You finish all your homework before the bell to go home rings every single day and your dad questions why you never have homework. You are bored the entire year of second grade because it is too easy so you fill your time with writing stories and being the leader of the club you created. You get on the bus to go home and your heart starts picking up the pace. But you have a long walk home with your brother and movement will help ease it until you are faced with opening the front door.
What will I do wrong? What will I say wrong? What parts of me were not enough today? What might I have done recently that has been found out in the six hours I’ve been gone?
The thing is, looking back, I rarely did anything “wrong.” But I believed if I failed in even the smallest ways, I wouldn’t be accepted or loved by my dad.
Living every single day with that kind of anxiety —fearing your own parent will stop loving you, and that love had to be earned, and that I hadn’t quite earned it because I was never good enough, was devastating to my little body.
And that is just the beginning. That is a single layer, a layer I can talk about rather swiftly. I want to wrap little-me up. I want her to know she didn’t deserve any of those little traumas or big traumas. She didn’t cause them. She didn’t do anything wrong—you can’t be wrong for simply existing as a child. I want her to cry safely. I want her to know she’ll still be loved even when she fails, or panics, or fears things—rational or irrational. I want her to be actively loved.
That love is how depression will die. That love is vital to letting little-me know she doesn’t have to keep panicking.
My emotions feel so big and intense and out of control, but I cannot handle the way depression eats at my soul. I really do want to die because when that starts happening, everything seems pointless and purposeless.
And the way to fight it is to remember that there is a small child in me that needs help and I have to let her be helped. I have to let her be loved. I have to let her talk.
So she will talk: help, I am scared.