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What if...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was like any other little girl; she liked to play and was naturally curious. She was the oldest of her siblings.

Her mom homeschooled her and her siblings. She liked books but she couldn't seem to do her work fast enough for her mom. There was usually something she wasn't doing right. Sometimes she got to do art but it was always in a predetermined way otherwise her mom was not happy.

Sometimes she liked to create things either by drawing or coloring. The things she created were very precious to her. She naturally wanted her mom to see, acknowledge and take an interest in what she created. Usually though when she went to show her mom, her mom was usually distracted and busy and would just take a quick glance and say something nice about her creations to get her off her back and then go on with whatever she was doing leaving her feeling alone, unheard, and worthless.

Little girl's brains think literally. She could tell her mom's words were not genuine. She knew her mom was just trying to get her to go away and stop bothering her. She knew her mom didn't have time to sit down with her and really connect with her like she longed for her mom to do. In her little mind, it meant that she was not important. That the things dear to her heart were not worth anything. That she was worthless and a bother and it squashed the creativeness in her and when she did create something it was hidden from those who deemed it trash. Worthless. Useless.

As she grew bigger, being the oldest, she had to do chores. There was hardly time for play, if any. She also struggled to concentrate on her schoolwork because she didn't feel safe and cared for. She got punished so often by having to go without food and hard spankings, all which made her feel even more like trash. Worthless. A nobody. She had to bring her books home from school that she didn't finish which was almost all of them all the time. When she got home she would have to sit down with her books till she had to do her chores. Her mom was constantly nagging and scolding and with her other siblings around it was even harder to focus. Every spare minute she had to sit at the table with her books. There was no time for freedom or play. She couldn't have focused if she had wanted to. She didn't feel safe, loved, seen, or cared for. It overwhelmed her and just ground her spirit even deeper into the dirt of worthlessness.

Her parents would often argue and even as a little girl she would get scared that her dad would hit her mom. She hated the conflict and in her little mind she felt responsible. The only way she could reason it out was that she wasn't trying hard enough and then it made her parents miserable and they would fight. More times than not she was then the object of their wrath afterwards which made her feel even more at fault ... and like a worthless object to be kicked around.

When she was a young teen she was sent out to clean people's houses. There was always work to be done. And on the rare occasions when she was allowed to play she didn't know what to do because it was such a rare experience. Other times when she was supposed to be working in the garden or doing chores away from her parents for the moment, she would feel safe enough from the lack of imminent danger, that her creative mind would lead her to create things with plants or in the dirt, explore the intricacies of nature, try things she read in books, or even just sneak to the woods and listen to the birds. But there was always an overhanging, suffocating blanket of guilt. Of course, there was usually punishment or scolding or some other negative consequences for being creative when there was work to be done. Thus it burned into her spirit that work, the thing you make a living from should be something you have to "grin and bear". Something that is tasteless, dirty, and for someone else as well as something that is labor intensive.

Fast forward to the current time, as of last night in my therapy session, I realized that all week this squashed down little girl inside of me had been trying to get my attention all week. She wanted to be seen, heard, and appreciated as well as her creations valued and enjoyed.

There had been some drama lately with a neighbor and I had been spending nearly all my energy and time to help my friend with the source of the drama to avoid more problems with said neighbor, thus leaving no time for creating anything personal. This continued until I basically burned out for like the umpteenth time in the last several years. No energy. No motivation. So out of sorts. Worthless. And so miserable.

And added to the weight is the lack of income.

I've been told lately that my art speaks and that my writing is "alive" and that I could find ways to turn it into income. There's things I want to try in the line of living off the grid and natural health. There's recipes I want to try and classes I want to take and books I want to read. But what does one do when they are burnt out? Burnt out from years of abuse, trauma, and bad experiences? One cannot just get back up and go back into spaces like the workplace environment where they have been hurt so badly and expect to thrive when there's so many wounds lurking just beneath the surface where no one can see. Thos wounds, well, they tend to be somewhat like ravenous creatures that tear you up at the least unexpected times, plus making you feel so abnormal and crazy because your "stuffing and coping " mechanisms no longer are effective, leaving you raw and vulnerable to the very people you dont know if you can actually trust.

Well, this little girl stuck inside of me all these years has been trying to get my attention lately as I worry about the lack of income and I don't find the strength and energy inside of me to return to the workplace. My friends' words keep ringing in my ears and floating through my mind about the possibility of my art, blog and website becoming a source of income. At first glance she seems to be sabotaging all my efforts to enjoy the creativity that I've been gifted with...

She tells me that I'm worthless.

That my art is junk.

Who would ever want to pay to read what you write?

What makes you think that someone would want to pay a substantial amount of money for your stupid pieces of art?

