“Welp hi there Bartholomew. I missed you this morning. We had pancakes.”
Bartholomew was my first true friend. He’s been absolutely everywhere with me since I was at least five years old, probably before as well. But this is the first time I vividly remember speaking to my first favorite. My only best friend at the time.
Now, Bartholomew, came in all different shapes and sizes, but for some odd reason the only image I remember of my dear best friend is when I was a little girl. He being identical, and I mean identical to Gaston from Beauty and The Beast.
If you have no idea who this Gaston might be, he is considered the poster boy for a typical douche of a man and the true definition of a Narcissistic asshole.
And of course, Gaston’s appearance was charming, attractive, and confident. A look that’s hard to ignore.
So as Bartholomew’s black ponytail flipped back and forth, he smiled at me, touched my cheek, and pleaded for my forgiveness because he missed our pancake breakfast.”
And of course, my innocent five-year-old self, took his strong bicep, and skipped off to start our day.”
Now, this is where my memory gets blurry, but my guess is we laughed, talked, and played house all day.
And since that vivid pancake chat, Bartholomew’s way too tight, black pants and girly, long brown boots, have been appearing periodically throughout my life.
However, Bartholomew is never kind to me. He’s actually quite bossy and downright disrespectful to me. But I guess if you live in a world where women are disrespected your imaginary friend would be just that.
And as I grew older and Bartholomew slowly faded, Her came rising to the surface forcefully, and made damn sure Bartholomew didn’t completely disappear into nonexistence.
Like I’ve said many, many times before Her is basically my evil twin, she is all the parts of me I wish I could just wash away and ignore. Instead of being my best cheerleader, my number one fan, Her loves to pick out my deepest insecurities.
“Should you be wearing a two-piece?” “Does that person even like you?” “They are mad at you, what did you do?”
And as I grow weaker, Her becomes stronger. And as she grows, she allows others to surface, like Bartholomew.
And once Bartholomew rises fiercely, the first person he protects, of course, is Tim.
Tim is my adoptive, abusive father. And Bartholomew is Tim’s number one fan, which is what I dealt with in the real world.
Tim was loved by almost everyone he encountered, always excelled in anything he did, and helped those around him succeed. But I never got that same attention because unfortunately for me I was his property. My mother included. Hopefully, my brother came to realization and ran away from the madness as well.
The only time I received any attention it was my mother pleading to him to talk to me or show me, love, because I needed a father. And the truth of it all in times of desperate want, any type of affection, including Tim’s, that forced hug helped my lonely, lonely brain realize that it was okay to live for one more day.
So for that, I am grateful for those very forced situations. It just saddens me that’s how I was raised.
But no matter what Tim was still my father, and I loved him. Even if the love was wrong for me. My heart couldn’t protect me from this monster. And when I am weak Bartholomew loves to remind me of just that.
And yes I know, Bartholomew resembles guilt quite well. But quilt has a funny way of presenting itself when ignored and not dealt with.
But fuck man is healing hard. When I first decided it was time for me to “heal” and to “clear my soul from all anxieties.” I didn’t realize there would be very little of rainbows and butterflies. Healing is mostly traumatizing memories, flashbacks, and new triggers rising each day.
But through all the pain, I am beyond grateful that I have the actual chance to feel and to accept my past. I was numb for so long. And I promised myself if the full feeling ever disappeared, I would fight like hell to survive.
And those horrifying memories helped me realize that I wasn’t the weird, dramatic child I was labeled to be. I was a desperate child trying to be noticed.
My childhood is not my fault and neither is yours. Those around us failed us. We did not fail ourselves.
You should be proud of your childhood self because you did what you needed to do to survive and to be present. We do not come onto this Earth knowing how to survive, we are taught by our tribe around us. And it’s not your fault sweetheart that your family was misguided.
But use your past to change the future. Use your pain to help others have the courage to survive. And most definitely forgive yourself because quite frankly you are one hell of a badass. You survived and never gave up hope. Even when the world around you gave you every opportunity too. You are always so much more powerful than you could ever know. Never give up. Never. You only need you to survive.