From: Dear Me: A Collection of Letters Addressed to Various Aspects of My Self
© Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013
This series of letters begins with a dream.
These letters, written as a free-writing exercise, are part of a project of healing that has evolved through my work with a therapist. The object is to identify, and address, those aspects of my Self, cultivated as coping mechanisms during a traumatic childhood, that are now standing in the way of my ability to live life fully and joyfully.
It’s a welcome part of the journey …
June 13, 2013
I’m holding a cerulean blue hand towel. I want to give it away. I go in search of a place. I open a frosted glass door and walk inside. It appears to be a room in a hospital, but no one is there. I go to leave, open the door and notice movement behind me. I turn around and there’s a mean looking woman with dark hair, and behind her a female patient in a hospital gown.
I offer my blue towel.
I’m told to take it and go away. I leave. I don’t need to be where I am not wanted.
June 25, 2013
Dear Guarded One ~
Where to begin?
I know you are some aspect of me still suffering, though I don’t yet know your name. Thus you are the guarded one.
I saw you once, in a dream, in a hospital gown. Your back was to me. You were in a hospital room, the door guarded by a rather over-zealous dark-haired woman who would not let me in. I was there to make an offering, to give you a token of my love ~ a healing blue towel ~ but I could not get near you. The guard said to leave you alone and closed the frosted glass door on me.
You are The Guarded One.
I suppose the fact that I got to see you at all, to know that you even exist, is a step in the right direction … but it isn’t enough.
I need to meet with you. I need to understand your pain. I need to help you heal.
You see, it doesn’t appear that I can move forward in my life the way I want to without you there. Whoever you are I need your support. I need you!
But I need to reach you first. I need you to step up to that frosted glass door yourself, unguarded, and tell me who you are, and why you’re in so much pain. I can’t help you until I know how to help.
Whatever your pain I know it is very old, that you have carried it for a long time. It’s why, I dare say, you are so isolated and an older woman is standing guard.
Somehow, between the two of us, when you are ready, of course, we need to convey to the guard that it is safe for you to step out now.
Maybe you don’t believe that … yet, but it’s true. We ~ you and I ~ are safer now. I don’t know how I can convince you. I think it’s more about you being willing to peek around that frosted glass door and observing for yourself how life has evolved for us.
The people who hurt us so long ago no longer have that power. I’ve seen to that. Please trust me. It is safe to leave that isolated room and join me on this expanded journey. It is a beautiful development in the life we share and I would love for you to benefit from it.
But you won’t be able to as long as you are confined to a sanitary room with a rabid guard at the door.
Still, all in good time.
I’m simply writing to alert you to the fact that I am aware of your presence and want to help you to heal, however long it takes.
I will write to you every day to see how you’re doing. Perhaps before long you will introduce yourself to me.
However, for the time being, you are the “guarded one” and that is fine for now. At least I know you’re there.
It’s time for you to heal and be happy. Let’s find a way to make that happen.
June 27, 2013
Dear Guarded One ~
You are toying with me. At least that’s, what it feels like.
Or perhaps you’re simply showing me what’s possible if we could ever get our act together.
And that would be fine if we could, I could, understand exactly who you are and what keeps you so reclusive.
What, who, hurt you so much that you are holed up in a sterile space with a harpy guarding the view to your truth?
I need to be able to reach you, somehow. Neither of us will be able to reach those bigger, better numbers if we don’t talk this out, communicate.
And never mind the numbers ~ I would simply like to be whole!
I would also like to see you properly clothed as an expression of who you are, and thriving in an environment that allows you to shine. Unguarded. Open. Receptive. Happy.
What happened to you?
Who happened to you?
And how can we make your pain better?
I don’t know if you have been able to see, through that frosted glass, that I have invested a great deal of time, money and effort in an attempt to make things right in my life. Surrounding myself with good, supportive people while releasing myself from those who would tear me down.
I’ve been healing my mind, our mind, with the help of a good therapist I trust.
I’ve been healing my body, our body, with the assistance of a hormone therapist, naturopath and chiropractor. My, our, spirit thrives through the grace of our beautiful horse, Bear.
We have so much for which to be grateful.
And, of course, my relationship with my loving husband makes all of this possible.
I wish you could see. I wish you could gather up your strength, push that bossy woman aside and, at the very least at first, peek around that frosted glass door and look at all you’re missing on the other side of it.
I’m here for you.
Only I, with the assistance of everyone I’ve mentioned, can help you to heal. Correction ~ only I, these people and the faith we both hold in an Omnipotent Presence can facilitate your healing and free you from your pain. Free you so you can thrive just as I am beginning to thrive.
But I must know who you are first.
You are still The Guarded One.
Who are you and why are you guarded?
Please tell me. I need to know if I am ever to help you and if we together are ever to reach our true potential. We deserve the good things life has to offer. We deserve to be happy. You deserve to be free.
