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Hush Little Twenty-Something Don’t You Cry

I’d love to say that I was binge watching Pen15 and thought it would be fun to write something about the alleged ‘good old days’ of adolescence. But in real life: my inner child who lives somewhere inside, took my metaphorical steering wheel and told me that I can’t drive for shit.

I have never claimed to be anything more than nuts, bananas or downright fruit loops in the brain, but even this concept is a bit squiggly to me. Driving to work on Tuesday morning I couldn’t for the life of me remember growing up, granted I'm only 26 but still. I stared at my hands white-knuckling the wheel and could not figure out how they had been the same hands that played in dirt, did 300 cartwheels in a day and brushed the hair of countless Barbie dolls.

I didn’t make it to work. I turned the car around and drove to my sister’s instead. She hugged me, bless her for not asking what was wrong because I had no explanation. I simply let the tears fall and made up a “family crisis” to get me out of work. Since rebranding anxiety to “chronic imagination”, I have a clearer picture of what spirals look like, what will set the panic in and how to chronically imagine myself back to normal. But this instance was out of my control. There was no way to reassure me that I had not left child-me behind; that 6 year old Stephanie wasn’t sitting alone on the front school steps waiting for me to collect her. Because where is she? She sure as hell isn’t here.

This thought caused me physical pain. I could feel the abonnement of a child not knowing where a grown-up was, while simultaneously being the adult looking for a lost kid at a carnival. I’m no stranger to therapy, counselling, hypnotherapy or tarot cards for that matter, so I’m familiar with the concept of inner-child healings and affirmations. But this was something else. This was the inner-child having a tantrum. Fucking pissed off and fueled with resentment that she had to go through what she did while I walked around without a scratch. And, I know what you’re thinking, this doesn’t *sound* like something “scratch-free”, but like I said - I was convinced these were two different people.

Some really wonderful strangers comforted me by saying they were sorry I felt bad, that they hoped tomorrow would be better. And it was. I got up and went to work. Accidentally called a customer the wrong name about 6 times but we survived! And for my next trick I will spend time with my friends and family and buy groceries and go for walks and sing in the car and shower and sleep and brush my teeth and get dressed WHILE pretending that I’m not battling this peculiar sense of internal grudge.

I can’t think of a funny spin for this one, like I could go out and play, blow bubbles or something, but I’m particularly defensive about seeming okay. I also don’t have any advice on this either so I really hope you didn’t waste your time if you’re struggling too. I just hoped maybe this would count as some journaling/wellbeing mumbo jumbo. If it helps someone else too then that’s fantastic and I wish you the best - always.

x❤x -SL

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