Mothering Myself

It’s funny how almost everyone thinks that I had this fantastic childhood because my father has a lot of money. Listen up, folks. I have a critical PSA: Money does not equal happiness. Get over that thought right now.

My parents divorced, my grandparents all died, I was abused for most of my childhood and adolescence, no one really ever noticed where I was or what I was doing. At 11, I was smoking cigarettes and pot, drinking whatever Mad Dog my friends could get from the 7-11 with their slick, 5-finger discount, my mom was in a mental institution and even when she came out her access to me was limited both by my father’s custody and her own, completely self-absorbed lifestyle.

Sounds entitled, eh? Like a storybook childhood lived by a rich princess in the American South. Yes, our house was always warm. Yes, I had a pretty bedroom. Yes, my dad told me that whatever I needed, I just had to ask. So I did. For example, when my last pair of underwear had holes, I figured I needed new ones, so I asked. When my pants looked like capris and no one at school would speak? I asked for some that fitted my length.

So long as I was good, I was an afterthought to everyone in my life except my grandma.

Last night, as a part of a teleconference I am participating in, I took the opportunity to mother my child-self a little bit. I told her that she was good, strong, smart, capable and kind. I held her, in the form of an old photograph to my heart, I asked her what she needed and told her that she would receive it. I sat with her in the tunnels she created in a big field of weeds and wildflowers one summer, in the shade of the poke bush, and held her against me in a warm, safe, loving way.

We all suffered as children. We all suffer period. This kind of going back and creating safe space for your wounded child is very healing, I found out last night. The little girl in the photograph still looks incredibly sad. The part of her that’s still in my heart feels quite a bit better today.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in health and well-being, parenting, personal. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mothering Myself

  1. IrishRose says:

    This is a very bittersweet post to me. On the one hand, I feel very sad for this little girl, you, your child-self. I want to hug her too. At the same time, I know the woman you are now and I know you are strong, smart, beautiful, kind, extremely capable and a source of wisdom and inspiration to many women. {Hugs} to both your child-self and your now-self.

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