I grew up hearing my mother tell me what hell on wheels I was as a toddler. Her hope was that I would have children that behaved even worse than I did so that I would get pay back. I never once took it as a joke. Not once. It dawned on me this afternoon that was my mother’s way of letting me know that she was angry about something. It also crossed my mind today that I have raised three kids, all of them were toddlers once and not one of them ever behaved in such a way that I would ever say something like that to them. Never. Toddlers are so easy to care for. IF they are doing something that they should not be doing, you get their attention with something else and they are good. Puppies are on the same wavelength, you use the same techniques with them. So, long story short…I don’t have the details, but now I know that I hit the nail on the head almost 30 years ago. I’m not crazy, I didn’t make it up, I did not lie, and I’m not telling stories. Mom perpetuated the same thoughts and actions when she ‘handled’ my oldest daughters situation. The story finally makes sense, I can close that chapter of my life… I can stop working the puzzles. But, first, I need to cry. a lot.
This week’s ‘homework’. 2/6/2017
(Women w/ PTSD; a Seeking Safety group/class)
For the last couple of weeks, I have been using a lot of self-talk.
I have been sending myself messages.
They have been messages of self-acceptance.
I have been in conversation with a little girl who lives within.
Over the years she has shrieked and shrieked…
She has had tantrums, one after another.
This little girl has been afraid of the dark and heavy footsteps.
She could not look at the light that she saw under the door.
She made it really hard for me to sleep.
She was afraid to close her eyes.
One good thing: She’s got an insatiable curiosity.
She wants to know everything just because there is everything to know.
It is really that simple. She’s a very simple child.
The sun shone down on her almost every day.
Most days she knew it.
This conversation that I’ve had with myself has been one of affirmation, love, & joy.
I spoke with what I hoped has been a soothing & comforting voice.
I told her that I was so glad to have her in my life.
I told myself that whatever it was, it wasn’t my fault.
I let her know that I am a good girl and a good person.
That everyone is allowed to make mistakes.
That is what makes me human.
I told my girl that it was ok to be afraid of the dark.
I promised to always leave on a light.
I told her I understood why she was afraid of the footsteps.
I pictured myself holding that little girl tight.
That is what she really wanted.
I promised to hold her through the night.
I let her know that closing her eyes is something safe.
I told me that I understood that she needed a mother.
I knew that I meant a real mother.
I let her know that I could be one.
I gave me a ‘mommy’, one that wasn’t angry;
A mom who knew what to expect from a little girl.
I told her I could see she needed a mom that wasn’t quite so harsh,
and who would protect her from the man in the dark.
I told my girl, that from now on, I was going to take care of me.
I explained that her real mom is busy fighting off monsters.
I explained that my ‘supposed to be” mom really was the best she could be.
I tried to show tenderness as I promised her that I was healthy enough to take care of me.
All of me.
I promised the little girl that we would go out for walks, and enjoy each day.
I promised her that we would go out and play, and turn over rocks and look for new things.
I promised her that we’d still go out and build snow men, and play in the rain.
I even remembered to say we’d splash in mud puddles, and make mud pies.
I promised to remember and love every single piece of me.
I told her that no matter how tough things got that I would hold her as long as I was alive.
The little girl smiled, she closed her eyes.
I was witness to a most peaceful sleep.
The little girl snuggles into herself and seems to breathe in warmth & comfort.
She says, “I’ve needed you for a long, long time. I wondered where you went. I really, really missed you. I’m happy that you came back. You came back. Thank you, for coming back for me. “