Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My haunting little girl

WARNING: This post includes material that may be severely disturbing, particularly for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Last year I went to a workshop in San Diego where we did some guided imagery meditation surrounding our inner child. I remember the person leading the meditation asking us to imagine our inner child and then reaching out to that child and hugging her. I brought to mind my little-girl self dressed in a faded purple yard sale dress with yellow and white stripes and white rounded collar, curly black hair and a white face sprinkled with a few genetic freckles. She looked at me with fear and distrust and when I reached out my arms to her, she ran to my mother and began to hug and play with her, laughing and enjoying the innocence of childhood.

I came to use the image of that mistrusting child as a tool to aid in my recovery. I wanted to earn back her trust, to show her that she didn't deserve to be used and abused the way she had been. I knew the reason she ran from me was because I had continued to hurt her with my acting out in my disease. I covered her up in mounds of added body weight and pounds of emotional burden.

In my most recent struggles, I lost sight of that little girl, forgot about her pain and my need to nurture and care for her. I haven't thought of her as I have begun the difficult task of reliving and feeling the emotions she never got to feel. I forgot that it was really her that was connecting me to those feelings and helping me to experience them now. Instead, I met a man last month and another this week while my husband was out of town... all in my weakness and unwillingness to walk through the fires of temptation.

I didn't think of her until I received a note from EC this morning saying he considered acting out in his alcohol addiction a slap in God's face. Then I remembered my little inner girl, the one who I promised to protect and take care of and not let her be hurt again. By acting out again, I had slapped her in the face, broken her heart, and came up empty, sad and alone, with nothing to show for the trip I took to the dark side. There is no way to explain such weakness to a fragile hurting child.

After my husband returned home last night there was a big blow up in which his anger raged over an incident that had happened while he was gone. When I picked him up, I had just left the motel where I had met another man, feeling empty and unfulfilled, wishing I'd felt what I went there to feel, but instead ... as my husband roared, I felt all the feelings of being a child again, being screamed at, hit with the thundering blow of words, and feeling scorned and stupid. I took the dog for a walk -- as she was a major source of his anger -- and with her I walked and cried and cried. I know it was that little girl inside me who was crying too.

I think now again of the imagery of what my acting out does to that little girl inside. I am letting her be violated by men who want to use her as a worthless piece of trash, call her dirty names, use her body for their pleasure, spill their semen into her mouth and her vagina, or all over her, then zip up their pants and go on as if nothing ever happened, as if she never existed or had any worth. I invite these men into my body and into my world to do these things to her.

And even as sick as those thoughts make me, I am reminded of how powerless I am over the disease of addiction, when I still entertain thoughts to do it all again later this month when yet another opportunity arises. Although the desire is lessening, and I can see that there is hardly any high in the acting out anymore, my horribly sick and disgusting addict still wants whatever it was it didn't get the last time. I see opportunity, like my stepfather saw opportunity when my mom went to the store and left me alone ... when he would call that little girl into his bedroom and violate and abuse her innocence, stealing from her piece by piece her dignity, self-respect and her very sense of being alive.

His sickneess killed a part of me, and mine is doing its damndest to kill the rest. It lives in that lost little girl's soul, which lives inside this big girl's mind, whispering in self-defeat ... "Daddy did it and Momma let it happen ... why shouldn't you?"


Anonymous said...

Disturbingly powerful. I hope that as you continue with your visualizations you will be able to regain that little girl's trust.

You've gotten me thinking about the visualizations I use to aid my recovery, and for that I thank you.

vicariousrising said...

In the end, that little girl is going to forgive you. She loves you and always has. I believe it is her who is keeping you on the path of recovery, her innocence that is still with you that continues to hold you nearer to your higher power.

It's almost like you, the adult you, don't believe in her, the blameless child. Maybe you need to trust her a little more, recognize that she was the powerless one and not try to wrest control of the situation by recreating it over and over.

I don't know what I am talking about. I guess I could be talking about me.

BizyLizy said...

I've been thinking about this all day. My little girl runs from me, too, Rae. I was trying to imagine her...and I feel her so angry with me, it shocked me.

I would close my eyes at lunch today & try again. She won't budge.

You've led me to a place I haven't explored before, and I am very perplexed by my inner anger and stubborness. Not sure what to do at this point, but I will be meditating on this fervently.

Sort of at a loss, here.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Rae.

wcgillian said...

That was powerful and written so well. I think of the many foster kids my ex-wife and I cared for over the years, who by the hands of thier relatives were put through that hell you so well described. I will be lost in thought over the ones that dissapeared with time.
Also thank you for your kind words for Whispers of Our Fathers.

Michael said...

Wow Rae, what a poignant story. My inner child has done a lot of running to.

I relate all to well to the "need" to act out despite the waning of the euphoric feelings of acting out. For me it is somehow the urge to feel alive.

I wish my inner child would forgive me, but he is running, hiding, holding the hand of Jesus until I am able to parent him well.

The Confessions of a Porn Addict

Me, Myself and I said...

The little girl will cry anytime you act out and it will let you realise what you are doing and what you should do. Try to focus on this little girl again and think about her and, as u said, take care of her.

U are doing good, I can tell you. At least, you've realised this girl needs more attention ;-)


Michael said...

Yes - Hugs! Many Hugs!


Alog Oho said...

I don't know how healthy it is to stay preoccupied with your 'inner child.' I've tried that and it only lead to my insanity. If it helps you, you should hold onto it. From your post, it doesn't seem like it does though