This piece came about during a 9th step (amends) process in recovery. My sponsor said that before anyone else, I needed to make an amends to myself, noting any way in which I had harmed myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. The abuse was in no way intended to be part of it, but it is what spewed out of me spontaneously. It flowed from my pen exactly as it is here and I never changed a word.
There are different parts of you, at different times of your life, that I need to make amends to. I ask that you listen carefully, and know that these words are heartfelt, and probably should have been said long ago.
To the beautiful little four year old inside me. I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I’m sorry that I silenced you. You needed to tell but did not know how. You were so young; there were not words to describe it. Since then you have been running the show, protecting me from whatever your four year old fears are, trying to pick out the men in my life for me, keeping me from losing weight, throwing rageful tantrums. You protected the little girl that nobody else protected. Thank you for saving her life and for doing what no adult could do. For years you have been stomping your feet, hands on your hips, doing your best to make adult decisions. My adult self wants you to know that I am a healthy person now. I can make healthy decisions for us. I promise nobody will hurt you like that again. I promise you that I know how to protect us. I know who to let into my life. You can relax and rest now. Don’t be scared. It’s OK. It’s my turn as the adult to take care of us now. I know you don’t trust grown-ups. They hurt you and ignore you and can’t hear you. But I’m different. I hear you loud and clear. And I promise to always listen to you now. You don’t have to scream or throw a tantrum to get my attention now. You can be sad or mad or whatever. I will let you have any emotion you want to have. And I’ll take care of you. I’ll wipe your tears, and embrace you, and put band-aids on your skinned knees. I will protect you and love you and tell you how wonderful and beautiful you are. I know it’s hard to trust an adult – but I’m not just any adult. I am you, the adult you. You are always a part of me. You will always be heard. So go and be four. Go play and laugh and trust and love. I am watching over you, now and forever. You never have to worry again. I am always here for you.
To that eleven year old inside of me. I am so sorry about what happened to you with the priest. I’m still not clear about all of it, but it never should have happened. I am sorry I kept you quiet. I’m sorry I buried your pain deep inside me and shut you down. I thought it was so terrible it was better to forget. I see now that it wasn’t. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a voice. I’m so sorry you didn’t have anyone to tell. I’m sorry that nobody protected you. Not having anyone to turn to, you turned to food. You decided you didn’t want to be pretty, didn’t want to be ‘special’, didn’t want to be noticed. If you could be fat, like your dad, you would be OK. Eating was something you could do alone. Just you and the food. It became your friend. It filled the empty spaces. It filled the hurt places. You thought it would keep him away. I don’t know if it did or not. But I know that it was the only thing you knew how to do at the time. Ultimately it made you hate yourself, just like he made you hate yourself. It wasn’t your fault, and I’m so sorry there was nobody there to tell you that. What he did to you hurt you so deeply in so many ways that it changed the rest of your life. But you know what? It’s OK. You can forgive yourself. You’re not bad, or stupid. There wasn’t anything you could have done differently. The food helped you then. The dissociation helped you then. It was just too painful and confusing for a sweet little girl to understand. You did the very best you could do. Adults betrayed you, both men and women, in so many ways. I cry for you my precious child. I feel your pain every day. I still eat to keep the feelings away. They’re so dark, and intense, and scary. I know. I AM you. I’ve grown up and kept you at 11. Which just keeps you in pain. And keeps you in the food. You just couldn’t leave that behind you. It was so painful. You couldn’t move forward. If that happened at 11, what would happen if you got older, got breasts, and other curvy places? You were terrified. I understand. I understand completely because I AM you. But it’s over. He’s not going to hurt you any more. He is not God. God loves you completely. God’s not mad. You’re not bad. The priest is bad. I wrap my arms around you now and hold you. I let you cry. I let you be scared. I let you feel anything you need to feel. I am here for you. Nobody else was, but that’s over now. You can stop eating. The food cannot keep the feelings down anymore. You’re allowed to show me your feelings. I hear you. I’m listening. I will not ignore you like so many others did. You are beautiful. And it’s OK to be beautiful. I can protect us. Nobody can hurt you again. You don’t need the food to be your friend any more. It only hurts you. It doesn’t work anymore. You don’t have to hurt yourself, or punish yourself. He’s not here. He’s not in the room or in your soul. He’s gone. He’s dead. He can’t hurt you anymore. Release him. Stop pushing him back down. Stop being afraid of him. You get to be 11 now. You get to have me. An adult who loves you. An adult who protects you. An adult who hears everything you have to say. An adult you can depend on to see you through the painful moments. And they ARE moments now. Not hours. Or days. Or weeks. You’re allowed to have all your feelings. They need to be felt. We’re not going to rush to get the food when a bad feeling comes up. Feelings are good no matter what they are as long as you feel them. You are a precious child who had to grow up too fast. You have my permission to be 11 again. I am always with you and so is God.
As my living amends to you, I promise always to see you, to hear you, to honor you and to love you with all of my heart until your healing is complete. I am truly sorry for whatever pain was inflicted on you by myself or others. It stops here from me, as I move forward on a path of joy and love. The alcohol and the cigarettes are gone, and my self-loathing is not a part of my nature going forward. I care about all of the parts of me, and I speak and act only in loving ways toward all parts of myself. I hereby forgive myself for not being perfect, for not living up to any standards or fairy tales that have been imposed on me, by myself or others. I honor God by honoring God’s creation – in the form of me, including the parts of me that are spoken to here. I love you with all my heart.
© 2018 Debbie Loshbough. Published by permission.
Debbie Loshbough is the owner and practitioner for Life on Fire Healing of Atlanta. Although she is a Reiki Master, today she prefers to work in the realm of energetic healing technology, including Energetic Fusion, Higher Brain Living®, Atlas Balancing and Divine Energetics/Bioenergetic Transmission.