Day 38 of Believing the Girl – A Difficult Request

It’s becoming easier for me to believe the girl. Doubt visits me less often, and when she does, I’m able to tell her, “Don’t bother me. I’ve promised to believe and protect the little girl. Whether her story is accurate in every detail doesn’t matter, so you can stop worrying about that. What matters is how she feels and what she needs, and I’m trying to attend to those needs.”

The more I believe the girl, the stronger she becomes. She doesn’t hide in the corner anymore. She sits on the bed, playing with her dolls. She trusts me more. She knows I will keep coming back to her, and I will not call her a liar.  For a while I couldn’t really hear her voice, but she’s more talkative now. She tells me more about what happened.

Today she surprised me with a request. She asked me not to burn myself anymore.

Now the truth is, I haven’t burned myself for several months. And at other times in my life, I have gone years at a time without harming myself. So it’s not that I can’t live without out it.

I remember working with Marlena (a different therapist) some years ago. She used to say that harming myself was one card in my hand that I could choose to play. She wanted to help me ensure that I had a greater variety of cards in my hand, so I would have choices and not always play the same card. That image has stuck with me, and over the years, I think I have developed more “cards” in my hand.

But when I feel desperate, it’s been an effective coping mechanism. In the short run, it brings some relief. The idea of giving up that card forever is daunting.

I told her I’d think about it.


What’s with the “believe the girl” and the count of days? Here’s how it started.


  1. It is so hard to give up that self-injury stuff. But, I gave up hurting myself when I was doing inner child work with my therapist. She told me that by hurting myself, I was perpetuating the abuses done to that little girl. That stopped me cold…I couldn’t even talk after she said that…I was actually in shock. And then my therapist made me have an out loud talk with my little girl. I’ve slipped a couple of times, but done nothing with the regularity and severity I had been.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So when you quit, did you identify specific alternatives, or did you just tell yourself that your would tolerate the feelings that drove you to harm yourself in the first place?


  2. I know what you feel. It’s the same for me with cutting. I cut myself at times only to assure myself that I can still do it…..I hope you get a better hand than I do. 🙂


    • I can relate to that. I don’t burn myself to prove I can still do it, but the idea of it being available as a way to cope has been important to me. Even though I want to get better (and am getting better), it just feels scary to give it up once and for all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is very hard to break and one i was about to break again. Some parts of me love it but i know i don’t deserve it for something she didn’t really do. Oh is so hard to believe the girl isn’t it.


  4. In this moment you can tell your little girl that you are both safe. You need to remind her that it’s been 3 months. And promises, well, my little girl doesn’t trust promises. But she does trust loving responses with her as the top priority.
    Your little girl may not need to hear the promise as much as she needs to see how much you are changing. You went to the opera, you are reading, going for walks, playing with the dogs. But most importantly you are connecting with the little girl. She literally knows you’re there for her now. Consistently there for her. Promises can often feel empty or be broken but your words are actions. Your beliefs and filled with love are very powerful.


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