I’ve spent years–and I mean literally years–telling myself and my therapist that my memories probably weren’t real, that I “must have made it all up,” that there is something perverse and bad about me that I would imagine that someone in my family would sexually abuse a little girl. I’ve harmed myself many, many times, as a way to convince myself that I don’t know what in fact I do know.

And then for some reason, I recently decided to stop doing that. I decided to start believing that little girl. After all, if a little girl, maybe eight years old, maybe only seven, came to me now with a confused and partial story like my story, I wouldn’t think she was perverse. I wouldn’t think she had made it up to get attention. I wouldn’t try to persuade her that no one in her family would do such a thing to her. Of course not. Instead, I would be outraged. I would spring up to defend and protect her. And most of all, I would treat her with compassion and care.

Naturally E, excellent therapist that she is, has been promoting a stance like this for I don’t know how long. But I guess I had to resist and resist until one day I didn’t anymore. And I don’t want to claim that “ok, everything is fine now,” because that just wouldn’t be true. But something has shifted. I feel like believing myself will now actually permit me to get the comfort and compassion and ultimately the healing that I have been needing ever since I was that little girl.