Don’t know if this post will help anyone: Understanding how children think and therefore understanding how a part might think


During my session this week, I decided to talk about my uncle and being molested. A few things came up as we spoke and I thought I’d write about some of it.

I was talking to her about how the memories of my grandmother have become tainted because of the presence of my uncle. I said that I didn’t know if it was because he lived in that city or because he had been in that house but whatever it was, I was unable to think of her without that taint.

She brought up the possibility that when my uncle molested me at my grandmother’s house (the kiss), it may have been the first time that I saw that my world really wasn’t as safe as I thought. She said that as a child or 3 or 4, in my world, my grandmother’s house was the one safe place I had in the whole world and that’s what I would have believed. she said that having my uncle there changed everything and it may have even opened up an unconscious disappointment or anger at my grandmother which had never happened before.

I had to think about that and I told her that I’ve always had a very strong memory of when my grandmother asked me to tell everyone what my uncle had done to me. I’ve always felt it was a pivotal moment for me but I never acknowledged why because it meant that I would have to accept that my grandmother didn’t handle things properly. she didn’t do it on purpose, she thought that having me say it in front of everyone would get it out. I see that as an adult now…but as a child, it was devastating and I never admitted that. I’ll describe it.

My uncle kissed me between my legs and I went into the kitchen and told her quietly what he did. There were people over at the house, my uncle, his wife and some other adults that I can’t remember. My grandmother had them all come into the kitchen and I was standing very close to her. I was around 3 or 4 years old if I had to guess. All of the adults were standing there looking at me and my grandmother said, ‘Say what happened.’ I saw my uncle standing there looking…not scared and I saw his wife looking at me. I remember being afraid that I would cause trouble for her in her marriage. I don’t remember the other adults, I just know that they were standing there. I looked up and he just stared at me. I was so scared so I just mumbled, ‘Nothing happened.’

I don’t remember what happened after that. I don’t have any memories of my uncle being around after that and the assumption is that my grandmother didn’t let him come around. I wish I could be sure about that. For all I know, I don’t have any memories because I blocked them. Or maybe we’re right and he didn’t come over anymore.

The point is that during therapy I had to say that I remember feeling betrayed by my grandmother even though I adored her. I’ve never admitted that before. Back then people didn’t know how to deal with sexual abuse. I don’t remember her talking to me about it or anything but she wouldn’t have thought of that. My therapist thinks that she would have left it alone thinking that it would cause me pain. I can see that being a possibility.

Whatever it was, at that moment her house was no longer safe. Somehow during my life I never thought of it that way. In my memory, her house was always a safe place. It was only very recently that  I lost that feeling and it hurt so much.

I told my therapist that if I lost those happy memories, I would have nothing good to remember about my childhood. It would be nothing but awful stuff and unhappiness. here’s where I had to resist being offended until I could get an explanation.

My therapist said that my statement was irrational.

I immediately told myself to hear her out. She said that for a child of 3 or 4 things were either black or white: either I had good memories or I had absolutely nothing. She said that small children are irrational that way, only seeing two possibilities. Either I’m a good person or a bad person. If I’m being abused, I must be a bad person. The world is either safe or completely unsafe.

She said that I need to use my adult self and see remember that things aren’t that clear-cut. There are shades of gray and my younger parts don’t know that. They don’t understand that you can feel several emotions at once or that adults are human beings who make mistakes, like my grandmother did. She said that for my younger self, that was the time that I stopped believing in fairy tales and the goodness of adults. That’s all the young parts can see and feel. I have to think with my adult part instead.

So I guess I wanted to write about the way a child’s mind may work and why we may see things the way we do now when we think about ourselves. Maybe we’re only seeing ourselves as being bad or worthless because when we were kids we only saw two choices and we assumed that everything had to be our fault?

I’m just putting it out there.

