There is a little child in each of us. Are you good friends with that small one? I think for survivors of childhood abuse and sexual assault it's more difficult to connect. Well, I can only speak for myself. But I have had other survivors say it was challenging in the beginning.
My trauma therapy on Wednesday was great. I truly have the best-for-me therapist on the planet. He's so patient and wise. He had a few suggestions for connecting with my inner child that I'd like to share with you.
(I'm going to be using "she, her" as pronouns just so reading is easier. This in no way discounts the male survivors. This is for you too.)
Make a Deal. I told you how my inner child has been disrupting my life. Showing up in the middle of my busy-ness and demanding attention. Well, we've made a deal. I'm going to make time for her and she's going to let me get my stuff done. Two days in and things are going well.
Make Time for Her. Actually block out a certain amount of time in your everyday schedule to spend time with your little one. Pencil her in. When she knows you're going to show up and really be there for her, she'll open up and you heal. If you keep pushing her away, she's going to maybe hide for a while, but eventually she'll be back and she may be more demanding next time.
Listen. Let her tell you her story. One way to do that is by journaling. Actually let her journal. I'm right-handed, so I'm letting her write with my left hand. It's fascinating how that works. Not only does it look like a young child's hand writing, it sounds like a small child also. She really shows up. She says things and uses words I wouldn't to describe what's going on. No one was there to listen to her as a child. Now is her chance to be heard. This non-dominant hand journaling really works. Give it a try.
Do What She Wants... for a change. Did you love to color as a child? Get a coloring book and some crayons. Some days she may just want to curl up in a tight little ball and hide under the down comforter. Let her. Did you love stuffed animals? For me, my stuffed animals and my blanket, with the soft satin edge, were my friends. I didn't trust people. But, I felt safe with my stuffed toys. In my last counseling session I was feeling really small, much like a child in shock. My therapist gave me a stuffed animal to hold. I was clinging to it like a two-year-old. Finally I felt secure enough to talk again. The amazing thing is that it's actually my feeling "safe enough" that is allowing the small part of me to show up.
I'm making progress. I hope these things help you connect with your inner little one. What else has worked for you? I'd love to know.
Here's to Connecting ~ mm
And here's my website Michal Madison Art. Ten percent of every sale goes toward not only ending abuse, but helping heal children who have been abused. Maybe if they can start connecting with what's happening they won't be having to do all this work as an adult. They will be free, happy and healthy. Inside and out.