End of the Year Reflection | "The hardest thing about raising you was trying to raise a baby who didn't want to be a baby."
My mom has said this to me throughout my life, especially when I was older. And it's true. Down to my physiological development, which had me walking and running very early, I did not want to be a baby. I didn't want to be held. I didn't want to be a stroller.
It was never that I was uncomfortable around people, or unable to connect with others. It's always been easy for me to express how I was feeling at any given time, and share that with others. It's always been easy to take on the struggles of others and help them work through challenges.
My lifelong reluctance to indulge my youngest self was never a reluctance to be clear with others, or to resist things like play or friendship. It took me coming to Saint Hilda's House to figure out what it was.
My lifelong reluctance to "be a baby" was a reluctance to admit I was a human who needs.
During this year, I have been blessed with brilliant, caring housemates. This is the environment where it should have been easiest to let go, to depend on others, to let the community build me up and trust that if I need a break, there are six other people ready to keep the community afloat.
It turns out, I had more trouble with this than I ever would have believed. And it's still really hard for me. I am still trying and failing to understand that my forgetting one item on the grocery list is not a personal failure. I am still trying and failing to ask people for help before I am absolutely unable to function without help (and then apologizing approximately six dozen times) (and then being embarrassed) (and then resolving to not ask them for more help) (and so the cycle continues).
But I am ending this program with an understanding that I need to work on this, and that I want to work on this.
About a month ago, I got my first tattoo. It's a small ammonite, for Saint Hilda. And I got it on my left shoulder, to remind me that whatever I can't lift with my right side, with my dominant hand, I still have people ready to help on my weaker side.
I've seen these people at work in the women who offered me food when I joked I was hungry, who reached into the bags they received from the food bank to offer me what they had. Those in my house, who took the time to know me well enough to know when something was wrong, and to be there through it. Those friends and loved ones outside the program, including my partner, who listened patiently and thoughtfully and insightfully even an ocean away. In my family, who accepted the changes I've made, and who encouraged me to take the time to be young (finally) this year. It feels so completely out of character to write this to all of you, but it's true: I need you.
I am ending this program so deeply thankful for the incredible people I have around me that truly care for and think of me. I am ending this program with a true belief that I deserve the kind of help and care that I find it difficult to ask from others. I am ending this program knowing God thinks I'm most beautiful and loving when I trust others with myself.
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