Wasn’t that bag already unpacked?

My mom bought me a kid sized pink suitcase when I was younger. No… not one that a kid can fit into, but one that was just the right size for my Barbie Dolls, my baby blanket, and my miniature pink rotary phone that I talked to my imaginary friend on every night.
I was going on a trip, a long and far away trip from San Jose to St. Louis and I wanted my own suitcase. The thing is that I don’t remember this, because I was four and I don’t remember anything before the age of five. The thing is that I know now that I wasn’t just packing dolls and blankets, but this is when I began to pack fears and anger into my little suitcase, one that has grown over the years into one of those cases that the airline charges an extra $50.00 for because of its weight.
My mom put me on a plane and left me for a year in the care of my family: an uncle I believe is the consensus among family members. In my little pink suitcase I began stuffing my fights with my imaginary friend, the way Kermit treated Ms. Piggy, and the anger I had at my mom for letting me go for so long, but I remind you that my memory is faulty and I don’t remember any of this, just stories of stories, thrice told and fairly old.
I thought this bag would have been organized, repacked, moved, unpacked, and stored a long time ago. Therapy started at six when my hands became raw and looked bloody, which is when I began to tell my mom that I felt dirty and had to get it off by washing my hands fifty times a day or more. I only remember blocks and kids play things at these sessions, but I’m not sure if this is because I remember them or because this is what all doctors offices have for kids. I don’t remember how it stopped, what the doctor said to make it stop or if he told my mom what to do, but I know that one day it did and I began pulling my hair.
I never wanted answers for these things until recently. I never wanted my memories back from before I was five. I never wanted… anything until I was made aware that the things I did back then and still do aren’t necessarily normal or okay. I’m not saying that anyone’s normal because I don’t necessarily even believe in that term, but… I think I want answers now.
I sometimes want to find the kids that called me ugly and fat and show them that the person then isn’t the person now, but what I’ve realized since going to my new and amazing counselor is that that person… is still there. The little girl that was ugly and cried every night and didn’t think she was good enough for anyone is the same older girl that thinks the same way. The little girl that suffered from an overeating disorder because she was sure that food was the only thing that could like her is now the older girl that is in a constant battle with food and still dreams of being like all the other girls, some kind of beautiful.
My counselor, though she is amazing, gave me a look of confusion and a sentence of disbelief when I admitted that I think I’m ugly and have always thought this. I thought she might laugh for a moment because she thought it ridiculous that I could have this conception of myself. I laughed it off, because that’s what I always do, but she said we had to figure this out and that we were going to have to go waaaaaaay back the next couple of weeks to figure out where this is all coming from. Essentially she said that I am going to have to unpack the load that I’ve been carrying this whole life, while I’ve been denying for a long time that it’s there. Perhaps I’m ready to let go of the little girl now so that I can be a woman, but I don’t think I’m going to ever give up my blanket.

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