I finished Reconciliation and I am proud to say I have reconciled-ish with my Little Dragon. During the course of listening to the book I began to despair because I c ouldn’t figure out how I was going to make things up to my Little Dragon. She was, in a lot of ways, irreparably damaged. And I allowed it. I’m slowly unpacking the guilt associated with that. I did what I had to do to protect myself in the maelstrom of narcissism and gaslighting. There were times in my life when I wanted to leave everyone behind, when I wanted to divorce myself from the dysfunction that is my family but I didn’t have the backbone to go through with it. At those times I didn’t know why I had to leave I just knew I needed to.

Master Hanh said something in the book that was a tender light-bulb moment. In recognizing my inner child didn’t trust anyone because everyone had hurt her, hurt me, no one protected her or championed her when she needed it most. None of the grown-ups or semi-gr’ups even noticed me because I had perfected the protective art of invisibility in plain sight (If they can’t see you they can’t hurt you…). But now, I am grown. I am aware of my Little Dragon and I have vowed to pick up her banner and tout it to the world. I think (hope) she has accepted….

Upon accepting the responsibility of shepherding my inner child I have been treated to bouts of her pain. The pain I have been avoiding because, well, it hurts. When I feel safe, mostly when I am alone driving in my car I am treated to the excoriating memories of what drove me to abandon her. I have always believed I am ugly. Not uncommon for girls raised in my time, but it was reaffirmed by comments like “No one likes fat girls,” teasing mercilessly at school, my father singing to me “Rolly Polly, daddy’s little fatty. Rolly Polly daddy’s little girl.”, being told my hair hung in in greasy strings in my eyes. My favorite was “you’d be so pretty if you just lose weight.” (her list went on and on a continuous loop at times) Reliving her pain would push me to tears which I would have to quickly correct because I was driving in close quarter traffic. I don’t know if she was expressing her pain or trying to get even for my neglect but I didn’t stop it. She has settled down and I’m trying to be sensitive to her expressions in me now, as I write this, to be true to her voice as I am as true to my adult voice.

Since I offered this white flag my heart has been at peace. Yes, I still think I’m ugly, but I know a person is more than looks even though I have been told through my adult life that men don’t like fat women….or women who can’t cook or clean….Or maybe just the men I’m interested in don’t….I dunno. I’ve given up on that. What I am happy about is I am a person my Little Dragon can be proud of. I am a good person and I will be a good shepherd to her and raise her in the unconditional love I’ve never had. Maybe that will open the floodgates for this self-love everyone keeps talking about.