I reckon she was about 4 or 5. Had an experience today that might be important to me, thought I'd share...
My mother often acted like a little 5-year-old girl amidst all of the abuse she gave me, and somehow in my subconscious I had decided that all little girls are like her...vicious, needy, demanding, moody - just a bomb about to explode. And I projected this onto every little girl I saw!
Well today, I was on the tram. Rows of two seats each. I was on my own, and a mother with a baby and her 5-year-old daughter sat down in the seat reserved for women with baby cars...and my seat happened to be next to it. So she asked me if her daughter could sit down. I couldn't say, "No I'm sorry my mother abused me and I'm deathly scared of girls." So I smiled and said, "Sure." The girl sits down. She's like...not even half my size. A bit torn between ignoring her and talking to her, some part of me nudged me towards the latter. So I said, "Hello!" and made this really goofy expression on my face...and...she laughed!!! That was God damn amazing! I ate up my own misery and made her laugh! I even got another lady sitting in front of me to smile when she saw what I was doing. It had me smiling throughout the whole trip home on the tram. It was then and there I realized how I had been projecting my past onto innocent little girls... Crazy! Here was this 5-year-old girl sitting right next to me, swinging her legs which was a good foot or two from reaching the ground, and I was scared of her! It made me think a bit, how I'm still stuck in the past in many ways beyond my consciousness, and I'm missing out on appreciating the simple fact that kids aren't born demons...they never are. And it's OK to interact with them, they're not going to bite me.
"Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don't love it sufficiently." - Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago