When you are in pain, be it emotional or physical, the kind that brings you to your knees, or leaves you on the bathroom floor sobbing, it alters the way you see the world. It can’t help but alter you, how you see yourself, others, God, life. I knew even while I was in it, that I was changing. I knew that once I came to the other side of this, as I truly believed I would, I would be different, things would be different. The following is how my childhood stuff crashed into my most recent experience of being horizontal for almost two months.
I have to say this most recent experience brought up all of my insecurities from childhood. In it I had periods or moments of feeling abandoned, alone, desperate, helpless, unloved, broken, different, like an outcast, less than human at times. It was exactly like I felt as a child. As a little girl I felt abandoned by my father and mother, alone in the abuse at the hands of my mother and several men, desperate and helpless (and I was), broken, broken down, different from others, like someone outside looking in and yes at times I felt inhuman, like an alien in a foreign land where others had I what I didn’t have and understood a language I didn’t know. I had no reason to believe I would ever have any different, no ray of hope that said life could be different, that I could be different.
So I found myself feeling like the little girl who would pray for God to help her and her prayers went unanswered, at least she thought they did. And although I felt all those horrible feelings once again, this time she/I weren’t alone, this time she/I weren’t unloved. Taking the pain that once was and infusing it with love, giving it another story to tell, transforming it and being transformed by what is now available is the healing.
This time there were people trying to help her get back on her feet. Friends who offered ways they could help her.
This time she was part of a group, a community that laid out a mat for her to lay on with pillows just so she could be part of the goodbye weekend of their 10 months together.
This time she asked for help and had big girl words to ask specifically for what she needed.
This time she was not completely powerless or helpless even though she thought she was.
This time her cries were answered and people problem solved with her to figure out how she could once again be whole.
This time people sent prayers and love from far and wide.
This time, the little girl was witness to a different story. She was told that in fact she was very loved, not alone and people were thinking about her.
She didn’t have that growing up. She used to scream and cry loudly hoping neighbors would call the police as my mother beat her. She would tell her father what was going on, ran away three times, only to be sent back again into the violent hands of her mother. She cried and prayed nightly in supplication, hoping her mommy would change her ways so she could stay with her.
She and I are different now, a layer has been healed and we can never go back to the way things used to be. Of course there is still much healing to be done. My inner little girl still gets afraid of feeling that way again, of being alone and abandoned, but it is my job to make sure she is safe and protected. It is my job to reach out at that time to the hands that can hold me and her. To ask for help, to be clear on what I need, to love myself enough not to settle for prideful isolation. It is my role and responsibility to be there for others and allow them to be there for me. I didn’t really get that till now. Not truly.
And even though my faith has been tested and I still wrestle with God/Universe..I still believe there is love, the most powerful force in the Universe. I still believe The Sacred is in us and expresses itself through us. I’m also starting to understand my role in it and beginning to take more responsibility for that role. Leaving less to fate and more to my own human spirit. And that faith has been taught to me by my fellow friends and people on this journey with me. I can’t tell you how blessed I was this time around and how I believe it is a direct consequence of the love I have given, of the truth I have spoken, and of the beauty of our humanity. Co creation in action.
I am changing the story I was told a long time ago about my worth and I do not and cannot do it alone. I’m glad I don’t have to.