Day 3 of Believing the Little Girl – It’s Hard to Hear Her Voice

My task for the next month is to believe the little girl–the abused little girl who needs help coping with her trauma. Believing her means I have to listen to her. And as my therapist reminds me, it’s not necessarily the details of what happened that I need to hear from her, but her feelings and the beliefs about herself she took from her experience.

But I’m finding that there’s a lot of noise in my head, and that makes it hard to hear her. She’s not used to speaking up and probably thinks I don’t want to hear her. I’ve sent Doubt away on vacation, since Doubt is skeptical and overly fixated on empirical data, often demanding forensic evidence that at this point doesn’t exist. Doubt has been active in silencing the little girl before. But there is other noise getting in the way as well. I’m not sure what it is. Fear? Distractability? I can’t seem to concentrate. Listening to that little girl is going to require a lot of restructuring of my thinking patterns.

That is extra hard when I’m so tired and sweltering through this heat wave with no air conditioning.

But enough complaining. If it were easy to listen to the little girl and believe her, I would have done it a long time ago. It will take effort. Some days I’ll feel more up to it than others. Some days she’ll feel more like talking. Everything in its time, right?


  1. Is there something you can do with that little girl that might help her to feel like you are paying attention? Like wading in any nearby water or swimming somewhere. Hold a stuffed animal. Color. Play with clay. Fingerpaint. Anything that will let her know that you are available. Do whatever it is, mindful of listening to that little voice. It takes awhile. I know. I still can’t hear all of the little voices in me, but this is the stuff that has helped me to hear some of them.

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  2. I am able to play and do fun things and pay attention to the girl. But she is still “the girl” and I don’t know how to explain what I feel. It’s kind of like being borderline and I play with her and give her attention and then smack her in the face and punish her for having fun. Kind of how I grew up huh?! So maybe I just made some sense out of what I do. And I need to find consistency and I don’t get why I feel the need to be so mean to her. And I suppose I need to throw doubt out too. I still question the sexual stuff or minimize it or something. And I don’t think I’ve ever verbalized any of it. I write it in bits and pieces but I feel like a liar and I’m afraid to get into trouble which I know isn’t going to happen yet it feels so flipping as if I will.

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    • I never had that experience of play/attention followed by a smack. But I did get the very clear message that things were not allowed to be wrong. Don’t complain, don’t fuss. Be a good girl. Mind your manners. Listen to your elders. That’s not a nice way to talk, young lady. I don’t want to hear any more of that. I think you can go to your room until you have something nice to say. After a while you learn to not even listen to yourself anymore.

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