My heart is an ***** that pumps blood through my veins…it is NOT a room for my "inner child" to live in. And no, I cannot see, or hear "Little Nita" talking or sitting beside me, and no – I will not comfort her or let her sit on my lap. I will not do those things because she is not here. "Little Nita" does not exist – I cannot see her, or hear her – she used to exist, but she grew up and became ME, "BIG Nita", "Adult Nita" – and honestly, I like the "Adult Nita" much better….big improvement. And "Little Nita" doesn't live in my heart.
If someone asks ME, "Adult Nita", I have no problem telling you about how unfair life can be sometimes. People do bad things –and I accept that. I guess my life will be filled with a perpetual struggle to find my voice. In essence, it all comes down to that. And perhaps rather than face the struggle in defensive move, always poised, on guard, ready to fight, I should embrace that ideology as one of comfort, something to look forward to. Maybe the difference between living and a life is found, not in the degree to which one succeeds in finding her voice and making it heard, but in having a voice to find in the first place. Without that constant, continual fight – you are silenced, and a spirit silenced begins to die (I know this to be true). And once this happens, one becomes empty, numb- a shadow or a shell of one's former self, with nothing constant to hold on to. My cutting – that was my "constant", my "comrade" – when everyone else walked away – I knew that I could depend on this. But perhaps I've been wrong about this too. It's not the cutting that's been the constant, but rather, my struggle to be heard. That struggle has never gone away. When everything else is stripped away, what is real will still remain. When you take away my cutting, my restricting, my past….the one thing that remains is ME, Nita, still trying to make my voice heard in a world that has never listened, never cared. And rather than fight for it, my voice, rather than embrace that struggle as one that lets me know I'm still alive, I have spent all this time fighting against it, keeping it quiet, never saying what I needed to say. Never expressing my feelings, or allowing myself to just "BE". Here – now – right in this moment. Instead, I spent my time acting out, or looking back, trying to make sense of things, or looking forward trying to get everything figured out. And I've missed the little things – the seemingly unimportant things. The "everyday stuff" that makes life what it is. Without it, life would be nothing more than a series of empty moment. And that emptiness would in turn, only fuel the hunger, the drive, the need to find one's voice…a never-ending circle. How do you find your voice and "BE" heard. A search for meaning hidden inside photographs, poems, turning thoughts into "written words"…. Searching for meaning….It's a universal struggle, regardless of the art form, I suppose….
No one cared about the 4 year old brought to the hospital with recurrent bladder infections and vaginal tears. That wasn't their job, their job was to "fix" the symptoms, not understand why they were there in the first place. When my father went to prison for what he had done and I was placed in therapy where I was required to "participate" – all I ever heard was, "you're very angry" – but no one took the time to "ask" why I was angry – because no one wanted to get involved. No one wanted to take the time. Why do you think that is? Why is that?
And all the latest "DBT" mantra, ranting, training, teaching, talking….all treatment focused on making me stop self-harming. I want to feel less depressed, I want to feel less anxious and less distressed, I want the memories and the nightmares and the compulsive thoughts to stop. And until they stop – I have no desire to stop cutting – because cutting makes them stop (at least for awhile). And it seems to ME as though no one wanted to deal with the depression and why I was depressed and self-harming…the focus seemed to ME, to be much like Pavlov's approach when he trained the dogs……it seemed to ME that you thought, "if I say MINDFULNESS, or DBT, or MEANING-MAKING, she will make the connection that she must stop cutting." Or perhaps the experiment of the rat who received a shock each time he displayed an unacceptable "behavior" – eventually, the rat will no longer do it. There was no longer an interest, or a care, about ME, but only interest and care in stopping the unacceptable behavior….so that the patient can go back to work, and function as a normal human being, in society. I no longer existed- and that confused ME – because I cut myself – I bleed – I see the blood – I must exist.
But you insisted that DBT was the answer! You no longer saw ME, you saw only the behavior, the behavior that needed to stop. Suddenly I am lost in a sea of "symptoms". And I exist no more.
And yet, I do exist – because here I am. Not the "trauma patient" the "cutter" the "ED" the "CSA Victim"~ not "the stubborn child" "the willful child" "the angry child" – but ME. The ME that somehow got lost in this process – ME – the intelligent, successful, caring woman who succeeded in spite of her childhood. The woman with a heart of gold, the woman whose smile could light up a room.. ME! ME! Nita – my favorite color is green, my favorite flower is a violet – my favorite food is tacos– I love the smell of clean laundry and rain when it just starts falling, I love the feel of a newborn baby’s head. I love to watch the sun set. I love to drink coffee out of the cup my daughters gave me 5 years ago that says, "Happy Mother's Day”. I love to make my husband dance to Air Supply even though he pretends he doesn't like it.
ME…Nita ~ I’ve known you for 3 years, but I don’t think we’ve ‘met’.