Hey, little one.
I want you to know that I see you. I see you there, leaning on the bannister. I can feel your uncertainty.
It’s okay to be afraid. Things are loud. This is the safest spot we’ve found. We can count and plug our ears and drown out some of the noise. But we can also pay attention, in case we need to help.
I don’t know if you know this yet, or how to explain it to you, but nobody is going to come and rescue us. There isn’t a magic ending. Wishing for it made sense. Wishing for it gave us hope. You were never wrong for wishing.
The beginning of our story was written for us. We didn’t have a choice. But now we do, and I am hoping that you’ll let me sit with you, and hold you. And eventually, we can come down off these stairs, together. Because as much as those stairs are the crux of everything, where all the hurt lives, they are also a comfort. They are our normal, and we know them. They are a known factor.
And I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to mother you. But I do care. I care so so much. I see you, and I see your pain. You matter. You matter to me and to so many other people now. You matter to them, too, they just aren’t capable of showing it.
I know it hurts when nobody comes to talk to you after an episode of his. I know that everybody is so tired and exhausted from tending to him that your needs aren’t met. I know you are angry. I know that you are confused. I know that the only thing that makes sense, calling for help, is the one thing that you aren’t allowed to do. I know that you are taught to blame him. I know it’s… Impossible… To consider that you are more alike than not. We will need help with that one.
I know that nobody comes to you at night to check if you’re ok yet they have no problem reading your diary and getting mad at you for your feelings. Those feelings are valid. I know that your self harm and cries for help go ignored and get dismissed and no matter the reason why – that reason does not supersede the fact that you are desperately hurting.
I feel that pain. I know that pain, it sits in me even now. It radiates through us and I know you will cry yourself to sleep. And I know that no matter how much of an attack is directed at you that tomorrow… tomorrow you will have to wake up and take care of them again. And you will. And it won’t be good enough. But it was never your job – you are doing a job of someone much bigger than you. And you are doing it better than they could. And you keep doing it, despite everything. You couldn’t have done better – the situation was set up so that it was impossible to succeed and then you were expected to do the impossible and that was in no way ever your fault.
Do you hear me?
This. Is. Not. Your. Fault.
There isn’t a solution that you can find. You are not responsible for finding a solution. It was not your job to be his mother. It is not your job to be her mother. You should not have to be your own. You could not have saved him and they were wrong for making you feel otherwise. You can’t save him – and it’s time that we work on accepting that.
And I know it doesn’t feel like it’s over, because the feelings live deep in our muscles and tissues and memories. But you are safe. You have a voice. I am going to help you use it. It is okay to be sad. And it is okay to be angry. It is even okay to feel guilty, and I welcome that with compassion and understanding.
I don’t know how to do this, but I’ve found us a guide. I trust her, and I hope you can too. And I promise to never leave you on those stairs alone. Ever again. Okay? We don’t have to leave these stairs until you’re ready. It may take time, but you are no longer alone. You never have to be alone again.
I love you. I am here now. It’s time to start letting go.