Field Note: Companion

How I use pretend play to do my own healing work

This is a doll that I made for my daughter, who gave her a name: Annika.

Sometimes, when I am feeling alone and unable to find what I need from other people from friends family husband…

Sometimes, when I stop trusting other people to help me, when my own childhood history rises and I am triggered - the only one who can help is Annika. The way that she helps is by simply being with me. As close as my own child.

Today is one of those days and I am carrying her around inside of my warm vest. She is wearing my warm hat.

This process is a kind of self parenting.  It is also a kind of dream. I am her. And I am also holding her and keeping her warm. I am dreaming that I am being held by the one who knows what I need. Exactly what I need.

Sensing into her need helps me locate and feel my own. It’s the only way for those of us who, because of absent, disturbed and disorganized parenting, learned early on that our needs don’t matter.

By projecting my heart into her imaginal heart I can find my own. Then I can feel —in present time—what I was not allowed to or unable to feel in childhood.

This has a cascading effect for as I acknowledge those parts of myself -of my. Body and psyche— which never got to live, they begin to fill.

This is re-embodiment. It hurts sometimes but it’s a good hurt and a necessary part of awakening. Of becoming whole.


At the bottom of this aloneness is discovery. I am facing a crossing in my own journey - a ‘way’ that I have not yet allowed myself to go. Surrender, full surrender, to the Divine.

Am I ready? I think so but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make this crossing.

And so, for now, I am holding this doll - very close as my heart prepares to cross this bridge.