Still

Why does it make me so anxious to be still?

Is it our crowded culture of constant competition? Yes but also.

It’s that I don’t want to be back there, isn’t it? Back then. Back when.

Small. Silent. An ugly, isolated, unhappy little monster, sobbing and sniffing aerosol spray in the hopes that she might get high or die. What sort of 11 year old hopes to quietly cease to exist?

One who is desperately lonely and believes that it is all her fault. The egos of children are like that, they believe they are the cause of every negative thing and so by the time they’re an adult and realise otherwise, the emotions are so deeply embedded that they are more like personality or fact.

There is no fact of fixed self. We grow and change. But sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, leave me alone for just a little while, leave me in pain and unable to distract myself, expose me to a harsh word either internal or external and suddenly I’m that little girl again.

I’m sorry, I’m awful, I’ll keep out of your sight. Oh God, I’m lonely, look at me and love me and tell me I’m special.

I’m not that little girl. All I am is phenomena in flux and the stories I tell myself about myself. But how much of my identity revolves around proving to myself that I’m not that little girl? How much energy do I put into being noticed? Into finding evidence – that is never enough – of the importance of my existence?

I’m not that little girl but. Also. I am that little girl. I grew up but she’s still inside me and when she’s feeling vulnerable, as an adult I am learning how to give her the kindness and compassion that she so badly needed back then.

It’s ok my love, it isn’t your fault.