you always loved falling asleep to thunderstorms and downpour while they fought. you preferred the calm approach of the sky weeping to the thump of sobs coming from your pillowcase. the roaring reminded you too much of your father when he started harsh arguments by the dining table, you retreating to your room leaving a full plate of your mother’s cooking behind. he’d come into your room more times than you could count to apologise, but not by saying “i’m sorry” but “stop crying”. it was his way of making up. that’s when you learned that listening to the drizzle whisper little truths into your ear as your puffy cheek lay on the cold windowsill brought you more comfort.
said that this will happen again, and an apology is no promise, and his promise is no promise that he’d keep.
the rain would tell you stories about april showers and midsummer rumbles that would drown out the voice of the monster living on the other bed, drip, drip, drip, drip, count tears instead of sheep, count lessons that are false and imprinted in your mind anyway, like drops on your white coiffure in the spring time. you and the rain made a promise to sway and waltz whenever you’d cross paths, none of you knew that when you dance in wet clay, his limbs are flailing about. none of you realised
not everyone else standing nearby will be pleased to find grey speckles on their trousers.
a few days ago it was father’s day and it inspired me to write this piece about my childhood and i guess today i want to touch on something that i’ve learned 22 years in.
that how your childhood was and what you learned and what you saw and experienced, even the seemingly insignificant things, pretty much shape you entirely so it’s a bit tricky to adapt to new lessons as you grow up. i guess i didn’t really realise it until i noticed that past ‘traumas’ and ‘lessons’ have ingrained in me how i can trust someone, or how i see myself. i seem to project my insecurities that began way back in my life onto new people and grown up me.
there’s only one way to truly heal from that and it’s not as easy as it sounds when people say “let the past be the past”.
there’s a little child inside me that is hurt and i’ve ignored it my whole life up until now, not realising that it needed a lot of affection and forgiveness and care all along – from myself. it will need a little while to open up to me and find comfort in my arms, without relying on someone else.
i used to be dependent on others because i couldn’t depend on myself. how, when all i learned was self-hatred? how, when i couldn’t depend on my father that was supposed to protect and nurture me? how, when i didn’t care enough about my own well-being but how others would have it best?
i’m getting better. at caring for myself. for the child inside me that’s still screaming warning signs.
i’m getting better at calming her when she gets triggered in any way.
people don’t notice it but sometimes i put my hand on the other, rubbing my thumb along the soft skin, to hush her voice, put her at ease, let her know i am there for her and that she will be ok.
she will probably always be a tiny bit anxious, but at least i’ll know to depend on myself.
be kind to your inner child today.
give yourself the love, the affection, the kindness you might have missed.