The Inner Child

Part of healing from ongoing childhood trauma is accepting that a part of oneself is, and probably always will be, a damaged child.  I never really considered this until a long way into therapy.  I knew I had a "kid voice" and I had a lot of painful memories concerning my childhood, but the truth is that there are more than just sad thoughts and memories floating around there--an actual undeveloped, whole persona exists that is trapped in a past it can't leave.

Because there is no resolution from that.  My childhood self is waiting to be repaired.  That would require my mom to come back to life, firstly, and secondly, for both of my parents to backtrack or repair all the damage--it would mean giving me a safe, nurturing environment where I would know for certain that even if I messed up, I was loved.  I wasn't going to be hurt, or beaten, or starved or whatever.  I'll never get anything remotely similar to that.

Instead, the option I get is to let myself grieve.  It always annoys me when people ignorantly (though usually with good intentions) try to sweep whatever negative story I've told under the rug.  "Oh, but it made you who you are!  Would you really go back and change it?"  Uh, yeah, asshole, I would.  Not getting a broom broken over my legs, not sleeping by cockroaches and rats, not watching my dad throw every book I owned into the fireplace?  Not being called fat, horse faced, acne-covered and ugly by both parents?  Not having my house broken into by a police officer because I was left alone in my crib for days on end for a "party" that my parents left for?  Yeah, sign me up for going back and changing that.  Who in the hell says something like that?  How do you know it made me who I am?  I could have been given a better chance and still been "myself."  I don't think what defines me is a long string of depressing abusive events, if that's what defines me then holy shit, I suck!  I don't even think surviving it defines me.  There's a whole lot of me and I'd like to believe it's more complex than "abused kid."

Anyway, before this goes full rant--I just have to make it known that I have a damaged child and I carry her with me, wherever I go.  I remember as a teacher, going about my day and enjoying the time with my students, and then feeling a pang of sadness I didn't understand when Mom or Dad would come, button up their coat lovingly, listen patiently to what had transpired in the day, ask me with great reverence of how their little one did...What was wrong with me?  Why did this make me sad?  I should be happy that these kids are getting proper nurturing relationships with a parent, right?  It's that little girl that hangs out with me, though.  As much love as I want to give myself, I'm not my parent (does that make sense?)  As much as I know and understand that as a kid, I didn't deserve any of that, it will never satisfy the grief of loss.

So what do we do with our inner damaged children?  I have no idea.  I do whatever whims come to me.  It's strange how now at almost 30 years old, I still marvel at things like a warm shower.  I still quietly thank myself for uninterrupted painting time--something I craved as a kid.  I still feel a surge of independence when I can buy whatever food I want, even if it's something dumb like mac and cheese.  I still get nervous about any sort of trust for an authority figure, even though half the time I'm older than my supervisors.  Every time I try to get involved as a foster parent, the enraged, violent protective part of me completely takes over and wants to choke every smug social worker and self-righteous foster parent who dares tell me about "what to expect" and how "rewarding" the "experience" is.

I have no answers about how to appease a broken part of oneself.  And I don't even necessarily think appeasement is the right choice.  It's more of that bullshit put-a-positive-spin-on-shit mentality that is prevalent.  It was horrible, I as a child endured something horrible, the only resolution that would potentially satisfy this child is one that isn't going to happen, and understanding that does very little to bring me, or any part of me, peace.  Luckily, many other things in my life do bring me peace...my cat, my relationships and friends and loved ones, my art, nature, my work, the happy memories I do have from my childhood, and tons more things that I am forgetting.


Spring Goals

So, I totally failed on monthly goals, whoooooooooops!

There are plenty of good reasons why, including the fact that at the moment I am extremely sick--I've already had one *deeply* unpleasant ER visit this week (catheters are the devil) and I'd like to avoid another but we'll see how the pain goes after I get off my 12 hour shift.

Anyway, since I failed so hard at monthly goals and I just spent the past two days in my pajamas, discussing with Derik and Allyn about what needs to be done in the house "before spring comes" I had the brilliant idea to make a Spring Goals list.  I know I'm not the only one who has had a bumpy 2017 so far and is itching for the green and sunlight and all those amazing things.

