Caring for ourselves is a difficult task. At the best of times, we are all over the place emotionally, but as we come out of a crisis and take the hard road toward recovery, we need people around us who can care, guide, support and validate us and our efforts.
At this critical juncture (where I’m at), we are emotionally small children again, crying out for the safety and comfort of a mother’s arms. We have the emotional needs of babes, yet must learn to parent ourselves; give ourselves that which we missed out on. This is not an easy thing to do, being both parent and child within one mind.
This is a period of extreme vulnerability, for me anyway. We already feel rejection more keenly than most, we are in incredible emotional pain, so a few careless words, a dismissive or hostile attitude at this point can plunge us immediately into a state of utter and complete despair.
We need you to understand this. We don’t need you to parent us precisely, but we do need you to help guide us to parent ourselves sometimes. We don’t need you to solve our problems, but we need you to help us to break them down so that we can address them ourselves. We don’t need you to take control and do everything for us; we need you to help us believe that we can do it. We need you to try and understand our language, and we need to learn yours. We don’t want you to talk down to us as though we were children, yet we need you to care for us as though we were while we learn how. It is a very fine line.
Although we are fragile, we can’t be treated as such for we will retreat into childhood and not grow through it. Grow through it we must. Please remember, we are starting from scratch.
We need encouragement and positive reinforcement.
We need hugs. Or at least I need hugs. Friend hugs. “I care about you hugs.” “You are not alone hugs.” Not lead to a physical relationship kind of embrace. Safe, and nurturing hugs. I cannot be in an adult relationship, for I am a child. Sometimes, I need to curl up and be held like one.
We may need help removing negative influences in our lives; these may be things that we have clung too and are reluctant to let go of. Letting go is very frightening for us. Fear of abandonment is such a powerful thing so we will dig in and hold on when we shouldn’t, and this is to our detriment.
Applying the necessary self-discipline, structure and routine, we need to work on our daily self-repair is not easy. How easy is it for any child to focus for a long time on a new and challenging task? In the beginning, we may need you to be gently affirmative with us. Acknowledge it when we do well; congratulate us and share the joy with us when we reach our personal milestones. Help us to celebrate us; to celebrate and love who we are becoming.
Kindness, compassion, patience and understanding are necessary. We need to feel safe and supported as we try to find our feet and our independence.
Please don’t give up on us, and don’t let us give up on ourselves.
The butterfly that finally emerges will be a beautiful butterfly indeed.
Help us learn to grow our wings.
We will be eternally grateful to you.