how i grew myself into a mother who will not eat their child: why mothering a 10-year-old is hard for me right now
***CW: i'm talking some about emotional pain from childhood, when
i wanted to runaway,& some self-harm in the form of trichotillomania
& scratching myself (specifically in the second paragraph for the self-harming behaviors). the rest of the piece is about time travel & healing. if these might be things that trigger feels that hurt more than heal, please be gentle with yourself, make the best choices for you, & breathe deep & gentle.
i thought i knew ten-year-old Lettie, but what i knew better than her was how to bandaid her hurt. i am versed in traveling back to baby Lettie, jumping through portals in church walls, covering our ears, & taking us away, but not with 10-year-old Lettie.
10 year-old Lettie was so sad. once, i tried to run away but didn’t because there was no where to go. that was also when i began pulling my hair out, one by one, fingers searching for the base of course, thick roots. i did it more than i meant to, & was not conscious of how this affected my appearance. i only knew it was something bad because of my mother’s shame.
in order to search for another route to my root, i need to travel back to the night i tried to run away but had nowhere to go, to be standing at the window when 10-year-old Lettie walked back into our room while mom was crying in the bathroom going through our runaway back pack.
“Hi, baby. I’m Lettie. I’m future us.”
I don’t know why I wasn’t scared of someone new in my room standing by the window, but I wasn’t. I felt hungry & satiated at the same time.
“Hi. Lettie? I’m not Lettie though, I’m—“
“Why do you call yourself Lettie, but you’re supposed to be me?”
“Uh, yeah. I can understand how that is confusing. Am I scaring you?”
“If you’re future me, can you prove it?”
“Yes, I can,” I laughed. “Your mom is in the bathroom going through the pink & teal backpack you packed to run away with. But you have nowhere to go—“
“—but I have thought of a place.”
“Yeah, you don’t wanna sleep there. Besides, I wanna take you with me.”
“How do I know who you are again?”
“Can I hug you?”
“Well, maybe hold your hand? Shake your hand? I’ve never done this before, but I have a feeling if we touch, something will happen.”
“Ok. I’ll touch the back of your hand.”
“Cool. Maybe we should sit down, too.”
& when she/I touched me/us, our arms flushed where I had brought blood to the surface earlier that evening with distress & dragging my nails across my forearm. & then other scars began to match. I brought my hand back before too many lit up.
“Sorry. I didn’t know that’s what was gonna happen. Are you ok?”
“Yeah. Is it weird that I trust you because our pains match?"
“It makes sense to me you would trust pain. There’s a lot of it for you right now.”
We began to cry.
“Can I take you somewhere?”
“Yes. Take me.”
I opened a portal on the west wall where our ballerina toe pointe shoe with the matching pink rose & matching pink frame picture hung. I knew exactly where to take us.
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When I opened my eyes, Lettie was next to me & I could hear crashing & birds.
“Where are we?”
“Santa Monica. California. We have family here. Chosen family.”
“Why did you take me here?”
“I had this dream almost ten years ago, but in your future, when I felt really lost & alone. I buried a magpie that was dead & said a prayer for them, & that night they brought me a dream. At the end of the dream, I walked up to the attic of a big house, & suspended in mid air was a beautiful bird that was talking to me in my mind. They told me I was gonna be ok & that I am so deeply loved. I woke up the next morning knowing that I was gonna be ok. I needed that.”
“Are you my dream?”
“Does this feel like a dream?”
“I’m real. You’re real. This is real.”
& we both sighed real deep.
Then I followed Lettie down the beach to the water’s edge.
“Sit with me here. I’m gonna teach you a song.”
Lettie Laughter is an nth generation community healer & orator, indigenous femme single mama, & brand new east coast resident.
They are still raising funds $$$ for this brand new life, because all they brought were 4 suitcases worth of clothes, books, shoes, journals, makeup, & stuffed animal babies. They need everything else from a bed & bedding to food & money for transportation, for both them & their 10-year-old kiddo.
If Lettie's words of healing & magic have ever brought clarity or comfort, please consider supporting them in this life. You can support through donating to their Paypal or their Youcaring, or by booking a tarot reading of your own! All pertinent info is available on this website. XOXO