Reflecting on Progress

I haven’t got much time to make new work at the moment, but this is giving me some time for quiet reflection on my progress. Which is just as valuable if not more so at what is bound to be a turbulent point in my life.
A year ago, I discovered Matilda. An angry, frightened and suicidal child, living in my head. All I could feel at first was her terror expressed as violent anger.
The other day, I was despairing at (what felt like) the snail’s pace speed of my recovery.
Having this blog to look back at and find out exactly where I was a year ago is a wonderful tool for reminding myself that my hard work has and still is paying off and that I am healing (and already have healed) at a rate and to a point that I never could have imagined reaching a year ago.
Matilda and I are now good friends. I know that her favourite colour is purple, that she loves soft toys and is scared of monsters. She doesn’t like to sleep in unfamiliar places and fears rejection, abandonment and being ignored.
She no longer has tantrums so loud I can’t think.
Now I know what she was scared of.
Now I know she’s not a monster, she’s just a little girl.
And I know all she needed was love, reassurance and to be heard.
Now we sleep, because I have learned to love and reassure Matilda, so she no longer thinks that sleep will kill us, and that by trying to sleep I am trying to kill her. So she trusts me to keep her safe, loved and protected. And I do. Sleeping in places other than our own bed is still a challenge for Matilda, but now that I know how to listen to her, we are working together on ways to make her feel safe outside of my house and this is slowly getting better too.
I first wrote about Matilda (before I knew her name) in the poem Speak to Me. And, as with most of the parts of my identity, I had, unknowingly been drawing her, and her emotions for some time before I consciously discovered her.