alw72 - Thanks for asking this question. I'm at a monumental moment in my own work, and this is spot on to where I'm at. First, I'm not a CSA survivor, but I have stumbled on my abuse issues in my past which now have me talking to my inner-child. Sounds foolish, but hang on with me...
I've had a history of abused partners in my past. Alcoholics, too. Codependent? Yep - you betcha! Through getting in touch with my inner child, I realized that I never thought my feelings matter or my wants, needs, desires for that matter. Happy to expand on "why" if you'd like, but I'll skip that part for now.
I started doing EMDR therapy a few months back, and in the past month the lid has blown off my thinking. I was able to get in touch with my inner-child, talk to him, give me a big hug, and see how hurt he was. He is always sitting next to me now. I can even feel him being very intrigued by the computer. Sounds crazy, I know, but my T assures me this is good stuff.
My inner-child was so ticked off and hurt that his needs were not being met. I had no idea. I thought that I was doing fine, but I was carrying around this little kid who never learned how to play, have fun, or take care of himself. He was stuck thinking that he doesn't matter. When you put that in context of an adult talking to a little child, it's appalling! Why would anyone ever SAY that? Turns out it doesn't have to be said. Kids are pretty intuitive that way, and those actions done to them and around them can have a profound impact on the way they experience and interpret their lives.
Imagine my surprise when I realize that I LOVE to play now. Do I know how? Heck no! But, I'm the adult here, and my little guy gets to come along for the ride. Oddly enough, he's MUCH more forgiving of my inability to "play properly" that I would have imagined. I didn't know that I could lean on him for strength as well, and doing so will, in fact, foster his self-esteem and feelings of usefulness.
In the context of CSA survival, it seems a proper fit. I understand development stops when the abuse starts. And why shouldn't it? It isn't a stretch to think that they don't matter. They've simply become a "thing" and nothing more. Oye - such a horrible idea.
It's this model, too, that's helped me really relieve a lot of my own contempt and hatred for my history with my P. It's also been helpful in making amends to him because I want to be able to give the unconditional love the same way I want to get it, so let it start with me.
I hope that some survivors will chime in here as well. I'd love to hear their thoughts and reactions.