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[prompt: 'hide' 17/5/2019]

"Who's that lurking in the shadows? Come out here for a minute. Don't be shy."

She's been hiding in the background for a l-o-n-g time. Gently now. She's SO timid. But I've been there before, time and time again rescuing traumatised beings, soothing shattered souls. I CAN do it again.

I smile and stretch out my hand, held low, palm carefully upturned - a certain sign of submission to all wild things. Her eyes are huge, but they widen further as I talk, despite making my voice as loving and gentle as I can.

"Don't I know you?" Something is simultaneously so familiar, yet strangely unknown about this small being. Her midnight eyes glow suddenly. Do I see hope? Admiration? Fear? I find my heart swelling with love and the most protective desire ever.

I recognise my Inner Child... the one damaged by neglect; by being pushed to the back shelf to be dealt with another day. Have there been occasional sympathetic, even empathetic thoughts I've had about her? None have scratched the surface of her need for recognition and nurturing. THIS is the moment - to acknowledge, to focus, to accept pain unwittingly caused - and by sharing the load, ease the burden on the small shoulders of my Inner child, and with a blessed domino effect, on my today self as well.

Come little one, I whisper. Relax! This is OUR time. I will look after you totally now. She must have a name for her rebirth. Little Christine would be OK... but no. My Inner Child, I whisper and my imagination scoots around like a toddler who's just learned to walk and now runs haphazardly. Suddenly, there it is. MICA - My Inner Child Arises. I like it. MICA... the name of my special small self. Her approval is intensely physical as she cuddles so tightly inside my heart, it hurts... until I focus my ALL on my yesterdays. Slowly, the pain dissolves into a slow ache - keeping her presence alive.

I cannot remember our actual beginnings - only hearsay by parents and siblings. Sad, soft tales of Mum nearly losing her mind after my baby brother died in her arms... and almost losing herself a second time when she found she was pregnant again - this time with gratitude and happiness. My sister shared tales of the laughter I brought back into that bleak and grieving house and into the hearts of the whole family. "After all," she would say, "who can be serious with a joyous gurgling baby around?" Her hand would tenderly cup the side of my face at moments like that.

MICA and I automatically assumed our role in life as making others happy; like a chameleon, adapting to whatever any other being needed of us. It seemed innocent enough to our small spirit. None saw the inherent problems this caring and pushing our own feelings and needs ever backwards could cause. Too many assumed I was strong enough to cope with every tough moment rearing its head, and beliefs formed that I ALWAYS coped; ALWAYS survived; could ALWAYS be leant upon when others faltered and might fail. A strange copability, this. It's a positive I can gratefully pat MICA on the head for...  I think.

SO much to fetch out, examine in detail and try to learn about. Been a long time happening, wise little MICA, but like all things - better late than never. An amazing journey we've shared. Let's see what other hidden treasures we can uncover.

Author's Note:  With NO humble apologies to the WC Police, here is a rare photo of my small elusive MICA who continues to inspire me -

Author's Note:  With NO humble apologies to the WC Police, here is a rare photo of my small elusive MICA who continues to inspire me -

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Between her mesmerising eyes and her brilliant words, I am re-energised and believe my every answer is deep within her.

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