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  • Fe Robinson

Being complete, just as you are

Feeling insignificant and invisible while in relationships is sadly not an uncommon experience. Therapeutically and in life more generally, I meet many people who have experienced not having their psychological needs fully met by their care-givers as children. When this is unresolved it carries on into adulthood, with the person looking to others to meet their needs, and finding it very hard when they do not.

This issue comes about sometimes through neglect and abuse, but often it was nothing that dramatic, more a lack of attunement or noticing, of using humour or hostility to manage discomfort rather than having space for dialogue and exploration. It’s about adults struggling with their own emotions, and not having the capacity or capability to offer a calm nervous system to regulate the young people in their care. It may well be unintentional, but it is nonetheless damaging and can have deep and lasting effects.

I wrote the poem below last year to capture the essence of the anger that erupts when someone accepts that needs were not met, and that this was not about their own deficiencies, but about the vulnerabilities and histories of their care-givers. A key aspect of healing is resonating with your own experience, witnessing and acknowledging the pain and coming to find ways to regulate yourself, to know your own being, and to treasure yourself, just as you are. I hope this poem goes some way to naming the pain that may be felt.

For help in this sometimes challenging endeavour, why not reach out to a psychotherapist to help you along the way?

I Choose Life (2021)

A lump sits

in my chest

Dense, heavy, black

My breath catches as

Full breath

eludes me

I scream

Fury, rage, deafening anguish

I give sound to a thousand slights and put downs

to jokes, digs and derisions

I stamp

The earth shakes

My body says no more

to your brooding, sullen hostility and anger

See me

Hear me

Notice me

For heaven’s sake, acknowledge me

No matter how loud my scream

No matter how violent my stamp

To you I am mute

To you, I am invisible

You will never understand

Blinded by your own needs

You are impenetrable

People see me

Others hear my voice

It is you who is without ears or eyes

It is your behaviour that is lacking

I choose no longer to carry your weight

I choose to breathe

I choose to move

I am vibrant, lively and graceful

I choose life


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