I put one of my baby pictures up on the wall.
I put it on the wall as a reminder that she did nothing wrong. She didn’t deserve the trauma forced upon her. She didn’t deserve to be destroyed by the people who were supposed to love her the most.
She’s still in me, so incredibly scared. So afraid the pain will never end and she’ll feel like this forever. Which is an even worse feeling than the abuse itself was. What she does deserve is to feel safe and strong. She deserves kindness and love. I haven't always been capable of showing her those things. Falling for guys who took my weaknesses and used them against me. Guys who said, "I love you" but never did. Staying because I was so desperate for love. For a love that could, magically, solve everything. All I did was cause myself even more pain.
I want to tell her that I’ll never let anyone hurt her again. I go to therapy to deal with the pain, to learn how to live with it, to learn how to move forward. Sharing and crying. I want to wrap my arms around her and tell her I do this work for the BOTH of us.
So I try. I try to take care of her and love her. To love myself. Sometimes I stumble and other times I fall face first into the cement. But I get up because what else do you do? I take a deep breath and pull myself to my feet and once again attempt to walk on wobbly newborn legs that don’t quite know where to step.