I've always been aware that I had splinters of different personalities in me. Three main characters with contrasting traits: Johana, Joe and Ana.
Johana is the first person everyone meets. She's very friendly, approachable and warm. But at the same time, she is fiercely private, keeps people at an arm's length, only showing the public what she allows them to see. She's the performer. The artist. The singer. The public figure. She does not tolerate fools and she doesn't take crap from anyone. She's opinionated and speaks her mind.
Joe, on the other hand, is a tomboy who loves to play football with the boys. She's a rebel and she is very defensive. She protects and defends the underdogs. She doesn't think twice about getting into a fist fight with anyone. She mostly dresses in jeans, t-shirt, and a baseball cap. When she's angry, she reaches for her baseball bat and doesn't hesitate to swing it at anyone who tries to hit her.
Ana is a very feminine personality. She loves being a wife and mother. She loves cooking, baking and sewing. She loves floral print dresses and is a very sensitive individual. She easily cries when watching soppy romance movies. She's kind hearted, ultra sensitive and is afraid of anger.
I believe these personalities came into being as a way for me to cope with the traumas I had suffered throughout my childhood. Ana is too fragile and gets easily bullied by others. Joe came into being to protect Ana from abuse. Joe fights back. Johana puts herself so far apart from others to the point she becomes untouchable by others.
A few months ago, I started working on putting myself back together again. I could have done it a lot sooner but the main obstacle was that Johana and Joe were angry and ashamed of Ana for being such a wimp. Both Johana and Joe resented Ana for not fighting back when she was abused. It was never Ana's character to fight back. She takes and takes and when she can't take it anymore, she breaks. And then Joe will step in to get the abuse to stop and Johana will put a distance between Ana and the abuse.
During one of the therapy sessions with my psychiatrist, he asked me what I thought of myself. I asked him, "Who are you asking?" That was when he discovered I was splintered. There and then, the process of putting myself back together again began. He convinced Ana that she's not a wimp. Ana is the strongest of all because she took the abuse while Johana and Joe ran away. Johana said she would never have allowed anyone to treat her like crap. Joe said she would have hit back. They both saw Ana as weak. They were wrong and they were made to realise their mistake. They were made to apologise to Ana. Since then, Johana, Joe and Ana has merged. I am whole again.
Of course I have simplified the lengthy process with just a summary and the outcome. But the process was indeed very difficult and trying. In the end, it was all worth all the tears I had shed. And now I need to say something to the 5 year old me: the child who suffered and survived so many heartbreaking abuse.
Dearest sweet Ana,
I'm so sorry you were dethroned when your younger brother was born. I'm sorry you lost your place as the centre of the universe in your parents' eyes. I'm sorry you were the punching bag for mom to let out her frustrations. I'm sorry for the betrayals you endured. I'm sorry for the whelp marks left on your tiny body and the whipping that caused your eyes to bleed. I'm sorry you were molested and it went unnoticed. I'm sorry you were blamed and beaten for things you did not do.
You deserve to be happy. You do not need to feel guilty because you did nothing wrong. In fact, many people should apologise to you for what they had done onto you. You deserve peace of mind. You deserve to be loved unconditionally. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be notice.
Do know that you are beautiful. Do know that you are brave. Do know that you are a wise soul. Do know that you're kind hearted and generous. Do believe that you are loved and needed. Do believe that you are appreciated and cared for. Do believe that you deserve honesty. Do believe that you do not need to tolerate anymore lies. You have suffered unnecessarily. You have suffered enough. There's no need for you to carry on punishing yourself for what others have wrongly blamed you.
It's okay for you to love yourself. That does not make you selfish or self-centred. You need to take good care of yourself, Ana. You must know and believe your self worth. Be wary of the deceit from others. Not everyone is as sincere and genuine as you are. You are a gifted soul. Use your gifts well and make God proud of you.
Forgive others for their transgressions. There's no benefit in holding a grudge against them. it will only burden your soul and taint your pure heart. Enough is enough. Stand up. Stand tall. Speak up and let yourself be heard. You matter to the world. You are a survivor. You are a champion. And that's the truth you deserve to know.
It's safe now. You can come out of your cave. There's no need for caves anymore. You've always had a place on earth. Claim what is yours and be proud of your virtues. You're a beautiful you. Thank you.