Nancy Napier’s book “Getting Through the Day; Strategies for Adults Hurt as Children” has been a really helpful resource for me. At first it simply validated my despair and sense that there was no way out.
For children who were traumatized, there was an undeniable need to be rescued. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of an experience that feels so real, so immediate. To imagine that you can take care of yourself might feel as overwhelming as it was then — and as unachievable. p137
It’s as though part of us can’t bear to experience what it was like to be let down so horribly when we couldn’t do things for ourselves, when we had to depend on others. To have needs that must be filled by others, and to have those needs ignored, humiliated, or abused, brings about almost intolerable feelings of vulnerability. It’s even worse because, as children, we can’t not have needs. We can’t turn them off completely. pp138-9
Journal: My friend Barbara said she was using her mantra “I am worthwhile,” and it was helping. Unfortunately, I have trouble with affirmations that I know are not true. So I went back to my vision of the Universe, that I constructed from what I know of astronomy, and found I could say to myself “You are an important part of the Universe, you are a node in the web of light, you matter to the whole.”
Monday: This morning I can add that I am an integral part of the Universe, and it doesn’t matter how well or how poorly I do my life, what matters is my integrity, authenticity, and my fierce commitment to truth and to compassion. What I actually accomplish is nowhere near as important as the values I embody. ‘Whatever you have done or not done’ is not what god cares about, is not what god’s doing in my life. God is the Truth and the Compassion I embody.
Well! That’s a lot better than yesterday. That’s something I can hold on to, and can also share with the frozen baby.
Nancy Napier reminded me of the exercise of connecting your heart with the inner child’s heart. First you imagine your own heart filled with light, it doesn’t matter what color. I usually choose peach. Then you imagine a line of light extending toward your child’s heart and ultimately connecting with it. In this chapter she emphasizes being very gentle with the light, offering it to the child, but not forcing it. I’ve done this before with lost children, especially one who was floating out in a void, unconnected with anything. To contact the frozen baby needed to be very gentle, no faster than she could allow. I’m so glad I was reminded of this exercise because it doesn’t require words.
This time the frozen baby is inside me, in my lower abdomen. I see a parallel between her difficulty absorbing anything positive, and my adult difficulty. I am opening my heart to her and offering her a connection, and allowing her to absorb it at her own pace.