I had a memory, actually a good memory, a few nights ago as I slept. I woke up in the the middle of the night with a picture of this little girl, 6 or 7 yrs. old, in a pretty dress, standing in this large room, wearing a white hat with a yellow ribbon around it and holding a small basket of flower petals. I recognized one person in this large room, my older cousin, who I called, Aunt Lolli (not her real name). She was 12 years older than me; that is why I called her my aunt. She would babysit for me, take me places with her friends and I always had FUN! Another great thing about my aunt was she would babysit on Saturday’s, which meant I didn’t have to go next door to the babysitter’s house. The babysitter’s home was where my abuse began at the age of 5.
The weird thing was, I’ve never been a flower girl, or so I thought. If this memory was true, then why haven’t I seen a photo, or been told, or have a memory of the event. The only way I could get to this memory was to call someone. My family, of course, was not an option. Since I’ve broken off contact with my parents, my only other choice was to text my aunt. If the little bit I remembered was true, and she was there, then I would know for sure. I took a deep breath, weighed the pros and cons of contacting her, then sent this text, “Hey, this will probably sound strange…but was I ever a flower girl in a wedding, when I was little? I’m asking you because the only person I recognized was you. Thanks.”
I had a few more details that I remembered, but I didn’t tell her those. I knew I was wearing a hat with a yellow ribbon and holding the basket of petals. Anyway, she responded quickly with this, “Hmmm, I don’t remember that you were. Maybe on your dad’s side of the family, but not ours. How old were you in the memory? I’ll think more and let you know if something comes up.”
My response 15 minutes later was, “Ok, thanks. Maybe 7 yrs old and that I thought it was a friend of yours.” I hit send and that was all I needed to completely shut down internally! My thoughts began to spiral quickly; everything I’ve learned about myself through parts, memories, flashbacks…all false! I guess nothing is true! Wow, that certainly didn’t take long to have such a negative response and completely lose control…
3 minutes later, she sent another text. It was clear she was talk texting because mid sentence she says, “Oh, wait, wait, wait! It was ________’s wedding, I was her maid of honor and you were the flower girl; you had a white hat with a yellow ribbon.” And just like that, I felt the internal machine kick back on, a huge smile develop on my face and I whispered to myself, “I was a flower girl.” It was sad and funny at the same time that I could so quickly dismiss my entire life, all the work I’ve done to get to this point, all because she couldn’t recall the memory either. Hmmmm
There seems to be other things attached to this memory. One thing that stood out immediately from her texts was she said it made sense I was in the wedding because she babysat for me, she took me out with her friends, and they all loved me. But that summer, after the wedding, she left for college and never came back. Yes, the one person I trusted, the one person who I thought loved and cared for me, the one person who saved me from abuse…moved to college and then to another state. Abandoned again!
Maybe that is why I have no memory of being a flower girl. It would have been the greatest thing EVER, to a 6yr old little girl. I was in a beautiful dress, hat, dropping petals, and everyone thinking how adorable I was (I hope). 🙂 But the loss was greater in the end, and therefore the fun memory faded away, like all the others.
Today, I’m feeling mixed emotions. This 6yr old part of me, that was the flower girl, experienced horrible abuse and we recently heard more during my last session. She is afraid, she thinks we are going to abandon her too. She doesn’t want to talk to my T on Friday because, like everyone else who says they care….they leave and never return. My T suggested I try and talk with her about this. Last night we tried to color and talk, but she stopped, wrote a note to my T and said she didn’t want to talk to her anymore. Makes me sad, but I’m going to try again to help her see the truth. NO one is leaving, we all care about her, we love her, she is safe and protected and my T cares for her like all the others inside.
….I was a flower girl!!