I remember the day I told myself that I would finally step up and take good care of the little girl that was too painfully scared in a very dark corner of my heart. I remember telling her that I was sorry I hadn’t been able to show up earlier. That I failed to protect her against what adults should protect their kids from: abuse, in any shape or form.
To really take good care of that girl, I knew I had to keep growing up internally but in a different way, because you can only give a child what you already have. And so I did the best I could to fill myself with everything I thought it was necessary. I learned to put myself first. To lick and heal my own wounds. To say no whenever someone threatened to leave. To pick myself up when the going got tough.
I learned to dignify my feelings, even when they are blurry, and I took several lessons on how I’m good enough, no matter what. It has been a bumpy road, no wonder, but I’m looking at a different adult now. I’m looking at someone who can take care of a child and pass on what that little girl inside myself truly needed when she was just an embryo inside her mother’s womb.
In other words, I have slowly become the woman and the adult I wanted to have around when I was just growing up. That has somehow taken away the self-destructive edginess that used to fuel my actions and thoughts. Instead of burning and crashing down, I have managed to give myself space and time to bounce back. It’s not yet an easy thing to do but I choose to be present and face my feelings, even if it’s still an imperfect version of what it might become.
And that girl, in case you are wondering, has left that dark corner of my heart and has now played bravely on a swing under a tree, facing the horizon and feeling the wind blowing her hair. She knows I’m right there with her and that I will step up with my care and guidance whenever she needs me. She knows I learned to choose her, above anyone else.