Oh Little One.
You have been screaming all night and I want you to know that I hear you.
I know you won’t believe me just yet. I have ignored your sobs all day. I have made you feel like you are wrong to be crying out in such a way. Like you should not be speaking or calling out for comfort.
But I hear you baby.
Right now, I hear you and I am here.
I hear you telling me that you are not okay. You are so far from okay that you have nothing left to show for it but your screams. You have been living in your own little hell all day. Like someone has opened up your wounds, dipped them in salt and smeared the blood across a canvas, calling it art. Calling it truth. And then chastised you for its doing. Calling it ugly. When you never wanted anything but to hide the wounds away.
I hear you telling me that I have been that person. I have been the one to do this to you. And yes, my darling, it was me. I was the one to share your dirty little secret. Our dirty little secret. I took it and shone a light on it. And today, when I did not like what I saw, I fought it. I fought you. I decided you must be punished, so I shunned you and put us both back in the shadows.
We have been battling a long time you and I. I ask you to speak, then I silence you. I try to speak for us both and you scream at me. Because this is what we were taught. When we were both so very little. But I am bigger now and I know I now cause you pain.
I know this. I hear you, I really hear you.
I hear you telling me that I should never have asked you to begin opening up our past, the one I left in your tiny hands. It was too heavy for you alone. I should have carried it with you. You keep telling me it was better that way. That you could manage the burden alone. But I could always see you struggling, even if I chose never to ask why.
I hear your anger at me. That I keep sharing the load and then throwing it back at you. Like some over-indulgent meal that filled the void in my stomach, but then demanded to be thrown up and removed when it became sickening. I know you need more consistency. I feel your disappointment in my inadequacy to hold it.
I hear you asking me to keep our secret hidden. Like you have done. And you did it so well for so long Little One. You perfected it. You know how it will make me feel in the telling. You know this because you know how it makes you feel:
Frightened, guilty, alone, dirty.
And I know you cower in the corner in fear of my wrath when it doesn’t all go to plan. Or how you feel so betrayed when I do speak. I understand this, I really do.
I hear you asking me to keep you safe. I feel your need for this more than anything. And I feel how scared you are when I expose our vulnerabilities. I know I do not always take your safety into account. I sometimes ignore your needs for my own or the needs of others.
Today, you were screaming at me to stop. To stop speaking, to stop recalling the mess of our history, to stop explaining how I became so damaged and to stop remembering that our family was such a crazy mix of heartache and pain and lies. I know you thought I was saying these things about you too. I confess, maybe I was. I know you felt ashamed Little One. I did too. And yes, I ignored your call for me to stop. For in that moment I had a greater need for us both to be heard by another. A trusted other. You must know this by now. I do not expose you to many. Not ever fully.
But I did hear your cry and I should have comforted you. I should have been there for you too. I should have listened.
I am listening now Little One.
Tell me of your anger with me. That I am not strong enough for you and that you have been so much stronger through an eternity of abuse, pain and violation on your own. That you were doing a better job before I forced you to show yourself.
Explain to me that you feel alone. Even when I acknowledge you, that you feel we are both alone and that there is no amount of comforting I can give to make you feel accepted or at peace.
Take me on a tour of your world if this is what you need. Show me everything I need to see or anything you want me to show me. I know I may fight it. I know I may seem frightened at the viewing, but I promise to hold your hand when we get there. I will try to keep you safe in these moments. I know how hard it is for you to go back there. I know I left you there all alone, so I will go back with you when you need me to. I cannot promise I will instantly accept everything I see. I cannot say that I will not get angry too or fearful for our return journeys. I cannot promise to not be traumatised in its wake. We both know I have done all these things before.
But please know that I am trying. And it is not you that my hurt is directed at, no matter how things may seem.
Little One we will face this together. And when I try to run or look away, I give you permission to remind me that it was me who brought you out from the shadows. It was me who took you out of your comfort zone and took us both to this earth-shattering place. When I push you too far, you can scream at me. And if choose to go further than you feel comfortable with, just know that I am doing it for our ultimate contentment in the universe. I know we have never felt that fully, you or I. But then I will be here to listen and I will do better.
I will hold you as long as you need. And then you can sleep, safe in my arms. I will carry us both for a while. You must be so very tired. So crawl upon my lap now Little One.
I am listening.
I am here.