We were so little and they were so big

We were so little and they were so big

A deep issue that I’ve encountered several times over the years is a fear that if I am myself I will be killed. I trace it to being very tiny and very aware that the volatile, hot-tempered adults around me were huge and held my survival in their hands. They made it clear early on that I would be loved and cared for only if I conformed to their standards; I’ve often said it was okay to be chronologically young in my house, just not actually a child.

It has been one of the toughest aspects of my journey to get past. The more “myself” I become and the closer to being out there expressing that self, the more various forms of resistance have arisen – always traceable back to that core fear of being killed. As I’ve mentioned this to others they’ve described similar sensations.

When I was going through the Fischer Hoffman Process (wow, 20 years ago now), I noted several times that a number of issues that went back to toddler days seemed to have been more dramatic to my inner child purely because of the size factor. They were huge and powerful and I think I was quite clear that when angry they could easily kill me – whether they would have is not the question here, just the perception of tiny beings.

I wonder how many people are locked into patterns that cling particularly hard because they seemed so much more frightening to a tiny person? I’m interested to know what others have found.

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8 thoughts on “We were so little and they were so big

  1. Well, once again, Leigh, we share an experience and an issue. It was only my older sister I feared would kill me (she tried once), but I also felt I would be unloved and so abandoned if I did not hide my real self. After a while, I forgot my real self and am still trying very hard to find her. I don’t feel physically unsafe anymore and have not been afraid of death since a phenomenal experience in meditation 35 years ago, but I still fear being abandoned emotionally. I am anxious to see if this is a common experience of your readers. I think the fear of physical harm went away when I was no longer a little person, but the fear of emotional abandonment is still very much with me. In fact, I have had the experience lately after decades of soul work. Interesting.

    • Wow you and your sister have quite a history.
      For me, the fear of being killed has never been conscious in the sense of wanting to do something and thinking, “Oh no, someone will kill me.” I have to dig every time to find why I’ve stopped, why I’m stuck, why the muscles won’t let go, etc. And I come down to that. I think the fact that I’m writing this blog and expressing honestly who I am (accompanied by the final muscle patterns finally starting to move out) means that issue is finally passing on.
      As I mentioned in the post, I’ve talked to a few people who knew they had “don’t be” messages or experiences of realizing the grown ups could kill them so I’m very curious to see if people respond to this and how.

  2. Hello, Leight, I subscribed to your ‘blog’ because you ‘indicated’ in an e-mail that you needed more people on the ‘line’ so to speak.
    But, I can not tell you how you have ‘touched’ my heart and mind, nearly every time that I’ve read your blog!!!
    It is truly uncanny.

    I feel as if you are ‘speaking’ directly to me and that there is a ‘mirror’ refecting some of my own feelings.
    I am ‘saving’ your blog as I see fit, in order to refer to them again.
    There is much stress in my life at this time with a husband who has congestive heart failure, kidney mal-function, and neuropathy.
    Your words provide an ‘avenue’ of respite and also, a place to go for solace.
    thank you very, very, very much, mary ellen

    • Hello, Leigh, I subscribed to your ‘blog’ because you ‘indicated in an e-mail that you needed more people on ‘line,’ sp to speak.
      But, I can not tell you how you have ‘touched’ my heart and mind, nearly every time that I’ve read your blog!!!!
      I is truly uncanny.

      I feel as if you are ‘speaking’ directly to me and that there is a ‘mirror’ reflecting some of my own feelings, in some of the items I’ve read, written by you.
      I am saving you ‘blogs,’ as I see fit, in order to refer to them again.
      There is much stress in my life at this time with a husband who has congestive heart failure, kidney mal-function, and neuropathy6.
      I have much ‘baggage’ from a childhood of confusion and ‘upheavel.’
      I am sure that it is a factor in my reaction(s) to those stresses that I now am experiencing.
      I ‘thought’ that ‘I had it all together,’ for so many years, and now realize that I do not.
      Your words provide an ‘avenue’ of respite and also, a place to go for solace.
      thank you, very, very, very much, m.e.

      • That really touches me Mary Ellen. I’ve long hoped to find a way that my journey could be used to help other people and it’s so heartwarming to hear that it’s doing that.
        I knew Ed was ill but I hadn’t heard it had gotten this bad — so sorry.

  3. I recall being terrified of death, in general as a child, and also feeling that my parents were so big and powerful and scary when they were angry. I can remember the throat catching, heart pounding fear I felt when my mother or father would yell at me, or spank me. I never thought of it as a fear that they might kill me before, but yes, perhaps subconsciously that is what it was.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I believe we have all had these experiences, whether we acknowledge them or not. So many of them are pre-verbal, so are literally, prior to words. Yet the feelings are there, embedded in our bodies. They arise again to be met when we’re ready, to be felt through and through. I’m 66, and spent the last year and a half meeting many of those. It’s been very rough, and very wonderful.

    • I hear you. The piece I hope to convince people of is the wonderful — to me the “rough” lasts such a tiny amount of time (once you’ve allowed yourself to look) and then the wonderful freedom from it is part of your life forever — working on a post about that. Thanks so much for stopping by. I really like your posts.

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