Friday, June 11, 2010

Love Letter to the Invisible Girl

I feel lighter and happier today than I have since Knight started his new relationship nearly two weeks ago.

Those who know me well have heard me talk a lot about The Invisible Girl since my mother died nearly two years ago. The Girl is an archetype in me, the way that I have come to perceive my inner child. She is the part of me that never outgrew the pain of the invisibility that came from living in the shadow of a narcissistic mother. She is the part of me that doubts I can be seen and loved for who I am. She is the part of me that is terrified of abandonment, and becomes incredibly sad or throws temper tantrums when I feel unseen or I'm afraid I'm losing someone. The Invisible Girl is the part of me that gets triggered and overwhelms me with fear.

I have been trying to work with this part of myself, to really understand our relationship so that I can manage trigger experiences, and eventually learn to prevent them from happening at all. I have spent a lot of time observing her when she freaks out, especially since I have been in relationship to Knight. While I have had incredible insights into the source of my fears and the reactions they stir up in me, I haven't felt like I've made any real progress in managing the Girl or her triggers.

I've learned recently that the problem is when I observe her, I hold a lot of judgment about her, and even hatred for her existence. I have believed that her existence is evidence of my crazy brokenness. I've blamed her for making my emotional life so difficult. I have been incredibly unkind to her.

What I am learning in my studies into radical self-care is that my Girl needs to be me. I need to hold and comfort her when she is terrified. I need to accept our feelings rather than resist them. I need to talk her to with kindness and compassion. I need to help her understand that I don't need her to protect me any longer. I need to find out what we truly need to feel safe and secure (as opposed to what she thinks we need).

Yesterday morning Knight had a date with his new lover. I started out the day all right but by early afternoon, when I hadn't received any texts from Knight, the Invisible Girl started throwing fits. Before and after his last date we had flirted by text and it had helped me feel connected to him. I told him how much it helped. So even though I didn't outright ask for it, I expected him to do the same yesterday (unexpressed expectations = inevitable disappointment).

As the Girl started telling me stories about how he's forgotten me, how I don't matter, how he likes his other lover better than me, etc., I realized I needed to do something to shift the momentum. I drove to the marsh to change the scenery and connect to nature, which always helps calm me. As I sat in the car, I was suddenly inspired to write a letter to my Girl.

While I have resisted the idea of communicating with parts of myself through dialogue or letters, as has been suggested by a variety of sources but always felt sort of hokey to me, I'm beginning to understand what a healing practice it is. For the first time I accepted everything that I was feeling and I felt significantly different afterward. I felt lighter. I felt hope that this may not last forever.

I woke up this morning feeling expansive again.

Here is my letter...

Precious Girl -

I know you are scared. You feel like we are in the dark and it reminds you of the closet we used to sit in when we had no one and truly doubted we existed at all. You wonder if we continue to exist if no one is present to witness us. Do we continue to exist to our Love if he is seeing, touching, loving someone else?

But we are real and we are loved. We are a Divine Spark - a child of the Universe. Not only do we exist, but we are amazing. We are so very strong and resilient. We have overcome so much together. And our story is witnessed by many. We are loved by many. We have never been so visible or loved before. We have touched so many lives with our poetry, our art, our writing, our service to community, our friendship, our vulnerability, and our willingness to share our story to be a light on the path to healing for others. There is so very much to love about us.

We are not alone - even when we are. People do not stop loving us just because we aren't interacting. We are loved every minute of every day by everyone that we love every minute of every day, whether we are consciously thinking of them or engaging with them or not. It is no different for those we love than it is for us.

I know you're scared by this new relationship, but the truth is that Knight made us first, to his own detriment, and we still felt invisible. It isn't about his new lover or him. It's about us. It's about me. It's about how I have been rejecting you when you most need to be held.

I am sorry. I am so sorry for making you more invisible by rejecting you and believing I am broken because you are inside of me. I am sorry for hating that you are a part of me. I am sorry I haven't given you the love we need when you are only trying to protect me.

It's not our fault that mom couldn't see past her own crazy to really see us. It's not our fault that the fathers in our life could not see past their own fear and addiction to see that we needed to be saved. It does not make us unlovable that our parents could not love us well. They really did the best they could.

Mom's illness is not our fault, and it's not hers either. I think she was an Invisible Girl, too, and she never figured out how to heal. Let's love her rather than blame her.

Precious Girl - it's time to heal. It is time to believe in ourselves. It's time to believe that we are our own super-hero and we can save our self.

Really look at our life, our story, and see how we have been our own super-hero all along. We saved our self from insanity. We saved our self from violence. We saved my children from a legacy of brokenness. Now it's time to save our self from this fear of something that is no longer real so that we can have the fullness of love we desire.

It's time to rewrite our story together.


Dave Berman said...

Yay April! This is so great :-)

Asspaddle said...

I always learn so much from you. I am here in tears. I am honored to have such a thoughtful, complex, and mystical partner. Much love.