There’s this girl I know. She and I are starting to be best friends now. Her last name is Parrilla. Her parents are divorced. Her father left, or that was what it seemed like to her. She told me, she didn’t know. She was just a little girl back then, but that’s what it seemed like to her: that her father left her and her family.
She told me she didn’t know why her father left. All she knew was that he was gone. That he had walked out of her life and her family’s lives, disappearing. That he did not stop to tell them goodbye, only to just wave and walk away to who knows where.
She told me when she was young, she thought something, perhaps a monster had stolen her father. She really did not know, she told me again, pain and confusion on her face. “Either I really don’t know, or I just can’t remember,” was her words to me.
Mind you, it took a long time for my friend, the girl I know, to trust me enough to tell me because she was ascared. I don’t know when this happened, but one day when we were together, she told me something that she used to do almost every night when she was a little girl.
She was afraid whatever had stolen her father would happen to her mother too, and she didn’t want the same thing to happen to her mother.
Almost every night at midnight or after midnight, she would get up and check to see if her mother there. To see if her mother was still alive She would panic if she couldn’t hear her mother breathing. She would get as close as she could to her mother, trying not to wake her up while trying to hear her mother breathe; and when she heard her mother breathe, she would go back to bed a little reassured and a little relieved, but she was still scared and she would still fight sleep just to hear her mother breathing.
She told me of her fears and when she told me of her fears, I saw that she was frightened so much. Very frightened.
She was afraid of her emotions. She didn’t want her emotions and she didn’t want to know her emotions. She panicked when her emotions started rising up . She pushed them down, as far down as she could and she thought that helped if only a little bit. “I was wrong in thinking that pushing down and pushing away my emotions helped,” she said to me with a distant look on her face; telling me her words and thinking about what she said at the same time.
Because when she pushed down or pushed away her emotions, they built up little by little whenever she did that. She tried not to leave evidence or tried to leave very little evidence of what she was keeping inside her. She needed a container for her emotions, but she couldn’t find one. So, she tried to become the container herself, but her emotions would seep out. Trickle out.
She was frightened of so many things, and she was also worried about so many thing then. Fear and worry were one of her constant companions back then. She was worried about money because it sometimes seemed like they didn’t have enough and she worried about food being in their stomachs. She worried about her mother and brother. She worried about their health and her health. It seemed like she was frightened and worried about almost, everything.
She didn’t know to be a child because she had grown up when her father left, but she was still was still a little girl on that day she grew up. She just didn’t how to play, and when her family became broken and her father left that was the final straw. She hid from the world.
Years passed by, and the little grew and grew, but she didn’t outgrow her fears and worries. She was still frightened, she was still worried. She was frightened of death and darkness and sickness for they seemed like the same to her because she was worried that her mother was dying because she was sick so many times. She frightened and worried when ever she became sick because she didn’t want to be sick. All she wanted to do was to look after and care for her family.
She was frightened of love because from what she had seen, love had only just her and her family; and she was frightened when people besides her family loved her because she didn’t know if they were going to leave her or hurt her. She didn’t want to get hurt again. She was also fearful of promises from people she knew or didn’t know and from people she loved and whom loved her because she didn’t know if they were really going to keep their promises that they made. They could be filled with lies and wind, and she didn’t want that.
She didn’t want pain and disappointment, again. Yet she hoped that they would keep their promises, even though she tried not to hope.
“I made myself a prison from fear and worry and pain because I thought I would be safe. How wrong I was. It took a long time to take down the walls of thorns I built, even though they weren’t strong.”
“Besides being afraid of those, I was also afraid of myself. I was afraid of myself because I knew I could hurt someone, and I was also frightened of myself because I once almost killed my brother in an accident. I was afraid of what I could do. I was scared of the power I had, and I didn’t want to use it.”
“Yet,” she said. Yet she sometimes used what she knew she had even if she was frightened of it, she revealed to me.
But my friends, my friend is starting to come out of hiding. She’s showing herself to the world without her mask on her face. She’s starting to heal and become whole. She’s starting to get back her voice that she tried to silence and lose. The spark, the flame that she tried to douse is starting to light up.
She finally gave her life to someone she knew she could give it too.
“I gave my life to Jesus, and even though I gave my life to him in anger and pain and sadness and confusion, he turned my whole life around.”
I knew that giving my life to him is something that I won’t ever take back, even though I knew it was going to be hard. He was there when no-one was there, and He’s still with me.
I found and I find healing in Him, when someone hurts me or disappoints me. I found myself and I find myself in Him and in the Father, I thought I never had.”
The last time I saw her, she was finding pieces of herself, rejoicing. In joy. She also found her smile, her laughter. Her laughter isn’t forced, and her smiles isn’t broken. Behind her smile, there’s a story.
She was shining when I saw her recently. She’s still shining, and she’ll shine now because she knows that everything’s alright. She’s with her Lover, Jesus. She’s with her Teacher, the Holy Spirit. She’s with her Father, Abba.
“I’m okay,” she realized. She’s alright. She’s safe. She’s becoming the person, she’s meant to be; she’s finding her identity and her calling. “I’m okay, I’m okay,” she told me and herself.
My friend’s full name is Nichia, Nichia L. Parrilla. That’s her secret full name anyways, haha. The girl I know is me.