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“No one knows me, no one ever will, if I don’t say something, if I just lie still.
Would I be that monster, scare them all away, if I let them hear what I have to say.
I can’t keep quiet…no more. I can’t keep quiet…no more.
I’m a one-woman riot, I can’t keep quiet, for anyone. No…not anymore.” ~ Milck, “Quiet”
Recently, at the Together Live event in Seattle, Milck performed a few of her songs.
The experience was beautiful, moving, empowering, emotional, and soul-stirring. As tears streamed down my face, she sang of everything that I had been feeling.
Over the past several years, I have done a tremendous amount of inner child healing work, but over the past few weeks, I was able to see the depth of pain and healing that still needed to be done.
I was finally, clearly able to see the magnitude of my walls, coping mechanisms, thought addictions, co-dependent patterns, and overcompensating tendencies (over-loving, over-giving, over-achieving, and controlling) I’d created to bury and offset the wounds from my childhood. I have been on an all-out healing mission to finally heal this pain and rise up into my true, authentic self.
In really diving into this healing over the past several weeks and finally allowing myself to see the reality, I could see that I no longer fit inside the box I built around myself when I was a child to keep myself safe and to make everyone else okay.
With the exception of the past year or two, I have lived a mostly separate life—with my true self safely inside the box, while the “outside” version of me did “real life.” Even to this day, only a handful of people really authentically know me (because I didn’t even know myself). And it’s not to say that I’ve pretended to be someone I’m not, but in “real life” I always lived on the surface—never being vulnerable with or acknowledging of my feelings or my full self.
From a young age, it’s always been “I’m good” with a smile on my face—an automatic response to anyone who asked—and then focusing on them: their problems, their life, their feelings. I’ve always been the one who everyone comes to with all their “stuff”—I’m the fixer, the holder, the saver, the helper, always more comfortable with helping everyone else than letting anyone in.
And I imagine that many people who have known me since I was young are confused to read this. I imagine they are thinking, “What? She was such a happy little girl, and has had such a good life! What is she talking about?!” And that’s how automatic and deeply ingrained this can be, because on the outside, I was a happy little girl. And overall, I did have a good life.
I came from a “normal” middle class family. I had kind, supportive parents who, although divorced, were always amicable and provided everything we needed. I had an older brother to keep me company, great friends, and a wonderful, small beach town to call home.
On the outside, it was picture perfect. But within that normal, supportive, loving childhood, there was also deep trauma made worse because from a young age and for most of my life, I carried the weight of the trauma alone. I split off that part of myself—all of the pain—and locked it away, creating two versions of self (not consciously, of course).
In order to avoid the pain and reality of the wounded version of myself, I focused 100 percent of my energy outward, subconsciously creating an “outside” version of myself, who was always trying to be the version who made everything and everyone okay (which was part of carrying the trauma alone, so as to protect everyone else from it).
I was always the ultimate perfectionist, unable to fail or be wrong, continually striving to be whoever I thought I should be, not ever really knowing who I truly was, and trying to control everything and everyone around me to make myself feel safe.
I was co-dependent in my relationships, either controlling (showing up as a mother instead of a partner), or needy and anxiously attached, trying to get my security from my partner—trying to fill the void in myself with love from another. Over-giving, over-loving, and over-compensating in all aspects of my life because my value was tied to doing, rather than being. I didn’t understand that I was valuable by default simply because I existed.
And obviously at a functional “brain level,” I knew all of this. I knew I was lovable and valuable. But despite the years of healing work that I had done, until recently, there was still a deep, subconscious part of my wounded little girl that was still locked away in a box, still feeling unsafe, unworthy, afraid. And I feel sad that I didn’t recognize it sooner, that I didn’t scoop her up and love her back into wholeness a year ago, or a decade ago, but I truly couldn’t see it, she was buried so deeply. I had done so many years of deep healing work and have dealt with her pain on so many levels, I assumed that I was relatively “done.”
I mean, how many tears can I possible cry over one issue?! Many. The answer is many.
And I am unbelievably grateful for the people and experiences in my life that recently showed me how much pain she was still holding—how much she was still hiding—and for the ability to finally, fully, allow her to release all that she has been carrying after all these years.
To do this, I allowed all of the feelings and emotions that had been buried so deeply for so long, triggered by recent events, to fully surface and fully flow (that is, I cried—a lot). I used a combination of inner child work, meditations, and BodyTalk (energetic healing) with my amazing mentor Kristian Strang to fully feel the emotions and heal the wounds. I attended CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous) meetings and began the process of recognizing and working through my unhealthy relationship patterns, and dove head first into books, meditations, and podcasts on healing.
I made it my absolute mission to find and heal my wounded little girl, making her my ultimate focus for weeks.
And it worked. This focus and this process allowed the deepest parts of my hidden self to surface, and allowed me to reintegrate this split-off part of myself back into the whole.
Now my wounded little girl is finally getting the space she needs to be fully seen, heard, and validated so that she can be fully healed and feel fully loved. She no longer needs to live behind a wall, hiding inside of her box. She no longer needs to over-love and over-give, or get her value from anything or anyone else, as she is innately valuable. She no longer needs to hide or be afraid. It is safe for her to come out and be alive, present, and integrated into this beautiful life and this beautiful self.
I am whole.