Ask Dr. Meg: Can I Heal the Little Girl Inside?

What are your thoughts about healing the little girl inside, when both parents were horrifically abusive in many ways?
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
January 28, 2016
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3
Minute Read

Dr. Meg,

What are your thoughts about healing the little girl inside, when both parents were horrifically abusive in many ways? After 55 years I ended the relationship with my mother. She was still doing her emotionally abusive stuff and literally, it makes me sick. I enjoyed this blog so much because you basically nailed it. I think troubled girls seek trouble to get any kind of attention.

In His Love,

Ready for Healing

Dear RFH-

I am excited for you! Yes- you can be healed from the pain of abusive parents. It takes hard work, deep trust in God and a good friend or two to pray for and support you. I have personally seen it happen many times.

First, get a copy of Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart. It is about women who have experienced sexual abuse but many of the principles and effects of different types of abuse are similar.

Then, I encourage you to do a few things. Find a good counselor (or friend) who is willing to sit with you and begin some important exercises. I personally feel that it is important for you to go back into your childhood and remember different times when your mother or father let you down, hurt you, said something mean, etc. Picture that beautiful little you and ask how she felt then. What did mom or dad do to her and how did you as a little girl respond when they did? If this is too painful, have a qualified counselor do this with you but if not, ask a friend to revisit your past with you.

The point is to: see that little girl, stop blaming that little girl for doing bad things (even though she didn’t- she felt that way because mom or dad always told her she was bad) and then embrace her. Look at pictures of her. Talk to her. Tell her how sad you are that no one saw how badly she was hurting and tell her that you are here now and you can help. You can re-grow her up, if you will.

This sounds odd, but it is important in helping you integrate her back into your whole self. Abused children feel angry with themselves, they feel shame because they were “bad” and they really dislike themselves. Now is the time to face her, hold her and heal her. You can do this.

The point is to: see that little girl, stop blaming that little girl for doing bad things (even though she didn’t- she felt that way because mom or dad always told her she was bad) and then embrace her. Look at pictures of her. Talk to her. Tell her how sad you are that no one saw how badly she was hurting and tell her that you are here now and you can help. You can re-grow her up, if you will.

This sounds odd, but it is important in helping you integrate her back into your whole self. Abused children feel angry with themselves, they feel shame because they were “bad” and they really dislike themselves. Now is the time to face her, hold her and heal her. You can do this

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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