Reclaiming Childhood

Sitting here in my childhood bedroom, it’s pretty difficult not to reminisce.

I mean, it’s strewn with photos from my brace-faced awkward middle school phase where clearly I thought baby pink, glittery eyeshadow was a good idea.

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I’ve dug around some drawers and unearthed some old IM conversation threads with crushes from sixth grade. — Is that awkward that I still have those? I mean…that’s not creepy…

There’s something about the tangibleness of it all that just really brings me back to those times

One of the “memory exercises” I’ve been doing to help my mom, is that we’ve been looking at old photo albums. And I mean…wow.

Let’s just say, the 90’s were somethin’ else. I look at some of the crazy things we were wearing, and I’m torn between cringing, and secretly coveting those neon nylon glory days.

But flipping through the big, bulky albums with yellowing pages and fading 5 X 7’s, I actually was getting a little weepy.

Seeing these pictures of myself as a little tyke, I suddenly remembered just how good life was as a child.

Having gone through a pretty desolate period in my adolescence – my battle with anorexia – it does things to your memories. It taints them. Makes you not want to remember anything.  It sort of, creates this black hole in your history. And even now, as a healthy and thriving young woman, I just don’t like to look back, period. In an act of self preservation, I tend just to avoid my personal history all together. Including the time before my disease, too.

It’s like, I just don’t want to turn my eyes to the past, because I’ll inevitably have to think about “The Dark Ages.”

But something happened last night. Sitting and seeing 5 year old me, 7 year old  me….I wanted to remember. I was looking at those photos and getting all verklempt, because I had a good childhood.

I really did.


I think if I’m being really honest with myself, I think it was another little self-sabotage to not allow myself to remember the good parts of my past, by getting so hung up on that one period of time. Granted, it was a horrific and utterly destructive time period, but what I’m coming to realize — is that I can choose to reclaim my past.

I can choose to look back in despair and regret, or I can choose to remember the good.

I can choose to say, You know what? Yes, I did have a pretty shitty chunk of time where I was hurtful to myself and my loved ones, but that’s not my whole history

Sure, I was the girl that battled a severe case of anorexia, but I was also the child who, at 5 years old, loved to go up to the old ladies at McDonald’s and sing to them. I was the girl who came alive on stage and had a passion for the arts. I was the goofy kid who loved making comedy movies with friends and dressing up and talking in accents.


My history is full of a lot of joy. My history involves a lot more than just an eating disorder.

And I’ll be damned if I let that part of my past rob me of those joyous memories by wracking me with guilt and shame and an unwillingness to look back for fear of remembering the dark.

No sir.

And honestly, how selfish of me to arrogantly turn my back on the beautiful childhood I had, because of that one blip on the radar. (Well, okay maybe not a  blip…more like…a storm front with tornadac activity).

But it is such a powerful perspective…right now, my mom…what she wouldn’t give to be able to remember those precious moments that I’m so insolently choosing to avoid because “it hurts to look back.”

Boo-frickin-hoo, princess.

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It’s time to take back those memories. Allow myself to see the good. The joy. The laughter. The precious moments that shaped who I am and were shared with people I love.

Because at the end of the day, life is messy. And if I’ve learned anything in my time around the sun, it’s that everybody has shit. (Excuse my french.) Evvvvverybody has things in their past (or present) that they’re not proud of. That they’re working on. That hurts to remember. Everybody.


So, I’m going to treasure this time, looking back at the golden years. And celebrating those memories. When life was simple and Donald Trump hadn’t yet discovered self tanner.

But really, that is a victory. And the Good Lord knows, I’m in need of one of those lately…no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

239 thoughts on “Reclaiming Childhood

  1. There’s this thing going around Facebook at the moment where people are posting photos of themselves in high school and then now, side-by-side. I totally want to do this. Unlike some people I know, my high school experience was pretty awesome. Seeing your post this morning makes me want to go through old albums, too. It’s great to leaf through them, and reminisce. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Laura Beth! Oh really! I actually haven’t been on The Book in a while but that sounds like fun! That’s so great that you loved your high school experience! Aw have fun looking at those albums. It really is a blast! Bib hugs 😁😊☺️☺️☺️☺️

      Like

  2. I’d like to ask….I haven’t had an opportunity to go through all your things…but would love to know at what point you went from this happy little girl to having the issues you encountered and some of the things that you feel led up to that point. Being a father of a young girl not much different than I see in these pictures….I would like to understand your signs so that I might have a detection if a similar path is in hers

