Client Journal: Letters to Myself

Dear Little M,

I feel sad that you feel like you’re nothing. Because you are amazing. You are more than just pretty, you are beautiful. You have a caring heart and you like to make other people happy. But I want you to be happy.

 You can have all the things you say you want, the pretty dresses, the nice make up, the nice safe house and dates with boys who think you are special. Because you are special. I feel sad that you feel like you are nothing. A lot of that is my fault. I keep leaving you to fend for yourself so that I could try to win mom and dad’s love. That was mean of me and I am so sorry. I know how scared and alone you feel because I feel that way too. It seems like it’s easy to try to be the “perfect” person. To do everything and be everything we think the other person wants us to be. But the truth is, trying to be perfect is so painful. It is painful because we feel sad or like we’re not good enough when we don’t match our idea of “perfect”. Perfect doesn’t exist sweetie, and I am sorry it took me so long to realize that and to tell you that. 

The truth is, you are better than perfect. You are real. Real people get to make mistakes and try again and learn new things. Real people get to make funny faces and tell the people around them how they feel. Real people get to laugh, cry, scream and shout. Real people get to live. Honey, I want you to live. I need you to live. Without you, I can’t survive.

You have been so brave and strong protecting yourself the way you knew how. But it’s ok now. I am here to protect you. I am here to love you. Please let me get to know you, support you, love you and take care of you.

Older M

Dear Older M,

I want to be a grown up. I want to wear pretty dresses and nice make up and go out on dates with boys. I want to keep living in a nice safe house close to trees and animals. But I am scared that I won’t have these things. I am scared that I’m not good enough, that I’m not smart enough or pretty enough. I feel sad and lonely.

 Because I think that if I just keep trying to be perfect, than mom and dad will notice me. And if they notice me, they will love me. And then I will be able to love me and wear all the pretty dresses and have all the nice things I want because they love me. I need them to tell me I’m good enough. I feel like I am nothing.

Little M

Marta: If you dig deeper you will realize why you believe this…and why you keep sabotaging yourself. You even write it in your note, unworthiness and acting in ways that re-affirm that truth for you…so…what makes you want to keep believing this besides your unworthiness…and how did you learn to be unworthy? being in this belief keeps you connected to your family, keeps you attached, and keeps you in blame, judgment and jealousy….this way you do not have to let go…you can stay collapsed and never take responsibility. it also internalizes your anger so you can punish yourself…it is a vicious unconscious circle…this is why I said your anger and grief underneath the blame is not over…you need to make these connections…

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