Monday, January 04, 2010

It's Okay To Cry

"... and then I grasped that I was loved." -Angela Shelton

"Finding Angela Shelton" - Day Nineteen

Wow. Today brought me to tears. Today I was told to write for 3-5 minutes about what I would do for a child who came to me in crisis. There are currently some children in my life who are in crisis, so the exercise of putting on paper the very things that I have done for those children was fairly easy. It's the second part of the exercise that was a little more difficult... I was to read my list and do for myself the things I said I would do for the traumatized child.

My list consisted of several things: hold the child, tell them I love them, give them my teddy bear, make them something comforting to eat or drink, play games, color a picture or watch a movie, and maybe sing to them.

At first, I was really excited to take this task on. I decided that if I was gonna do it, I'd do it right. I'd treat myself like a queen. I'd gather my bear and my favorite blankie, a coloring book and a movie, and I'd pop some popcorn for myself to enjoy while I colored and watched the film. I specifically chose a "kiddie movie" because of the nature of the task.

After about 30 minutes of coloring, watching the movie and munching on my popcorn, I started feeling really sad and a little sick. I started crying. What in the world was going on? I couldn't figure it out at first. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that I was mourning the loss of my childhood. This beautiful moment of fun had turned into a time of utter sadness and grief... so I've got to sit here and process this today. Thanks to the healing I've done so far, I know it's okay for me to have days like this.

I'm in mourning because I don't have many memories of feeling safe and happy as a child. No matter how hard I tried to have fun, there was always an underlying anxiety, a lingering sadness that accompanied every moment of my existence. In regards to the abuse, I was never comforted as a child. Nobody ever told me it wasn't my fault. Nobody ever held me while I cried about how dirty and how confused I felt. Nobody could. They didn't know what I was going through. Looking back, I can honestly say that if I had spoken out at a much younger age, I have no doubt that there would have been loving adults around me who would have swept me up and given me the comfort and the support I needed. But I chose to remain silent because I was terrified. I kept my abuse a secret until I was 19 years old. Maybe that is why I have such a passion for speaking out. Maybe my inner child is begging me to help her tell all of her fellow victims that it's okay to talk about what's happening to them, or that it's okay for them to ask for help because somebody loves them and somebody will protect them to the best of their ability.

I'm actually crying as I type these words. I can't tell you how sad it makes me that I waited so long to tell... and that's okay. Today I'll feel it. Today I'll cry. Today I'll hold my inner child and tell her that I'm going to help her emerge from the shadows so she can see that she is safe... and so that she may grasp that she is loved.


silent no more said...

Think of all the years of tears you still have built up inside you waiting to be released. Getting in touch with your inner child and going forth so that you both heal is so incredibly hard but worth all the pain. You definitely are a survivor. But the process certainly isn't easy. Hugs to you. And let those tears flow. ♥

Meggs said...

Thanks so much! I really need those hugs today. I know it'll pass if I allow myself to feel it, and it may crop up again... but knowing that it's safe to cry is so priceless. There is joy in these tears too. Joy of discovery.

Tracie said...

I never spoke up as a child either....I can't even imagine the strength and courage that a child would have to have to be able to do that. Most of us never tell until we are older. The first time I told someone I was 17. I carried a lot of guilt over the fact that I never told. When you were a child, the abuse wasn't your fault-It also wasn't your fault that you didn't tell. That was more trauma and pain than a little child knew how to deal with.

I'm sorry that something you were so excited about brought up emotions that you weren't expecting (the healing journey sure is twisty and turny sometimes!) Comforting your inner child and showing her the love that she so needs is a wonderful thing though. I hope you find peace today.

Meggs said...

Tracie, I just wish I could hug you for realz, girl!!! Thank you so much. Just... thank you.

Lori said...

Great writing, Meggs. It's so true about mourning our childhoods. Even at the best moments, there was an underlying grief and shame. All of us victims know what it's like to receive no comfort when we needed it most. But every tear you shed is bringing you closer to a place where you can release the past and no longer permit it to dominate your present.

Meggs said...

Lori, thank you so much! I have had a few days to get past this, and I think - for now - I am at peace with it. Thanks so much for all you do and for the excellent observation! It's so true.

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