Sixteen years ago, I was slammed by a memory of sexual abuse. I was only three years old when the incest started, and I repressed the memories to survive in my family. After I remembered, I absolutely had to dedicate myself to caring for my wounded, sad Inner Child and healing her. Her feelings were so overwhelming that I developed a practice of sitting every morning with her before I went off to work.
Ever since then, I’ve been caring for my Inner Child—learning to listen to her and nurture her. I needed to let her know that I believed her and I that would always be there, the strong Inner Adult (Big Jane). I wrote about this journey of healing in my memoir, The River of Forgetting.
Now I’m at a place of peace about the abuse. It should never have happened, it was wrong, my father was a selfish man, but it doesn’t rule my life. Still, I am drawn to care for this inner child, or these inner children. Every morning without fail I sit for 20 minutes and listen. It has become integrated into my spiritual life.
This morning, for example, my inner children were agitated, busy, full of idea of things to do. I smiled and rocked in my rocking chair, holding their anxious energy and letting the quiet of my living room envelop us. Other days my little girls bring sadness or excitement or love or fear about relationships. All those feelings are welcome. As I sit and let them be, I find peace again. Insights and understandings come, but the main thing is to be there and be open.