My Dear Wounded Child, Rick Elgersma,
You were so manipulative, Rick, and you lied so many times. That wasn’t ok. You were hurt from it, and others were hurt too. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. You’re still manipulative in ways, at least you have those tendencies, I see them. That’s how it is. You spent a great many years trying to keep your environment as happy as you could, you just didn’t do it the way a functional adult, even a functional kid would. There’s a part of me that doesn’t blame you though. I just don’t think I would’ve survived earth for some years…you tried to leave it a couple of times…somehow you survived. You cried for help with a knife to your heart, and a bunch of pills to soften the blade…and it worked. I was pissed then because I didn’t even think of myself as worthy enough to kill. So I cried, and people helped…you found a way to survive this, and man that was important.
I accept you as you were, just as I do with my own child. But while you felt happy, you lost part of your soul from manipulation. Those mistakes have taken quite a long time to mend the soul. Yet, you’re not quite sure you want to peel away bad habits, you are offendable at times, you’re not always generative, and you still sometimes expect others to serve you. Yes… it’s true you had to start with one day, then the next, that’s just how it was… still is sometimes, at least it feels that way. I have to be well today. And and yet you’ve made permenant changes too. Great work! You loved Neverland for sure… completely awesome I have to agree! But earth is pretty cool too I’ve noticed.
I know, I started the letter ranting against you, which was kind of like a child wounded would do. Quite a lot was negative, but you were a cool kid too! There’s a lot of good…you gave me good things, and I thank you for that. You gained quite a lot truthfully. You didn’t really have to work, and you felt like no one believed you could do whatever it was anyway. At least you got what was definitely needed, I can’t argue about that. You needed a lot of attention because you were handicapped. You were in doctor appointments, and in the hospital an awful lot. You… I did need unique attention. Your siblings were a little jealous sometimes, but they chipped right in. They supported, loved, and absolutely defended me on numerous occasions. But you used my handicap against them too, I regret that, because You hurt them sometimes.
You could do an awful lot truly, you were seriously capable which was an out and out miracle that should’ve been celebrated. I guess it was sometimes, I have to say that. But it was difficult to convince them of my significant capability, so I didn’t try eventually… like by the time I was 8 years old. So you let them serve you. That was huge for you, child. That was the good life, a sweet sweet gig. Through it all you loved well… I appreciate the lessons of generous love you taught. You were so generous Rick! I still have that buddy. That’s all you.
What I’m saying is that you helped me be nurtured when my spirit was unrecognizable to myself. I remember that you looked in the mirror so often and practiced smiling. You knew how to smile, just didn’t know how to feel the smile. You thought of ways to project greatness, even though you lied about them. You could never shoot a 31 on the back nine, and you never did slide down the fire pole. You have to admit that… you gained some attention… but also some notoriety.
At least notoriety was something. Helped you celebrate “f’s” on a test. Sounds negative again, but I felt so little and handicapped, and you found a way for me to find courage. That was truly important many of the times I needed it. You held emotion at bay because if you would have let me cry, the walls would’ve shaken. You also helped me learn how to ask for stuff and get things done. I did get a lot done, honestly. I did. You might not have been your true self for it, but this child was able to find the courage to ask, and to speak up. That was good buddy, because what I consider my real life, was a person that existed only to serve…to serve as much as I needed to, to hide. As long as you were launching others to some sort of success, you felt more fulfilled… but seriously, you were not going anywhere. Didn’t feel that you deserved to. You didn’t know that You deserved to go anywhere… you didn’t know there was a me that was generative, and productive, didn’t want to know after awhile. That hurt me, I have to tell you. . I didn’t know I was a viable citizen. I knew what I couldn’t do as well as others… the rest was hidden… I suppose maybe I hid myself from skills that were not as honed as others for fear of even that skill being made fun of, or disparaged.
I was able to stand and make some serious gains because of you.. You were inspirational at a times, and so very determined! You did way more than others expected I might, or could. I remember the proud look on dad’s face when you climbed the scaffolding all the way up to the second floor with two casts on your legs. He was so startled! I went to college because of you…I graduated because of me though. There was a time when I started to believe Rick the adult who coached me to run without crutches… people crutches, “things” crutches.
Your determined spirit helped you perform well. That kid was so sly. But your spirit, your tenacity, your strength helped me produce something amazing to prove to doubters what was possible. Maybe, no most likely, (it’s difficult to remember, but I know myself) that you did great things to help keep my mind off of my general disposition, but also to hide what you felt about yourself, and whatever I figured everyone else felt about me. That was kind of childish. I guess that was. your motive until you were 38 years old. By then you couldn’t discern real normal from pretend normal, and functional adult from adapted and wounded child. You controlled things, and made it seem like you were so reliable, and perfect. You could get others to believe you were the best…that’s one helluva skill…
But I’m new, now. I have a language for adulthood. I have people who need me to be on their team, to be a helper, to be a leader… I have those skills, and my bride knows I do, so manipulation is generally futile. I really don’t want that for her anyway. I don’t want my daughter to know that about me either. She’s so amazing! They both are. My family is so close, and how would I experience them if I only had manipulation on my mind? My bride can’t take on everything while I sit back and let her. My inner child still does a great job sometimes, somehow I get nurturing from it… I still need nurturing. Most of the time now I know how to ask. I have good thoughts, and advice, and I have a business to run etc. You know the vast world of adulting is a convolution no child should be asked to handle…But you’ve been grown for a long time, and yet Rick the adult has only relatively recently moved in, and you’re having trouble letting go of running the house.
But I got this, I do. Please let go. You can rest now, go play! You can just sit back and enjoy the ride! We’ll go on adventures, I promise, but I’ve got to take on the adventure of adulting. It’s not bad, don’t be afraid… it’s actually good, no, great! Rick has a lot of useful things to teach you and the world. He has much to write, and deliver. Adult love is so much fuller, so much more abstract and capable of loving without needing tit for tat, revenge, sabotage, showing merciless animosity toward the gray area. You don’t tell on the others that don’t satisfy you, and then justify yourself for isolating them away from you… that’s super cool because you’re not as angry. What they do is their own, I won’t take their shit on. I’ll be there for them though if they want. I’ll show compassion, and empathy… I’ll throw a rope, and help them see things. I can do that for you too. I’ll stand right beside you. I’ll help you load the bags with lighter stuff. Everyone has baggage, and you’ll have to figure out what not to put in your bags. You’ll then have to carry them yourself. I can help you lift them, but I won’t do that for you. You’re strong… you’re a survivor, boy, you are. You’ve gritted your teeth and revved your adrenaline engine so youthfully many times! I love that about you!
We can do stuff together… that’s cool, I don’t mind a youthful companion… that’s helpful for an aging man…we can watch scary movies together, and peak out from the blanket together. And I love your imagination… love that… need that. But my creative adult is so much more expansive. You keep me dreaming, and that’s essential, and yet my adult knows that dreams are part of real life, and I can use my resources to make dyou didn’t really know that, and that’s ok. You were so good with animals too… I remember camping and your patience it took to sit there for a half an hour until a small squirrel came to you, to eat from your hand. I found that Rick, the adult can do that too… I can be an adult doing great things! Therefore the adult is needed now… I get to go and enjoy my bride too… adulting can be so much fun! But you get to go play, do what kids do… I’m good with it. Just be home by dinner time.