This is a chance to talk to the child within. If you’re capable of loving and comforting the child within, if you can let your adult self express the compassion you have for this child, write a letter directly to her. Or you can engage in a written dialog with her, first writing as the adult, and then as the child responding.
If you don’t feel any tenderness or connection with the child yet, start with how you honestly feel. You can’t write “I love you, I’ll take care of you” if that’s a lie. Start with: “I’m willing to sit down and write to you even though I’m not quite sure why you exist,” or “I don’t sympathize with you yet,” or even, “I hate you. You got me into this mess to begin with.” Any point of contact is a start. You can’t have a loving relationship until you make contact. Take the first step.
If you feel totally alienated from the child in you, imagine another child the age you were during your abuse. Try writing to her.
January 28, 2007
I know you’re in there. You are hiding most of the time, but in there none the less. You poke your head out every once in a while (too frequently though for my tastes). And when you do, you let me know that you are unhappy or afraid or just want somebody’s attention. You want someone to be your parent. You want someone to take care of you.
There are times when I love you, but there are more times when I hate you. There are times when I understand you, but there are more times when I think you are crazy. There are times when I want to get to know you better, but there are more times when I just want you to go away. There are times when I think you were the innocent one, but there are more times when I think you are as guilty as sin.
I wish I could say I wanted you around in my life. But most of the time, I wish you would just go away. Lately, it seems like you make my life more difficult than anything else. I hate you and all of what you represent.
I am angry with you because you lied to people. You lied to the people who could have helped you. And now you cry because you’re scared and because you hurt inside. Well what did you expect? Liars get what they deserve. That’s just one example of the evilness that you are. Liars will be punished. And you were punished. So what’s the major problem?
You provoked them so they wouldn’t hurt B and C. And then you got hurt. Well what did you expect to happen? They were big and you were small. The laws of physics say that you’ll lose every time. You were stubborn and hard-headed even when you could see that nothing good would come out of the situation. Yet you were there. So what did you expect to happen? No wonder they were always angry with you. If I had a child like you, I’d probably be angry with her a lot of the time.
I’m scared of you. You are a constant reminder of what happened to me. When you are frightened and want somebody to hold you, you remind me that I’m incapable of letting anyone hold me. When you cry, you remind me that I can not cry. When you beg for them not to hurt you, it reminds me of how I didn’t stop them.
I wish I could say that I love you and I feel for you. But right now I don’t. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say those things.
I really wish you would go away and leave me to live my adult life. I know my adult life isn’t so great. But if you weren’t around, I wouldn’t have these childish feelings and thoughts to deal with. If you weren’t around, then maybe I wouldn’t constantly think about how they hit me or how they touched me. If you weren’t around maybe I could have a real relationship with another human being instead of being so afraid that I push them away.
I don’t know how to take care of you. I don’t know how to ease your fears. I don’t know how to make you happy.
I’m afraid to hold you. I’m afraid to get to know you. I’m afraid that you will really be as evil and terrible as I think you are.
Most of the time I honestly wish you would have died. I wish that you never developed into the adult you are now. I wish that life would have ceased to exist. I even wish you never would have been born, just as you were told over and over.
This is how I feel right now. I can’t help the way I feel about you. I know you want and need compassion and love. But right now, I’m incapable of giving that to you. I guess you’ll just have to survive a bit longer on your own.