There are voices that are in my head which today I want to pay homage to. When I started writing this last night, it was mostly to heal something that happened. When I reread it this morning, I saw great value in the application to help someone who is struggling with self-worth. Maybe by taking pieces of me in chunks, I can see their contribution to the whole and celebrate this value. It turned out to be a great exercise and I recommend it. Now to some of you, this may sound as wacky as the day and that’s OK. You are welcome to read on or not. This was really an exercise for me. Putting ideas down on paper is a tool I use to validate experiences I am going through. It is a process I have used for over a year now and it has done wonders for me. This journal piece is in regard to some special people who have been part of my life because they are my life. These women vocalized their pain and love for me as I went through the past year. It is time to honor and I want to thank them. I must ask for their forgiveness as well.
I am going to start with the youngest member of the group. She is a little red-haired, freckled faced sweetie who just wanted to love and snuggle with anyone and everyone. She would run around with her soft ringlets of crimson and gold and sparkling green eyes and offer kisses blown off her little hand. She had been born the last of five and had little fear. But something changed. The grown up me does not know what happened but something changed very early on to terrify this little one. She went from an outgoing cherub to a scared child who hid in closets and whose memories at some point included fear and loneliness. Many pictures of her pre-kindergarten show a grimace and a look of distrust in those green eyes. Her once baby pudgy body had grown to make her more round than she should have been for that age. She only wanted to be protected and loved and somewhere, someone failed that. I cannot tell you now what happened, only that I am aware of something on my fringe of my grown up memory. It can stay there as I do not think knowing will help change anything in my current life. It was at this point my body printed the withdrawal reflex. It is this autonomic response that causes me pain as an adult. I still withdraw when frightened and I do not even need to be aware of what frightened me. My body pulls in and up and then freezes. Babies do this naturally when you tickle their feet or startle them. As an adult, it manifests in leg cramps and muscle pain especially in my feet and legs. When really bad, the cramps migrate. I stop digesting food properly and cannot take deep breaths.
But in her honor, this is the little girl who still gives me the ability to believe in magic. She is the one who gets so excited at something new. She brings joy and laughter that is as honest and pure as a crystalline stream of water. She can sit and watch animals and they know they can trust her. But she is also the most vulnerable of all the people who I am. I did a terrible thing last month and subjected this little one to her tormentors. Even though I, the adult, thought I had it covered, she did not. And she pulled up and froze. I did not think about her and the muscle cramping and pain that I have been in the last two weeks is a manifestation of that withdrawal. I knew something was up, but had no clue because I thought it was all behind me. I am sorry I did not protect her, and it really was not a good thing because of the damage I did to my physical body. I am grateful for my therapist and guide who knew exactly what happened and worked on the muscle groups in order to release the freeze. The thing I did not connect was that the event was over a couple of weeks ago and I really thought I had it under control. This little one was hell bent on telling me she was pissed. I gain a ridiculous amount of weight in a very short time span and was in so much discomfort to the point again of suffering with nightly charlie horses. I also was starting to want to hide, which is a method she used when hurt. As I listened to the explanation of what was going on, I really felt the wounded inner child in me. Tonight I am hugging her and saying I will not do that again. I am all she has and I put her in a place of great harm. Memories are more than thoughts and if anyone tells you that they are harmless, they are wrong. They imprint on every system and cell of your body. Many bring you joy, others….not so much
There is a young girl who is my next hero. She is the one who of all the women who suffered the most. I am not going to reiterate her trauma. But I honor her because she is the performer of my life. She is the artist and the songstress. She is the one whose creativity was so integral to who I am. It was her voice that brought me awards and accolades. I lost her for a long time and I am slowly bringing her back into focus. With the good, came a lot of bad. But I had a lot of support to deal with the trauma. She is once again playing music. She is the eye who looks through my camera. She is the one with all that happened to her, who still sees beauty in so many things and people. I honor her for teaching me forgiveness. I look forward to playing and creating together again.
The next hero in my life is the Warrior Princess. This is the young girl who at fifteen stood to her tormentor face to face and called him on his abusive behavior. She was very brave. She stood up for justice and fairness in many aspects of her life. She was an advocate for the underdog. She champion causes for a better tomorrow. She drove cars without a license and recklessly enjoyed mischief. She has the greatest sense of humor and saw the futility of worry. She was the one who befriended the outcasts in the school yet had many who called her friend. She was the center of the theater crowd and loved an audience. Although popular, she too hid. She was often more comfortable in isolation for that was when she did not have worry about who she was and what she was living in. She needed a release and escape from a domicile of explosive and violent behavior. It was at that age she learned to put up a facade. This was the young woman who started to explore without fear. She was an outlaw whose behavior often was dangerous and risky. She hitchhiked; she roamed the nights and often partook in dubious and nefarious activities. But she was brave and would try things without caution. She experimented solely on interest to learn new things. But I honor her because she is the voice who spurns me on when I am feeling timid. She is the one who says, “go on, you can do it.” She is the one who helps me get up every time I fall. And she is the first one to laugh at me when I am being a fool. But it is her freedom that teaches me to be brave in my current life and makes me want to go on and be what I am destined to be. I honor her for all the lessons I learned from her mistakes and the strength to overcome what she did. When I stand tall it is she who holds me up. At times, I still see the glint in her eyes and smirk on her lips when I look in the mirror.
The next hero is the mother in me. Granted I did not have my own children, but there is a nurturing being inside me who practices motherly skills. This is the soul who suffers the most from the loss of family. It was this one who wanted to reconnect and was most disappointed from the family reunion. But it was she who said it was what it was, forgave and moved on. This woman brings Grace and love to me. She is the one who looks at the soul of someone and offers a loving embrace. She is the teacher, who sees the potential of her charges and with guidance and support develops the student to reach their potential. She is the one who is at the center of my caring, the woman of my heart. She is a survivor and is the one who teaches me forgiveness. She is the being that is most connected with Mother Earth and breaths with the soul of plants and animals. This is the one who sees. It is her voice that cried out to me to get help and heal. She is the one who fights to protect from harm the only being she really had the ability to take care of. She is the one who is teaching me patience.She mourns and grieves and loves and forgives.
I am not sure who will be next. I was thinking when I wrote this that the grandmother voice was learning to speak. But I think I have a lot more to learn and experience. So I honor all the players in this saga of life called me. “She is Jane and that is just fine with me.”