April 13, 2015

I Needed to Love Her.

tess reynolds 1

My dreams are often vivid and although most are about zombies, I’m lucky not to have too many nightmares that render me out of breath, wet with tears and sobbing like a child.

This latest dream, however, sent me beyond convulsions. It rattled my whole being.

It woke me up more than words can ever describe.

In this dream, I was fighting a being. Her face was unknown to me, no more than a shadow attempting to bleed me to death. The thought of this sent me into a type of darkness, aroused my anger and made me thirst for her life. She came at me, with claws long and dirty—the strands of her hair whipping at my face. I grabbed her by her neck and slammed her to the ground. She smiled at me with a bloodied lip. Rage engulfed every nerve I possessed and I reached for her once more, this time to empty her of life. I took a handful of her hair and brought her face inches from mine, when I saw it. Behind the demonic shine that glowed from her eyes were those of a child, frightened and defeated.

“Do it, you coward.” She hissed.

“You’re…me,” I whispered, realizing that all this time, I’ve been fighting a being I

In the darkest moments of my life, she was born. She was the product of my self-hate.

“Do it! Do it!” She cried. Her eyes crazed as she spat out reminders of my failures and inadequacies.

In an instant, a wave of sorrow washed over the wrath that burned inside of me. I held her head and brought it close to my chest.

“What are you doing?!” She cried and continued to attack me with words that at one time brought me to my knees. I felt nothing but guilt and pity. I had to change. I realized why she kept coming back each time I had thought I killed her. The act of killing reaffirmed my hate and made her stronger. She needed me to kill her, but I…I needed to love her.

“It’s okay.” I whispered to her as I wrapped her in my arms.

She continued to struggle against my hold until finally, she stilled. Her body began to softly shake against mine. I heard her quiet sobs and felt her tears dampen my skin.

And then, she was gone.

I woke up sobbing, waking up everyone in my household. They asked me if I was okay and I saw the frightened look in their eyes when they saw me smile. I was smiling through my tears. I was awake. I was more awake that I had ever been in the 33 years of my life. Whether or not the heavens were responsible for my dreams, it was a message clearly received.

I needed to love myself.

I was killing myself every day and I didn’t know it. Whenever I embarrassed myself or made a mistake, I would unleash a string of obscenities in my head. Quietly crushing my spirit and foaming at the mouth from being so disgusted by my own actions, no matter how small the error.

What started out as an occasional “you’re so stupid” turned into a poisonous degradation that seeped into my veins and brought me to my knees on really bad days. I know we are all guilty of being too hard on ourselves; after all we are our own worst critics.

I was worse though: I was my own enemy.

The warden, the prison and the demon, they were all me and I didn’t even know it. For every bad day, bully and negativity that I faced, I unknowingly outdid them all by putting my own soul through the shredder. I thought that if I was hard on myself, I was holding myself accountable and therefore never becoming the victim of anyone or any circumstance.

I was right in some way, instead of becoming the victim, I was the perpetrator. My soul would have died by my own hand had I not had a dream that would awaken me from my very own abusive cycle. It never was about killing the parts of me that I didn’t like. It was always about loving everything about me, quirks and all in order to become whole. We need to stop feeding our self-hate by trying to kill who we are. That hate is just going to grow stronger.

We need to love everything about us in order to kill the hate in self-hate. By doing so, all we are left is our self. And that is the most beautiful thing we can possess and offer to the world.






7 Tips for Practicing Radical Self-Love.


Author: Tesa Reynolds

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: via the author


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