According to the dictionary the definition for healing is, “the process of making, or becoming sound our healthy again.” I will assume sound means “of sound mind”, but it isn’t always that simple. One of the many things we…look at me, speaking for everyone else, let me change this to I, but if this resonates with you, then know that the “we” above was for us. Let’s try this again. One of the many things I tend to forget when healing is that I am human with a dinged up brain. I see other people who I consider “Normal” and sometimes wish I could be them. Most times I just want to be me, but I am not always content with me.
I suppose this feeling comes from the fact that for so long I wasn’t sure which me I was, the traumatized me, or the happy go lucky me, who pretended like there were no skeletons in my closet, even though there was one big one. I don’t want to focus on my past though, I’ve shared enough about that, what I do want to focus on is how sometimes the answers hit us square in the face, right between the eyes.
I sat down at my computer this evening, as I usually do when I go up to my room in the evening. I usually flip on the television to keep my peripheral sight occupied, then I put on the headphones and put on my play list, “My Music Whim (Month Year)”, then I turn on my computer or bring it out of sleep mode and open every distracting thing known to humans. After a few minutes I remind myself I have a course to take, or some writing to do. The distraction though is because sometimes my writing leads me back down roads I am not always ready to reface or travel down again.
I have several songs on my playlist that manage to hang in there for months at a time, one in particular has been in my playlist for about three months now. I sing to it almost every night, warbling to the audience of pillows and walls in my room. Tonight though, after a day of looking back yesterday as I spiraled towards an event, I heard a verse in “I will remember you” by Sarah MacLachlan that rang the noodle between my ears as it socked me in the face with a punch so hard that if it was real it would have KO’d me:
“I’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose
Once there was a darkness, a deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light.”
I don’t know who, or what she was writing about when she wrote this song, but for me it felt like me looking back at this child that went through so much in secret and has had to find a way to rise out and heal from it. My parents have helped, family and friends have helped, my soul sisters too, but the one person I needed to help me the most was myself and I don’t think I ever knew how to accomplish this.
Pain comes in all forms and for many years when I would close my eyes I would “see” things that I didn’t want to, so I escaped into a world of writing, where I could write about heroines and people fighting for the rights of others and rescuing them.
In time, and with the help of therapy, I learned that the only person that can push me forward is me. I am the only one who can see the path I am on and to steal a line from “Loki”, discover my “glorious purpose” which, do not worry, is not taking over the world and making myself it’s queen. At least not today. *wink*
In The Daily Vibe that I do every weekday morning, I have shared that I realized there was always two Shellymarie’s growing up, the one with trauma and the one who was so successful in hiding my secret that I feel I should have received an award, but as I grew older I learned I was not alone, not that I ever truly thought I was, I think we just don’t want to imagine other people going through the same thing, and as I met these people I moved away from the child that was hurt, basically abandoning her without realizing that this little girl was the key to my freedom. She held the key.
So, I go back to that verse and maybe the whole song and I am reminded that she did the best she could to keep it together so that I did not go down the wrong path. She blamed no one, but the one directly responsible and she learned how to smile a fake smile, which on occasion would be genuine, and oh how good those moments felt. She learned to hide within the joy of moments and occasion’s and she learned to be a social butterfly, because her worth and her value came from others, not herself. Eventually this would reflect in her relationships, but she put on a smile and hung on, because she needed to be loved by someone who found her physically desirable.
Over time she walked away from needing to be involved with anyone, gained weight to hide herself from the world and began to shrink within, until she hoped no one could see her anymore, but then, her size broke her down more, the comments, the side eyes, more pain inflicted by people who didn’t know her, and comments of concern from some that do. She was dying inside until one day she realized she wasn’t living and had died long before the moment she realized her soul’s true worth…and then she rose.
Some would say like a Phoenix, but it didn’t feel that beautiful and exciting, instead it was slow and painful. Healing felt like a torture scene right out of a horror movie, I would elaborate, but not all have the stomach for it. Every time I felt like I had succeeded I was back at square one, then one day I looked back and she was standing there, that little girl who I had abandoned, but she wasn’t angry, instead she smiled at me and held her hand out to me, that little Shellymarie I had walked away from so long before when I was hoping to escape who I was, but still she held the key. She knew I needed her to heal.
I had walked away, because I didn’t want to remember the sadness, the pain, the terrible memories. I had decided I was unlovable, undesirable and pretty much unacceptable in all regards, all while pretending and talking about how one should love themselves, but again, there she was, still holding her hand out and I realized when I saw this inner child reaching out again. I was screaming inside, but the only one who could hear me was her, because she was the only one privy to the true pain I was in, and the desperate desire to heal and then it happened, I took her hand and received my first glimpse of what self-love looked like.
I had started a thirty days of self-love on “The Vibe” and began to see who I truly was. Everything thing I hated about myself and that I manifested so I could hate myself, began to melt away. I had reached out and began to heal the little girl inside of me, I had freed her and allowed her to come into my darkness and in return she helped me see through it. I had managed to bring together the two halves of me that existed independently for far too long.
As I started writing that last paragraph Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” came on. I rediscovered this song when my younger cousin Marie, who I affectionately call Baby Sibling, took me to one of her favorite places. We sat under the stars, decided my phone is better than hers (ha! And only for now), we laughed, we nose nuzzled Minnie my ginormous fur-niece and then about an hour later I broke down as we worked through some of this muck, I have been swimming in. On the way back to her house this song came on and these lyrics hit home:
“Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed
I could breakaway.
I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes to ‘til I touch the sky
And I’ll make wish, take a chance, make a change
Closure is a choice. Nothing can bring it to you, but you. You have to choose to move on, or move forward from something, the choice is yours and I know that is what that little girl inside of me was trying to tell me, “Move forward Shellymarie, I survived all of this so you could go off and live your life to the fullest.” When I finally understood that, perhaps even just now in this moment I am understanding this, I learned that I am free if I choose to be free.
I can’t change the past, but those who know and love me, don’t care about my past, they see me, who I have fought hard to become. Being happy isn’t hard anymore and when my dinged up brain rebels on me, I give it the self-care it deserves, and the self-love it needs to get better. I don’t rush it, but I nurture it and remind my brain that this is just a blip in my timeline, and that there are more adventures out there.
Although I am working to get healthy, or at least reminding myself to do so, I am learning to love my body and the person in it, and the only person I look back to for that thumbs up is the little me who knew I had it in me all along. With a loving father who tries to understand, and choosing carefully who I let into my life, I am learning that this is what I truly desire for my life. If love comes along, great, but I know now my worth is found within me, and that everything else that is wonderful is a beautiful bonus.
Don’t give up on yourself. Sometimes you have to go so deep within yourself that it feels like you may never find your way out, but if you surround yourself with the right people and you give yourself the love and respect you so truly deserve you will find the light. I never thought I would find the light, but here I am standing at the edge of a dark tunnel, nervous and exhaling a lot of deep breaths, knowing that when I am ready I will step into the life I know that little girl inside of me worked so hard to get me ready for…and I owe her more thanks than I will ever be able to express.