Dear Little One,
Much of this past week, or more, I’ve spent worrying about the return of Doubt. Remember her? She was the snide one who spent a lot of energy telling us not to believe your story of childhood sexual abuse. She tried to use logical arguments and the absence of concrete evidence to call it all a lie.
Yes, I expect you remember her all too well. She’s certainly beaten you up enough times, verbally if not physically. She’s made you hide, sometimes for years at a time.
Well, now she’s been officially gone for 70 days, despite repeated efforts to sneak back early. Hasn’t that been a relief? It has been for me. Lately I’ve noticed though I haven’t let her come back early, just the idea of dealing with her again has sucked too much of my attention away from you.
I want you to know that you still matter to me. In fact, my preoccupation with Doubt is based in my conviction that I need to protect you from her. But I know you need more than that from me. You need me to listen to your story, over and over again, to validate your feelings and fears, to reassure you that you are safe now and that I don’t blame you for anything that happened.
Tomorrow in therapy with E., I’ll be talking about Doubt again. But then that’s it. Then even if I have to lock her in a closet for a while, I’ll do it, so I can spend time with you. I promise. You matter to me.
your older, wiser self,
Beautiful letter from you to you. I wish you strength and positive thoughts!
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This letter brought tears to my eyes. It was the part about needing to listen and believe your little girl over and over again. I don’t get why my little girl needs the same affirmation again and again. She feels believed and loved and then abandoned and disbelieved as if she was never heard.
I’m glad you get to see E today. First time since going to the hospital right? And are you back to work?
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Yes, back at work, feeling good actually. I’m in the middle of doctor transition so I still don’t know exactly what happened last Friday.
I think the girls (yours, mine, others’) need to be heard over and over and repeatedly validated because they were disbelieved for such a long time. It takes a long time to recover from that, along with the many other wounds inflicted.
All the feelings. Beautiful.
YES! Protect that little girl and kick Doubt out. I love this!
I also love that you have this subtle awareness and distinction that when we focus on Doubt and other heinous aspects of our personality structure, we don’t have as much time to nurture the innocent parts.