In so many ways I have been a five year old girl living in a woman’s body.
All the coping mechanisms used to survive were for the little ME who was abused. But I have carried them around until now. They don’t serve me anymore. Childhood abuse stunts developmental growth and I am now allowing myself to grow in the places where my development was arrested. I am picking up from where I was left.
I want to let go of all the survival mechanisms and say it’s fine; I don’t need to hide anymore or cover my mouth with my hand; a habit that I used to have until quite recently. It was an effort to muffle my voice or keep the secret down. Over the years people have commented on this habit of mine.
I can use my voice and not worry how the sound of my voice or the words will be received. I can stop thinking that everyone is looking at me or thinking about me. I am not the center of the world and people are wrapped up in their own worlds. I can speak loudly, boldly and unapologetically when I want to express my opinion. I can stop hiding and allow myself to be seen and let go of the false belief that I am a siren when I talk to the opposite sex. I didn’t encourage the abuse. Nobody asks to be abused.
I don’t have to be the little girl who escapes in her head to faraway places, fantasizing about a better life. I can create that better life by choosing who I allow to enter; using my boundaries to leave toxic places and people. I can stop proving my worth by trying to be good and perfect all the time. I can allow myself to make mistakes.
Most importantly I can rest with the belief that I am worthy and loveable. That I have a burning ember within me. I can fan this flame at will so that it becomes a sturdy, unwavering fire standing strong in the face of criticism, disapproval and the anger of others.
I am my own best friend. I hold myself close with acceptance and compassion.
I wake up many mornings with that ache; that feeling that I need to be with someone or that I need to be somewhere else. I listen to the thoughts that come up and I feel the discomfort. I don’t act on them. I acknowledge, and then wait for them to pass because I am in the best place right now. This place where I am is where I can continue healing and finding strength. Instead of running, I stay because I believe that the moment that I stop feeling I need to escape will be the very moment that I can leave. Also, the moment I stop needing to be with a partner will be the moment I am ready to be with someone without dependence, grasping and clinginess.
Thinking like an adult is unfamiliar ground for me. As I leave the old thinking behind me I am standing on my own two feet, independent, making my own life decisions and taking responsibility for their consequences; good or bad. I have nobody to blame; not my father or my husband. I am no longer a passive victim hiding behind my story.
It’s a new day….