first step

“Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep…”

The Little Mermaid

…I wish I knew how best to begin.

I’d wanted to write this blog for some time (this actually being my second attempt), and now that I finally feel in the right place to write it, the first step feels shaky. Hans Christian Anderson described The Little Mermaid’s first steps as like “needles and knives”. We’ve all had paresthesia, the pins and needles in our legs and feet for sitting in one place for too long. It’s best to walk it off, however clumsy and/or painful it will be at first.

I’ve been writing in an online journal for some years now at Survivor’s Chat before I moved my writing to WordPress. It began at a sunnier part of the beach, with my earliest memories. One of these memories is from when I was about 3, first learning how to swim with my father holding me up in the turquoise water as I splashed around. Another, believe it or not, was when I was a baby, being bathed by my mother in one of those little sink tubs (crazy, I know, that a memory so distant could come back; the mind is an amazing thing).

All of these early memories while we still lived by the sea had this light about them, even the sad or scary ones. I wanted to start with these memories because, as I wrote in my old journal, “I don’t want to lose that feeling, that the world was bright and happy…maybe my story will end that way. Even if it doesn’t, at least it has a happy beginning.”


I don’t know if I was able to appreciate that happy beginning as much as I do now. I certainly didn’t appreciate that God let me live through what followed. Those feelings still come in when I sink too deep into that darkness, but right now at least, I can’t tell you how grateful I am, for now I’m able to share this story in the hopes of sharing with it the lessons the tears gave me. There was a time I thought I’d never stop crying. Now I can reflect on them, as anyone can reflect on the sea.

My story isn’t over, and neither is yours. Though I’ve come to find bright and beautiful things shining in the dark, the sun might come out again for me one day. If you’d like to keep walking with me, I’d be happy to walk with you. Remember me, if you or anyone you love finds themselves in the same places I’m going to share with you.

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