Just a very scared little girl

It doesn’t take much to tear away the mask of a grown woman to see the scared little girl within.  Just a casual comment, a smell or a look can be all it takes.  The librarian turns around and sees a terrified girl sitting on the floor in the corner with her arms wrapped around her knees rocking gently in an attempt to self soothe.  This little girl is 7 with long blonde hair and wears a yellow checked nightie which has lots of pink flowers on it.  There’s lace around the neckline.

Whenever someone gives us any little compliment that little girl shrinks back further into her corner.  She waits for the pain that follows the compliment – a pattern she experienced often.  She’s stuck in the 1970’s and doesn’t realise that we no longer have contact with most of the people that hurt us.

We’re just your average, screwed-up survivor of abuse.  We’re luckier than many and we’re grateful for that.  But in the blink of an eye we’re that scared little girl huddled in the corner.

It takes us longer to understand many things.  Not because we necessarily lack intelligence, but because we often have to be told things several times before we believe them.  Some things we are told we will never believe, they go too much against core beliefs.  We will always consider that we are worthless.  We will always think that the next time Kriss talks to us, he will finally realise how pathetic and stupid we truly are.

We don’t say these things to try and get someone to comment that we are worthy… we’ve had people tell us that we are worthy and we still don’t believe it.  I don’t think we ever will.


14 thoughts on “Just a very scared little girl

  1. It happens to me still.

    Even with my wife, uttering a compliment to her husband, me, there is somewhere still a little boy in a corner – shrinking further back into it.

  2. I think this is something that many people struggle with, and it’s very hard. I was talking to my best friend yesterday, who has been with his very loving partner for almost 10 years, and he was telling me that for the first 4 years they were together, he’d have nightmares every night about his partner cheating on him and leaving him, and that it took that long — 4 years — for him to believe that he was loved. And his issues are nowhere near as complicated as ours are.

    I think the truth is that this never really goes away, and the challenge is to try to live and believe in spite of it; to remind those lost children of what is happening now, and try to let them see the present-day. Easier said than done, as always, of course.

  3. I know how you feel. I’m sick of it, too, and I find myself lying sometimes, just to avoid explaining that I’ve been triggered *yet again* by some nonsensical thing.

    It’s easy to get discouraged and feel fed up with the whole mess. I don’t think you need to get over it; I feel the same ways. I don’t get over it; I just decide to slog through one more day with PP in spite of it. She seems to be getting something out of it, at least!

  4. @ Castor Girl & David & jumpinginpuddles

    I want to thank you for talking about it, again, and again :), because as David says it’s easy to get discouraged and fed up with… feeling triggered *yet again* by some nonsensical thing, and it feels easier to deny to oneself that it *did* happen, yet again, no matter what we thought/wished/wanted/done. It just does.

    On the other hand, denying ourselves the right to acknowledge to ourselves that it simply happened, again, just fuels our self-resentment (and cumulatively leads to self-destructive feelings/thoughts, and actions such as self-injury, and suicidal ideation etc). This is why I find it to be really self-healing to be able to acknowledge it to ourselves that it simply happened again. Thank you for letting me see it, and for letting me acknowledge it.

  5. So very familiar. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve shrunk myself into a frightened, wordless pretzel on my therapist’s couch – often as a response to something positive having been said.

  6. Hi birdonthewire,

    Sometimes the positive comments are the hardest to deal with – especially if they go against your core beliefs or you haven’t heard that many good things during your life.

    It really does stink doesn’t it.

    Take care…

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