You are not who you once were

I know your heart’s beating out your chest again,
bone-china skeleton threatening to crack
tired lungs struggling to expand as they should.

I know you might always feel so
and scared
alone in the endless labyrinth of life
ghosts of your past waiting around every corner.

I know rain clouds gather beneath those heavy eyelids,
thunderstorms brew within the quintessence of the soul,
old wounds torn apart by saltwater, never really healing.
It know how much it all hurts

But darling,
remember you are not who you once were
you were thrown into the deep end,
and found a way to gasp for air.
disintegrated in the heat of the flames,
pulled yourself together
and walked through the fire
warrior in your very own might,
warrior in every right.

you have survived
over and over and over again.
claws for hands that will always hold onto the edge,
stubborn fragments of light that the darkest night cannot dissipate,
spirit & bravery etched into the heart of your being.

So every time the same saltwater storms threaten to pull you under,
you are a patchwork quilt of brash emotions and endless empathy
ray of sunshine that’s found it’s way to illuminate the prison walls
you are growing your own garden with seeds of compassion
born with the gift of unconditional love,
reborn through the ashes of the the flames.

it’s okay that you feel
sad and unloved,
same nightmares return to haunt your dreams
it’s okay that sometimes you can’t see the light,
and it’s okay to be terrified.

just remember,
you have walked through the storms
with an endless reservoir of courage
crystallising an understanding of the human condition
beauty through the cracks of brokenness and vulnerability.

you are not alone anymore,
and being scared simply means you get to do something really brave,
so don’t stay within the walls of the cages you were put into.
you are not who you once were,
be brave.

writing this at 5am in the hospital bed, waking up to tears and fears threatening to resurface as another flashback looms in the distance and bad memories leave an earthquake or a sour taste in my mouth and quiet pain in me. I am tired, I am always tired, I have been sad and scared and alone and tired all my life. catalog of painful moments that bleed into days and years. little girl abandoned and left behind and unloved and unworthy of anything at all. find solace from the relentless aching and backlog of years of unresolved pain.

how can there be so much shame in who you innately are and what you innately need? who drove this little girl to self destruction and taught her to hate herself? who taught her to deprive herself of food and nourishment and love, who taught her to shrink herself and starve her feelings?

I am trying so hard to keep going. So as I write this at 5am in the hospital bed, I remind myself I am not the same girl who was scared of her Mother at 5, or the girl who was terrified of her Father at 9, or the girl who was made fun of at 10, or the girl who wanted to kill herself at 11 because they wouldn’t stop screaming, or the girl who was left to hide alone in the toilet at 13, or the girl who tried to kill herself at 14 and 15, or even the girl who was adamant against recovery at 17.

I am not the same girl huddled up alone terrified of her parents, or the same girl carrying the weight of everything alone, or the same girl struggling to find a place in this world, or the same girl who tried to tear herself apart and was driven to sadness and self destruction for all these years.

The same pain and fears and thoughts threaten to drown me and take me back. But I am not who I once was. If we can survive pain, surely we can survive growth? If we can live with an unbearable self hatred for all those years, surely we can learn to love ourselves? If we can turn into warriors, surely we can find a way out of this?

-For little Ericia, and little Eunice


One thought on “You are not who you once were

  1. You are the same wonderful and sweet girl, but it is true, you are not the same oppressed and abused one who hid. You refuse to be quenched. And you are not alone, now.

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