Rooted, I used to think.

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Atonement - Thursday, Feb. 07, 2019

Monday, Feb. 03, 2014 @ 11:01 am

God, where to begin.

Realizing how much of my life has been ruled by my inner critic. Realizing that everyone else doesn't have the same feelings of shame, of low self worth. Sitting there at the kitchen table, me and D comparing results of a test. My scores showing high in all areas. Him not even registering on the scales. Us looking at each other. Me looking down at my scores. You mean that you don't feel shame when ___ happens?

Walking in the forest, cold cloudy morning, the light flat and pale. The shrill calls of the bald eagles in the trees above.

You don't have to feel like this.

What happened to you?

I don't know exactly what happened to me. I live as a person damaged by their parents. There were moments of damage - me lying in bed crying, listening to my father yelling at my mother. Me sitting in a bathroom stall at school, crying from the hurt of rejection. Me watching my father say hurtful things to my sister because of her makeup and clothes. My growing awkardly into my body, my mother never telling me that I was pretty. I realize now that it wasn't a direct abuse, but rather the lack of something that's left me doubting. Because they never told me that I was amazing, I was left to doubt that fact. Because they never told me that my smile was beautiful, I was left to doubt that fact. The child brain is illogical, so black and white.

In the forest I run my hand through a stand of ferns. Damp from the morning fog, water running off my palm.

It's up to me to reparent these memories. To replay them again in my head, changing the outcomes and relieving myself of the burden of feelings. I come quietly into my childhood bedroom and lay on the bed beside my child self, and I hug her and tell her that it's not her fault that Dad is angry and that I love her and that she's so good and smart and that we'll go for a walk tomorrow in the Canyon to see some dogs and watch the salmon climb the ladders at the hatchery. I walk into the bathroom at the school and ask my child self to come out of the stall. I let her cry into my shoulder, and then I wash her face and tell her that she did nothing wrong and that we'll walk together home. I will step into the kitchen every morning and tell my child self that she looks cute today and that she'll conquer the world. I have to do these things over and over again, and eventually the pain of unknowing will leave. The doubtful critics will leave, and I'll be free of so many things. How long this will take? How long to undo three decades of angst? That child self, when I tell her that she's good and smart and that she's done nothing wrong, her heart soars, her heart splits to burst out a bright beam of light. Her grey eyes see her hair as beautiful, her skin as milky, herself as funny and attractive. When I tell her these things, she loses all of the doubt. It must be true. It is true!

I climb out onto the barnacled rocks. The tide is low and the creatures of the interdidal zone lay exposed. Looking into the shallow pools, looking out across the straight. My home, my self.

Roots | Shoots