What makes you think that income can come from something you enjoy? Remember, you've been taught the hard way that if you want to live you have to work by the "sweat of your brow" and that anything fun to do is wrong.

What about the people who want to read your blog and buy your art but can't afford, and you're going to make it impossible for them to enjoy it too, just like all the things you have never been able to afford to enjoy either? You're going to be cruel to them? And withhold good from them?

How do you think that you will ever make enough money from anything you try (outside of the workplace) to realize your dreams?

She could say more but words fail her for now. It does look like she's trying to sabotage my every effort, but you want to know why?

She remembers:

-everytime her art was trashed, not seen, scoffed at, criticized

-all the times she was punished for playing when she was supposed to be working as a little girl

-all the times her creativity was squashed

-all the times she wanted to be seen, heard, acknowledged only to be treated like an object, a slave, a bother, trash

-evertime something she had put her heart into was destroyed, ground into the dirt of worthlessness by the heels of a parent

What she is trying to do is protect me from more pain, more heartache, more invalidation by those close to her that she dares to share her creations with...

Do you see how hard and painful it is for her to watch me try to find ways to turn my art and writing into income? Do you understand how scary it must be to her to even consider that now my art is good enough to put a price on it? Can you imagine how scary it must seem to her worthless self to see the adult version of herself to consider her creations of value after all these years of being trashed and unacknowledged? I think that would be an awfully hard pill to swallow because it would go so against everything she was taught both directly and indirectly.

Last night I came face to face with this little girl inside of me. She was so discouraged and hopeless the lifeblood of creativity, a very valuable and necessary part of her being, squelched almost into oblivion. I felt her pain and suffocation and grieved for her for a long time. She needed someone to see her, to sit with her, to care. I mean, who doesn't?

It was suggested that perhaps she wants a hug. It made her angry. All she can remember is the hugs and I love yous from her mom and they never meant anything to her. It was all fake. So why would she want a hug now? Just the thought of another fake hug or I love you was about enough to make her scream. She doesn't trust anyone because every affection was only fake and it was only temporary and she never knew when the affection would be replaced with anger and punishment, often without warning. She doesn't expect anyone to see her as valuable because she never felt valued. She doesn't expect anyone to want to praise and reward her for her creativity because it was never encouraged or praised sincerely. The first thing I could do for her was to sit with her and let her feel. To let her feel the pain of being suffocated for so long. To cry with her in her grief and pain and rage. To let her be acknowledged as being valuable enough to notice and hear her heart and whatever she might want to say. She has been through so much.

I honestly have no words for the cruel way my parents treated me. It is so vile and dark. I used to carry all the blame but the more I heal the more I see that it is not me that is to be blamed but my parents. It just blows my mind how (my)parents can be(could be) so ignorant and cruel (to me) the more I learn about the brain and nervous system and the effects of trauma and abuse on children in their formative years and how it affects them even as an adult.

Little girls are no slaves.

Little girls are not trash.

Little girls are not an object to be kicked around.

Little girls are not worthless.

Little girls are not to be crushed.

Little girls are not to be expected to act like full grown adults.

Little girls don't have the capacity to reason like adults do.

I(the little girl inside of me) have (has) worth.

I(the little girl inside of me) have (has) value.

I(the little girl inside of me) am (is) worthy of being loved.

I(the little girl inside of me) am (is) worthy of being treated as a unique human being.

I(the little girl inside of me) am (is) very creative.

I(the little girl inside of me) have (has) gifts and talents that need to be developed and put to good use.

Making an income doesn't have to be dreary and drudgery and back breaking.

What if the things I love to do could be used to create income? What if it would create enough income to realize other dreams that currently look impossible? What if all my creativity could surpass my expectations and bring more good and healing to the world than I could ever imagine? What if all my dreams would grow to such proportions that it blows my mind? What if my art and writing would actually be in demand? What if ? What if?

Only time and my willingness to face and heal the deep, painful parts of myself that are so vital to my wellbeing will make the difference. Maybe add in supportive friends for they are very valuable in this journey of mine.

So for now I will turn my attention back to that little girl inside of me and give her the attention and care she needs while the adult part of me has taken a major "leap of faith" this morning in buying an item that may possibly help make my dreams come true. And on Wednesday evening I will be starting an art class for the semester to learn new things as with anticipation and a lot of anxiety I'm trying to take some steps towards my dreams...and we'll see what happens next...

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Aug 22, 2023

"What if the things I love to do could be used to create income? What if it would create enough income to realize other dreams that currently look impossible? What if all my creativity could surpass my expectations and bring more good and healing to the world than I could ever imagine? What if all my dreams would grow to such proportions that it blows my mind? What if my art and writing would actually be in demand? What if ? What if?" YES! "What ifs" can become reality. Never lose your dreams. There are exciting things ahead for you... and for all parts of you!

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