Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Video: My Inner Child Almost Went to Goodwill

On Ash Wednesday, I hate to compare myself to the rough, chain-smoking, boozer Grace (Holly Hunter) in “Saving Grace.” But I’ve been thinking about that last episode ever since my former therapist handed me my junior-high journals totally unsolicited on my way to an hour with my current therapist. (I know, so many therapists gets confusing, even for me!)I’ve been thinking about these lines of dialogue between Grace and Earl (her guardian angel):“What do you want, Earl?” Grace asks him.“I want you to heal,” he responds.“So now you’re my therapist?”“Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward.”The last few weeks I have gone back, to a very scary place for me–a spot I wanted to skip over forever. But in moving through it, I’m able to come up for air with perhaps a bit more clarity to this whole illness of mine, some additional understanding on how to progress towards peace. I had to go searching for Katie, the doll that my guardian angel Ann told me to hang on to, for moments like this.But I’ve found a few companions on the way. Like Beyond Blue reader Babs, who wrote this as a response to my post, “Dear God: The Desire to Love Is Enough”:

One of the very things I have been wrestling with is the desire to love the little child who felt ugly and unloveable; whose father molested her. Can’t seem to make up my mind to love her, either. I have a much easier time with loving other people. I can extend them kindnesses that I deny myself. It is as though there is a locked door inside me and I don’t have the key to find and hold on to desire.


And a fellow Beyond Blue reader who told me he was giving up self-loathing for Lent. I thought that was great, and decided to do the same. No more berating Therese during Lent. I’m going to try to take a holiday for 40 days, as I treat my inner child to a tea party. Wish me good luck! And happy Lent to all of you. BE NICE TO YOURSELVES.

  • valerie

    Thank you so much, Therese, for always sharing. For you to be able to “put yourself out there” for so many people in cyberspace is truly an act of faith.
    After listening to your video (again–you shared it with me before and I loved it for so many different reasons), I thought, “Why is it that “we” tend to belittle our pasts and childhoods or doubt them or wonder if they were truly as awful and sometimes as unbearable as we thought?” I think it’s truly too painful for some of us to go back to that place. And you were reminded and really re-affirmed by getting your old journals back, that “yes, yes, yes, you were right, those years were painful.” I think it validates you or validates your inner child, more importantly (?). And yes, there is so much grieving to be done and it seems like you’ve really been working hard on that.
    So congrats to you, you brave strong girl. Keep Katie safe (I’m talking about your inner child more than the actual doll–although, if your husband accidentally sends her off to Goodwill, he will have some people to deal with!) Protect her, love her, CHERISH her; feed her emotionally and spiritually. (and physically too–you know, like a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!)
    Love Valerie

  • Larry Parker

    Wow. Just, WOW. I was about to start bawling when you turned off the camera.
    It seems quite fitting that your inner child is a Cabbage Patch Kid (or at least a knock-off). They feel abandoned too and then taken in by those who love them.
    As we do, Therese :-)

  • joanna

    Hard time watching with my eyes, quite wet.
    Almost impossible with my heart.
    Understanding with my spirit.
    Holding your hand through the whole thing.
    I do not know you very well. I have not been here very long. Whar I do know about you is how real you are. You could not write a chapter without writing truth. That is why you were struggling. How wonderful of God, because he made you and knows you. Knew your inner child needed validation for the chapter. You “just happened to run into an old therapists who “just happened” to have your journals. What a validation in your own writing as a child. Childen know truth. easily!
    If this is going to be a book I can’t wait to read it. I am getting so much from you. Honesty is the greatest freedom around. You are full of it. Honesty that is. Love you, take care and know people are lifting you up. Joanna

  • Linda

    Earlier today I had written this in my journal:
    “I don’t think it can get any worse than this without me totally falling apart. I am holding it together by a thread. I am so very close to giving up. I cannot find any hope anywhere. Things just keep getting worse. If happiness is around the corner it just isn’t worth holding on until then. I have tried everything to pull myself through this. I feel so alone. God, please help me. Please hear me. I have never felt this low before. I see no way out of the mess I’m in. I see no hope. My head constantly aches. Today I’m here again alone without my car. Even if the car was here I would have nowhere to go. I’ve lost my appetite and it’s hard to eat. I don’t even look forward to Sal coming home because he just doesn’t understand and I feel guilty for being so glum all the time. I’m really losing the battle. I am trying to change the way I think of things, of my outlook on life and feelings about myself but they’re only getting worse and not better. Are there really such things as miracles? Can I really get through this? I think about escaping through alcohol or Sal’s Somas just to get relief but they aren’t even appealing. I feel a total lack of purpose. I feel useless and pathetic. I feel unlovable. I feel unkind. The weather is like my soul. Stretches of days without sun, gloomy, gray, cold and damp. I try to push myself to help myself but nothing is working. I am so defeated. I don’t know how long I can continue to fight. I remind myself of the St. Jude poem – don’t quit. I keep trying to hold out and it gets worse. I look for the tiniest splinter of hope and it turns out to be nothing and I feel foolish. I can’t stand it. Is there a reason for all of this? Why aren’t I good enough to have a happy life? Why is bad luck all around me? I am so tempted to let go of everything. After everything I’ve been through, now I want to let go. I’m so exhausted. I’m so alone.”
    I got on to Beliefnet looking for anything to help. I watched your video and cried my eyes out. It didn’t help. I so know the torment. I so know what the pain feels like. I so know what the hopelessness is like. And I so know what it feels like to not be able to find anything to make yourself feel better. I keep struggling. I keep doing all the things I’m supposed to do. It takes so much time and effort to concentrate through the fog of depression to do all the things I’m supposed to do to help myself. NOTHING HELPS AT ALL. My meds aren’t working. I’ve been relapsing hard. I’m going back to my doctor tomorrow and I’m seeing my therapist too which I really shouldn’t because I can’t afford it. I lost my job. Bills are piling up. I’m losing ground. I can’t cope. I hate my life right now and I feel guilty for hating it. I feel like there’s no where I can go, no one to turn to who can make this stop. This is the darkest day of my life. I have never felt this bad. I don’t know how to hang on. I’m trying to survive but I just can’t stand it. All of the pep talk is useless. “Be kind to yourself” just doesn’t cut it. The worse thing of all is the absence of hope. I want to be alone but I hate being alone. I’m tired of the fight. It’s all gone out of me. I don’t know what else I can do. I’m too much of a survivor and a fighter to attempt suicide. But staying in the fight is so damn hard. I’m afraid of losing everything that I’ve worked so hard for.
    Therese, I’m the one who wrote a while back to tell you that Fr. Girzone was my mentor many years ago and I e-mailed you that photo of us. I never did get in touch with him.

