like you did so I kept her safe. As safe as I could. I’m sorry I couldn’t do enough for her and that she died the way she did. I hope you have no access to that memory, little one, because it’s about the most upsetting one I have.
I’m sad that you feel alone and you think I don’t like you. I wanted to keep you from all of the bad things I had to do, and face, just like I kept your brother and sister away, locked safe inside their rooms while I took on the monster. I never had a chance to let you out because it never seemed to stop. Even today, it’s not like it was but there is so much disappointment here, nothing has gone right. I don’t want to show you what a failure I think I am.
But then, you know about failure do you? You just want an ice cream cone and a hand to hold in a busy street. You need someone to keep you safe but not by locking you in a cage. You need to run and play like every other kid, find joy in a flower or a bunny hopping around the field.
I just want you to know it’s okay to come out and play, if you’d like to. This world we live in now is a much safer one then we left. There is room here for you now, if you’d like it. I’d like you to step back in and help me feel whole again. I’ve spent so long avoiding you, I don’t feel I have the right to ask anything, but please forgive me for not providing what you needed. I didn’t know what else to do.
You, 30 years later.