The Tale of An Ordinary Little Girl

Psychosis Journal CoverThe Tale of an Ordinary Little Girl won the 2010 Award for Best Paper in the Second Volume of Psychosis (Category B: Experienced-based articles).

Hearing voices, self-harm, eating “disorders” and dissociation, when viewed objectively, are frequently classified as symptoms of serious mental illnesses and disordered personalities that require treatment, eradication and cure.

This convenient societal solution to the complex problem of endemic childhood abuse requires that victims of abuse endure further insult to injury and become the problem to be dealt with.

By tracing the roots of so-called “symptoms” back to their origins in traumatic childhood events and having the courage to bear witness to painful truths, a more accurate, humane and respectful picture emerges which reframes “symptoms” as essential survival techniques.

The mark of a responsible society and responsive services is the willingness to share collective responsibility for these experiences, to honour them, support them and learn from them at all levels.

3 replies
  1. nirmal
    nirmal says:

    I identify with these symptoms and am a voice hearer I do not want to be a voice hearer. It is coming up to the first year of the anniversary of coming off my medication. although I have made many ‘improvements’ I am finding it very tough with just two support groups a week. any suggetions. thankyou. NIRMAL.

  2. Trish
    Trish says:

    I was a ‘problem’ child, ‘telling tales’, ‘imagining things’… I learned to dislike myself at a really young age and feel the awful shame of being me and living my life in fear of people ‘finding out’ what a ‘bold little girl’ I really was.
    I did everything people are supposed to do; I went to college-twice- and had a nice car and a job that paid the bills. I also sliced bits out of my legs and arms with surgical blades and starved and self-induced vomiting and basically did everything I could to try and destroy the self I thought I was….
    I’m 33, to some it might look like I’ve lost all I had; the nice car is gone, I rely on social welfare and I’ve spent all I have and more on private psychotherapy fees and two stints in a treatment centre ( The psychiatric hospitals didnt work out so good…)but I’ve also gained because I have figured out that the self I thought I was never existed; I was ever only a small child needing to be loved rather than the recipient of uncontrollable anger, perversion and someone else’s shame. I was never a bold and dirty little bitch, a little fucking whore…
    There is no need to ‘eradicate’ or ‘cure’ what those who have alot to pin on a scapegoat refer as my illness…’the way you are..’ my psychosis. There is no need now for me to try and destroy that small little girl because i understand now that six year old girls are not little whores, or dirty or able to ‘ruin’ anybody’s life.
    Thanks to people like Jacqui who are brave enough to stand strong against the scapegoaters, and share what they know to be true there have been days – and books, articles etc- that make it all the more bearable, a little less shameful and put a bit of hope in the empty space where I never got the chance to grow into.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui says:


      Thank you for sharing those powerful, moving words – so painful, so true. All of us ‘ordinary little girls’, still putting the pieces of our shattered selves back together. But we are still here and we are still fighting for our right to be respected and valued – and we are not alone. We do matter.



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