This is my favorite picture of myself of all time. Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed. It still makes me happy.
One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”. To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children. I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.
It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry. You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,” (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me. I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway). The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.
When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame. I didn’t fight it. I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning. No words were exchanged. We just sat, together, watching the waves. Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.
Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay. You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.” I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her. Hopefully I’m not too far behind.
On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry. Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks. There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me. In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss. I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep. Life on life’s terms.
She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there. Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me. Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.