An Adult To Her Abused Child Self
By Cvndie Odya-Weis
Stephanie, I came too late
to stop the pain.
The lashing. twisting, probing. prying,
Isolation stuck before I came.
Stephanie, I came too late
to hear your cries, your tiny voice
amid the lies that said youíre bad.
I wish I could have told you itís not true.
Stephanie, I came too late,
I could have stopped them.
kept you chaste.
Your screams had long been silent screams by then.
Your words were still too few,
my Steph, your body feelings
trapped the pain and feelings in your mind.
Theyíre tangled up in you.
ēthatís why you act the way you do.
I have the tools Ďa help you, adults have words to use.
The power of reason, a grown-up choice,
a sense of self an inner voice.
Stephanie. its not too late.
Iím here to help you heal.
I canít erase the pain,
but somehow, I can try to help you feel.
Stephanie. its not your fault.
so feel no shame and grasp
each chance to live again.
Its over now. Itís rot too late.
Its not too late.
Stephanie, you still have time.
Lifeís too short to languish now.
Youíre safe. Its not too late
to live as one, somehow.
NOTE: The author counseled abused children and their families for 25 years.She is currently a free-lance writer and college teacher.
This poem tries to capture the feeling of so many survivors of childhood abuse, a confusing mixture of guilt and shame and how could I have let that happen to myself?Ē
The adult learns of her childhood abuse by processing fragments of memories, and as she relives what happened through adult eyes, she somehow feels she has always known.
For many, there is a dissociation with the childhood self. For some this develops into a multiple personality disorder. The adult feels she is to blame for the child being hurt, and also that she has to help the child heal. In reality, the child is herself, and she is healing.
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