The child is never to blame

Entering the playroom

Illustration from Tussila's Book

Many, many years ago, maybe almost a lifetime ago, something important occurred in my mind. Now, I would like to share this experience with you.

I was in a dark place. I can’t remember what this particular darkness was about, it was just one of those numberless dark periods of me realizing that I don’t fit in nowhere.

I guess we all are in such places from time to time, some of us rarely, some of us almost always.

The feeling might be familiar to you, the desperation when trying, the overwhelming sadness when failing, the envy of those who seemingly so easily succeeds. Succeeds in taking part of the society, in making friends, in establishing families, in being happy.

Myself at that time, I wanted to smash into pieces the television screen, because the female program host was so pretty and looked so self assure. Though I didn’t do it; after all, the TV was the only distraction tool I owned, and I had no money to by a new one. Besides, I was far too afraid to unleash my rage.

What happens, when frustrations and disappointments loads up over years, when there seems to be nobody particular to blame, when it all boils down to; It’s my fault, I’m useless, I’m worth nothing, I will always be a failure.
I was in this state for a long period. I was choking in my bitterness. I was crawling in my misery, thinking I’d just as well drown myself in it. My self-hatred knew no limits.

Then it happened; I suddenly got aware of a little girl standing in a corner. Her eyes were wide open in fear. She hardly was breathing. It seemed that she tried to hide inside the wall, the way she pushed her tiny back against it. I could feel that she feared for her life. I could feel that I was the one that terrified her. And suddenly; I realized that she also was a part of me.

Then, after some serious thinking, I turned to myself with the following words:

Yes, you are angry. Yes you are boiling over in frustration, and that I understand. However, you are not alone in there. Inside of you there is also a little girl. This little girl just wants to be a little girl. She wants to feel safe and appreciated. Right now, the little girl really wish to paint and draw on a sheet of paper, and you will allow her to. You will organize for her a work station at the table, you will get bowls of water and sheets of paper and paint and brushes for her. Then you will gently lift her up and place her on the chair, wiping the tears off her face, saying sorry, I’m so sorry I frightened you that badly. Now, you go on painting, I will make us cocoa and something to eat, and then I’ll join you at the table.

And so I did. Not at once though, I had to go some more rounds with my self first. At last I gave in, concluding:
To be in this state of self-destructive-ness does no good anyway. If I expect somebody to come help me out of it, knocking on my door offering me comfort and support, let’s face it: Nobody will. In fact, I am the only person who knows what I’m going through now, and I am the only person that can deal with it.
It is perfectly fine being this mad, I am allowed to be as mad as I want to, when ever I want to. However, this does not mean that it is fair to blame the little girl inside. She has nothing to do with it. This is adult affairs. And besides, who knows; maybe in the long run the little girl inside actually turns out being the one that leads you out of this misery, to a nicer place?

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