“During this time period, I was able to see something that really impressed me and gave further evidence that I was loved. One of my team members, Sarah, loved me enough to be okay with her children seeing me in a very vulnerable state. To me, the message was, ‘Shawna, I love you and trust you. You are not crazy and you are a valuable part of my family.’
“My journal described what happened that January:
“I went to Sarah’s house. She is always so nice to me. She could tell I wasn’t doing too good, right off. I started crying and then I’d stop for a few seconds and then I’d start again. She said she was sorry I was sad but she knew I needed to cry. One time she smiled at me and then put her hand into a fist and said, ‘Yes! You’re crying!’ We both started to laugh, but then I cried a little more. I told her I was embarrassed to cry around her kids [Sarah has 7 children and all of them were still home] but she said it’s good for them to see me cry because she has told them that I have some hard things and that I’m sad, and this will help them to know it’s true. I stayed at Sarah’s about 3 hours.” (My Tears Fall Inside, pages 143-144)
My childhood abuse had been so extreme, that some of the little child parts within me had learned to fear the word “love” since it was sometimes used in conjunction with horrifying experiences. It was heartbreaking for my support team to realize that these very real little children had no conception of actual love, but only of terrifying counterfeits.
Thankfully, Dixie, Sarah and others showed consistent love and kindness to these little children and they eventually learned that love was safe and soft.