As I do most mornings while sipping my coffee, I was scrolling my Facebook feed. This morning my attention was drawn to the following post. I think I was initially drawn to the calming properties of the blue hues, but then I read the words and found myself nodding internally.
How many of us do this? Agree to things just to keep the peace?
I’ve been doing it for such a long time that I’ve always just thought it was who I am. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just a coping mechanism that I picked up at such a young age and have been doing for such a long time that it just *feels* like an extension of my self. Because I don’t really know any other way.
It’s a mask, like so many other trauma-based responses, that hides and protects us.
Or so we believe.
Until we wake up one day and realize how much pain and emotional struggle this supposedly protective response has actually caused us–internally.
I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, this particular response (and so many others) has left me believing that I don’t matter. That my thoughts don’t matter. My feelings don’t matter. That everyone else is more important than I am. I’ve made myself small and insignificant for the benefit of others while pushing and shoving back anything that is uniquely me. So often and for so long that I sit here today not even truly sure who the hell I am.
I catch glimpses of the girl I could be here and there, but I don’t ever seem to be able to reach out to her. She’s there, for a nanosecond in time, but when I realize it’s her and reach out to invite her to join me, she’s gone. There are days when I mourn her loss, though I never really knew her at all. What I want most is to love her. And what I’m truly mourning I think, is my failure and inability to truly see her, acknowledge her, console her, wrap her up in my arms and love her, encourage her, and help her grow to see safety in the world around her so that she can become the best she can be.
So she continues to run and hide, even after all these years, because she’s convinced it will never be safe out here and that she doesn’t deserve any better.