I'm constantly mulling things over in my brain and trying to decipher my parts and my past. Since I have dissociative amnesia, I have very little information of the abuse and my childhood to work with, but recently I realized why all my parts are so young (11 and younger).
I believe the abuse ended at age 9. I don't know this for sure as I have virtually no memories whatsoever, but I tend to believe this is the case based on a number of factors. At age 9 we suddenly moved to a new house and I was taken out of school to be home schooled, both with little to no explanation as to my parents' motivation for these decisions. This was also the age when I began self harming the most (although I had definitely done so many times prior to 9). In general, 9 stands out in my mind as a significant year for me despite my near complete lack of memories.
What I believe happened is that all childishness was pushed aside during the abuse. I hid away everything that made me a child and I behaved as an adult. I took care of myself, took care of my sister, handled my own emotions and I had to be very mature. I remember thinking a number of times throughout my childhood that I was not really a child, that people just thought I was a child. I also remember pretending to be more childish so that people would not realize how "weird" I was. For example, I would pretend to play childish games when adults were in the room and as soon as they left I would play torture and abuse games or just completely dissociate.
So, when I was 9 years old and we moved, a lot of things changed: the abuse ended (though I could be wrong about that), I made friends with the neighbor kids, my sister was 3-4 and needed less constant care and could be more of a playmate, so I was finally given a chance to be a child. That is not to say that I didn't suffer greatly throughout this time period. I self harmed on a daily basis, I didn't sleep well, I had nightmares, anxiety, a lot of suffering and difficulty in a lot of ways, but I had a fair amount of time when the young parts could come out and be kids.
When I hit puberty just a month or so after my 12th birthday, these child parts were really shut down. After just 3 years of experiencing the world as a child, I wasn't a kid anymore, I couldn't be a kid anymore, so I couldn't do kid things or play with kid toys. There was this expectation that I would be older and so I felt compelled to meet this expectation. When I didn't meet this expectation I was criticized and ridiculed by my mother. This resulted in most of the child parts being stuffed down and only allowed out on rare occasions when adults weren't around and the situation was just right.
So as a result of this, I frequently feel a deep unrest at being 21. Internally, I feel like a child. I want to play. I want to cuddle innocently. I want the things that I didn't have as a child, because I never had a chance for those needs to be fulfilled.
So my parts are all kids, they're 11 or younger. There seems to be a cluster of parts that slide around between 5-7 and another cluster that are 9-11. There are also a few outliers that seem extremely young and a few that are hard to attach any age to because they are very guarded or come out very infrequently.
Having all these little kid parts is both very challenging and a lot of fun. I imagine it's a lot like being transexual. It's very painful when you are forced to pretend to be something you are not, but those times when you can truly be yourself results in great relief and deep happiness.
My child parts are allowed out now almost whenever they want, which I believe will help them grow up and find peace in the world. But I don't want to rush them. They were robbed of most of their childhood, if it takes them 10 or 20 years to have those needs fulfilled, they deserve that. Forcing them to grow up didn't work in my childhood and it won't work now. I love, appreciate, and sympathize with these parts. They are children that never really got to be kids.