Friday, March 7, 2014

She Belongs

         She sat on her bed, arranging each stuffed animal in its place. They each had their special place to sit, and they each belonged. She stared deep into their eyes. "I know you can talk", she told them. "I just don't know why you don't trust me enough to talk in front of me. Maybe God will make them talk to me." She thought. So she prayed: "dear God, if my toys can really talk, please make them talk to me now, so I know it's true." She opened her eyes and stared at her stuffed animals. Nothing. They remained motionless and quiet. "fine, but I still know you can talk. You can't fool me." She knew it deep down, and things that she knew deep down could not be swayed by a single, failed attempt at communication. Nothing could touch her inside. Deep inside, she was safe and accepted, because God lived there. At breakfast she informed her older sisters that she knew the meaning of a certain word. It was a big word, and complicated for one so young. They did not believe her, so they insisted she describe the meaning to them. She refused. She knew the meaning of the word, and by holding it safe in her heart, and not proving herself to her sisters, she knew that she had power...that she was power, and that their unbelief could not touch that.

          She was hungry. She was always hungry it seemed, and always wanting a snack. Her stomach stuck out when she walked, mostly because she slouched. Her hair was short because she had asked her mother to cut it like a boy's hair. She wished she was a boy. Her sister joined her in their room and plopped down on the bed next to her. "I heard something that I probably shouldn't tell you." Her sister informed her.
"You have to tell me!" She demanded. "now."
"Well..." Her sister began. "I overheard dad talking to mom, and he said you were getting kind of chubby. He's wrong, though! You aren't fat at all."
Her insides felt like they were plummeting, and suddenly she knew. She knew she was ugly. She knew she was chubby. She knew she wasn't good enough anymore. She wasn't a lovely little girl anymore. She was just...ugly.

The Lie: You Don't Matter. You don't matter to the world, to those around you. You know you are loved by God, but you don't know that anyone else could love you. Like, only a Mother could love you. Only your Mother God.

"The adults walk above me. Children look up and see me."

          She sat on the carpet floor in her bedroom, head bowed, clutching her diary to her chest, and listening to the voices talking and laughing downstairs. The family had company over. Tears silently ran down her cheeks and dripped off her nose. She was hiding, hoping beyond hope that someone would miss her and come ask her to join them, because she was important too, and her words mattered. No one came. No one ever did. She knew the truth. She knew her voice couldn't carry the weight anymore. Maybe it's time to end it. To end her. Why was she here, if no one needed her anymore. If no one cared enough to find her. Something was wrong. She was fading away. Her words of "I love you" and the way she tried to catch their eyes...failed. Somehow her voice was never heard. Somehow she was too often overlooked. Caught in the cracks of not being old enough and also being too old. She wanted to leave. To end this life that didn't seem to matter. She opened her diary and wrote: Hold, me God. I'm fading away, and you're the only one who cares. Why should I stay?


Hello, little grace. I whisper to the little girl sitting on her bed with her stuffed animals. She looks up and smiles at me. I'm lost. I came to you because you are not lost. Do you know why I am lost?
"Yes." She says confidently. "it's because you forgot you are an artist. A genius artist! You make things prettier." Yes. You know this. You don't doubt, and you are right. I told her. She look thoughtful for a moment. "Does my dream come true?"
Which dream is that?
"Do I get my own baby, and it calls me mommy?"  My heart warmed, and I felt my whole self glowing from within.
You get three. 
She beamed at me, and picked up a teddy bear and gently started rocking and singing.

Linked up with The Girls We Once Were


Jamie said...

Sigh. So good. And you know it made me cry. I'm so glad you found her and she found you. I love you!

Anonymous said...

I felt unimportant so often growing up, too. This is a lovely reflection. We do matter, and we did.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my heart, sweet Grace. We have always loved you dearly. This is beautifully written . I am very thankful for you. You are a beautiful person and you shine brightly .

treemusicmama said...

You are digging deep for deep healing, and that takes so much courage. You have no idea how proud I am to call you my sister.

Rachel said...

oh my heart lurched when I read this. this is too familiar. but oh, you are so loved and you are so beautiful and you are so treasured.

thank you for writing so brave.

Cyberbard5280 said...

Whoa. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until my chest hurt so badly and the gasp tore from my throat. Thank you for the beauty and the heartache and the strength and the hope.

emmillerwrites said...

This picture of having a conversation with the Girls We Once were made me a little teary when I was reading it in the wee hours of the morning, and I'm still ruminating on it hours later. I hope the Girl I Once Was is pleased with the Woman I Am Becoming.

Anna Blanch said...

Oh to converse with our little selves - the girls we once were - little grace, so beautiful.

Stacey Lozano said...

Sweetness. Perfection. This is beautiful.

Adela said...

This made me ache. I'm sorry no one came for you as a girl. But I am so glad you are here now. Your voice is beautiful. It matters. You matter.

Anonymous said...

I'm sobbing. Hours after first reading this, I'm reading it again and its hard to see the words through my blurred vision. I'm so thankful you're a fellow story sister. Your voice is powerful and needed.

the rusty artichoke said...

wow. so much excavation here (and you know it's good when it resonates with all our stories, which it totally does). i'm not sure if i'm crying more from the post or from seeing your sisters and mom's comments in this space. you are all so brave.

Grace said...

Wow! All of your comments mean so much to me. Thank you for stopping by and giving out encouragement. :)

Sara said...

I love time travel. I am sorry for missing the opportunity to be for you what your future self was in the story. I hope I will learn from this to always seek out the missing ones.

Grace said...

It's ok Sara. Everyone has struggles they have to deal with. You very often were there for me. But yes, it makes me think that I need to be more mindful in seeking out the lonely.