Dear Little One,
In these days of social media and the Internet, there isn’t a day goes by when we don’t read about a child abused, sexually and emotionally. We can’t miss these stories, they take up so much of the press and other media and at times, can seem like the only stories around. When I was growing up, living in my world of sexual abuse and a loveless existence, I never heard of children being hurt in this way. At first I hadn’t realised that I was being abused. I thought every child was treated as I was. I knew I was being hurt, of course I did, I knew that my life was full of cruelty, fear and pain but the word ‘abuse’ I had never heard. Because of this, no one knew how horrid my life was, they saw me going about my life, going to school, behaving in a ‘normal’ way, what ever that meant. They also saw my ‘kindly’ uncle showering me with love, taking me out for ‘treats’. Oh yes, my life to others was good. Little did they know. So as I got older, in a way, it was a easier, if that’s the right word, than it is for you, today. With all the publicity around Child Sexual Abuse, setting off triggers in your head. Easier for me,to not have constant reminders of what happened to some children, to not have these triggers setting off my horrendous memories.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I am pleased that it is now being talked about. Very pleased that perpetrators are being brought to justice. Happy that children today may be safer, in the long run, because offenders may now realize, that one day their sins will find them out. One day, that child they hurt, might tell. Every child who tells of the nasty wicked things that are done to them, helps break the cycle, break the silence and warn other adults not to harm children. Everyone of you who has become a survivor is a champion for the cause.
It was a long time ago that my life of sexual abuse ended, a very long time ago but still I find reading about other cases, hearing the pain and horror that other children have gone through, every day, in one way or another, can set off a trigger that I thought had been dismantled and thrown away. Like you, these stories touch me deep down in my soul, bringing back memories that had been boxed up and put away.
So why this letter to your inner child?
He or she is still there. The little girl or boy who was damaged by a pedophile, a relative, a stranger, is still deep inside of you and can still be hurt if you are not careful. I am writing to ask you to take care of yourself when you read these stories. Ground yourself and little You, believe that every disclosure is a nail in the coffin of an abuser. Feel strong, that however the story affects you, nothing will ever be as bad as the horrors you endured as a child.
Twitter is full of accusations, stories of abuse, some by ‘celebrities’,well known figures and some , like me , who were abused for the whole of our childhoods, by people who should have loved us. I follow these stories and I expect you do as well. My reason for this letter, is to ask you to take care. When reading these stories, it is the adult who reads them but the little child who feels them. Look after yourself, make sure you can read them and put them to one side if you need to. Of course you feel for the victims, I feel for them more than they could possibly know but you need to make sure you are okay. Any one of these stories of abuse have the ability to set you back. To trigger memories that you thought were safely tucked away. The survivor you have become may feel like the victim you once were. Talk to someone about them, friends or family if you can; your therapist, your confidante ; if you have no one, then write down how they make you feel and then destroy the paper the thoughts are written on. Or write to someone who knows this pain and fear.
All through our abuse, we couldn’t look after the child we were. Now as an adult, when our inner child emerges, we need to give her or him the time to process our memories and heal from them.
Thank you for reading this letter and please take care of you.
Love and hugs