The universe has been conspiring recently. So many things have brought me up short and drawn my attention to times gone by. Times that I don’t like to think about much. Times that I don’t deny, or ignore but which I wish were not so.
Old school friends who might read this will remember a very different Dani to the one writing this. Others will also perhaps remember someone so miserable that it was uncomfortable to be near. And I…I remember that girl too. Except that I have tried to forget because it makes me so sad. But thoughts have intruded, people have cropped up and quite suddenly, I’m in a reflective space and that little girl Dani is asking me to look at her and think.
I’ve made contact with a few school friends, mainly through Facebook, but I feel so ashamed that in the most part, I don’t connect in the way I might like. I know we all have baggage and don’t always like the teenager we once were, but to feel shame about feeling so desperately sad and the person that made me, well, that needs sorting.
Today, I met up with an old teacher of mine. She was an inspiring teacher and someone who, when I was at my lowest, took me seriously and listened. She couldn’t, of course, fill the gaping void that I was experiencing, but she helped me hang on and taught me that no matter how ugly things look, there is always hope and there will always be someone there. I owe her a lot. But meeting her for the first time in about 15 years forced me to think back to that point and I feel sad all over again.
Not the aching, dreadful, fearful engulfing pain that I felt all those years ago, but a sense of feeling sorry. The me that I am now feels sorry that I didn’t save that drowning girl sooner, that I let her become so broken, by herself and by others. This Dani would not let that happen and it will not happen to my boys. I missed out on the latter part of my childhood abusing myself and I missed out on my 20s letting someone else abuse me and now, in my 30s – well, this is my time.
My husband is so wonderful that he has healed that void by part filling it and part allowing me to narrow it all by myself. I owe him my life. My children have taught me more about what I’m really capable of, when there is love, and I owe them their lives.
So what I want to say is that I’m not going to hide that little, hurt Dani and I’m not going to feel ashamed any more. I’m sorry if I wasn’t good to be around when you knew me, but I was not whole. I still have my moments, but I have a lot to give these days; rather than sapping the life out of anyone within a 10 mile radius, I can be quite fun and care very deeply about those around me. And if you only know the ‘new’ me, you now know that my past was dark and desperate but I can’t keep it under lock and key any more.
I’m learning that with honesty comes freedom and I want to be honest with myself, my friends and my boys so that we can all have the freedom to live with an acceptance of each other, flaws and all.
Your mummy was broken, but now she is not.