Little Sherry

little me

This is my favorite picture of myself of all time.  Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed.  It still makes me happy.

One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”.  To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children.  I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.

It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry.  You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,”  (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me.  I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway).   The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.

When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame.  I didn’t fight it.  I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning.  No words were exchanged.  We just sat, together, watching the waves.  Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.

Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay.  You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.”  I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her.  Hopefully I’m not too far behind.

On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry.  Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks.  There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me.  In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss.  I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep.  Life on life’s terms.

She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there.  Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me.  Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.


13 thoughts on “Little Sherry

  1. It’s a beautiful and terrifying process you are decribing, loving that sweet *innocent* little girl. I look forward to hearing more….maybe someday I will have the courage to go there. ❤️

    1. Beautiful and terrifying indeed. What a brilliant technique.. Wish I could give little Sherry a hug and protect her from shitty pain. Love you my friend xxx

  2. My favorite picture of me is one I can’t find anymore, unfortunately. Must have lost it in a move or something.

    But I remember it very well – in it, I’m about four years old and on the top of a jungle gym, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and cowboy boots. I’m pretty sure I have paint smears on my clothes, shaggy hair, and there’s a look on my face like, “Don’t bother me. I’m busy being awesome.”

    I have the feeling that little kid wants to grab my hand also – not for comfort, but to drag adult me along and say “Come play! Get busy being awesome again!”

  3. Hi Sherry
    what a lovely brave thing you are doing. i started doing that too and it brang tears to my eyes too! amazing process and i am so proud of you. you deserve happiness and you are so coooooolllllll. thanks for sharing
    big hugs

  4. It’s so wonderful that you’re doing this – reading about it felt so personal and beautiful. It makes me want to go talk to Little Lindsay. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. You were a cutie!!
    I have a favorite childhood picture. In it, I am so happy with a cute dress and a new play watch.

  6. I so get this! I think you need to write a story surrounding this process. That is an adorably happy child in that picture. Beautiful post cant wait for a Follow up!

  7. I don’t love my inner child. I see her the way she was represented to me by abusers and as I experienced her: awkward, hysterical, constipated, needy, unlikeable and weird. Im embarrassed to have been her. Ive been trying to erase her all my life. Ive finally become an alcoholic, I just couldn’t keep it up any more, the farce of a satisfying life that was actually terrifying and meaningless. I like your posts. Im looking for hope. I can’t go public with my problem for several reasons. But something has to change. I’ve fallen and injured myself 6 times in the past 3 years. Yesterday was one and Im lying here with an icepack today. I wish I could find something to live for. Everything that kept me going has been expended. Thanks for your posts. I felt we have had something in common. Maybe we will have recovery in common too.

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