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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Could you answer something for me please? Is it really

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Kate. Could you answer something for me please?
Is it really possible that I can mend the relationship between myself and my inner child?
I blame her, probably unfairly, for my childhood .... I even see her as a different person from me.
Talking to my therapist today she has suggested that I need to work on the way I view 'Little Sue'. I just don't see how I am going to change my view of my younger self.
Is this a normal problem (ie the hate/blame I put on her) when childhood has been traumatic and abusive?
Sorry to ask so many questions at once, I just don't see how to move forwards with this.

Hi Sue, I'd be happy to help.


Can I ask more about why you blame your inner child? What do you feel you did as a child to have a reason to blame yourself?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
From the age of 6 I was sexually abused by one of my brothers (7 years my senior). My whole life he has said that he never did anything that I didn't want him to do, that I encouraged him to have sex with me, that basically it was all my fault. I really struggle to put all the blame onto him because, in the back of my mind, his words keep being repeated. I spent so many years believing him that I can't shift that.
I suppose what I keep blaming my inner child is because she didn't stop him, she didn't make anyone hear what was happening, she enjoyed the attention, she loved him, she believed everything she said, she was naive in trusting his best friend who also (in time) abused her, she kept the 'secret'.
Sorry Kate, maybe that's too much information, but it's all rushing around in my head and I'm not sure what is relevant to my questions and what isn't.

Thank you for trusting me with your information. I am so sorry that your brother abused you so badly. It sounds like he abused you sexually and manipulated you into believing that you wanted it, adding pain to what you already had to suffer through.

At the age of 6, no child understands sex let alone wants it. That is too young of an age to even have a sex drive. Your brother sounds like he wanted to blame you for what he did and not accept responsibility himself. And you did not have the knowledge or experience to not see him as anything than what he presented himself as- your brother who loved you. There was no way you could have stopped him if you had tried. No child of that age has that kind of ability.

But it is understandable how you would blame yourself. Being told something like your brother told you at such an early age would make a huge impression on you. Add the trauma he did to you, and what he told you is going to stay imprinted in your mind.

In order to shift the blame back to him, where it should be, you need to allow yourself time and give yourself permission to struggle with this. It may take a while. And it could be two steps forward, one back for a little bit. But that is ok. If you accept that it may take a while, it will be easier. Also, as long as you work on it that counts as progress.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I can accept it will take some time (even if in reality I do want a quick fix) but I suppose I am just scared that I CAN'T do it, that I simply don't have the capability to do it.
Would I be right in thinking that I need to forgive my inner child before I can, as an adult, forgive myself?
This might sound really stupid, but I just want to make everything right between me and my inner child .... I want to protect her and look after her. That really does sound bonkers to me .... is it as daft as it sounds?
It's weird, but there's a part of me that wants to write to her. I know that's a crazy idea because how can I write to myself?
Sorry Kate, it's late, I can't sleep, I can't settle and my thoughts are getting seemingly dafter by the minute!

You will be able to do it. Recovery from trauma is mostly just the desire to do so. Doing the work helps of course, but it's the drive to feel better that makes it happen. And since you do want to feel better, you already have what you need.

It helps a lot to forgive your inner child. It also helps to see the blame as belonging to your brother, as you talked about before. It can be very healing to let your inner child go from being responsible for what your brother did.

It is very natural to want to protect your inner child. She needed to be protected and no one helped her. You may only recall what your brother told you, but I can imagine that the 6 year old you also wanted to be rescued from what was happening to her. She may have felt confused, scared, hurt and upset. Protecting her is a wonderful way to connect with who she was and make her feel better.

A letter is a great way to start! It helps to get your thoughts out, gives you time to process them and helps you go back to re read what you wrote, promoting your healing. I encourage you to write to your inner child as much as you can, possibly devoting a notebook to her. Talk to your therapist about this as well. I imagine that she will encourage you too.

You are making perfect sense with this, Sue. I can see all the signs that you are on your way to working this out and feeling better.


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