What can you do when you’re 12 years old and you don’t have the ability or capability to question the rules you’re forced to live by?
What can you do when you’re in the habit of waking up every day feeling the need to escape?
What can you do when your 12-year old self has lived with a succession of cruel and sadistic punishments because you’ve been led to believe “that’s what happens when you’re bad”?
What can you do when your 12-year old self has lived with an abusive, angry and sadistic father so you do what you’re told instead of what makes sense?
What can you do when your father forces your 12-year old self to get undressed and lie down on the bed so he can teach you something important and you’re too afraid to ignore the warning bells going off inside your mind?
What can you do when your 12-year old self feels suffocated as your father’s weight is pressing down on you while you try not to choke from the smell of his cigarettes, lip balm and heated breath and you feel a whole new kind of fear because you don’t understand what you’re supposed to be learning?
What can you do when your father finally climbs off of you and your 12-year old self is crying because you don’t understand this lesson and your crying only makes him angrier?
What can you do when your 12-year old self is wondering what you can do to keep it from happening again?
What can you do when your 12-year old self wants to talk about what happened with someone so you can understand it better, but your father has threatened you not to tell anyone?
What can you do when your adult-self can’t stop thinking about the things that happened to your 12-year old self and you’re filled with anger, shame, humiliation, and confusion?
What can you do? This was the question my child-self asked me for 12 years, the question my adult-self tried to ignore for 12 more years, the question it took me 12 years to stop ignoring and the question it took me another 12 years to be open to learning the answer to.
One in 9 girls and 1 in 20 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault; more than 90% of abusers are people children know and are taught to love and trust.
When your child-self doesn’t have the ability or capability to say “no”, your adult-self can be retraumatized each time you relive the memory of your experience. When that happens, our adult-self wonders, “what can you do?”
When my adult-self started asking, “what can you do” my initial response was to find things my adult-self had the ability to do that my child-self did not have.
This is when I got angry, wanted vengeance, wanted sympathy from others, but most of all, I wanted people to know how much I was still hurting.
It hurt to think that the people who should have been there to protect me were the people I needed to be protected from and that the other adults in my life weren’t there for me, which made me even more determined for people to know how much I was still hurting.
It took a while to realize that as long as I wanted people to know how much I was still hurting, I would continue to feel hurt. It took me even longer to realize that it was my inner-child, that little 12-year old girl who still lives inside me, was looking for the love she never received.
I’ve learned that sometimes it takes a while for us to recognize when our inner-child is trying to get our attention. She’s crying out to us as though she’s pleading with us and saying, “please hear me, validate me, see me, know that I exist and that I am worthy of your love” which is precisely what every woman wants to experience in her life.
The next time you ask yourself, “What Can I Do”, consider being open to healing your Inner Child. She’ll thank you for it in ways you never dreamed possible to bring joy, love, prosperity, abundance and happiness into everything you do!
If you’re wondering how you can begin to heal your inner child, check out the free resources available at MasteringYourBeliefs.com
Sensei Nancy Mueller ~ Mastering Your Beliefs
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei