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Letting Your Inner Child Protect You From Abuse, Self-Doubt, and Fear

There’s something within you that feels good and kind. I’d like to learn more about that person. I’d like to figure out how you came to be drowning.

  1. Peace
    I wrote this in my journal up at the lake house. I was having a difficult month and wrote it to soothe some of my own anxieties. It's very weird, but I thought I would share it anyway. If you find it helpful, I will happily post more. If not, I will keep it quiet in my journal :)

    Part One: The Bubble Bath & The Storm at Sea

    I noticed you’re drowning.

    The rain shoots down all around you, pelleting your face like bullets from an army of tiny soldiers. The dark skies scream and howl, violent clouds swarming above you. Thunder and lightning crack through the air at random, ensuring that you never feel a moment of peace. Gusts of wind spray saltwater everywhere, flooding into your mouth and down your throat.

    You spit it out, gasping for air.

    You’re flailing, trying to catch your breath for the next wave. But just when you survive one, another comes crashing down on top of you. You thrash your arms and legs all around, desperately trying to stay afloat. Sometimes you dive back under, hoping to resurface in calmer waters. But no matter what you do, the waves just keep coming.

    This probably isn’t very sustainable.

    You’re trying your hardest, I can see that. But it would be much easier if you’d just join me in my bathtub.

    Here you go, take my hand.

    You won’t take it. I understand. You’re used to drowning. It’s the way you do things. In fact, now that you see me, it seems like you’re trying even harder to swim. I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to prove, but you have nothing to prove to me. I’m just some weirdo in a bathtub.

    It’s very cold out there. If you’d just take a quick break in my tub, I think you’d feel a whole lot better. You can jump back into the sea whenever you’d like.

    Good! You’re considering it. Okay, take my hand and I’ll pull you in.

    Ah—oof—there you go. Welcome aboard!

    It feels odd, doesn’t it? Stings at first, because you’re so cold and tense from all that drowning. That’s alright. Just lower yourself in slowly, one body part at a time.

    That’s it. Feet first, pins and needles in your toes. Numbness. But eventually, they adjust, and you can feel them for the first time in a long time.

    Next up, your legs. So sore from all that drowning. They’ve been trying to save you for a very long time, but now they can relax, feeling the hot water bite at their aches and bruises. After a bit of time, the pain stops and your legs are warm.

    Now your torso. Slowly, ever so slowly. The water tickles your skin and the tired organs underneath. The tickling feeling is overwhelming at first, filling you with sensations of relief and pleasure that you haven’t felt in years.

    And then your heart. Your beautiful, weary heart. It’s been working far too hard for far too long. Pumping blood to keep you thrashing out there—to keep you warm in the freezing cold waves. But it does not have to work so hard anymore. Give your heart a moment of quiet. Let my bath warm your body instead.

    You relax your shoulders and arms into the steaming water, letting go of all the pressure. You can finally feel your body warming up, flooding with relief that it does not have to keep you afloat anymore.

    You can take off your clothes now and throw them in the ocean, because it would be very strange to take a bath in your clothes. You might be doubtful of this, but your bath will be much better without them. Go ahead, toss them aside.

    You slip out of your heavy, drenched clothes. They’ve been weighing you down for so long. It’s such a relief to throw them overboard and sink back into the tub, letting the healing water run across your naked skin.

    I hope this isn’t rude, but I noticed you’re still breathing as if you’re going to drown. That makes sense, you’ve been swimming like that for a long time. But in order to enjoy this bath, you need to breathe like a non-drowning person.

    Sink a little lower into the water, and then to the count of five, take a deep breath in through your belly. At the top of the breath, hold it for another five seconds. Then, over the next ten seconds, let it out slowly. Really slowly.

    Drowning people are always gasping for more air through their chest and shoulders. But you have plenty of air now. So let it stay with you for a while before forcing it out and searching for more.

    Keep doing that for a while. Five, five, ten. Five, five, ten.

    There you go, that’s better. Your shoulders look a lot less panicked.

    Sink even further into the water while I add some bubble bath.

    Oh, isn’t this pretty? The bubbles are blue and purple, filling up the entire tub and flowing over the edges. The bubbles glow in the storm, lighting up everything they touch. They are special bubbles—soft as silk on your skin. They ease your muscles and mend your tired heart. They gently reassure your mind that you are not in danger anymore. That there is nothing to fear and no reason to swim. You are safe.

    I hold a bright yellow umbrella above us, so that you can enjoy this bath to the soothing sound of rain as our bubbles float into the sky.

    I light candles all around us, each one with a soft golden glow that smells like sunlight. The warmth touches your skin and softens the harsh expression on your face. You loosen your jaw, forehead, and eyes.

    And then—cautiously, nervously, skeptically—you smile.

    That makes me happy. You look very beautiful when you smile. Did you know that? I wish you smiled more often. But I also understand that it’s difficult to smile when you’re drowning.

    I giggle and throw around some bubbles. You stare at me.

    You think I’m crazy, but I do hope you’ll stay with me for a while. Even though you’re tired, I think you’re a lovely companion. There’s something within you that feels good and kind. I’d like to learn more about that person. I’d like to figure out how you came to be drowning in the first place.

    Will you join me on a little adventure and tell me all about it?

    You take a deep breath and look back out into the ocean. You consider jumping over, so that you can resume your battle. But things are so peaceful here in this bathtub. You look back to me and—after a moment of quiet hesitation—you nod.

    I give you a big smile and take your hand. It’s very nice to have a friend out here. You and I, we are a beacon of light in this darkness. There is nothing quite so calming as being here in this bath, safe & warm, while the storm rages on around us.

    I have so many things to show you, so sink into the bubbles and close your eyes.

    Together, we’re going to sail the world in my bathtub.

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Article Author: Peace