Spirit Child

“Oh, geeeez”, she said, pressing the points where my neck and shoulders meet. I was face down, naked. Layered between sheets, a blanket on top for warmth, I was privy to her hands, slicked with coconut oil and whatever other oils she needed. I inhaled lavender, breathing in on the release, exhaling on the cutting pressure. Using her elbows, her forearms, she stressed, “They’re rock hard.” As if I didn’t know.

I didn’t know IT would be so hard. Physically or emotionally. Prostrate on the table, gravity and her hands pushed the ill-effects of recent turmoil out from my muscles, down my back, from my buttocks and legs, to a final exit through my toes. IT‘s no longer mine. The world can have IT to do what it will, or whatever it won’t.

Stony with worry and fear, an emotional uprising of my youth surfaced and creeped around at night, sourcing out hiding spots where it could cower undetected. Circles darkened under my eyes, pimples appeared, smiles were forced, fatigue conquered. For the past few weeks, I have not been myself. More appropriately, IT was my young self. The vulnerable child, the angry teen, the broken spirit that sadly piggy-backs them all.

The difficulty of writing my childhood memoir has forced a detour, more aptly, a construction sight. Intended words on paper detailing the events of the little girl I was and formed the person I am has backlashed. I didn’t know she was so rigid, so forceful, so rock hard. She used to be small, fragile, vulnerable, and now she is coming at me with a vengeance.

At night when she appears I hug her. I call her “Sweetheart”. I tell her, “Everything will be OK. I won’t let anything happen to you.” She’s scared. She’s voiceless. She’s meek. And she’s exposed.

And though she has hidden herself amongst my skin, hardened herself in my muscles, buried herself in my shame, I can’t let her hide anymore. She is beautiful. She is true. She is me.

And with any luck, she will be the world’s. I hope you love her.

Little Barbie



11 thoughts on “Spirit Child

  1. Barbie, I was lucky enough to have a lovely childhood, so I can’t offer advice about the difficulties you’ve run into in writing such a painful memoir. But I can tell you that you write beautifully. Best wishes with the project.

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment. Writing is my healthy way of processing life. I would be unable to deal with this story without the wonderful environment I have with my husband.

  2. Wow, this really resonates with me. I’m currently writing about my childhood as well (almost finished..I’m up to age 15 now). It’s amazing how instantly we can become those fragile, innocent, beautiful little girls again. I have always found writing to be so very cathartic. Keep going, it gets easier, and it’s SO worth it. I can’t wait to read your story. XOX

  3. My heart is breaking and rejoicing at the same time. You are so brave–so wise–and I DO love her. Our “little kids” should get together. I think they already understand each other. ❤

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you. It has been an unexpected outbreak from a delicate period. I would so like to know if this has happened to anyone else. Thank you for reading. I feel so loved.

  4. When I started writing my memoir I wound up in that same construction site. It was like cleaning an aquarium, it didn’t look too bad until I got in there and started rooting around in the gravel on the bottom—that early life that we remember bits and pieces of.

    In no time the water is so clouded that it is impossible to see through it—memories from long ago start flooding back. There is nothing left to do but to start filtering the debris out of the water—get it on paper, edit it later (much later if necessary).

    My experience is that when I got it out of my head and on paper I didn’t carry it with me anymore. My “disk” was wiped clean and I had room for new memories or I could re-prioritize the next group of old memories for removal.

    Good luck with the challenge before you,

    1. Thank you Allan for sharing your experience. Although I wasn’t sure, I hoped that my experience was not an abnormal reaction. What’s normal anyway? I appreciate that you are here on this journey with me. Peace and love

    1. Thank you so much for reading and your support. It gives me the courage I need to continue.

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