“I’m going to yell.” My therapist says, warning me and trying to give me the opportunity to do the same.

“No! Please don’t!” I am pleading, because fear has taken over my entire body.

I entered angry. So angry. It’s a wildfire burning through each cell, attempting to escape but my skin is cement — leaving the fire stuck, boiling inside.

I feel like I need to scream. The suggestion and permission to do so makes complete sense to me and I want to but I cannot move past the shear fear that exists over my or anyone else’s anger.

Eventually, instead, some of it escapes when I say out loud I feel five years old. She immediately wraps her arms around me and tears begin to slip out before I’m even fully embraced.

You see, I woke up feeling five.

But instead of having compassion for five year old me, I felt angry that I’m five times that size. I’m five times more angry. I need five times more nutrition. I’m five times more emotional. I’m five times heavier.

“What does five-year-old-you want to say?”

Why can’t I talk for her? I feel safe and secure and willing.

“I don’t know.” My mind is truly blank. Fear has wiped it clean. I can see thoughts swirling but I can’t grab one to say out loud.

Five-year-old me wants to say; love me. I need to see it, hear it, feel it. I need you to stop everything and see me. I need you to build a fort with me (I’ve asked a thousand times) and really be in it with me. I need you to talk to me there, in this space we’ve created together, and I need to feel heard. And if I suddenly can’t talk, I need you to wrap your arms around me like you’re never letting go, until I can talk again. I need you to play Go Fish with me so my anxiety can drop and words can come out. I need you to pull my tiny five-year-old body into your lap. I need you to just let me lay there. Feel there. Be there. I need you to show me you love me–because I can’t handle anymore yelling. I can’t handle holding onto any more fear. I can’t handle another second going by without knowing I am worth your time and love. I need you to say, “[my name] I love you.”

Somewhere in my heart there’s a huge hole that cannot be filled and I often feel broken when the grief that is held there is front and center.

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