This piece was originally published for the Anti-Heroin Chic collective.
Oh Little One…
I’m sorry that once again, you got hurt. You got invalidated by others. You feel like you don’t matter or measure up in this world. You were afraid to open up because of all the past hurt that you have endured and survived. You did not want to go down this path again. The path of isolation, shame, and self-criticism.
People took advantage of your wonder, kindness, and gentleness. Looking at those qualities. Identifying them weakness. Bullying you into doing things you did not want to do; only because you wanted to feel included. You wanted to feel like as a part of the collective. Unfortunately, even when when you were included, you were excluded. Excommunicated because you are so different and so out there. You were there but you didn’t belong anyway.
It is not your fault. People are not willing to take the time to understand you and who you are. People are not willing to see outside of their own perspectives. Yes, you may have quirks. Don’t we all, in essence? This is what makes us wonderful; no 2 of us are ever the same.
You are important Little One. So is what you share, feel, and tell. You do matter. And you are more than enough, despite what others may say and think. Or most importantly, what you have said to yourself internally.
I know there is a huge age difference between us now. You Little One, who are in your younger child years. Usually standing right behind you: your Defender, who is in her rebellious teenager/college-aged years. Then there’s me. The one who is nearing age 40 with each year that quickly transpires (me).
You may not be trusting of adults. I cannot blame you. Adults have hurt you so many times as far back as you can remember. It is as if we adults forget what is like to have a childlike mind.
I am asking you, with your permission Little One, to allow me to accompany you on this journey ahead. The pain that you feel Little One is the same pain that I feel. Always have been. Honestly, it is.
I see you Little One. I see you shudder and shake. I see you shaking your head no; tucking your head into your crossed arms as you sit in the corner. Pulling a blanket over your head and body. Wanting everything to go away. Wanting everyone go away.
I understand. Deeply I do. I see your teen-aged self, the Defender. Standing besides you. Telling me, “You best better not even think about coming over this way or I will beat you down.” I understand and I know my place. I will be on the other side of the room.
So when you are ready to open up, ready to peek out from under your arms to see if I have left, you will find me there. Sitting and waiting in the same room for as long as it takes.
I’m not going anywhere Little One. Whenever you are ready, you can call for me and I can come towards you. The Defender can tag along as backup and support to you. I know the Defender and I have our own path we have to go on, at some point.
I will not leave you Little One. I will be with you, every step of the way with an outstretched hand to hold yours.