It’s crazy to me how much harder it is to get my thoughts out on paper, so to speak, when I feel whole and happy. I wonder why that is? I wonder why that lost, messy, version of me found pouring herself out on paper was so easy or if she will ever even reappear at this point. I feel like Ive packed her away and replaced her with a version that is so much stronger and sure of herself. I cant think of a reason for the disaster version to ever show up again. She’s just not needed. She’s just not wanted.
Im ok with that.

I cant think of a time I ever felt so sure of myself and the decisions I made. Where Ive not even doubted what I was doing or my reasons for doing it. So confident and strong and no longer stewing and crying myself to sleep over things I shouldnt even be contemplating that Im a bit baffled. I even tried today to doubt myself, if that makes sense, and just couldnt do it. I tried to rethink, I tried to convince myself I wasnt doing the right thing. I couldnt even get a whole thought out like that before my inner voice shut that train of thought down.

Maybe Ive actually completely snapped and this is me losing my mind.

Maybe Ive actually completely snapped and this is me finding myself.

Maybe Ive finally reached the summit of that mental health mountain Ive been struggling up my whole life and am waving the flag at the peak like the victor I am. I hope that doesnt mean it’s all downhill from here and there’s another crash coming.

The dragon got kicked out again. This time for good. I dont doubt my decision, in fact it feels like it was long overdue and I waited way too long for the proof I needed to not feel guilty for tossing him out on his ass. I dont feel anything about it. I dont miss him being here and the way he went out, which should have been heartbreaking, didnt even phase me. That was the whole thing I tried my hardest to second guess. I tried every argument I could think of. Threw everything at that mental wall of it being my fault or my place to fix. I tried to make myself feel guilty. None of it stuck. None of it even came close to being a complete thought. That wasnt my fault, I had no fault in how it played out, and he is not my responsibility to care for. He doesnt care enough to even try to fix it and Im not going to. And all that is perfectly fine and accepted.

I dont know if he was the catalyst for this sudden personality upgrade or if he just happened to be around when the person Ive been fighting to become finally made an appearance. Either way I accept the outcome like the meeting of a old friend Ive always known about but never actually met. I’m meeting her now and I love her. She’s amazing.

I got to talking to one of the other girls I work with the other day about broken children. She had a less than stellar childhood as well. Neither of us thought of our upbringings as odd. In fact she didnt know hers was different until very recently. The whole conversation brought me back to wondering if no one told kids they were broken or damaged if they would ever have any idea. I honestly dont know. Kids dont have another frame of reference for comparison so how would they know the things they dealt with weren’t the reality of everyone. My first experience with realizing my childhood was different was only related to the abuse I dealt with in the Raines household and even then it was only after I went back to school after being on the front page of the newspaper and having kids ask me questions that I realized I was something of a celebrity. Childhood carried on for me like normal. I was only 9 yrs old after all. Even then the teachers had lectured everyone to leave me alone so my class had talked about me while I was still in hiding but I didnt know that. I only found that out from my best friend at the time who stuck by me like glue and shared her My Little Ponies at lunch. In hindsight this is just another example of preparing everyone for this broken little girl to come back to class. I dont really remember any of it phasing me much. Certainly not enough to qualify for everyone to be on high alert. I don’t remember feeling broken or damaged.

I really didnt process that I was broken until I was about 13 and at summer camp when a counsellor showed me what my foster parent had written about me. All of it was lies, which is why the counsellor even showed me, but the gist of it was I was heavily damaged and had major behavioural issues as a result. Prior to that Id never heard that I had problems. (in truth the statement implied that I behaved inappropriately around boys due to sexual abuse when in reality I did no such thing)
That was my first experience that I was aware of being viewed as damaged. It was the first time I realized there was a whole world of paperwork that I never saw where the adults in control of my life exchanged info about me, accurate or not, upon which the other adults based their opinion and treatment of me. I got access to this paperwork when I got my foster care file but that’s probably a whole other conversation.

I wonder now if I would have felt differently about myself had I never learned that I was damaged goods? Would I have grown up with the same self esteem and abandonment issues? Would my trauma levels still be where they ended up or would I have had a chance at feeling somewhat valued as a person not just a paycheque or a sex object?

I like to think I would have had a fighting chance at least. Maybe just because it’s too late now and time for that conversation has long passed. I like to think maybe I might have arrived at the person I am right now decades earlier and without nearly the pain and heartbreak and roller coasters. Maybe I could have managed to maintain a marriage. Maybe I could have raised my children. Maybe that one small change in my own childhood would have changed things for lots of people. I deserved that chance. Every child deserves that chance.

Maybe it’s something child psychologists should think about when they’re helping kids grow and find themselves?

In any event I got there on my own and came out stronger on the other side.

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