Day 68 of Believing the Girl – The Imminent Return of Doubt

Doubt, the sharp-tongued one who lives inside my head and doesn’t believe the memories of childhood sexual abuse, is due back home from vacation tomorrow. I sent her off to the beach in June and later extended her stay through the end of August.

Now she’s packing up her suitcase, preparing to come home tomorrow. She’s planning on wearing white to accentuate her good suntan that none of the rest of us have. She’s bringing a couple of trinkets back as gifts. She plans on looking innocent and friendly, but I think she may have some dangerous weapons in her bag. I’d like to think she is subdued after her time away from us, but I am not sure I trust her.

In therapy last week, E. suggested that I rearrange my internal house and give Doubt a bedroom in a part of the house where she will play a different role among all the parts that live there and tell me what they think. But I felt nervous and wondered the next day whether I should even let Doubt come back, or if it’s possible to make some strict rules for her.

(That could be a bit problematic. I’ve never been a very strict person. Just ask my kids.

Son: Mom, I really want an X-Box for Christmas.

Me: Honey, you know I’m not very enthused about video games. I think there are a lot better things you can be spending your time on. You can be with friends, make things, be active…

Son: Well, I will be playing with friends, here or online. And it’s good for hand-eye coordination. And I won’t play more than an hour on school days, like you said before. And I’m already playing ultimate Frisbee several days a week.

Me: Well, okay then! An X-Box is a great idea.)

So I can envision it playing out the same way in my internal house.

Doubt: You are just making up all that sh*t about being abused. That’s a terrible thing to do, when there are so many others who have truly suffered, not like you. You are just some kind of morbid fixated person who wants a melodramatic explanation for her inability to pull herself together.

Me: Stop it, you aren’t allowed to talk to me like that.

Doubt: But it’s all true.

Me: Yeah, okay, I guess you are right.

Then I’m back where I was before, stuck in the I-don’t-know-what-to-think swamp, slogging through the same old muck, over and over again. It’s not an appealing thought.

Does it make sense to forbid Doubt to return? Can I transform her into something milder, like Discernment or Good Judgment? Is that sustainable? I’m just not sure. I want to talk about this with E., but I don’t have another therapy session until Wednesday evening. That will already be September 2. I don’t want Doubt to come back tomorrow with all of this still unsettled.

Wave my magic wand.

Lucky for me, the bus from the beach is going to run over a big tree limb that fell during this past weekend’s windstorms and–without anyone getting hurt, of course–it will need some repairs.The parts won’t be immediately available, so it won’t be able to make its usual run tomorrow, so Doubt won’t be able to make it back until at least Wednesday night. That buys me just enough time to have another talk with E. An added benefit is that Doubt’s tan will begin to fade, and she won’t be able to show off quite as much. Good thing I have the power to foresee these things–otherwise I’d just be sitting here worrying all day today and tomorrow.

It’s a funny thing, but somehow this nonsense reduces my anxiety.

10 thoughts on “Day 68 of Believing the Girl – The Imminent Return of Doubt

  1. Whatever works, not that I think it is nonsense to give names and faces to inner demons. If it makes them easier to identify and resist, as it seems to, I think it a wonderfully inspired approach. The fact that you can see how Doubt operates, with tricks and subtleties up her sleeve, is surely a step towards finally beating her or at least getting her under control.

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  2. Q I had to laugh, not that Doubt is funny or the struggle you are having, but as I was reading this post and got to the part where you didn’t want her to come back I was thinking maybe there could be a big storm and all the flights and buses could be delayed and then you wrote about the bus running over the tree. I love it! Big windstorms this weekend where I live too, so you and I were thinking the same thing.

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  3. I wouldn’t allow Doubt back in the house. She has to stay outside, in the garage or under the tree.

    Don’t let her come back to rob your joy or to reprimand you for knowing what your truth is. She needs to leave, but until you can fully let her go, make her stay outside of the inner house.

    Like

    • You’re always so encouraging. For whatever reason, it seems to work for me to think through what are genuine challenges but to do it in terms of a sarcastic fantasy. It takes some of the edge off of the real question: am I ready to let go of Doubt once and for all? And what will that mean for the girl, and for my life?

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  4. I think it’s very powerful, this process of believing the little girl within you, and personifying feelings. I can see the strength you have and the control you have over the situation. La Quemada is in control. Even though you might be easily influenced, you’re getting more and more practice putting your foot down, and creating clear boundaries. It’s so amazing to read and see how your journey unfolds xx

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