In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”
Today’s assignment, write a letter to your 14 year old self, seemed easy, but on second thoughts I am not so sure. It certainly seemed the easiest option. There were so many choices: some that I thought I could do, and others that I thought I wouldn’t know where to start. Sometimes I think when there are too many choices, it’s very difficult to decide which option to go for. Better, when it’s either this or that really.
Yes, you, come on now, try not to let things get you down too much. I promise life will get better. I know that you’ve had it really rough and I know that you wish your first suicide attempt at age 11 had worked, but it didn’t and that’s because you are here for a reason. I know that you can’t see that now, because all around you is chaos, but you are a divine spirit and you need to know that.
Try not to internalise the pain. I know that you feel that you have no-one to confide in, but you do. Speak to your grandfather. I know he is no longer here. I know he died in 1959, but his spirit is with you. Speak your pain and he will hear and he will try to smooth the path for you and make life a little easier. I know you’re thinking, “rubbish!” But seriously, he came to help you that painful night when you were 11. It was him you saw, when he hovvered over you. It was not a figment of your imagination. He came to make sure those pills did not work.
You’re destined for great things Marie. Look at Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou – they suffered too but look how they have turned their lives around. They have have used their abusive pasts to build a solid framework in which to change their lives for the better. OK, so you’re never going to be Oprah or Maya with their very public profile, but you will be Marie blogging on WordPress, “sharing, hoping to inspire and motivate” others.
I know you think I’m crazy, and that this will never happen. Yes at 14, with a mother who clearly finds you an irritation and a father who gets a kick out of battering you, sending you to school with bruises on your face and body, with the explanation “If they ask you what has happened to you, tell them that you fell over some wire in the backyard”, makes the above paragraph seem like the ramblings of a mad woman, but honestly, you will survive.
People that you don’t know now, will be reading your poetry and will write to you telling you how much they love what you have written. People all over the world in France, Austria, USA, Australia will be commenting on your poetry.
There will be something called the Internet which will allow you to connect with others in a way that you can’t now. The world will be a smaller place in terms of contact and there will be vast opportunities for you to grasp and take advantage of.
I love you Marie and I want to take care of you in the only way I can. This is why I am writing to you, aged 14. I want to give you hope. I want to let you know that I am there for you.
(A much older)Marie xx
Stephen D Jennings post “Violence is Never the Answer” has prompted me to reiterate and reinforce my view. My best Christmas present of all would be to know that everyone would subscribe to this. This and my last post are really depressing, I know, especially as this is a time when we’re filled with anticipation for good times over the festive season. But I hope everyone will see that my heart is in the right place. We need to keep sending this message until it is finally heard.
Stephen D Jennings post on “Saying Sorry is not Enough”
I have reblogged this post because it resonates with my “about” page. I am passionate about spreading the word that violence can never be the answer. It is the season of goodwill, and perhaps at this time more than any other time, we need to know that there many people who will not have a good time because they have a violent partner, parent etc. Rage and violence flares up (ironically) at this “peaceful” time. Sitting here on my pc is not going to solve the issue, but perhaps blogging about it will bring this to our awareness and if one violent person seeks help, I would feel my message is getting through. Forget about the present buying, the consumption of alcohol, the merrymaking for a moment and focus instead on the best gift of all – peace in our homes and our lives. Peace to all at this time and Season’s Greetings.
Why is it so hard to let go of past hurts? Do you know, I’ve struggled with this and try as I may, I cannot come up with the answer. But I have tried hard to do this – saying “I forgive you”, and at the point of saying it, there is a feeling of release. But oh how easy it is to slip back into unforgiveness! It’s as if I am in a wrestling match, trying to overcome my opponent. I think I have him pinned down, but then he frees himself from my hold and grips me in another hold, where I struggle to free myself from that hold in my quest to become the victor. My conclusion is that it’s not possible to completely let go, it’s an on-going process and if you can get to a place in your heart where you feel the grip is loosening, then you will feel better. Perhaps for some of us it is more healing to say that “I am forgiving”, rather than “I forgive” realising that it is a process and a journey (for want of a better word) and that by looking forward to that place of forgiveness, each step taken, takes you closer to your goal. I found that trying to release my pain through this poem was a step on my way to forgiveness and letting go. I’m guessing we all have a poem to write …
Forgiving You, For Giving Me Hell
In this beautiful place
On this beautiful balcony
Overlooking the beautiful sea
My father in a different light
I begin to view his plight
This morning it’s not about me
This morning it’s got to be
A gradual awareness of how blessed
He is, that God has made me see
How broken and wounded this man has been.
So now I reach out
And without a doubt
Release him, I free him
From the prison of my heart
I say: “get off your bed, you’re free to go”
I open wide the prison door
And stand aside
That he might slide past me
And fly outside
That he might soar
With wings of love
Into the sky above
So long I’ve held him prisoner
Watched him through the window of my soul
Refused to give him parole
Screamed that he in prison would die
But now I see that he must fly
His tormented soul begs my forgiveness
And so I release him
I can no longer his judge and jailer be
I’d like to say, with one fell swoop I set him free
But that would be a lie
My qualifications for this job did not come easily
The tears I shed, my wounds they bled
I flirted painfully with death
So you see, I earned this position
‘Twas not given me
I could not relinquish without a fight
A lifetime of immeasurable hurt
But now I choose to set him free
Go on, go quickly: I will not change my mind about this clemency
You don’t deserve it
You don’t deserve it
You’re so unfit
But because I choose to let you go
To lose my sorrow and my woe
You’re a free man
Free to leave your prison cell
Free now to dwell
Wherever you wish.
Copyright Marie Williams July 2009