Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Breathe deeply in and out for a few breaths. Close your eyes and relax. However, it's not a good idea to fall asleep while sitting at your computer.
This has been a busy week already. Therapy on Monday - a very difficult session in which I've been suggested that I comfort my inner child who didn't have much of a childhood. The concept of the inner child is a difficult one for me, especially since I have very, very few live memories of three years - 7-10 and not much until 11. Actually, I guess there aren't many memories before age 7 either...a few incidences that are isolated from daily life. I was alone so much of the time.
then Dad went back in service when I was 7. A good bit of responsibility fell on me as my mother and brother made the crop that year - we had 23 acres of great farmland - grew wonderful cotton - usually rated good with a few middling ratings occasionally when we had to use a mechanical cotton picker. I remember things, not daily life, not events. Except, of course, the daily life events at which I failed at age 7 - like cooking dinner for Mom and David, peeing in my pants because I had walked from school to avoid a kid who taunted me and I couldn't get into the back door of the building where Mom worked.
I don't remember feeling. Life just was. Now I'm told that this child never had a chance to have a childhood; she had to grow up too soon. She never got the love and care that she needed, nor the praise or very many of those positive things that keep us going. They tell me that my defiant attitude comes from having to fend for myself and feeling that no one cared. And, they didn't...at least not in ways that I needed them to care. They said they did. They acted as if they didn't.
So, I'm supposed to talk to this child. And, I feel foolish. I would have to dissociate in order to talk to the child I was. I know the right words to say to kids nowadays that have been through some of the lack of loving care that I went through. I can comfort them. But, how do you comfort a child that no longer exists?
I can look at me and say, "I'm sorry you had a rough childhood. You should have had better food, more encouragement,...." But, so should a million other kids who grew up to be fine people without being in therapy and needing food to comfort themselves, or hoarding to make them feel safe. Why am I the one who eats too much?
Tonight Ibought yarn and stuff at the Goodwill Thrift Shop (now called the Goodwill Family Center) - yarn that I don't normally use, all donated by an older woman who was obviously a hoarder. Boxes and boxes of yarn, a hundred packages of needles, various sewing accessories in multiples of twos, threes and tens. I understand.
But, I still don't understand how I'm to talk to or write to this supposed inner child who was deeply hurt (I don't deny that) and carries this hurt yet (don't deny that either). They tell me I deserved better. Deserve is not a word that I use very much...not sure that any of us deserve anything. Lots of things would have made my life better and very different. I didn't have them. Now, I'm supposed to go back and comfort that child who didn't have them.
Maybe all I really have to say to that kid are two things: "It wasn't your fault." (don't think I ever thought it was) and "You made it anyway." (not the best way possible, but you're alive and they are dead - you have received many wonderful things and known oodles of great people - you've done lots of good deeds and loved everybody - that's making it, kid!) Living well is the best revenge. The ones who hurt me didn't live well and some of them are dead as a result of their poor choices; I am living well, and I am alive even though I've made both good and bad choices. You, the child, chose to live; and here we are, living well, blessed and graced.