Dear reader I am writing to ask you a question. What happens after a person has had some reconciliation of the fact that he/she was very much abused as a small child? If this doesn’t pertain to you, please disregard this post.
I have just undergone gut-wrenching and extensive therapy since December 2020 which for me had its origins in treatment I received as a small child of about 6.
I have been clinging to the earth these last few weeks so as not to slip again into the abyss where for some extended period of time a portion of my psyche had been living.
According to my own assessment, I have successfully crawled and clawed my way out of a 100 foot deep pit with slippery mud sides.
Now that I am completely out of the pit ( I hope), I am wondering what to do with myself, what to work on, what to avoid, what to learn, what to enjoy. Take a shower and wash off the mud? Take into account exactly where the pit is so as not to fall into it again? Designate this exit from the abyss as my new “rock bottom” and be thankful for hitting it so as to get the $%^&* out of there? Allow myself to tell myself, I deserve happiness? I deserve good health and fitness?
As fodder for knowing I have exited the abyss, for the first time in 20 years I have been able to stick to an exercise routine composed of mostly yoga and some walking in the neighborhood. I have recorded a log which is two weeks long and growing which for me is super progress. In my youth I was very, very fit, so getting back to that place with mindfulness is huge for me.
So if anyone here or there has also climbed out of their own pit of abuse or anxiety or depression, I would love to hear your story as to what you decided to do next once you found yourself alongside the edge of that pit but no longer in it.
Of course I will talk my therapist about it, but I thought I would ask you dear reader in the meantime.
Since I was a little girl I have had thoughts of matching couples together. This is likely due to an inner child of 6 years – which is probably about the time I was first abused and was before my parents decided to give up on their marriage and divorce. They divorced when I was about ten years old.
As any six-year-old I was prone to magical thinking and often extended that feeling in myself by matching so and so with so and so. Most times that remained a thought in my brain. On occasion I would share that information. But for the most part, it would just be a cycle of thought inside myself that was nice to consider.
I tend to continue to do this today from time to time. Call it the magical thoughts of a six-year-old? Or just the desire that everyone I care about is in a relationship where they can love and be loved, appreciated and understood?
Does anyone else have the tendency to match people who they know but may not know each other?
As discussed in a prior post, my inner child is like two very different people simultaneously. There is that child who feels hugely responsible for every negative event that occurs going back to my parents’ divorce. This child is about ten years of age. Then there is that child of say maybe six who is seemingly ahead of the curve of regular events in time who may see things more in terms of circular time. I continue to seek to find this six-year-old child within and nurture her. My goal in seeking to find this child within is that by understanding her and nurturing her and her relationship to the ten-year-old worrier, I will have much less anxiety when there are situations outside of my control.
Over the years, I have been in the process of discussing this six-year-old child within with my therapist. I am not sure technically what it might mean if I have a six-year-old and a ten-year-old child within.
I have spent years focusing on the ten-year-old child within who is often consumed with worries for the future. I have focused on the typical feelings that the child within may feel responsible for negative events like my parents’ divorce and that this may translate some 20 years of illness forward to feelings of responsibility for terrorist threats (real or imagined).
Only since my daughter turned ten have I begun to focus on that six-year-old child. Until now, the six-year-old child within has remained relatively undisclosed. I am currently mid-process in finding out about her and what she is concerned about. So far, what I feel is true is that the six-year-old child within is not plagued by high anxiety and is very carefree. She believes in “magical outcomes” much like any child of six years. She loves to think about match-making for people who are alone or appear to be alone. She loves to think about patterns and how numbers and colors organize themselves in and around patterns. She is generally a happy child and does not feel abandoned by divorce since the divorce “has not yet occurred.”
How this six-year-old child relates to the ten-year-old child within will be a designated focus for me in my on-going spiritual journey. My goal will be to honor that younger child within so as to perhaps relinquish the feelings of blame and responsibility for all things negative held tight by the older child. I am not yet sure if this approach is supported by current therapy directions but I will plan to review in the months ahead. Perhaps the reconciliation of the six-year-old and the ten-year-old will be the focus of a next text I will write.
Ironically, the ten-year-old child within likely has the ability to “tell time” in the linear and logical sense of the phrase. The six-year-old child appears not to be able to “tell time” but experiences time more in terms of circular time or dream time and appears to be largely unconstrained by the realities of linear time and linear events.
More recently (in the past two years) I have come to believe that there is a reason for the child within at age 6 and at age 10. I am convinced some fifty years after the fact that I was sexually or otherwise abused as a child of about 6 years old. I believe I was targeted by one or another neighbors. My memories of this experience are largely blank, yet I feel that I endured something terrible at that age. I will continue to explore feelings of abuse as time progresses. This may help to explain the split between the child of 6 and the child of 10. The six-year-old exists prior to the time of abuse. The ten-year-old somehow feels responsible for that abuse as well as other painful events including happenings such as my parents’ divorce.