Personal coaching helped me realize that sometimes I respond and react to situations as the little girl in me, rather than the smart, capable, strong woman that I am today. My coach asked me to write a letter to that little girl. Because I’m a writer, I decided to write it as a story instead. The character that represents me as a woman is “Big” and “Little” represents who I was as a girl. I hope you enjoy the story and follow along as I write new posts.
As Big approaches the house, tears fill her eyes. She stops at the door and takes a deep breath. “It’s time,” she says to herself.
When Big enters the house, she sees the poem “Footprints” on a wooden plaque in the hallway. Big remembers reading that poem every day, sometimes three or four times a day. It gave her comfort and peace. As Big walks through the house, she is struck by the light. The sun shines through the windows as if the house sits in the clouds.
This was going to be a tall order for Big, but it needed to be done. Big was going to have to deal with Little. As she walked, Big was surprised to smell her mother’s perfume still dancing through the hallways. Even her dad’s aftershave lingered in the bathroom. Her parents had been long gone but their essence remained. Honestly, that was part of Little’s problem.
Little is nine years old. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She spends all her time reading books, playing with dolls, and pretending that her stuffed animals are students in a classroom.
Big enters the room. She takes Little into her arms, “Hi ladybug!”
The guilt is overwhelming. There was a time that Big wanted to move on without Little. But she realized that was impossible. So Big found the strength to deal with their shared pain.
Little’s eyes widen as she comes face to face with the women she has become. “Hi Big! I am so happy to see you!” Little squeals. “Why are you here? Did I do something wrong?” Little asks with concern.
Big holds Little’s face and replies, “No, you did nothing wrong baby girl, nothing at all. I just want to speak with you about some things and allow you the opportunity to do the same.”
Big knows she must express her feelings and thoughts without judgment or anger. This is part of the healing process. She realizes this is going to be difficult, so she says a silent prayer before speaking.
Little is impatient. She interrupts Big’s prayer. “What is going on, Big?”
“I want you to speak your truth,” Big says.
Little’s face scrunches a bit. She’s never had someone ask her about how she feels. “Seriously?”
Big throws her shoulders back and lifts her chin. She must be strong. “Yes, but this is the last time I’ll allow you to influence my thoughts. This is it, Little, so you better come clean.”
Little grins. She likes this. “Okay, Big. I will. I promise.” Little links Big’s pinky finger into hers. “So, what’s this all about, anyway?”
“Us and our dysfunctional relationship,” Big says with loving authority.
“Does this mean you do not want me around anymore?” Questions Little with a tremble in her voice.
“No, it means that I am taking my role as the leader in this relationship. It is time for us to heal from our past and walk into our purpose,” Big explains. “You do not have the tools, knowledge, or the maturity to lead us on this journey.”
Big continues. “To be honest, I was trying to move on without you, Little.” Hurt and shame blanket Big’s face. “I now know that is impossible. We are one in the same. We must change our positions in this relationship for us to move forward, have peace, love, and live with faith and purpose. There is no growth with you leading us, Little.”
Little furrows her brow. “I don’t get it.”
Big continues with all the love and compassion she can muster, “I am here to protect, nurture, and love you like the adults in our lives were unable to do. I have forgiven them for their mistakes, just as I hope and pray that we will be forgiven for ours. It is time for you to be the beautiful, happy little girl that you were before the trauma, and I am ready to be the women that God created me to be.”
“Are you sure?” Little asks.
“The change in leadership starts today, Little.”
“So things are changing?” Little asks.
“No, things have changed.” Big asserts.
“Good! Because I’m miserable.” Tears stream down Little’s cheeks. “I always wanted to feel like this, loved and protected.”
Big interrupts, “Your need for love was part of our problem.”
Little continues to speak, “I want to be a part of your life Big; I need you. I need your love. I am scared and at times I feel like I do not have anyone. I feel so alone and unloved.”
Big kisses Little on the forehead, “I apologize for not standing up for us and not being the woman we needed me to be. I made so many mistakes along the way, and I am here now trying to correct them. I know that does not make the pain go away. I need you to know that I am here now and will never leave your side.”
Little jumped down from Big’s arms and wiped her tears. “Big, I have a question. What do you mean by me leading us? I am too little to lead an adult.”
Big nods with compassion. “There were times when I allowed you to make decisions and act out when I should have been in control.”
“What do you mean?” Little asks.
“Like the times I knew I should have let those toxic relationships go. I allowed them to exist in our lives for way too long. The disrespect that came with them was nauseating.” Big fights back tears and continues. “Your need for love made me petrified to leave those relationships.” Big snaps at Little.
“Because of your need for love and our abandonment issues, I allowed people to come and go in our life as if they owned us. I lost us along the way.”
Little watches Big weep. “Are you saying that because I did not feel loved that it drove you to bad relationships with people who were mean to you? Because our family broke, we just kept looking for more families to be part of?”
“Yes,” Big says. “I think all of that played a huge part in why you did not want to let go and why your need for love was so great.”
“Big I am so sorry, I just wanted someone to love, and I was tired of people coming and going in our life. I thought they would love us and take away the hurt and pain.”
“That’s not how it works, Little.” Big leans over and kisses the top of Little’s head. “We must know our worth and love ourselves first. There is no one out there that can or will love us more than we love ourselves, except God.”
Little folds her arms across her chest. “How was I supposed to know? No one ever taught me that. I feel like you are blaming me for something I was never taught. I just wanted love.”
Little stomps her foot and says boldly, “Big, it was me that would not let them go, but it was you who chose them in the first place.”
“That’s true,” Big nods, owning it.
“So, what part of us made you chose them,” Little says with sass.
Big took a deep breath and says with more clarity than she’s ever had, “The broken part, Little. The broken part of us.”
Stacia Wilson is a South Carolina writer, blogger, and credentialing coordinator in the healthcare industry. She lives a full life with a heart that spills over in love for her two children and five grandchildren. @graceandmercy0428