March 29, 2005

Thinking Back

I read my sister's entry about the tulips in the front yard and I was so sad thinking about a little girl not even eight years old, feeling like she needed to make herself bleed to feel real. It's not right. When I think of that, I see not only my little (big) sister, but also Sammy's face, and it is really painful. No child should feel that way.

I remember when I was eight years old, I started to cut the skin around my fingernails with the nail clippers. And I started to eat my clipped finger and toe nails. (Gross I know but TRUE!). Yep, it's time for true confessions. I wonder why I did this? I don't remember any particular sensation or feelings from the time... I just wanted to do it...and needed to do it. Maybe THAT is the sensation. I was trying to create some feeling in my inside world that was void of feelings and emotions. (My sister and I were not allowed to feel). I was trying to create something inside me...a secret thrill...maybe a release. I'm not sure.

It seems like a lot of my life was run without emotions. Emotions stuffed down and invalidated, by myself more than others. I didn't want to feel. Feeling meant trouble and danger...just paste a smile on your face. Make someone laugh...the pain will fade or hide itself underneath the layers.

I can't remember much from high school. Not that it was traumatic, I just can't recall many feelings or things that I did. I do know that I cried a lot. A lot. I would cry at night or back at the barn. just cry and cry. I remember when I went to summer camp, I went out on this big hill and just started to talking to God and crying this big huge tears, not even caring if anyone saw me. I would always do that. Talk to God and cry. Cry a river. I would always tell God that He had my life, and that I need Him to save me. I think that He saved me many many times. I feel that the Lord is very real to me. Standing beside me. When I was about seven or eight, I dreamt that my dad was chasing me around the house and yelling at me something terrible, and I went in my room and ran to the arms of Jesus...and He protected me. He kept my dad from being able to open the door.

When I was fifteen, I slept a lot. Sometimes I couldn't wake myself up...and I would sleep for 2-4 hours or more. One day I fell asleep on the couch, and was trying desperately to wake myself up. I felt myself pull out of my body, and I was standing above myself trying to shake myself awake. I gave up and instead floated up to our cathedral ceiling. There was a panel- like door in the ceiling, and I knew that it was the door to heaven (I know this is getting very surreal). I passed through the door and I was so happy to be walking down the streets of Jerusalem. I saw Peter and John and the other disciples, and I asked them where Jesus was. They pointed down the road. I wanted to see Jesus so badly. I walked up behind him. He was writing in the sand. He wouldn't look at me. I just wanted to see His face, but He wouldn't let me. Then I felt sucked into my body and I woke up shaking and sweaty. Looking back, I realize how strange this should have seemed to me. I don't think I was dying, just having vivid dreams, but what if I would have seen Jesus' face that day? Would I have died? It's weird to think about that. But today, thirteen years later, I still remember that dream.

So, amidst all this rambling, I guess I can see how I tried to escape emotion my whole life. I would do anything to get the emotion out...cutting...pulling my hair...and now, eating. Why can't I just let my emotions out? Why is it so dangerous to do that?

It's definitely something to think about.

Sometimes I think about what I want for Sammy. How do I want her to be feeling at my age? I want her to feel free..confident..unburdened. I know there will be things that happen in her life that hurt, that I can't protect her from everything, but I know that I can be the type of mother that I didn't have. I gave give her the freedom to express her emotions whenever she wants. I can give her the freedom to be herself with fear. At least, I can give her a good start down that road.

Well, I really rambled tonight.

Until next time. :-)

Posted by Cody on March 29, 2005 9:08 PM


how strange that we both started self-injuring at the same age :( .... i wonder why?

Hi Cody,
Wow, what a post. Lots of healing for your child self... give her a hug if you can. And you are taking care of your current self too, right? Your dear daughter's needs are easier to address when your own well is full.

Amd what a lucky girl she is, too, with a mother that cares so much. Allowing, encouraging even, strong emotions both positive & negative is a gift to her.

I, too, want to do things differently from how I was brought up. I remember saying, "you feel sad" to my young one, and my mother's jaw almost hit the floor. Expressing emotion - unless it was happy - was never done. It makes me want to hug my mom's child self too!

Two books that helped me with my toddler were _Positive Discipline_ (scary title, but it does NOT mean punishment!) and _How To Talk_, which will surely be in your local library.
[I'm surprised to see so many negative comments on this - I must've ignored its anti-co-sleeping and no extended nursing advice]

"Please put on your jammies." "NO!"

Tell me that motherhood isn't frickin' life changing.

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