This was meant to be a letter from the younger E, to the E I am today. I wrote it after Imi Lo’s journal prompt in her book Emotional sensitivity and intensity. (I’d definitely recommend the book). Sometimes mixed up.
Life is a journey that isn’t always going to be easy. You’re going to be taught that it’s not safe for you to express your feelings. Your mother doesn’t accept her own feelings. She can’t hold or accept yours. The only way for her to cope with her childrens life is to live in denial. Your teachers and school will feel threatened by your questions, especially when you correct them on their facts, or query what they’ve never themselves thought about. They will teach you that it’s not safe to think. Your life experiences will come to teach you that it’s not safe to be.
I’m here to tell you that it is safe. I’m here to tell you to embrace the curiosity that you lived with until you learnt to shut it down. I’m here to remind you about the constant connection to a source that you lived with. When you used to live with the constant awareness that every breath you took was a gift, where every breath was a renewal of life and connection to a source. I’m here to tell you to remember when you used to know that whatever was meant to be, would be, that you just had to believe and tune in, and your life would reflect that knowledge. People won’t and don’t understand. They will think you’re crazy and you’ll learn to turn off the connection. To believe that what you think and feel can’t possibly be true. For all the adults in your life tell you it isn’t so. And tell you that you’re lying.
You won’t be understood. When you express a physical (and emotional too) sensation people will think you’re overreacting. They won’t believe you when you’re in pain. You’ll retreat and shut down. You’ll think abnormal physical sensations are normal because you’ll have learnt to ignore what you know. You’ll learn to ignore everday physical sensations until they’re really noticable. Because being isn’t safe. Because people can’t handle your reality. Because they don’t understand it. Most the world don’t bruise from someone bumping into them. You will. The people who bump into you will care that you’re upset. They won’t apologise and will want you to apologise for getting upset. They’ll think you’re crazy.
Your boundaries won’t be respected. You won’t know you’re allowed to have boundaries because your mother has none. And when you try put boundaries in place she’ll scream at you, be hurt, and upset. When you question if her crossing boundaries are okay you’ll be told that you’re too sensitive and it’s your issue.
E, I’m here to remind you of beforehand. Before you internalised the messages that you’re guilty. Before your safety in the world was taken away. Before your safety and trust in yourself was taken away. You lived with curiosity. You lived with openness. You lived with intuition and understanding that all your friends trusted – everyone but you. Your future friends will always believe really strongly in your intuition and knowledge. They will rely on what you know. Believe them.
Life will teach you many things E. You can go back and teach yourself. Relearn. You can cone back to the innocence. To the safety. To the love.
You’re worth it E. You’re so worth it.
I believe in you. I know that you can do it. No matter what the world teaches you. You can override their messages. And embrace all you were today, as an adult.
Always and forever.
(The one thing that confuses me is how unsafe my world was, and is, when my childhood was a pretty normal childhood.)