No child lived within me after the age of 3. I was grown by then. Given over fully to a life of survival.
I don’t remember what act brought me to the threshold of the death of my inner child. Was it the death of a stranger I’d witnessed or was it the sexual assault on my tiny body from my parents that was the culprit. I don’t think it matters, but it was well before I turned four.
Look at me here, carrying the slight smile that I would not remove for decades.
I’m not the best at describing childlike qualities, but let’s try! A child is innocent, protected and asks for their needs to be met, right?
I was far from innocent. I saw and knew things as a small girl that some adults will never know. Protection never occurred to me as a quality of being a child. I was never protected – against anything.
Needs? I still can hear my father’s constant, steady voice, “You have no rights only privileges.” Yeah, there were no needs that I could mention.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a few definitions for a child: (1) a young person especially between infancy and puberty; or (2) one strongly influenced by another or by a place or state of affairs.
So, I guess under these measures, I was a child.
But, my mind had been seized and taught to stand guard against predators. My play was minimal, waiting for the return of the pedophiles. It just never ended.
I woman I follow on Instagram who so aptly wrote, “It used to run in my family, until it met me. Amen, sister! Amen!