Who was this mysterious poet?
If you’ve stuck with me this long, you might have already figured out that this teenager was me. (You can read my whole story here.)
I found these poems while digging through boxes of my old writing a few months ago and I saved them to share with you for a couple of reasons.
First, reading them back made me recall how it felt to be raised by such a person. And in a way, they sort of validated me. It’s easy to develop abuse amnesia, even when you do what I do for a living. It’s easy to forget how difficult it was to go through the pain we did. And it’s easy to wonder if it really was that bad.
The silver lining in all of this is that my son is currently 15, and finding these poems gave me some insight for which I am grateful: I have given my kids something that I always intended to give them – the support and encouragement they need to see themselves as “real people,” who are whole, legitimate and deserving of being heard. The knowledge that their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and ideas are valid and worth discussing. The understanding that they are unconditionally loved and that they deserve to be happy and healthy and safe in their lives. The power of their own voices.
So, if you are here because you want to know what to do to prevent your own kids from experiencing this pain, or because you need to find a way to reparent your own inner child, then this is the bottom line on what you need to express and what you need them to know about themselves.
1. You are a real person who is whole, legitimate and worth being heard.
2. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and ideas are valid and worth discussing.
3. You are loved unconditionally and you deserve to be happy, healthy and safe in your life.
4. Your own voice has power and should be used to express yourself with love.