Tiny

I don’t want to think about this tonight. I’m tired and I’m sad and I’ve got a tiny one in me that has been holding quiet all week and now wants to let it all out.

I don’t want to think about how tiny we were, about how scared and vulnerable and sad and little we were. How we had no chance. I don’t want to acknowledge it.

nineteen: tiny

i am already feeling triggered just reading this word.

i tried to make the feelings go away by imagining innocuous, innocent tiny things, like an ant crawling over a leaf, or how my daughter’s soft, smooth newborn feet felt in my palm.

but what i kept thinking about was how small we were. when it happened, when we were hurt and violated and used by members of our family. we were tiny.

both hands, then, could probably fit into one of his. i still needed a booster seat on my chair, which i also needed help climbing into. i was lower than my kitchen countertops – i had to go onto my tippy-toes to be at eye-level. i believed in santa (and would for another several years). i wasn’t in school yet.

fucking tiny.

i’ve seen pictures of pocketbrit, she hardly reached his thigh.

and i just don’t understand any of it. how they could do those things. how the signs that we weren’t okay weren’t noticed. why wasn’t anyone paying attention? what was everyone else doing? were we so little we became invisible?

it’s also a shrinking sort of shriveling, sick feeling i get when i think of it now. and like i might drown in the grief of it.

eighteen, part deux: lesson

i feel like unlearning some of the lessons of my childhood might take me the whole rest of my life.

i absorbed useful ones too, i’ll have you know, in among the total shit ones. those would include stuff like, being kind matters. biting on popcorn kernels will chip your molars. kittens really appreciate lullabies. it is best to be a nice, quiet girl.

the biggest lessons, the ones that have the deepest networks, the most pull, are the oldest. and they include biggies like, you are a wrong person. you make everything worse. you are unworthy of love. you will end up alone.

i don’t think those things were actually said, out loud, or with any sort of directness. it was far more subtle. but i studied these lessons, deeply and constantly, and they sunk into my very cells. these lessons were the very water in which i learned to swim.

sometimes i wonder who i might be if i grew up learning i was enough. that i was special and funny and wonderful. that i was important. it feels like wasted potential, wasted years, a wasteland of a life, that i have to unlearn so much of the garbage that was deposited in me, like a thing, like a receptacle. that sounds bitter and angry and i guess it is. i don’t stay here for long, but yeah, right now i’m just fucking pissed off that along with my full time, paying job, i have to work so hard (and pay two other people to help me) to sort, re-sort, and un-sort a mess that i didn’t fully make.

ugh. ugh. ugh.