Friday, March 26, 2010

Time to face the little fat girl inside...

"I know they say you cant go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam.
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn't know under that live oak my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it,
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me." Miranda Lambert

Going home. After 20 years. To a place I have hid from, from a place that has such mixed feelings for me, and a place I vowed I would never return to. For those that don't know me from my childhood, I grew up in a very small town in Upstate NY. I went to the same school from Kindergarten through graduation, I knew the same people from the day we moved in (1974) til I left to go to college.

It is really hard to decide sometimes if growing up there was a good thing or a bad thing. In some ways it was a perfect place to grow up, very protected from the real world, very safe, a good school, wonderful teachers and some great memories. Yet at the same time it is a part of my life I long ago walled off to avoid the bad. Home was abusive (in every way possible) and I was bullied at school mercilessly.

I am writing this on Wednesday, because I want to capture my feelings, but won’t be posting it til Friday (my visit is a surprise for at least one person, so I am scheduling it to post after I get to their house). Going back to Germantown after 20 years is happening for a bunch of reasons, some to reconnect with old friends I left behind, but more importantly to reconnect myself. I am sure the reconnecting with others will get blog time this weekend and really doesn't scare me as much right now as the reconnecting with myself does.

For 20 years I have tried to believe I left that part of me behind. That it didn’t matter, that the past was the past and had very little to do with today. It is only in the last 4 months I have come to see how much growing up fat, being judged and abused for that and who that made me is still a part of me. And more importantly how it is still controlling me. That the fat little girl inside me is holding me back in many ways, and it was time to confront that part of myself.

So as hard a decision as it was, when the invitation came to go back for a group event, I decided I needed to do this. That in order for me to fully benefit from and internalize the changes I have made in the last year, I need to face that part of myself and come to terms with it. I need to realize, as my trainer pointed out today, that I am not her anymore. That I have changed. That all I have accomplished as an adult is far more powerful than what I hid from as a child, and that it is time to allow myself to be proud of that and not hide behind my past anymore.

To say I am scared of this journey would be an understatement. These are ghosts I thought I was done with. When I open these doors I don 't know what I will find. I don't know what to expect, I don't know if I will be able to leave that part of me behind or just make it worse. But not going wouldn’t solve it either. I need to face this head on.

Part II – I wrote the first part above early on Wed morning. It is now very late Wed night. I belong in bed a couple hours ago, but sleep is coming hard tonight. I get on the plane tomorrow and start facing my past. But ironically as nervous as that makes me, I have to admit I found some comfort today during my workout. I don’t think it was anything that was said particularly but it was just a realization I had. It doesn’t matter how bad in the end facing my past is…it is 4 days of my life, it is not the rest of my life.

As much as I need to let go of seeing myself as that fat child, if that doesn’t work, it isn’t the end of the world, because my life is filled with a lot of wonderful people who don’t even know that person, and who are here for me as I am, and will be just as much on Monday when I get back as they were today before I left.

I hope for my sake I can let the baggage go after this weekend, I know it will make this journey not only easier, but also more fulfilling for me. I want to be happy with each pound that comes off, I want to enjoy the milestones and the accomplishments, I don’t want to filter them through old voices and past pain. But if that doesn’t happen, I think the realization I had today about the acceptance I have in my life now is as important as anything I can find back there.

1 comment:

  1. Danielle HennesseyMarch 27, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Wow, you write so well! I had no idea home was abusive for you. If u have time stop by my mom's house. My hubby. And I are staying there right now. I have a sick dog so I can't go anywhere.