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful question. It sounds like you’re a great dad. 🙂 Sooo the answer unfortunately is a lot longer than this comment thread allows, but it was a number of factors, but the main one was a striving for perfection. I was your typical straight a student and had the pressures of being a professional child actor, and wanting to be societies standard of beautiful and it just got to be too much. I hope that helps. That’s the very baseline answer. The Golden Road to Hell is a good post of mine to read. I’m not at my computer so I can’t get the HTML link but I’d check that one out. 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 3 people

      1. oh my gosh! My heart just breaks to hear that. I am so sorry, that is absolutely awful! Please know that I am here if you want to talk about it. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for you, but I can listen. Sending you so much love x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I needed this one. I, too, have been avoiding looking at old photos and things that remind me of the past. In my case, I think some of it is the age thing; I’m not dealing with this whole aging process. But, like you, it’s a total avoidance even of the happy memories because of a few painful mistakes or dark times that we all have. I should rejoice because I made it through those dark times, by His grace. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome, getting your memories healed while helping your mother heal hers. Sounds like God! 🙂
    Btw, I think you should write a book about your struggle, healing, and reflections, etc. I know it would help a lot of people. Your blog is a testament to that.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mel. Yeah a verifiable double whammy!:) hehe oh gosh that’s kind of you to say. Thank you. That’s actually some pretty specific and spot on encouragement I need right now, because I am feeling to called to finish the book I have already started! 😬 big hugs to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By all means, do so. I would imagine a (smart) publisher would want a story like yours, but even if you didn’t get one to take it, you can self-publish on CreateSpace (Amazon) and other places.
        There’s healing in writing a book, too, btw. 🙂

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  5. As I’ve come to expect, a beautiful thoughtful post. This theme resonates with me. Last night I was looking through photos on my FB page; they were pictures of my sweet Lulu from 6 years ago. I kept thinking to myself … oh how I wish we could just get back to that time in her life before all the bad stuff happened. Before her depression, low self esteem and eating disorder began. The innocence and wonderment that is childhood. Since you are a grateful soul, I know you understand that you are truly blessed. I see it through your words. And now here I am … trying to eat my lunch … in a puddle of tears. Why? Happiness because I’m grateful too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you so much Jdub, that’s kind of you to say. Aww, yeah I can definitely understand. Gosh, I am sending you such big hugs and prayers. Yes, even through the pain and trials, we have a lot to be grateful for. Sending all my love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for your openness. The times I have reflected on my childhood, it always seems to open up new wounds. The good news is once I realize it is there, I am able to give it over to God and let Him take it away. Not always fun, but to live life to the fullest, I want to make sure I am not carrying any baggage from my youth. Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Jeff. amen to that — giving our pains over to God is the best form of healing. you’re right, not always fun, but always produces growth. thanks for your encouragement! hugs xox

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  7. Loving this frank, honest look at then and now. We all have them. Glad to see you can rejoice in those care-free days and further rejoice today in how God has brought you through the darker times. You have a great, encouraging testimony, especially to young women – gee, the title of your blog is encouraging, alone! Young women need to know just how beautiful they are and how God sees them as the most beautiful, as if each one was the only one.

    My family and I had the privilege of being able to minister to a young woman who battled several issues in her past, including bouts bulimia and cutting. By the time she was staying with us, she was getting into drinking and some drugs and had a huge shadow of self doubt and low self-image. Thing is, she was a very pretty young woman. It only took one person to make a negative comment and a bit of an out of order household to bring her down. By God’s grace, she has overcome much, re-kindled the relationship with her folks and now lives in FL with her husband and they are expecting their first child, this spring.

    This is why we need to be encouragers and why people like you are an asset for those who hurt.

    Thanks, also, for reading my posts. I appreciate the “likes”, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey there! thank you so much for this thoughtful response 🙂 amen to that — God really has brought me through and for that I am forever grateful. What a powerful impact you made on that girl. she was lucky to have you and your family in her life 🙂 praise God for His deliverance. Thanks for sharing that uplifting story! so glad you stopped by! hugs and love xox

