My family has a tradition of watching old family videos together, laughing and reminiscing on all the childhood days. But truth is: I can’t watch anything of myself after age 3. I can’t bear it. Little me gets a little louder, a little rougher, a little more outbursting with anger, a little lot more hard to understand, a little more bossy and need of control. To everyone else, it’s a moment of laughter, of “Dear God, what a brat!”
But I don’t know, to me I’ve always been uncomfortable with it. Because underneath it all, I just see a little sadness. Sadness under the tantrums, under the dancing around and singing. Something there is hurting and that little girl does not know why.
I’ve never really taken the time to want to know why.
But maybe after failed friendships and a devastating breakup, I’m ready to know why.
From as early as the age of four, I’ve always felt like I wasn’t myself. I tried so hard to be something in front of others and always went home exhausted knowing I portrayed something I didn’t mean to be, yet I didn’t know how to be otherwise. From that age, as much as I wanted friends, I hated socializing even though no one could tell because I was such a chatterbox. But I was really sad inside. I really didn’t like myself. And I know I always felt bad.
I’ve always had two married, loving, supportive, and healthy parents. I had a comfortable home, more toys than I could count, and more clothes than I could wear. So what on earth happened at age three that impacted this little girl from a perfect, happy home?
My first sibling was born.
I’ve been the love and center of my parents’ life for my whole three years of life. But now, the cameras weren’t only on me anymore. I wasn’t the only one getting praises.
Everything I knew as love: the camera time, praises, constant validation and attention, weren’t the same anymore.
As the first born, the birth of my sister caused my panic and shutting down.
If cameras weren’t on me, that meant I wasn’t loved. If I didn’t get praises, it meant I wasn’t good enough. If I didn’t get attention, that means I’m forgotten.
This was 4-year-old Nakita readjusting her new life and defining the new signs of love for herself.
Little did I know, these false truths and misinterpretations would follow me into my teenage years and adult life, in all my friendships, family life, romantic relationship, and perception of myself.
This is evident in so many areas of my life. My overachieving, my love for performing and spotlights, my constant need for self-improvement, my need to be more and do more. Because they reflect my childhood fears. My fear of what people think or say about me. My fear of being unloved. My fear of not being good enough. My fear of being tired of. My fear of being forgotten.
Thinking I am unloved, causes me to go above and beyond to make others feel loved. Even at the expense of myself. I am so afraid to be forgotten, that I am the first to forget myself.
In healing from heartbreak, one should be kind and positive about themselves but for the purpose of this article, I just want to be honest to how I feel/think.
I honestly think being in a relationship with me is overbearing. I think it gets so suffocating but conflicting because it’s all the extremity of my good intentions that hurts, not my lack of care. I think I become resentful for how pathetic and a fool I look. You can’t bear to look at me long. I think it gets annoying. Annoying that you can’t even justify what is annoying because you know I mean well but it just gets on your nerves, like please just stop. I think it gets hard to say anything because I alone, go so fast-paced, running around happily and doing all these things that before you know you’re unhappy and missing a piece–you’re already tired. You can’t tell her what’s wrong, because technically she’s not bad, but yet it’s not right, so you just have to escape with as little words possible because you know she’s already going to come crumbling down.
I hate all these things I’ve perceived about myself. But I know.
That’s just the little girl in me. The little girl that is always more than ready to just jump and love with all her heart, a little ball of energy that comes off a little too much, but that’s just because she’s so excited and happy to have a friend; someone on her side, someone to share with. I know I especially fall in love with big brother figures. The ones who watch and protect me quietly. The ones I like to follow around. The ones who give me the attention that I feel won’t make me forgotten. The one I feel like is just for me and I won’t have to share. But this little girl, sometimes constructs happiness and relationships all by herself. She’s so afraid of feeling empty by herself that she’s already full throttled through. She’s so enthusiastic that she hasn’t taken a moment to remember that relationships take the mind and heart of two.
This little girl was hurting so much and the hurt grew with her to her adult years. They now have manifested into different forms in her life but the childhood pain, wants, and needs are still there.
Little girl, how do you expect those to love you with as full of a heart as yours when they are learning love themselves?
Today, I want this little girl to heal. I want her to be heard. By her own self. I want her to fill up that little hole in her heart, to reinvent her idea of love, to finally let the her that she wanted to be, actually present herself to the world now.
But most of all, I really want to know. Am I the only one? The only one who heals by trying to understand herself. And understanding herself by analyzing the earliest childhood her to learn why she is the way she is today so that healing could begin there.
Tell me where and what would be your beginning place of healing?