if you have not yet read “dear sugar”, do yourself a favor.
till a few months ago, nobody knew who dear sugar was. there was a huge, much-anticipated reveal and we now know that dear sugar is actually published author, cheryl strayed.
i don’t care.
what i do know is that i go through phases of reading the column and then my life takes over and i forget. then someone or something reminds me and i fall in love with her writing and humanity and the pathos all over again.
it’s real, it’s visceral, it reaches out of the computer and squeezes your heart until you feel you cannot breathe and sometimes the tears that streak your cheeks leave trails of blood.
like tonight in her column, “monsters and ghosts“. it seemed like it was written for me.
earlier today, i had a more than 2 hr interview with a journalist who is writing an article about me for a woman’s magazine. of course, even though i keep reiterating that i am not my history, that it is merely what happened to me… despite so many years of healing, today’s interview still left me shaken – this journey backtracking down dark roads, unexpectedly overcome, vinegar tears squeezing, unwanted, past guarded lids.
i have to remind myself: today i am standing firmly in the light. i am the guardian of the 4 yr old within, the 4 yr old from whom her childhood was abruptly and abusively ripped. i keep a watchful eye. i protect her and reassure her that she’s safe, that the monsters and ghosts have been long buried, that no one can harm her. they might still sometimes try to resurrect themselves to wreak a similar devastation of years gone by, but now they are mere chimeras, powerless unless we feed the insatiable maws of memory.
i am grateful to have travelled so far down the interminable road of healing. i would prefer not to stare into the distorted mirrors of my past, reflecting the mangled monsters that for so long haunted me. however, i do understand that for many, knowing that they are not alone and hearing that someone else, too, knows that “here be dragons”…is a comfort. it makes me peel back my eyelids and hold up my flaming torch.
i don’t taunt the darkness, i don’t draw it out. yet i’ve stopped fleeing only to find it nipping, vicious, at my achilles-heels… instead i bow to it in respect and i say namaste.
in the insistent light the monsters and the ghosts, slowly, almost imperceptibly, melt like the watery wicked witch. in my heart, safe and protected, where the only thing grimm is a fairytale, my ruby-slippers sparkling, i am home.