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Somewhere inside us, there is a little carefree child, a child before they were abused, a child who had a right to a free and happy childhood. A wounded, hurt, scared, sad, little child. A happy, loving, innocent, gentle, inquisitive, out going, creative, playful, talented child. This child is still in us. For "therapy" purposes we are going to call the child the "little" you. Whatever your name is, call your little child "little ......" like mine is "little Katie". There are many many reasons for getting in touch with your little person. One of them is because many of us have come to loathe and blame him or her. It is important to go back and realize that the abuse was never this little childs fault (even if you did not consider yourself little, maybe you were a teenager, regardless, you were vulnerable to abuse). In order to heal as adults, we MUST go back and love and accept our inner child. We must let this child off the hook and stop beating her/him up. This is KEY to recovery. Another reason is that we came to loathe the vulnerability of this child and therefore we grew up way too fast. We stopped letting ourselves play and have fun, we stopped being spontaneous and carefree. We have a constant check on our emotions and that can greatly hamper our adult lives. We need to let our little kids out to play. We need to do for them what other adults in our lives neglected to do. You can do this. It may seem foolish or crazy, but it is a form of self-hypno therapy and it works and it is a necessary part of healing. There are many good books written about reclaiming your inner child. This is not something exclusive to childhood sexual abuse, children of alcoholics, drug addicts, children of physical and emotional abuse, orphaned children, have all found it necessary and good therapy to reclaim their inner child. It not only allows our inner child the freedom to be safe and happy in a big scarey world, when we recognise that it was not this childs fault, it helps us to rid ourselves of feelings of shame and guilt. It helps us to move forward and it frees us to be the people we were intended to be before the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.

Many times we have buried the pain of the past. Many times our inner child is the keeper of secrets and pain. In order to recall lost memory, it is often necessary to get back in touch with the keeper of these secrets, the child who went into hiding as a result of childhood sexual abuse. The following are some exercises that i have tried or read about that really work. I encourage all survivors to try and work on these exercises. It is very empowering and you will feel a tremendous sense of release and peace once you master how to find your inner child and protect and love him or her. Please, try and do some of these exercises at least 10 minutes each day or night when you have a quiet time. Make a special time for yourself. I like taking a long hot bath and doing the mental part of the exercises. What ever works for you. It is important in your commitment to heal that you practice these often and with consistency. If you feel panic, STOP, get someone to be there with you for support and hug you through it. You may regress into a childlike state for a time, You may feel sick, like running away, like shoving all this crap back into the dark recesses of your little childs mind, this is when you NEED to push forward, this means you are getting in touch. This is actually a good thing. I say this so often but remember, this is for your LIFE, your PRESENT, you survived the actual abuse experience and YOU WILL survive the memory of it. Feelings can't kill you. They are only feelings. They can make you physically sick, but once your through it, you are through it. Think of people hooked on drugs or booze and they are detoxing. You are detoxifying your bodies from the poison that the abuse left you with. You are getting the monkey off of your back and once you do, you will be free and can live in the present with your child as part of you, a good part. So try these exercises.

First start a journal. Name it "MY healing Journey". Because you are going to heal. Go to the toy store and buy yourself a stuffed toy or a doll that means something to you after you have held it and touched it. Pick it out carefully and make sure it feels right. If you have one already and it has good feelings of comfort and joy as well as many tears spilled on it, use that. Keep this with you when ever you can, if it is small put it in your purse or your pocket, keep it in your car, by your computer, by your bed. Start to notice the feelings this toy invokes in you. Hold it, what do you feel? What are the sensations, thoughts and emotions that come to mind?

Buy some crayons and some markers. Draw pictures of your life as a child. Draw a picture of your feelings. Draw a picture of where you want to be in 5 years, draw a picture of your body and how you see yourself, draw a picture of the person that molested you, start to get in touch with your inner child through drawing childlike pictures. You don't have to be an artist. Look at the pictures when you are done, what do you see? What is this telling you?

Sit in a quite place, where you WILL NOT be disturbed. Think of a good situation from your childhood. Think of the happy child. Think of things that child did that made her/him proud of themselves. Think of a safe time, a happy time, a carefree time. Write it down. Write down at least 5 times you were happy as a child. Picture how did that child look, what were the sights and smells around her/him, where was she/he? Remember breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. Let the good memory flow. See the laughing, happy child. What did you like about this child? was she/he friendly, cute, smart, good at something? find at least 3 things that you liked about this child. Now, picture the abuse. picture you are the adult you are now and you are watching this like you are watching a movie of someone else's life. You see the scene, or one of the scenes, what did it look like? what did it smell like? what sounds could you hear outside? KEEP BREATHING SLOWLY, tell yourself, you are safe, you are the big you, this cannot hurt you. See the molester and see him molesting the little you, but this time the big you barges in, she/he is strong and powerful. You stop the abuse, you stop the molester, you do what ever in your mind you would like to do to that bad person. Then you picture yourself taking the little child that was you and telling him or her that they are safe now, that nobody can hurt them because you will be there to protect them, Tell the little child, look at yourself and picture yourself at that age, look at the child and tell them "IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT" you are a good, loving, kind, sweet, innocent child and then tell them all the things you would have done to protect them if you could have. Tell them you were just not able to back then but you are a SURVIVOR now and you would have kicked that molester to kingdom come if you knew what they were doing or if you had had the power. Then before you are ready to come back out of it, leave your little child in a very safe place. For example you both walk out together hand and hand and you take them home to your adult house and say "I will be here so that nobody can hurt you, you can sleep here in my bed, peacefully". You are taking the power away from that molester and giving it back to yourself. This is a great great empowering exercise and I hope you all find the courage to try it. You can go to the list for support but I can't stress enough how once you let yourself do this for the first time, it gets easier and easier and you feel free and strong.

Now that you have done that mental exercise, write a letter to the little you and tell him/her all of the above, all the things that you would have done if you could have, all the reasons that it was not the childs fault. Tell your little child you love her/him and you will never ever blame them again for what happened. you can even apologize to your little child for ever blaming them.

Write a letter to the molester as your big self from your child self, tell that bastard everything that you feel in your heart that you wish your little self could have been able to say. Tell the molester that you are in control now and that they did not win and do not, DO NOT, have any power or control over you anymore. Tell them that you are going on the 6:00 news and you are going to tell the whole world what they did to your little person. Tell them you REFUSE to ever keep the secret again.

Love your little inner child like you would love a child you gave birth to. You would protect and fight to the death for your own child and this inner you, is your child. Give birth to yourself. Let your child come out and play. It is o.k. to buy toys, color, run bare foot, splash in the tub, throw food blow bubbles, be silly. Let your self be very silly and carefree. If you can do all this, you are so on your way to taking the power out of that molesters hands, gaining control over your life again, not allowing any person to make you unhappy or sad, or sick or have any power over your feelings anymore. AS OF NOW YOU ARE NO LONGER A VICTIM, YOU ARE A VERY PROUD SURVIVOR!!! YOUR little child won.

CLICK HERE TO READ LETTERS FROM INNER CHILDREN

© ASofNow - 1999