Please help me, let me, make this possible for you.
Together we could fly.
Next … A Revelation
June 28, 2013
Dear Guarded One ~
You are elusive, but I wonder if, just for a moment, you peeked around that frosted glass door last evening to check out the writer’s group.
Were you curious?
I read an excerpt of dialogue from my new novel and felt unguarded, almost enthusiastic. Did you have something to do with that?
If so, thank you. It was wonderful to reveal this suppressed part of myself, for I had not shared those 1,900 words with anyone, and I feel excited about it.
Usually Terror and her comrade in arms, the Panicked One, (although the latter has relaxed her need to be so controlling lately) would rule the moment and you, I know, would put your guard up.
Hold on a moment …
Are you the Enthusiastic One?
I have this feeling you are!
Guarded because Terror and the Panicked One would never let you thrive. Guarded because you could never be yourself. And eventually wounded and collpased inward because there was nowhere else to go. No one supported you.
And yet, last evening I sensed you. In that cosy room with six other writers you felt safe enough to peek around that frosted door without fear of reprisal. No threat of the Panicked One bullying you into wounded submission, or Terror overwhelming your sense of place.
Oh, how excited I am to know who you are!
Thank you for revealing yourself to me. And I’m sure you won’t mind me expressing to Panic how grateful I am she cleared the way for you to step into the light.
Now, you must rest. Your valiance would have taken some effort and energy last evening, and I’m sure you’re still measuring the outcomes.
However, I hope you could feel the enthusiasm and support we received after I’d read the excerpt. All positive. All encouraging. And did you notice how receptive I was to comments? You helped to make that possible. I am so proud of you, Enthusiastic One, for being able to dodge the suffocation of the manic guard.
I do hope to see you again, in all your glory too, one day, soon.
In the meantime, rest. You deserve it.
I’m so happy for you! (and me …)
June 29, 2013
Dear Guarded One … (or may I call you the Enthusiastic One?)
I know how you struggle. I felt it yesterday as we, Lloyd and I, were discussing the purchase of a new computer. I could sense you wanting to engage; feel the guard pushing closed her frosty door.
It’s a challenge to push past her. I can feel it. It’s almost as if you don’t know if you dare.
How terrible for you.
I long for you to feel the full measure of your potential for full expression and happiness.
It is clear to me you are unhappy, having glimpsed you behind that guarded door, your head hung low and you wandering around aimlessly wearing a hospital gown.
You are not ill!
I don’t know who would have told you that.
You are perfectly well. You simply need to find your courage and break down that damming door … for both our sakes.
I promise you that what awaits on the other side of the guardian shrew, who pretends to have your best interests at heart, by the way, is a safe place you can thrive; be yourself. You just need to be brave.
This may yet be a tall order, but I can assure you that if we work at overcoming this dreadful lie together (for that’s what it is now ~ a lie of decreasing power struggling to hold on) we can achieve anything. Anything! Think of it! And enjoy every minute of it.
You are, Enthusiastic One, an important part of my overall well being. You are the one that puts the spark behind my creative passion. You are the one who has the capacity to make dreams come true.
You are so important to me.
I want only what’s best for you, for us, and will do whatever I can to help you escape the prison in which you now find yourself.
Gird your loins, Enthusiastic One. Make peace with our past and work to gently let down your guard. While it may seem a scary notion to do so now you will see, as time unfolds, that a world in which you can thrive awaits.
I am so looking forward to meeting you and promise to do my part to make you whole.
Until next time, be well.
July 1, 2013
Dear Guarded One … (Enthusiastic One)
It’s been a couple of days. I didn’t want to harp on you. No one likes to be nagged, but I wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten about you either.
I notice you’ve been laying low.
I am aware that when a shift is in the works it requires a lot of energy to make those initial steps, and that it can be exhausting. So, I don’t blame you for retreating for a bit.
I had to retreat a bit myself this weekend.
I still am not comfortable packing my days with lots of activity. Day time activity means evening rest, so I miss out on things like friends gathering at a movie or for a concert in the park. I missed all of that this weekend. But I, like you, am still measuring my strength, so I understand. I really do.
However, I need you to understand that when you do surface I value your contribution to my life very much. I’d like you to find your strength in that.
I know that trusting your power is also a huge part of this for you. For so many reasons you’ve never been allowed to experience the full measure of your power to make things happen for us. Someone or something has always been there to sweep our proverbial legs. Taking a beating this way is soul destroying. Why would you ever want to put yourself out there again just to have some moron lacking in self-awareness knock you down?
I get it, more than you could possibly know.
But we need to let that go.
It’s time for our light to shine, and I’m here to give you the space you need to allow that to happen.
Please trust me.
