My inner child and me

Writing about my inner child, whom I only found a little more than a week ago, is not easy. Just looking at my inner child, sitting on the floor in a corner, knees as close to the body as possible, arms covering their heads and covering their ears and eyes, makes me ache, my stomach tightens, I feel all the fear and pain of my little inner child, and I often have to cry, as I do now.

Where is there room for so much pain and so much fear in such a little child? Where do this pain and fear come from?

I try to talk to them, and I tell them that they don't have to be afraid, that I will protect them and take care of them (in German). Sometimes they look at me, but they don't take their hands away from their eyes. They continue to protect themselves. And when I say "I love you" in German, I feel a wave of fear and my little child tries to protect themselves even more. Possibly, the people who said "I love you" hurt them very badly, and these words seem more like a sign of danger than something comforting.
My child still doesn't talk to me. But they don't try to hide again. They stay where they are, sitting, knowing that I can see them, that I can always find them. I don't want to try to get any closer either. I think my little child needs time to gain confidence, and approaching them too quickly only makes them more afraid.

And, many times, when I look at my inner child and try to talk to them, to soothe them, to comfort them, other images come to me, like my child showing me some of the things they had suffered.
I get the image of my inner child naked, lying on their back on top of something that doesn't look like a bed to me, and very afraid of being touched. I know well this fear, or rather, the refusal of any physical contact, especially from my mother. But where does this fear come from?

And the image of my little child looking at a man's erect cock and this man pushing their head towards the cock. Is it real? I don't know, but my little child's fear is very real.

I feel sometimes that my little child blames me for not being able to protect them back then. That they had to suffer what they had to suffer. But how could I have protected them? Then, this child was me. There was no one to protect them.

I try to tell them that they are safe now, that I can protect them now, that nothing was their fault. And I feel that they don't quite believe me, that they still don't trust me. That they're afraid. And I don't know what to tell them, I don't know what to do that doesn't make them even more afraid.

We need time. Time to get to know each other, to learn to trust. It has not been an easy process for me to learn to trust, and my inner child has not yet gone through the same process. They don't trust anyone, not even me. And that hurts me. I would like to sit next to them, to hug them, but I know it would scare them. Because I am reminded of my inability to tolerate a hug, the closeness of another body. Time. My inner child needs time. Time to trust me. In the meantime, I will continue to talk to them, I will continue to respect their fear, their limits, and I will look for other ways to show them that I really love them, that I will not hurt them, that I will protect them and take care of them.

This child is me.