Hi little one,
You are nine years old. You play the piano, you ride your bike, you like school, you love to read. You love to dance to your parents’ records. You draw pictures and make up stories with your sisters. You play four-square and hopscotch at school. On Saturday mornings, you are allowed to watch cartoons after you finish your chores. You adore your grandparents, your mother’s parents. You like to spoil your little brother and your cousin Jennie.
In other words, you are a little girl with a lot of interests and developing talents and healthy relationships. Your self is not defined only by the abuse you experienced. Yes, it did you lasting harm. But you are more than the product of that harm. You are also your creativity, your curiosity, and your positive family connections. You are the museums your mom took you to visit. You are the many books you read. You are the road trips you went on with your family. You are the sandy beach and the hilly city and the valley that smells of garlic. You are swimming lessons and fourth of July. You are Easter egg hunts and your favorite doll and dresses Grandma made and climbing trees in the apricot orchard.
None of those pieces of you were lost when you were abused. All of them are still inside you. I know you are sad, frightened, shamed and confused by the abuse. I recognize your pain and promise to listen to it and honor it the best I can. But tonight it just seems to me that you could use a reminder of the good things in your life and the way they contributed to the strength you have inside of yourself. That’s the strength that will help you heal.
(your older, wiser self)
What’s with the “believe the girl” and the count of days? Here’s how it started.