sometimes the hardest part of our whole experience is feeling safe to be our SELVES, our true selves, and that's why it's important for someone who feels that way to tell their inner child "you are safe." many of us were raised to make ourselves smaller than we truly are, or to be self-conscious of who we are. it disturbed our root.
you are safe.
you are accepted.
you are loved.
last night i felt the urge to write a love letter to myself. i'd felt this longing for a while but i've suppressed it because when i had tried before i reached feeble results. sometimes i'd try and it just wouldn't "work." they would feel phony or wouldn't go anywhere. i couldn't even think of the words. i've felt the drawing toward them and avoided them, probably knowing they'd upset me and make me uncomfortable with what i'd have to face. last night i had a lot to say, however. last night it finally happened naturally.
it brought me to some very uncomfortable emotions. it was a lot of defensiveness for and against myself. when i realized that i understood i was writing to and even from my inner child at one point. the emotions rose, the tears broke through, and i wasn't sure what to do.
when i picture my "inner child" my mind automatically goes to a very young me, around 5. but last night, 13-14 year old me came through. it was almost like the 5 year old was talking to the 14 year old was talking to the 26 year old was talking to the 5 year old.
14 year old stuck out the most. those were the "emo" days. i was invited to watch movies i loved then, listen to music i loved then... to see how it resonates now. what would i learn from coldplay, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, garden state, pride & prejudice... now? 14 year old me had a more confident attitude with me now than i think she did in real life then. 14 year old me wasn't afraid of her shadow, the darkness, the heavier emotions. she almost reveled in them and invited them forth. she knew they were important but she didn't know why. i appreciate so much this teaching moment from her to me now. back when i was her, i had no idea how much i had to teach my future self. she wasn't afraid to be alone; she liked it. that's one thing that never went away, but sometimes now when i feel painful emotions i have a tendency to distract myself from them... she never did that. she buried herself as deeply as she had to and always came out the other side. in some senses she was far braver than i.
when 14 year old me came to me i cried. i realized i never felt safe. this wasn't new. this was taught. i always felt judged. by everything and everyone including (and sometimes mostly by) my family. i've known this but we learn in spirals and another spiral came around last night. as i got older i wanted to hide my social media away from them because i didn't want to be judged. i hid my twitter account from family and even most real life friends for a LONG time, incredibly long time, because i didn't want to be judged.
i realize now that i hid, period. i hid. i buried myself away. i was afraid to show my true self to the world and it has even halted career opportunities, relationship opportunities... everything, really. it just held me back.
if my family read that i felt unsafe and unloved growing up i fear that they would literally laugh at me and tell me that this was just not true. they don't think they're judgmental, and they think they love me. i didn't say they didn't love me, but there is a tension of truth there. different lenses with different observations and different experiences. i know i need to write about this and have avoided it out of fear. this is the truth i need to tell and it's going to upset some people, but i can't control their reactions. this is my truth. this is my pain. this is my experience.
i grew up in the middle of a war that was not my own. i was pawn used by three sides whether they want to or can admit it or not. one side adamant that they did what they did because they wanted the best for me. i don't know what the 'best' for me was in their mind. at some point all of those details don't matter because all we want is to be loved, accepted, and safe. to feel comfortable with our families to be ourselves and not be judged.
but i wasn't only judged. i was scrutinized and compared. i didn't even know this or realize growing up. i was very much in my own world. i feel that i may have disassociated out of instinctual protection of self without even realizing. i became unobservant for my own sanity not always realizing what was going on around me, but at the same type hyperaware of the vibrations underlying everything that was happening. i knew i felt an uncomfortable need to hide in my room, be alone, and i just couldn't pinpoint the why. they put it on me being a teenager, but i know better now. senior year of high school when i was with my first "real" boyfriend, i basically lived at his house. between infatuation and deep love for him and the discomfort of my own home, it's no wonder.
to feel unwelcome in a place you want to call home but don't even feel like you can call it "home"... it's sad and unnerving. and there's so much confusing juxtaposition that i even question myself as i declare all of this, but my feelings don't lie to me. yes i was shown love. i wasn't neglected or starved. but there were also constant eggshells.
if i gave the wrong look without even realizing it, to this day, i am treated badly with no direct explanation or question. my intentions are assumed. i am alienated. something happens in my family and i am the last one to know. i am not included. and yet when i declare my dislike for all of this i am "making it all about me."
just for sharing how i feel.
because my feelings make others uncomfortable.
a lot of people feel responsible to their families. they are very family-oriented and their families are the most important things to themselves. i just have no idea what that feels like. i've always been stuck in self-preservation. i've tried so hard to be that person but it's not something that can be forced. sometimes our soul families are more important. i think soul and blood can overlap, and i know that is true... but i don't believe in forcing anything. i literally can't do it. and if i feel unwelcome, unloved, unwanted... i won't force myself into that situation ever again.
i want to talk about this because i know i'm not the only one who's felt this or endured this. it does terrify me on some level to share but i've been urged to write my truth. not only for myself but for others.
i want to provide a healing space for others and myself. it's not easy facing yourself and sometimes it's the hardest to embrace yourself.
last night, despite the parts in the letter where i began to feel blocks or heaviness or that i had to force myself to continue, or when the tears came through and i just didn't FEEL like crying... i pushed through, i made some gains... and it felt like the start of a whole new honesty with myself. a new level of self love and self learning. i affirmed with myself that i am ALWAYS safe with myself, and always will be. somewhere deep down, i have always known i was my own safe space.
Creatress-in-Chief of Pussy Magic, Samantha is a published poet, author, and editor from the Bay Area with immense passion for traveling and positively changing the lives of women through holistic healing and honoring our sacred selves: mind, body, and spirit. Find more info and her writing here.