I am not just who I am right now. I’m also the shy girl I was at 5, who dreamed of being a ballerina, but was too scared to dance in front of her own mother. I am the angsty 18 year old, who had dreams and plans and potential, that were all changed in an instant. I’m the brand new mom who is terrified and just discovering what true, unconditional love really means. Sometimes, I’m even a me that I haven’t met yet, who is older, wiser, and much calmer.
But there’s always one I forget. There was once a little girl who was so scared, so hurt, that she made herself invisible. She said everything was okay, she told everyone they were right, she never had an opinion that might oppose another, and she tried to be as small and as quiet as she could, hoping to disappear altogether. She didn’t know how to deal with the terrible things that happened, so she pretended they didn’t. She locked herself away, and dreamed of being someone else. Anyone else.
I’m an adult now, and though it’s been a process, I have better skills and tools for life’s difficulties. But, every once in a while, if something happens a certain way, if there are reminders I wasn’t expecting, I find myself reverting back to this. I say I’m alright with things I’m not. I agree with everything someone says. I roll with the punches, and I do what I’m told. I do anything I can to avoid any discomfort on their part, because I see it as them being angry with me. I want to please them, because I am afraid. It’s quite dangerous, and more than a little frightening. That at this point, a person, a situation, a random scent, can still pull me back there so quickly, and I don’t even notice right away.
Eventually, though, I catch on. Then I get angry. Not just about whatever incident caused this, but a protective anger, over my former self. If someone had just helped her, if they just listened… but the time for “what ifs” are over. Now, we pick ourselves up, and we deal with it face to face.
Maybe I’ll never be “fixed”. But I’ve always been whole. I just need to give space to all the pieces. Even the invisible one.