There’s been this child inside of me who hid in the dark shadows of my soul; lately she’s been peeking around the corner to see what it’s like outside. She feels the warmth of sunshine and wants so intensely to touch, laugh, play. She wants to check out the world and all of her possibilities. She questions leaving the safety within; she desires to live in all that ‘Trish’ has built around them.
There’s something pulling the puppet strings. “Is it her? Does she want to take part now? What will others think of her?” She hasn’t stepped into the sun for over 40 years, but she’s not the same anymore. Everything about her world has changed. She’s loosened the little hands, which gripped so tightly to hold her safe all these years. I can feel her wanting to live, but she’s not quite sure how.
There have been so few moments when I’ve felt her at all. Its like when the monster snatched her up on the couch long ago, she climbed inside of this closet and did all she could to keep the light from breaking through the cracks.
She did come out to hold my children and expressed such great joy with a little girl’s giggle as she played in their lives. Then she was gone again and I’ve not felt her since. I had no clue she was still there. Every moment of the past years have been so terrifying that she kept putting layers of duct tape on the walls of my soul. She did this so she wouldn’t have to feel anything. She didn’t want to feel, nothing had ever felt safe, or good, or happy. Even the good moments when she peeled the corners of tape back to let a moment with the children shine inside; like when she saw their faces on Christmas morning; when they woke up on Easter to seek out their baskets of candy, or when they dressed for Halloween and went racing through the streets to collect as many treats as possible. These are the moments that have sparked joy for her, but those moments have disappeared as the children have grown and moved on.
There’s been a three year span of her pulling back the heavy layers of tape from the walls. Slowly, quietly, sneaking and testing to see if it’s all really as good as she thinks.
“Has it really become safe now? Are the years of pain and torture, broken hearts and busted dreams; are they really gone?”
I do feel like they are. There hasn’t been anything to fear in about 8 years. ‘Trish’ has been able to let her feel ANYTHING again. This man has reached inside to hold ‘Trecia Ann’ and guide her to light very gently. When he sees her playing and showing through, he lights up. ‘Trecia’ can see the gleam in his eye as he looks at her.
‘ I don’t think he knows who he is seeing though. He thinks he sees ‘Trish’, but to me, he makes me feel ‘Trecia’ smiling.’
‘Does he know what it touches in me to see him smile at her, be proud of her, hold her, protect her, even guide her through to a new awakening?’
It’s like magic!! Like Santa personally handing me a present and saying, ‘It’s Ok, you’ve done a fabulous job of protecting her, but she doesn’t have to keep all that armor on any longer. She can remove those many layers of wrapping and spring to life.
Inside it feels as if ‘Trecia Ann’ is looking at her beautiful magic present but has no clue how to open it. She’s careful with this present. She’s afraid she’ll do something, anything, and Santa will take it back; sending ‘Trecia’ back into the dark shadows of her closet of safety.
I can hear her asking, ‘Can I lift off the gift wrap and see what’s inside this beautiful present?’ I really don’t know what to say to her. A part of me wants to grab and rip at the paper of this gift like the five year old excited child she is, but then the woman of me wants to set it aside like a ticking time bomb and call in the bomb squad to scan it and ensure there is no trigger wire there that might make it explode.
I feel God finally heard her plea, now He is whispering in her ear and saying, “Go ahead my child. It’s your present. I’ve been holding onto her, but its your turn now. Don’t worry you won’t hurt her. You don’t have to be afraid of her. Look into those magic eyes, see her? She wants to be part of you again. She loves what you’ve done, but she wants to come home and be with you now.”
I feel my arms reaching out to hold her. They wrap around her, cradle her on my lap and rock her safely as I hum a soft lull-a-bye. She’s looking at me with questions in her child like expression. She curious, but yet sparked with joy; she can’t stay in the dark any longer.
Although I’m feeling this sense of a magical gift, it also seems as if many don’t like this child. It’s like all, even her own children are trying to keep her in the taped up darkness, but she wants to keep ripping it away. She’s just so afraid other’s will be ashamed of all she has done, maybe she’s the one who is bad? “Is this why she hid away all these years?”
Her family only knows the ‘Trish’ who has been building these walls. They don’t understand why the walls are cracked and crooked. They don’t want to see ‘Trecia Ann’. “Is it because she reminds them of all that happened? Is it because she’s talking so much and won’t be silent like ‘Trish’ has been all these years? Did they forget she ever existed?” I’ve always felt her there, protected and hiding inside, waiting and closing herself off to the world so no one would see her.
I can’t help what’s happening now. I don’t want to lock her away any more. This man that has helped her feel again, he’s listened, he’s heard her scream, he’s put a light bright enough to shine through the cracks. The little girl is waking from a deep dark sleep and never wants to go back and think of those horrible dreams.
She hugs God and says to Him, ‘Thank you dear Lord for holding me in Your arms all this time.” With her child ways she reaches over and tenderly kisses his cheek. The spark He put into those eyes long ago is now back and its glowing like a magic ball.
I look up to Creator and ask Him if He really believes I can take care of this child now? “Does He believe I can give her the wonderful happiness and honor she deserves for being so courageous and hanging on so tightly all this time?
“Can I really give her life? Will she stay with me and help me help others now to take down their heavy tape which binds their child in secret? Will she and I really be able to feel as one?”
We must and we will help others see their child, to reach out to them and help them comfort all they are. For many, like ‘Trecia Ann’, it is as if the shattered woman who built their shell is putting the pieces together. The shell was busted by all the heavy blows from the fists, but it’s all gone now. There is a glow of light shining in and it’s really life now. The woman sees her puzzle and finds there is a child rather than a shameful monster she thought existed there.
Putting the puzzle of our life together and connecting with the reflection of the child lying in wait, this is magical, this is a present of life. It has finally found its way to me and I really hope in some way I can help others to build their castle of dreams. To see the hope that has finally been answered; to see the roses blossoming from the thorny stem. It is your turn now to climb the lattice and reach the warm of the sun, touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping.
“Do you hear the child’s giggle as she peeks outside to play?”
Enjoy her and rejoice in all she has done. Be admirable of her endurance to remain there waiting for you to see and hear her. Listen and you will hear her heart beating!!!
Photo Art – Michal Madison
Watercolor Artist/Advocate/Radio Host/Survivor