An Afternoon with My Wounded Child

Note: this is posted at my regular blog also, but I felt the need to share it with more than the few people that wander over to that site.  I had a talk with my therapist yesterday about reality and perceptions.  I normally don’t go for the ‘catch-phrase’ type therapy, but really, what he said makes sense- at least in how I have dealt with everything.  So I wrote this in an attempt to get in touch with the wounded child in me and maybe help her heal a bit.  I imagine her at a/b 8yrs old, right around when my parents divorced.  I suppose it’s doing it’s job, because I’ve reread it twice and cried each time.

I cautiously approached my wounded child today. She looked up at me through unkempt hair, clothes grubby and face streaked with dirt and tears. She was wearing an iron-on shirt with a little girl playing baseball and the words “Girls can Do Anything Boys can Do” across the top. It, like her flared cords looked like they needed a wash. On her feet were the brown bobos I had always detested and been embarrassed to wear.

Her look to me had the merest moment of hope, but that was quickly covered by a stoic expression. Oh how it hurt to see that on the outside on a face that young! I glared at the faded outlines of teachers, librarians, neighbors that surrounded her and never said anything. There she was, reaching for the book she always had ready beside her. I knew what would happen, she’d fall into that book, withdrawing from the world and walking next to the characters, their lives almost more real than her own.

I reached for her hand before she could open it and pulled her into my lap. “It’s okay. I’m here and I’ll always be here.” She sat stiffly on my lap for a moment, but as I stroked her hair, she slowly melted into me, sobbing. I didn’t have to ask why she was crying. I knew. I knew she felt like her mother didn’t love her, her father abandoned her. I knew she felt she was unworthy of love and tried desperately to make up for that by being good, but her good was never enough to earn the love she craved. She only saw a future of more of the same, and that was true in a way. Dad would still rely on his wife to know the parenting, only this time it would be a stepmom who had her own wounded child inside. Even this girl-child’s marriage, that started out so promising and so full of love would fail her longing to be loved just because she IS.

I whispered in her ear about hope, about faith, about love. “There is One who Loves you,” I told her, “He loves you now and will always love you. It is through Him that you will find your peace and your love on earth.”

I also told her something that was very hard for someone my age to understand, let alone a small child.

“You are loved. But because of who you are, your perception might not always be the truth. Sometimes you live in your fantasy as reality and try to make your reality a fantasy. It is hard to see things with clear eyes when they are full of tears, but you can. You can see how your friends and family love you- in their way. They too have their own way of looking at things, their own bruises from their past. But they are just as capable of love as you are, they might show it differently.”

When the sobs faded to deep breaths, I held her awhile longer, our hearts beating as one. For that time, we were both at peace. When she awoke, I gave her a bath and watched the grime of the past slide off and shimmer on the surface of the water. Clean, dressed and feeling more peaceful, I led her to a sunlit park. I knew she had bruises deep inside that would take more time to heal, but for now she had started the process.

I introduced her to the two people in the world that I knew loved her in the way her childish heart wanted. Unconditional and with joyful abandon, my children ran to her and held her hands. As they tumbled in the grass together, laughing, I knew that we would all be fine. The child inside me could help me love my children in the way they needed, and their love could be part of her healing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: