I read a line in an article by Nora Ephron’s sister, “I didn’t have the stomach to fight to be heard.” This took me back to being four years old and learning early on that it would take a lot more energy to be heard than it would to just do things for myself.
I became very competent and self reliant. I’m now working to unlearn these traits…or at least lighten up.
I picked up my four year sobriety chip this month and as I sit listening in AA meetings, I can almost divide the room by the people who are learning to trust themselves plus believe in their own competence and by the ones who are having to learn to trust others and experience vulnerability.
For those of us in the vulnerability camp, it’s really more about unlearning and going back to some basic developmental steps that may have been missed.
I’m still not a fighter and definitely not around being heard. I see my little four year old self in the black and white, choppy, 8 mm movie of my mind, full of spirit and liveliness wanting to be noticed and heard. Tugging at skirts and pant legs to no avail. Rather than throwing a fit or getting louder, simply going to the kitchen and getting her own snack.
It’s easy to connect shame, self soothing, and food from this mental clip. It later evolved to alcohol.
Now 44 years after being a 4 year old child, I’m celebrating 4 years of a new life sober. Passing new developmental marks, learning, growing and quietly demanding that I be heard, because I do have something to say.