A therapist on the third segment of the Oprah Winfrey show on male sexual abuse brought out something I've done, but I haven't written about. He spoke about the wounded inner child. My friend David refers to it as "my little kid."
A few months after I began my healing journey, I had several dreams one night. In the first, I saw myself as an adult and I held an infant in my arms. I knew it was myself and I said to him, "I'm Cec and you're little Cecil. I'm sorry I wasn't able to take care of you in childhood, but I'm here now."
In the second, little Cecil was a toddler and sitting in a high chair. I stroked his cheek and said, "I couldn't help you then, but I'm here now."
In each dream the little child was older. In the final dream, Cecil must have been a teen, although he was still shorter than Cec. I took his hand and we walked down the street together. "You were so brave," I told him. "You survived and you're healthy. Your brothers didn't make it, but you did. I'm proud of you."
I stopped, turned to him, and hugged him. Then I awakened.
The meaning was obvious, but it started an inner dialogue with me. Even today, probably 20 years after that dream, I still talk to the boy. I remind him of his survival and thank him for not committing suicide (which he tried to do once).
"I like who I am now. I like who I am because you were brave and kept fighting. You didn't let Dad or others defeat you. You were alone and had no one but you kept on. I'm strong today because you were strong then."
Years ago I read something by Marsha Sinetar in which she wrote about the "invulnerables," whom she referred to as those who survived an oppressive childhood and by every law of human behavior should have failed.
I'm an invulnerable.
And I'm grateful to little Cecil, who showed his courage and refused to quit.