Where we have been trampled on in the past it cannot remain for the future. Awareness changes things. I will not allow anyone to throw a wet blanket on you, Enthusiastic One. You have every right to shine as brightly as you have the energy to manifest. And while that might not be a great deal right now, this can, and will, change as we go forward.
I will help you. We are as one in this. I will not abandon you. One day we shall open permanently the frosted glass door and your guardian will be only too happy to bid you leave, so you can flourish in the full capacity of our life together.
In the meantime, we create a safe environment for this to happen ~ for you to feel your full power, knowing it is yours to have and hold with me as long as we both shall live.
A marriage of sorts, Enthusiastic One. United in our purpose to create as God intended.
What a wonderful notion.
Looking forward to seeing more of you soon.
Rest as you will …
July 5, 2013
Dear Guarded One … (my dear Enthusiastic One)
You’ve had a few days to rest. I’ve been building my creative stores and feel you’ve been watching with interest. In fact, I can almost feel you bursting inside for an extended period of creative expression.
Temper yourself, dear one. We must release the tension easily.
I realize it’s a challenge when you finally start to feel your essence to contain it all. But the fact is, to bust out at this time when you are still healing would only deplete your resources and, frankly, exhaust me.
We need to manage these early impulses together and carefully. Don’t misunderstand ~ not guardedly ~ that denotes a negativity around you, Enthusiastic One, that does not exist but in the intentions of those who would thwart you.
No, I simply mean we need to be mindful of how, when and where we express ourselves to and in the world.
You’ve heard of casting your pearls before swine?
Well, we don’t want to do that. That’s when those lacking in awareness sow seeds of doubt harvested from their own fields of despair and insecurity. There is no room for that in our own field of influence.
You revealed yourself, for a moment, in my dream last night. I was in the process of sharing my abstract art with a man who was showing some interest and I noticed you, Enthusiastic One, were there. It was wonderful to feel your presence. You’re so upbeat and positive the Creative One cannot help but be encouraged by you.
You see how we’re all in this together?
Without you, Enthusiastic One, the Creative One’s own energy is depleted, almost lifeless, I’d say. She needs to feel your presence to fuel her passion. You are an important, integral part of her/my/our self-expression.
So, this is why we must continue to nurture and nourish you back to full health. Your voice needs to be heard ~ you need to express; we need to hear.
So, rest some more, dear one, knowing that we feel your presence and honour your effort to engage with life once more.
You are beautiful and my desire for you is to shine.
July 7, 2013
Dear Guarded One,
Are you feeling thwarted?
Sometimes that frosted glass door seems just too heavy to open. And it’s such a tease! You can tell there’s movement on the other side of that door but for some reason you just can’t get to it.
I know exactly how that feels. Believe me.
It’s so deflating.
But it’s also a momentary blip.
We’re both feeling our way here. Unfamiliar territory, and all that. It’s bound to feel a bit intimidating at times to go where you haven’t gone before, no matter how boldly you go.
But it won’t always be that way. Momentum will build with time and you will find your way beyond that frosted glass door and the woman who guards it.
You will learn to self-regulate.
You will be free to express yourself authentically and confidently.
And, this is my wish for you, because as thwarted as you feel, I too feel stuck in my ability to express myself openly and creatively.
So, please, sit a while with your sister, The Patient One, and feel the strength she has to share. She is wise and will help you through this difficult time.
If we both engage with her perhaps the journey beyond that frosted door will unfold more clearly.
July 10, 2013
Dear Guarded One ~
Another assault on your delicate sensibilities; a twist of confusion.
How to demonstrate your unbridled joy when there are those close to you, to us, who still don’t see us and understand what makes us happy?
I plaster on the mask of gratitude and feel you squirm behind it.
No wonder we are reluctant to reveal our authenticity.
We must rest today.
The answers do not surface on a troubled sea.
July 13, 2013
Dear Enthusiastic One!
There … I’ve called you by your true name. Seems appropriate to do so if we’re ever going to free you from the confines of this hell.
You don’t need to be guarded anymore. Judicious, sure, but not guarded. In all things we need to be judicious or aware of how we conduct ourselves. Each of us is free to live our lives but not at the expense of others.
It’s troubling how few people understand this, but there is a world of them out there. People who tread on the rights of others to enjoy life in their own way ~ not at the expense of others, of course.
I’m a bit distracted. We both felt our rights a bit trampled last night, I’d say, at the Eagles concert. And I could feel you shut down and I with you. I went to enjoy a concert ~ not be assaulted by thoughtless ravings of an ADD 35-year-old moronic child.
Not judging. Simply observing. Everyone is entitled to have fun at a concert, but his carrying on disturbed everyone around him and pretty much ruined my enjoyment of this concert. And you, Enthusiastic One, disappeared into the fabric of the seat. I could feel your disappointment.
Still, here we are another day and a pleasant one at that.
A day to recover, regroup, relax.
We both need it.
To be continued …
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013