Florence and the “Little Girl That Was”
Part of PTSD that began in childhood is that you remain that traumatized childhood well into your adulthood without knowing it. But, as Michele says, you are not your PTSD!
People are always mothering me, even people my children’s age. That drives me nuts! I guess my insecurities must show blatantly. However, there are some things I do well that have nothing to do with my PTSD or “little girl feelings.” People are always astonished when they read my resume. I am astonished myself. How did that lost little girl accomplish all those things? One day at a time. She believed she could and so she just did it. Though sometimes I seem to be a clutzy “little girl,” I am actually a very accomplished woman. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a fight. I fight that little girl all the time. I have mantras hanging all over the place: “You are competent!”
I just returned from a visit to Florence to flesh out and finish my lastest novel. It was a magical trip. The Lord taught me things about my book that I didn’t know. He put amazing experiences in my path that taught me about the goodness of everyday people. He gave me the title to my book (in my sleep): The Only Way to Paradise.
I had to fight my little girl every morning to get up and get out there and experience the city I think of as a second home. If I listened to her, I stayed bunched up in my room, sleeping. If I triumphed, I went out and the Lord sent me another adventure. Little by little He changed my perceptions and leant me new abilities. (Read my other blog at http://ggvandagriffblog.com for a day by day account of my extraordinary glimpse into the hearts of genuinely good people)
But I had to take the first steps. I had to decide to go to Italy alone so that I could prove my competence to myself. I had to make all the arrangements, take the flight, and arrive at my destination. Then, each day, I had to chose what to do. I have physical limitations, so this was always a job not only to overcome the “little girl,” but also physical pain.
I made it. I’m home. And my life and work is richer a thousand fold. And that “little girl” is in her place—deep down where she can’t cause trouble. But if she comes out, I can still make the decision to make her disappear.