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  8. Such a great perspective. I’m going through kind of the opposite journey of having to look back and realize the “fairy tale” might not have been so beautiful after all. I’m praying for grace and help from God as I walk that journey! Love reading your journey and it sounds like you might have another one going helping your mom. Prayers…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The best part about being a parent is I relive my childhood all the time…through my kids. It’s the best. And at times, can be heartbreaking. But, like you mentioned…treasure this time. But be rest assured, you’ll relive again when you’re a Mom. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I loved reading this – I’m also in my childhood bedroom, living at home with my parents while trying to recover from anorexia. It’s strange to be thrown back into a life that more resembles my childhood than my adult life. I have tried to get rid of a lot of the things in my room that seem childish now, but you are right, we should remember the good times of being a child!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, for sharing this. I have been there, my friend. Know that I am cheering you on in your recovery! You chose life and that is absolutely something to celebrate! Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you need to chat or anything:) Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a lovely, uplifting post! Someone very close to me went through anxiety and depression, as she believed she could never be perfect and was flawed somehow. Watching her struggles, I have wondered how to help her and felt angry at myself for not being able to. She looks back on that time as a dark period too.

    It needn’t be something that has to affect your memories, or your future. The fact that you have scars to show means that you have fought a very brave battle and survived it. You are beautiful just the way you are. Hugs to you, and here is to a beautiful, beautiful future! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. What a kind thing to say – when I look at it from that perspective – as a survivor who fought…it definitely puts a new spin on things. It sounds like you’re an incredible friend. Thanks again for your encouragement! It means the world! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey Dooga hope you are well sorry haven’t commented on a few of your posts I did read them, my goodness how cute are those photos of you! god definitely made a beautiful human being in you 😍😍 me and God have hit a rough patch in our relationship 😂 at the moment things have been difficult personally with D&AI hope your mum is doing ok 💛 (take note I spelt mum correctly 😜) sending you lots of love at this time, I would send BNS ice cream but I don’t think it would last to across the pond 😝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Benjamin! Haha no worries at all:) thank you so much. Truly. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through that. I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I always have to remind myself that there is nothing I can do that would ever make God stop loving me. He loves me through my mess. Maybe that resonates:) sending big hugs and yes, I had BNS ice cream for dessert tonight:) hugs and much love xox

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  13. I wish that I could make this more obscure, but I’m tired at the moment.

    You are re-entrained with the continuity of your wellness. Given the energy invested in opposing that, it is probable (to my mind) that you will be confronted with larger responsibilities (in the sense of Matt. 25:14-30) that were assumed in a prior age. Heed Luke 9:62; it is better to be led (the second servant) than to lead astray.

    The temptations are great. Hew to his example [Matt. 11:29]: “…I am gentle and humble in heart…” We are all simply conduits for the “one who is good” [Mark 10:18]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reclaiming our childhood is so very important I believe. It’s that beginning part of our testimony that if we miss out makes people sad who are following along. Lots of hugs and kisses come from Jesus and true friends, and then our life becomes a labour of love as we march forward and the true handful of friends are walking with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Owning our whole story brings us freedom and strength. The first thing I thought of when I read your post was the Harry Anderson picture, “What Happened to Your Hand.” Do you know it?
    There is a little girl holding Jesus hand and she’s asking him that question. As painful as that experience was for Jesus, and it seems he’ll forever bear those wounds, his story is one of freedom, hope, and the greatest love.
    In its own way, yours is, too.

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      1. Because I like you, I will try my best to help you become more cool…
        In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Spock’s long lost half brother shows up to persuade the crew to follow him to the centre of the galaxy. What he does to win them over is offer to take away their pain (past trauma, loss, etc.). Seems like a good thing. Kirk says no. He says:
        “You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!”
        There you go.

        Like

  16. You have always been beautiful, but your beauty is more pronounced now that you have made peace with your inner self, and the wonderful person that you are today! xoxoxo

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  17. Beebs, I just want to say that slowing down in life is shit. I am glad, though, that you get that chance. You fly high. I was told once that I am an impatient person, and I probably am. Wings get clipped at some point. Maybe there’s a reason. I can’t help feeling that I wish you well, (I do). But, at the same time, you might be able to spread your roots deeper. (I’m not talking about family) Look behind the stats. Look beneath the numbers. Fixate on what’s past the facades shown everywhere.

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  18. This was such a beautiful post. I had a really dark time when I first left home when I was 18 and I tend to always go back to that headspace and forget all the good I had before, and actually after that dark time ended too! This was just what I needed to read right now! Thank you 🙂 x

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    1. Hi Abby, thanks for sharing this. i’m glad it resonated with you. Yeah, it’s hard not to remember the dark, but the good parts are there. we just have to look for them 🙂 thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

      Like

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