At the moment I’m still not myself and I’ve been isolating myself and wanting to escape from life. I think that what happened this week also triggered some bipolar issues and since I don’t have an antidepressant to help me, I’m kind of just giving up and suffering instead.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, Alters, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, depression, DID, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Sexual Abuse, suicidal ideation, Therapy, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Don’t know if this post will help anyone: Understanding how children think and therefore understanding how a part might think

  1. Pandora says:

    Eugh, what an intense session 😦 I’m sorry you had to relive that horrible memory again, but that said, I think your therapist makes a good point in that your adult self may be able to see things differently. I remember this sense when I was a child that adults were all-powerful, all-seeing figures; it’s only recently I’ve learned that even the good ones can screw up. It’s hard to accept when there’s a kid inside you who needs reassurance 😦

    *safe hugs* hun, I hope you’ll be OK.

    Take care

    Pan xxx

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Yes Pan, that’s exactly the point. I have no doubt that it was very difficult for me as a child to feel that betrayal from the one person I trusted in the whole world. And even though I can see the bigger picture now, it doesn’t change the original feelings.

      Thanks for the hugs and right back at you. 🙂

  2. castorgirl says:

    The only thing that I have a problem with, is your therapist labelling the black and white thinking of a child as being irrational… it’s totally rational when you’re that age. I know this is nit-picking, but I’ve heard others call that black and white thinking irrational, and it’s not within the context of our experiences, it’s totally rational… what isn’t rational, is what we went through. So our thinking is the hurt, rational thinking of a child. Yup, that’s not such a good thing when we’re adults, but if we can understand that black and white thinking, without judgement, then we’re more likely to be able to ease it. Sorry to be going on about this, but I know that when I’ve been called irrational over that young thinking, it’s set me up for self-blame and harshness towards those young parts. They don’t need that. Your young self went through trauma after trauma, so of course those parts of you are going to get confused… now is the time to ease, not judge.

    I imagine your grandmother was trying to show you strength regarding the confrontation… making sure there were no secrets, or back chat amongst the family. I imagine she had the best of intentions, but the way in which those intentions were carried out were clumsy. She did protect you after she knew, and that says a lot.

    Has the roller-coaster you’ve been on eased at all?

    Sending positive thoughts your way… I’m here if I can help in any way,
    CG

    • CimmerianInk says:

      You know what? You gave me a lot to think about here CG. It made me think back to my original reaction to her statement and how I said that I had to stop myself from getting offended. Actually, if i think about it, I was offended and then I stamped it down.

      You make an excellent point and it was something that I avoided thinking during the session because I thought that I was supposed to yield to her opinion in this case. But you’re right. A child’s thinking in these circumstances isn’t irrational, it’s exactly what a child would naturally think. It’s normal and saying that it’s irrational makes it sound like the child is wrong which isn’t true. I’m very, very glad that you said that.

      And I agree with you about my grandmother’s motivations. I wish things had gone differently. It makes me wonder what could have come out if she had talked to me about what happened. Of course, there’s the possiblilty that she did talk to me about it and I don’t remember it. I wish I could be sure.

      As for where I am now, I’m feeling very negative. The words “death” and “dead” are floating around freely. Depression has become an issue and I feel like it’s being added to by the bipolar complications. The strange thing is that I feel like just giving in to being mentally tormented. I’m still isolating myself and I like it that way. I don’t really have the energy to care about it either.

      Thank you for being here. Seriously.

  3. Lilly says:

    one thing i thought of when reading your post was how your grandmother tried to give voice to that little girl. some times there are moments i wished i could have spoken up and didn’t. i am sorry you had to go through what you did. my therapist told me there are parts of me who didn’t have an ability to use their voices because when the trauma was afflicted. learning to take care of ourselves is hard work. thank you for posting…

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Hi Lilly,

      What your therapist says makes sense. I have some parts that I haven’t really gotten into who never/can’t speak and it’s scary. It’s good that you’re trying to understand yourself like that. And yes, it is hard work but I’m told it’s worth it. 🙂

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