We are triggered as F right now. Received a text from parent with a photo of us draped across this parent as though we were enraptured and never wanted to let go. Parent texted, I love you more than anything and always have.
Oh, really? How convenient to say. How difficult to demonstrate.
Granted, we didn’t tell parents when we were being abused under their very roof. Little abuse victims don’t always tell parents about the abuse.
We also don’t expect them to read minds. And how about the fact that we screamed and cried and BEGGED every single night for them not to leave us to sleep alone? Not some nights. Not most nights. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! FOR YEARS! AND YEARS!
That was not only a major clue that something disastrous was occurring; it was also its own primary emotional need that went unmet. And it got worse. One night the parents had had enough of our needing love and support, of our attempting to advocate for the love this parent supposedly always had.
In response, they locked us out of the house in the middle of the night. A Little who was already terrified of having to sleep alone in a world that had no boundaries, where unspeakable acts can be perpetrated on us by supposed “caregivers.” They dragged us down the stairs, pushed us outside in the dark of night, and locked the door!
That actually happened.
And at least one of those parents has never stopped loving us more than anything in the world.
That may be true, and we deserved to have been shown love: to have been protected, to have been nurtured.
Excuse us for feeling truly ill at this text.
We never turned our children away when they needed love during sleep times. And we never will.
Pay attention to young people! They may be carrying unspeakable burdens of shame inflicted upon them by others. Your kind word–just speaking their name–may make them feel welcome in a world that may have no rules for them.
Now that we are older and have some Bigger me’s inside, we will have to provide our own care, meet our own needs. We have more resources now: great therapists, loving spouse, fantastic children, a few friends, books, more intelligence and reasoning, and the will to keep trying to heal.
We will not give up. We will parent those neglected Littles inside us who are banging on the door to be let in because all they want is to be loved and kept safe. We will let them in, we will love them, we will keep them safe. We just made them a giant plate of pancakes, and all our bellies are now full with love from us!