The takeaway from today’s therapy session is :
I need to nurture myself. Like, a lot.
It seems obvious in retrospect. The elements are all there in my personality. I have a very warm,. tender, caring, motherly side that has rarely seen the light of day even though I treasure it quite deeply. It’s full of warmth, sunshine, sympathy, affection, and everything else traditionally maternal. And so far, this side of me has only been expressed in the form of caring for others.
But I know a very sad, scared, lonely little boy sitting all alone as he watches the other kids’ get picked up from school by their parents, and he sure could use all that tender loving care and affection.
So really, there is nothing stopping me (except base fear of change) from lavishing that inner child of mine with all the things he never got when he was the outer me. Attention, support, guidance, protection, understanding, wisdom… the whole care package.
See what I did there? Care package! I’m hilarious.
It’s a scary thought because giving myself all that I lacked in my childhood is a very big change. I have no idea where that kind of change would lead me. I might become a completely different person.
No big loss.
At this point in my life, I am willing to become damned near anything if it means I will be happy. I might even be willing to bend a little on being a super nice guy all the time.
A lot of that comes out of fear anyhow. Fear that if I am anything less than super nice all the time people will remember what a piece of shit I am and flee in droves.
And Ubers. Mostly Ubers.
It’s not all bullshit, of course, or fear. I really am a super sweet guy. But I wonder sometimes if even that can be taken too far. To the point where it is unhealthy. Bad for me and bad for others.
It’s bad when it keeps me from setting boundaries.
It’s bad when it makes me afraid of people because their problems are so real to me.
It’s bad when it comes across as pathetic and needy.
It’s bad when it hurts me.
Moving on. Here’s my first try at writing a letter to my inner child from a maternal point of view. Warning, this could get pretty weird.
My dear sweet boy,
Don’t you worry. Don’t you fret. Everything is going to be all right now.
Because Mama’s here, and Mama is going to fix everything.
I know it’s been bad, sweet boy. I know it’s been very bad for a very long time. I know that it’s been bad for so long that you gave up on it ever being good again and that made you so sad that you got sick.
But Mama is here now, sweet child, and she’s going to stick by you and take care of you till you get better, no matter how long it takes.
I will never give up on you like those other people did. I will never leave you all alone again. Those people didn’t know how you handle someone like you.
But I do. And I intend to do it.
And I will not let you slip away, or fail out, or do anything else that would mean letting you go. I will always be there for you no matter what.
In fact, I will always :
- have time for you
- pay attention to you
- listen to what you have to say and take it seriously
- give you big warm soft hugs when the world gets too scary
- look out for you and try to keep you from getting hurt
- give you good advice when you get confused
- take care of you
- be interested in you and your life
- give you all the warmth and caring you could ever want, and
- be ready to growl my big mama cat growl and scare the bad things away.
And I will never :
- make you feel like you are not even there
- treat you like an unwelcome guest who has overstayed his welcome
- tell you that you are useless
- take tasks away from you and do them myself because I am too impatient to actually teach you to do them yourself
- make you feel like you’re not even supposed to be alive
- treat you like an unwelcome obligation
- punish you for voicing your needs or your right to exist
- exclude you from things due to your awkwardness
- expect you to know things without being told, or
- let you get away with thinking you do not deserve love.
In short, my wonderful boy, I am going to take care of you the way that you have always deserved but never gotten, and from this point onward, things are going to be better.
Your long wait is over. Mama is here to pick you up.
You’re finally going home.
Phew! That was some emotional heavy lifting. But it feels good. It feels right. I am going to right the ancient wrongs and give myself what I have needed for so very long.
Finally, the warmth will melt all the ice around my heart and I will finally feel the sunlight on my skin and know that I am valued and cherished and loved, and that everything is going to be okay after all.
Because here’s the thing. You can survive anything life throws at you if you are wirh the right person. And I am going to be that person from myself.
And who knows, when the ice melts,. I might finally have room in my heart for a special someone else. Someone I don’t keep at arm’s length with my shiny bag of tricks.
Someone who gets to meet the real me.
I get the feeling that we’ll be meeting him together.
I don’t expect this to be the solution to all my problems.
I expect it to be the beginning of the solution.
I’m going to love myself as hard as I can.
And spring will finally come.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.