It is my wounded childhood, ripped from me.
Today, I want to share with you something very personal and important to me. I want to talk about how I am healing my wounded inner child that experienced so much pain during the core development years.
What is the wounded inner child, you might say?
The wounded inner child is the part of me that carries the emotional scars, memories, and beliefs that were formed during my early years of development, usually from birth to age seven. This is the time when I was most vulnerable, dependent, and impressionable. I learned about myself, others, and the world through my interactions with my primary caregivers, usually my parents or grandparents.
If my parents were loving, supportive, consistent, and attentive, I would have developed a secure attachment style. This means that I would have felt safe, valued, and confident in myself and my relationships. I would have trusted that others would be there for me when I needed them, and I would have also been independent and explored my own interests.
However, my caregivers, sans grandparents, were abusive, neglectful, inconsistent, or unavailable. I developed an insecure attachment style. Which means that I felt unsafe, unworthy, and insecure in myself and my relationships. I either clung to others for fear of being abandoned or rejected (anxious attachment), or I avoided intimacy and emotional connection for fear of being hurt or controlled (avoidant attachment). I may have also had a combination of both (disorganized attachment).
My story shows that I experienced a lot of abuse, abandonment, and neglect from my mother and other relatives during my core development years. I was taken away from my family and driven to another city where I lived with my addict mother and weird aunt, uncle, and cousins. I was exposed to violence, drugs, alcohol, and sexual predators. I missed school, spent hours alone in my room, or wandered around town with my older cousin. I tried to spend time with my mother who was nearly always high, drunk, or chasing men. I was kicked down a flight of stairs by one of the people living in the house. I still maintained good grades despite all the chaos and trauma. Nobody ever knew.
These experiences were very confusing, frightening, and painful for me as a child. I felt unloved, unwanted, and unwelcome by the people who were supposed to care for me. I blamed myself for their behavior or tried to please them in hopes of getting some attention or affection. I also developed a strong bond with my grandmother who was my savior during those rough times.
How does the wounded inner child affect my present life?
My wounded inner child does not disappear when I grow up. It stays with me as an unconscious part of my psyche that influences my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and choices in my present life. It affects every aspect of my life – such as my self-esteem, health, career, finances, spirituality – but especially my relationships.
My relationships are the mirrors that reflect my inner child’s wounds. I unconsciously attract or am attracted to people who remind me of my past abusers or neglecters. I repeat the same patterns of abuse or abandonment that I experienced as a child. I sabotage or avoid healthy relationships because they feel unfamiliar or threatening to me.
I have anxiety and borderline personality disorder (BPD) as a result of my childhood trauma. Anxiety is a common symptom of insecure attachment, as I constantly worry about losing or upsetting the people I love. BPD is a complex mental disorder that involves intense emotional instability, impulsivity, identity issues, fear of abandonment, and difficulty maintaining stable relationships. BPD is often linked to childhood trauma, as I developed coping mechanisms that helped me survive but are now maladaptive and harmful.
Some examples of how my wounded inner child affects my relationships are:
- I have trouble trusting others or myself. I doubt their intentions or loyalty. I question my own feelings or judgments.
- I have difficulty expressing or regulating my emotions. I bottle up or explode with anger, sadness, fear, or guilt. I act out or withdraw from others.
- I have low self-esteem or self-worth. I feel unworthy of love or happiness. I criticize or punish myself harshly.
- I have unrealistic expectations or demands of others or myself. I want them to fulfill all my needs or make up for what I lacked as a child. I set impossible standards or goals for myself.
- I have poor boundaries or limits with others or myself. I let them take advantage or abuse me. I neglect or harm myself physically or emotionally.
- I have difficulty committing or staying in a relationship. I fear intimacy or closeness. I push people away or run away from them.
- I have difficulty ending or leaving a relationship. I fear being alone or rejected. I cling to people or beg them to stay.
How can I heal my wounded inner child?
Healing my wounded inner child is not easy, but it is possible. It takes time, patience, courage, and compassion. It also requires professional help, such as therapy, medication, or support groups. I cannot do it alone.
The first step to healing my wounded inner child is to acknowledge and accept that I have one. I need to recognize that the pain and trauma that I experienced as a child are still affecting me today. I need to understand that my inner child is not my enemy, but my ally. It is trying to protect me and get my attention. It is asking for my love and care.
The second step to healing my wounded inner child is to listen and communicate with it. I need to tune in to my inner child’s voice and feelings. I need to express and validate what it is saying and feeling. I can do this by writing a letter or a journal, drawing a picture, or talking to a stuffed animal or a pillow. I can also use meditation, hypnosis, or guided imagery to access my inner child. I’ve not had much success with these approaches thus far.
The third step to healing my wounded inner child is to comfort and nurture it. I need to give my inner child what it needs and deserves. I need to provide it with safety, security, stability, and support. I can do this by creating a safe space or a sanctuary for my inner child, such as a cozy corner in my room, a special place in nature, or a favorite spot in my imagination. I can also use affirmations and mantras to soothe and reassure my inner child.
The fourth step to healing my wounded inner child is to re-parent and empower it. I need to become the loving parent that my inner child never had. I need to guide, teach, discipline, and encourage my inner child. I can do this by setting healthy boundaries and limits for myself and others, by making positive choices and changes in my life, by pursuing my passions and interests, by celebrating my achievements and strengths.
The fifth step to healing my wounded inner child is to integrate and reconcile it with my adult self. I need to embrace and honor my inner child as a part of who I am. I need to balance and harmonize my inner child’s needs and wants with my adult’s responsibilities and goals. I can do this by finding ways to express and enjoy my inner child’s creativity, playfulness, curiosity, and spontaneity in my daily life.
Healing my wounded inner child is a lifelong journey that requires constant attention and care. It is not a linear process that has a clear beginning or end. It is a cyclical process that has ups and downs, setbacks and breakthroughs. It is also a rewarding process that brings me closer to myself and others.
I hope this blog post has helped you understand more about my wounded inner child and how I am healing it. I hope you find the peace and happiness that you deserve.