Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Standing witness...with a PB and J

 I wrote this a few days ago as a Facebook status update and wanted to archive it here, :) 

When I was five years old, I would have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday after school. With a glass of milk. It was the first thing I would do after getting off the bus. Five for me was, well, hellish in my little mind. It's when I started getting really, really angry. I was miserable. I had horrible nightmares and I remember, at just five, how heavy and depressing being alive felt. The abuse I'd been enduring for a few years had started to take its toll, in serious ways.

Everyone noticed. My siblings became scared of me or would get very angry with me; and I with them. How I processed the abuse was to push everyone close to me away, most especially my loving and perceptive mother, through angry outbursts.

But everyday, I would sit down and enjoy that pb and j with milk. Looking back, I think my mom let me have it everyday, without fail, because maybe she could see it was one aspect, however small, of my little life, in which I could enjoy something. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the vast majority of my childhood.

I just made a pb and j. An "adult" version: coconut and peanut butter with blueberry "preserves" grilled in light butter on multi grain bread!

Sitting there, I was brought back to those days, over twenty years ago, in which I sat in my same body, with my same hands feeding my same mouth. And I smiled, thinking about how much had changed. I don't regret or wish I grew up any differently. It was very difficult, what I went through so early on in life, but sitting there eating my pb and j, I thanked that little girl. Because she survived. And eating her used to be go-to comfort food, I honored her. With a smile on the outside and an abundance of love on the inside.

I hope we all find moments to honor, respect and above all, love the parts of us who survived, at whatever stages in life. And in the process, stand witness to the sacred, beautiful journey that is life.

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