When I was little, dissociation took me away from the trauma that was happening and held the deepest part of me.
I had no control over my leaving. And as I grew older, I learned to use another form of disassociation: fantasies.
They were the best because I did have control over where and when I would like to go. I was a master of building worlds just like the kids do today on Minecraft. I formed people and built places where I was safe, loved, and respected.
Indeed, I created my own world—a make-believe world that would comfort me from the pain inflicted in the real one. I could easily get lost for hours in my head in places where no harm was done to me or anyone.
The people in my world were always concerned for my well-being, and the most frequent question asked was, “Dianna, are you okay?”
It became my go-to while trying to fall asleep or struggling with a real-world problem, even up until just about five years ago.
When I grew older and had my children, the fantasies became about them—about giving them an extraordinary life. It became about spending time with them and always being together.
I would fall asleep creating the perfect life for us to share. A life where they felt my love and support and comfort in knowing I was their biggest fan.
I hope they know that I write for them. They are the beings I brought here, the beings God had blessed me with.
They are the beautiful beings who are half of me, who need to know they are worthy, and whom I love for exactly who they are.
I write for them so that one day, they will understand me and in turn understand themselves.
I wish I had known more about myself before becoming a parent.
I wish I had known how to fix my real world before bringing them here.
I hope they know if I could go back, I would do a much better job.
I held on. I prayed my whole life that one day, my father would apologize to me for not doing better. Days before he left this world, I went to see him to say goodbye, thinking that, for sure, he would tell me if he could go back, he would do better.
But he did not.
I have done a lot of hard work to get to this place that I no longer have to leave. I’ve lost the ability to get lost in any other world now. I can’t create and arrange it like I used to, and I believe it means that I am healing.
I believe it means that the real world I am in is becoming a safe, loving place surrounded by people who lift me and I lift them up, too. People who know me, see me, and believe in me. People who will tell me when I am wrong without a jagged, sharp dagger that leaves a forever wound.
I see myself in my children’s eyes, especially when they are navigating this life. Even more when they are moving through something difficult.
I evolved from the darkness that was bestowed upon me and carried the pain of my father for way too long. My children are acutely aware of where they come from and are warriors who have to fight against the sneers and jeers of people who don’t know any better.
I pray they become aware that these people also carry within them darkness that they hid away the dysfunctional parts of themselves.
My children will fight their way up the chain from where I came. They will climb it by creating life choices for themselves, from a place of love, not fear.
They will choose to love who they want to love and who they wish to be.
They will acquire the essential tools they need to thrive and survive this life.
They will succeed by not letting others decide who they are.
These days, as I lay myself to sleep at night, I do not go away. Instead, I pray.
I pray for my children in their quest for peace and happiness.
I pray for all of those who feel like they are unworthy, unloved, and alone.
I pray that a light shines on them, waking something up inside, so they may live to fight another day.
For this, I pray.