  • Wendi

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue on this path, Therese.I have spent a lot of time in therapy this year treading that same ground. It’s painful. You’re doing great. 😉

  • marilyn

    therese just wanted to tell you that i truely admire your strength and courage that goes into these have been a blessing to me.may god continue to be with you on the journey of life. marilyn

  • Valentine

    Dear Linda,
    Having gone through too many years of really not caring if I died..and long periods of time looking forward to the relief it would bring…somewhere along the way it became more difficult to continue to suffer than change – I changed
    Today I like living. I have been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing!
    I’ve learned that God is the observer, not the creator of my life. It is not God’s function to create or uncreate, the circumstances or conditions of my life. I AM THE HERO OF MY OWN LIFE”S STORY.
    Letting go,Linda, isn’t hard….it’s the holding on. Life IS a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.
    ANY day above ground is a good day. And the glory of each morning is that it offers us a chance to begin again.
    Now when you have come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, one of two things WILL happen:
    There WIll be something solid to stand on…. or you will be taught to fly.
    You are NOT alone!
    I’m betting on wings!
    (My reason are your own words, and I quote: “I’m too much of a survivor.” )

  • Robin

    This last week has been a struggle in many ways. Coming across your video this morning may have been a blessing for me. I have struggled for years against depression not understanding what causes me to become so depressed. Listening to your video opened an area for me that I’ve refused to allow myself to relive concerning my own inner child. I came from a loving family, was taken care of and have no complaints but my dad was such a perfectionist that I had a difficult time ever feeling as though I measured up to what he expected. Now as an adult, I still find myself trying to prove to myself that I am “good” enough. In trying to prove myself, I throw myself into one situation after another, never feeling the satifaction I am striving to find.
    Within the last year, I started going to Al-Alnon meetings. Those meetings have been teaching me that it’s ok to take care of myself and I’m learning to do a lot of soul searching with the help of my sponsor and a number of other women at the meeting. It has helped me to start opening doors within myself and to stop the destructive thinking that I have become so good at.
    God does guide us, sometimes we just don’t realize where he is taking us. Thank you for you video. Robin

  • Lynne

    Dear Linda, When I read your post…I could have written it myself. I’ve lived your struggle and felt everything you descibed with painful accuracy. I know what you’re going through. I’ve even written a song about it. The punchline is “I’d hate to miss the happy ending.” How can you KNOW tomorrow won’t be better unless you’re here to see it. I know you hurt beyond the telling of it but it would be worse if you gave up one day, or minute, or second too soon. I was ready to do just that but I woke up and things DID get a little better. I did’nt want to have to explain to God why I could’nt be patient one more minute, when help WAS on the way. I’d refer to the “lifeboat” post. Also there’s been suicides too close for comfort in my life. I KNOW what it does to the survivors. So you be a survivor…not a statistic! May Jesus carry you across the sand till you can walk on your own.

  • Nancy

    Bravo!! So glad your going to “try” to take a holiday of no berating yourself while you and your inner child have a tea party or two.
    Sometimes that is what we need to do to attack the day in and day out craziness that surrounds us.
    I am not Catholic but I think Lent is a great idea even for those of us not Catholic. To give up something negative for 40 days is training to permanently give it up.
    God Bless
    Nancy aka sixlittlekitties

  • blanche

    While “back in the day”, I managed to get a Cabbage Patch Doll for my daughter, I won another one in a contest. I don’t remember the details about the contest anymore, but I still have the CPD in my closet, new in the box. Perhaps, your video and post was sent to me (& all the others) by God, to show me that your tea party for two, could actually help me. I’m going to try it….thank you, God, and thank you, Therese. Love, Blanche

  • Jennifer

    I’m so glad that the journals ended up affirming your memories of that period of your life. When you originally wrote that the therapist gave them to you I thought it was cruel of her. You were in a tender spot, and reading those really hit the exposed nerve.
    I’ve had some intents moments of understanding myself via childhood in the past few months. It hurts so much at first, and then it almost turns to a spot of relief- relief and understanding, affirmation.

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