A Letter to Someone Who Hit Me (when we were kids)

by | Sep 7, 2021 | Letters | 0 comments

Letter 14: To someone who hit me (when we were kids)

You are not the obvious choice for this letter. The obvious choice would be my ex-husband. Or maybe my mum. But you were four or five, and so was I, and it so happens our exchange is one of my earliest memories.

It was a summery day, and I was playing in the back yard with the boy from next door. That in itself is memorable – we were rarely allowed out in there. Junkies and drunks threw their paraphernalia over the fence, sometimes they even came in and peed in the close. There were often crows, and sometimes rats. But this day, we were allowed to play.

I don’t remember the game, just that it was fun to be unsupervised in the bright, warm sun. You were walking alone past the fence, heading back to your own close.

When you called me over to say hi, I was so delighted. I thought you were my best friend. Really, I wanted you to like me, and I guess you didn’t. When I climbed up to lean over and say hi, you reached up to touch my face. Put your hand gently into my hair. Held me softly. Looked into my eyes. Swung a chipped, red brick up with your other hand, and battered it into the side of my head.

The impact raced and clattered through my body like thunder and lightening, falling, falling, falling down from the top of the fence onto the hard ground below, blinking back blood.

I didn’t see red, or stars. I felt blindsided with white hot pain and utter betrayal. 

We lived on the second floor, and the buzzer was too high to reach. I cried and tried, and tried again to jump up and reach it but it was just too far. Even crawling on my hands and knees, David standing on my back to reach for it, we still couldn’t buzz any of the buttons.

Bleeding, still hurting, still crying, I started shouting and waving. We shouted and waved together, but it was a long time before anyone came to the window.

It was Grandpa who came. He just waved back. My body still remembers the exact vibration of the frustration that took me then. Why was nobody watching? Why did nobody care? Why couldn’t they see and hear my pain? Eventually my mum did come, but I don’t remember real sympathy, comfort or help. That wouldn’t really have been her style.

It was the hardest anyone has ever hit me, man woman or child. I stayed your friend anyway.

I didn’t learn anything from it. Because here is the thing. Sometimes we are just too young, or ill equipped, or unwilling, or unable, to learn a lesson on our own. Adult or child, the biggest lessons often require nurturing support and guidance, and I didn’t have enough of either.

I wish I had learned not to attach to people that way. To know what real friendship looked like, and how to foster it. To know that violence – visible or invisible – didn’t belong in healthy communication or relationships. To say no. To fight back. To wait for real belonging. It would saved me a lot of heartache to learn it then, but the lesson was a long time coming.   

The skin-wound healed, I don’t think there is even a scar. The inner wounds took longer. Years later, I still felt it. Not firstly the betrayal. Not foremost just hurt at not being held. The greatest wounds were to my understanding of what friendship cost. What life should look like. What safety felt like. It’s really not a surprise that 15 years later, as my teens were finally shed, I was financially supporting an unemployed, drug using, alcoholic, gambling addict boyfriend. That a few years after him, I married a different, abusive partner.

My adult self weeps for you, knowing now what walking alone meant. That your parents’ didn’t care, or weren’t there, or were otherwise out-of-it or indisposed. No parent would let their kid walk about there on their own. Opening that moment to look inside, I will hold you and I will hold myself. Tell us both that we are loved, and we will be safe one day.

Women walk so many places into danger, especially those with intersectional identities. How long did you, like me, believe your wounds were your strength. That you could “do it all alone” and “only rely on yourself” and “didn’t need anyone?”

Have you learned what I did? That we’re meant to be in true community with others? That we’re here to serve, to lift and to be lifted up, and to dream bigger together? That every connection in life, whether with clients, friends, collaborators, parents or partners, should support your wellbeing – not challenge it? You can’t grow a beautiful business that brings balance and abundance into your life, without relationships like that right at the heart of it.

This is why I so wholeheartedly believe the combination of 1:1 support and guidance and the right peer community is so essential to success. We need both kinds of relationship to turn our experiences into strengths, our strengths into impacts, and our impacts into income.

Dr. Morgana McCabe Allan


There’s always more to LEARN

And here’s just a few starting points…

“I’m sharing a win, I made more money this week in my business than on any other offer last year. And it was so easy. This money river is flowing today! I’m only $700 away from hitting my new monthly goal and it’s only the 2nd of the month!”

Elena Saxton

Coach for Artisans

Morgana McCabe Allan is incredibly wise yet personable, revolutionary yet relational, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be coached through mindset calls with her. I will be hearing her words in my head for years to come!

Danielle Bettmann

Host of Failing Motherhood Podcast

“I signed my first client!! {…} I showed up on the call fully present, gave her everything I could and I told her I want to offer her a 3 month package where I will honour the free sessions I had posted about within the price point. And she signed up! 🙂 “