I received the following from a reader after my post a week and a half ago. I thought it a perfect set-up for the project I'm launching on Monday, and after speaking with her, my friend said she would love for you to read her words. I'm learning there's power in sharing our story, something I've always believed but never have had the ability to witness. What I'm seeing now - these women from all walks of life standing up and saying yes! me too! - is nothing short of beautiful. I hope you join us.
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow - this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s a marvelous thing to be accepted. To be seen. I was the girl unseen growing up. Or rather I believe I should say the girl seen as a virus, a plague, the anathema.
I struggle to share all this with you, even from behind a thick veil of anonymity, because of shame and the desperate need to be liked and accepted. I have this fear that to say these things, things I’ve never told my best friend, let alone my husband, that the pain I experienced as a child will once again be a part of my daily life. That as a nearly 40 year old the rejection from my youth will once again revisit me and become my identity once again.
I've built this wall of protection around my life and around my heart. Very few get close. I feel safe back here behind these 10 foot thick walls. If I can keep those that might hurt me at a distance, well....then.......let it be so.
You see, I sucked my thumb until I was ten, and only then stopped because of a oral device that was installed to force me to stop because nothing else (band aids, hot sauce, etc.) worked. I'm not speaking of the occasional, in the dark of night, under covers, falling asleep thumb sucking. I mean every day, during the day. It was a comfort and at the same time the noose that hung me and left me for dead.
And whether this had been my death sentence every day until I was ten or not, I imagine I would have still been the child left out. The child picked on, bullied, trapped in the girl's bathroom. When I watched this video my first reaction was this could fucking be my story, this could be telling my fucking life. Because I FUCKING lived that life!!!!! The pain, the tears, the ostracizing.
While I've aged, and risen above the rejection and the pain (to most extent) the affect of this rejection never leaves. Like I said, I've built walls and have a desperate need to be accepted. 30 years later it still dictates my every day. Who I trust with the secrets deepest in my heart, who I believe loves me, and who I'm fearful is putting on a charade of being my friend. I've moved on, but that sure as hell doesn't mean that scars don't remain.
I've become proud of who I am. The girl no longer the victim. The woman who has risen from ashes that burn skin. The woman who if she were to face those whose words were more painful than a shot in the face with a 10-guage shot gun, would say, "Look at me now. Look who I've become. I've risen from the shit you laid on me." And yes, while I still struggle with those feelings of inadequacy I'm free to say "I'm not that girl, and I never was. I am loved."