How Could You?
Note to my parents: If you read this, please understand it is all for my healing. Don’t cry, feel bad or take it personally. I feel your love and support today and growing up …this is what is important. I love you, you give me strength.
How many times did I have to recluse back into my shell because of you? How many times did I hide under my pain, not wanting you to see how much I feel small. I never wanted it to end this way, I mean, the utter presence of you is literally killing my spirit. I cannot think, eat, drink, or sleep without your voice ringing in my head: “You don’t deserve to be told you are beautiful.”
Imagine, how small I felt when those words unspoken all my life, came to the surface, and slammed me like demolition ball smashes a building. The noise was so loud, and the debris so scattered I couldn’t even find a piece of me under all the rubble. How will I put myself back together? I need a rescue team and pronto!
Yet, they came out, the words I mean, those mean, hurtful, derogatory words! Finally! I felt them, I believed them, I lived them, I breathed them. Harsh as it was, that sentence, spoken loud and clear, opened my eyes to the untruth. That plethora of lies shook me awake to never EVER want to have them directed at me any longer.
The darkness is overwhelming swimming down into the depth of my being. I often find myself falling into this hole.. drowning in a sea of jokes, nicknames, and nasty name calling. “Who do you think you are?” “It’s all your fault” “You can’t do anything right” “Look! Look! At you?” “You are pretty all right… Pretty Ugly!” “Look at all the weight you’ve gained” “Whore, cunt, bitch!!” How do I respond to you? I don’t .. I shy away. I am small. I am, in fact, invisible.
Looking in the mirror, my image is the reflection of what I believed all my life: my distorted nose, my skin tags, my misshapen body, the fat on my belly, the age spots, the furrowed brow, the gap between my teeth, is looking back at me and I am afraid of her. Who is she really?
How could you?
How could you not hear my screams when I was only small, how could you not protect me from what I was about to tell you? How could you NOT KNOW I was in distress? How could you mark my world, with the path: “She’s not worthy of my protection?” Her words do not matter, her voice changes everything, just her presence is a mere annoyance. I know this is not the message you intended to send me.. I know the love I received as I grew. Yet, this is what I took with me the day you did not want to hear the truth.
How could you tell me my pregnancy didn’t matter, how could you MAKE me go! How could I remove from my body what was important to me. And I did, for you, and you are not here. And she’s not here, 27 years old she would have been. Yet, I was not worthy of her.. I was not a good person, I was less than…
How could you shove my head in that pillow? Telling me I am good for nothing. That I don’t listen? That I need to give you sex in order for you to feel manly? You may as well dug my head deeper in that black cotton pillow, I may have passed out for a while forgetting how insignificant I was. Maybe just maybe, I could be pretty enough, sexy enough and strong enough to get out of here and find someone to treat me right.
I have many roots, and this is how I became who I am today. I was nurtured, loved, cherished, encouraged, and taught to be kind. Thank God those still remain with me today, but this one root, black, tattered, oozing with disease is contaminating my spirit, and breaking down all that I hold to be of value: me.
Like a cavity slowly decaying and destroying a tooth, events in my life fed the self-hate. Every time I thought I had a break and started to feel worthy I would choose someone or something else in my life to self-perpetuate whatever demons remained inside me. Their mere presence in my life would shake them awake. It was as if, comfort didn’t mean being at peace and happy, comfort to me, was where hate lived. Comfort was the rage, the put-downs, the bullying. Comfort to me, was where the reflection of your depression was a reflection of mine.
So I adapted.
It became so much a part of me, that I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. Like there was a circle and I was always on the outside: looking, observing, stalking, yet never “part of”. There were times when I had a sense of belonging, and I sabotaged those too. I made myself FEEL like I couldn’t be part of… No one purposely left me out (except for 3rd grade when I was always chosen last for gym class).
The truth is: All I ever wanted was to be loved.
I know I was loved and am loved.. my mind knows this, yet, the distorted message I thought I heard is:
“To receive love you must be worthy”
I just gave myself away. I said “I love you” to quickly. I gave sex to quickly. I would do almost ANYTHING for you to love me, even if it meant killing myself slowly.
To be open to receive love is another story and I am opening up .. this is where I come out of my comfort zone. I am worthy of being told I am beautiful. I am worthy of praise and unconditional love, I am worthy or respect and acceptance. I am!
Where it all started, is not so blurry anymore, however what matters is that I heal it, forgive it, see it for what it was. What matters is that I continue to open up to love, to bring it into my life, to cherish myself, to nurture my wants, my needs, my desires, my passions, my creativity…. What matters now is for me to accept when you say: “Wow you are pretty today” “That shirt looks great on you” “I love the way you write” “I love you” “You are an amazing friend” “Thank you”
How many times do I have to say I love you for you to hear me? How many times will I have to show you can trust me?
“As long as it takes for me to believe it, to let it fill my soul”
As long as it takes…
…and yes, you are whole and you are beautiful, and I love you too.