There’s a side to me that I was once very ashamed of. Perhaps you cannot define it as a “side”, or a “personality”. For me, it was the simple inability to let something go that dated way back, to my early childhood.
I still have bed time teddy bears.
There it is. The cat’s out of the bag, for the whole world to see. Actually, I’m not embarrassed at all anymore. My friends and my husband helped me to make the most of it as a habit. My kids have a great time with it.
He found the dog food bowls and was disappointed to learn they weren’t for him…
I have two bed time teddy bears. Kitty (not seen in photos) from when I was four years old (I don’t take Kitty on long road trips out of the hyper paranoia of losing her or leaving her behind somewhere.) and my little unicorn, who I’ve never actually given a name to, now that I think of it.
They are tucked neatly under our covers every day while we are all away from home, and at night when we lay down to sleep, they are both snuggled in my arms before my husband puts his arms around me. It’s one of the calmest, happiest feelings to sink into before I fall asleep.
Coming along on the hike in the canyon!
They are not my only teddy bears. Our bedroom is nearly covered. I have one large shelf that is dedicated entirely to my stuffy collection.
I tried not to let it show how much I adored (and still often played with, finding just as much amusement now as I did when I was a child) my stuffed animals. I thought it had to mean there was something wrong with me.
Until one day I brought it up to my psychiatrist. She burst out laughing, and I hung my head in shame almost immediately.
Can we have a bath now?
“No,” she said, “Don’t you dare be ashamed! Don’t hide your joy from it, either! Embrace that! Let others in to see it – it’s beautiful, and it’s something to value. It’s something that you know makes you happy. Don’t hide it. I laugh because I truly enjoy that – I am happy for you! I still get joy from setting miniature furniture up in my old doll houses. I’m not afraid to show it – I never will be! My childhood is precious to me. As yours should be to you.”
That conversation was already seven years ago now. My friends, my family, my husband, everyone knows now. No one has ever cast judgment on me for it.
Nowadays, we take my little unicorn everywhere.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.