Spring Goals 2017

Put screens on all the windows.  I hate not opening the windows because the cats get out (and bugs get in.)  We had screens on some of them, but they're in poor condition.  I want to re-screen them and air out this cavern (haha)
Buy Tennessee tickets.  Yes, due to reasons which I'll explain later, I'm going to Tennessee again in April, SO, I need to get on buying those tickets pretty soon.
Get Kitty to the vet.  It's been awhile, and he's our old guy.  Midna and Flemith will follow soon!
Steam clean the carpets.  Just one of those spring cleaning things.  I feel like I should almost buy one.
Try a float pod session.  I've always wanted to, just haven't made the time! I think it would be really cool and I'm excited to try it.
Till the garden, and buy soil for the window garden.  Gah, it's almost that time already.  I am really excited to try gardening attempt number two, and this time I will be making a garden in the empty bed by my window.
Clean the entire yard and kennel out.  I really want to put chickens in this perfect spot (it was the previous owner's dog kennel) but I have to convince Derik first.....either way, the area is badly in need of cleaning.  Leaves, debris, junk...the old tenants were kind of slobs.
Make pickled eggs.  Self explanatory.  I love pickled eggs.  Pickled eggs love me.
Go to 3 (or more) different farmer's markets.  I keep going to just one, and getting disappointed in the variety.  I need to find some good jams, some good natural skincare products, and BOILED FREAKING PEANUTS so it's time to spread my farmer's market wings and drag my ass around Salt Lake until I see what I'm missing.

That's about it for my "musts"...there are many, many more things to do in the coming months, and I'm excited for all of them.  However, I'm also sick, and overworked and very tired, so I've learned in my ripe old age that I've got to slow the hell down and give myself time to sleep and recover when I'm not at work.  My adrenal glands are probably comparable to old dried up rocks at this point, so while I have other things I want to do (BBQs, car shows, hiking) I'll just keep that on my "when I have the energy" list.

And now for the linkup!


A Valentine's Memory

I haven't had very much important to share lately, plus I've been really sick.  However I got one of those random 'memory' things that popped up on my Facebook and I loved the story so much, I wanted to memorialize it further by putting it here on my internet space.  I absolutely love Valentine's Day, it was my parents anniversary.  

(The only redeeming quality of Fallout 4 was Nick Valentine...) 

Enjoy!  And don't forget to link up for Bloggy Brunch!

"I was a poor kid (duh.) Back in my day we used to buy our classmates Valentines. If you were rich, you got to hand out the kind that had suckers attached, or smarties, or some other little doodad. If you were me, you got off-brand (aka not Looney Tunes, Space Jam, Animaniacs, or Lisa Frank--god I miss the 90's) Valentine's with barely enough stickers to fold onto the cardboard.

One year my mom hadn't bought them and we were counting down the days. I was really stressed out and as a last resort started cutting up pieces of notebook paper and drawing personalized Valentine's. I drew something different for each classmate, something relevant to them (one girl was close to her sister, so I drew her with her sister, one boy had just bought a playstation that he never shut up about, so I drew that on his) I had no fancy crafts or tools, just pencils and notebook paper. Lo and behold Mom pulled through with her Dollar General Valentine's the night before and I almost scrapped my hand drawn ones, because they looked even cheaper and poorer than off-brand hearts and bears. I decided to fold up the personalized notes inside each Valentine and prepared to be ridiculed.

And imagine my surprise when the next day, my Valentine's were the biggest hits with EVERYONE. Even the asshole kids who usually picked on me or called me ugly. They were really impressed, and I kind of sat in a ball in the corner and stared stupidly while everyone got out of their cliques for five minutes and looked at each other's drawings. I mean, I spent considerable time on them but they weren't THAT good. I was shocked. Of course there was one for my teacher as well, and she praised me in front of the whole class and said it meant a lot to everyone, and she reiterated to the class to each thank me. And though my brain was melting from embarrassment at the time, I am pretty sure every single classmate said a genuine thanks.

There's no real moral to the story, other than sometimes people will surprise you, and I think that all of us want to feel special in some way; it's nice to do a little extra here and there. Also, being open and caring like that is terrifying. I think I was 2 seconds from a heart attack that entire day."