Inner Child Healing

by Neseret on August 27, 2011

Small Flowers“It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior pattern and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, and terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.”

That does not mean that the wound will ever be completely healed. There will always be a tender spot, a painful place within us due to the experiences that we have had. What it does mean is that we can take back the power away from those wounds.

By bringing them out of the darkness in to the Light, by releasing the energy, we can heal them enough so that they do not have the power to dictate how we live our lives today. We can heal them enough to change the quality of our lives dramatically.

We can heal them enough to Truly be happy, Joyous and free in the moment most of the time.”

~ Co-dependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney

When life is going relatively well and peaceful it can be easy to forget of the tender spots. You can almost feel like you’ve healed completely and there are no longer any tender spots. Personally I tell myself I’ve done the work necessary and I am continuing to work on my recovery so why not? Complete recovery is possible.

For a while now I can honestly say I have healed “enough” to not let my inner children dictate my life and to truly experience happiness, joy and peace in my life. This is part of why I’ve created a blog about healing, recovery, and empowerment.

I feel truly passionate about the topic and want to share with others what I have learned and what has helped me.

My hope is that it will help you and others in their path of healing and recovery.

Here is the interesting thing, even though you may have done a lot of work on your recovery things will come up once in a while, (less and less the more you keep working on healing). Nevertheless they will come up that will push your buttons and remind you the tender spots still exist within you.

The trigger may come up in variety of ways – a person, a place, a situation, a smell, a comment. It could be a combination of different things that essentially remind you of the original wound. This is something that brings the flavour of your old wound and brings back those same feelings and emotions you felt as a child or whenever the trauma occurred.

“When someone “pushes your buttons” he/she is activating that stored, pressurized grief energy. She/he is gouging the old wounds, and all of the newer wounds that are piled on top of those original wounds by our repeating behavior patterns.”

Most of the time you can recognize it early enough to be mindful of what is happening avert potential problems.

Other times it can be so powerful and painful to throw you in to unconscious reactions and old patterns.

I remember about a year ago going through an experience that definitely activated my grief energy. I received an email from one of my siblings that made me feel like they were “gouging the old wounds” (mind you my sibling had no clue they were doing that). It was completely unintentional.

While reading this email message I can feel the anger and rage within me bubbling up. The message that came through for me was “You’re not important.” “You’re not loved.” and “You don’t matter.” “You’re not worth it.” The same messages and feelings I felt while going through years of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse by my mother. These were the same painful, toxic messages that had me living in absolute shame, anger, and rage for years.

I went for years reacting out of this place of repressed shame and pain. I made all kinds of choices in my life, some of which I’m not proud of, because I had allowed my inner children to dictate my life. If you’re in the path of recovery you know what I am talking about. “When we are reacting out of our childhood emotional wounds, then what we are feeling may have very little to do with the situation we are in or with the people with whom we are dealing in the moment.” This is how we make a blunder of our relationships and ultimately our lives.

“We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family,

 because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional.”

I wish I could tell you in this instance I made the right choice. I did not. I reacted. I sent back a snarky email with a rude comment thrown in. Then I went in to a huge emotional reaction that threw me in to “that dark pit of emotional despair within.” It was pure misery and intolerably painful. I knew at this point that this reaction wasn’t just about the situation – I had a “button pushed” in my tender spot.

“We are terrified of this pressurized pain, terror, shame, and rage energy – of “having our buttons pushed” – because we have experienced it in the past as instances where we have explosively overreacted in ways that caused us to later feel ashamed and crazy, or as implosive reactions that have thrown us in to that deep dark pit of emotional despair within.”

If you are currently experiencing the emotional pain of having a button pushed in your tender spot I can honestly say I understand. I know how it feels. Your situation may be different but the feelings and emotions are the same.

All you can do is recognize it for what it is and feel the feelings. Feel the pain, the grief, the shame, and the rage energy. Feel whatever you’re feeling. Then let it go. In time the pain will ease and you’ll move forward with your life.

Times like these make me question if there is such a thing as complete recovery from childhood emotional wounds and trauma. Perhaps recovery is not about finding a complete cure, but it is a life long, ongoing process of learning and growing.

Healing is not about cure. It is learning to live at our optimum physical, emotional, and spiritual potential as human beings.

Please take the time to share your story and experiences here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thank you for taking the time to visit here today.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Melodi March 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm

For years I had heard of the inner child, true self and tied it in to the cliches of this crazy life. But then I found myself repeating behaviors that always left me with so much pain that it took months to get back on my feet, only to be back on my feet for a week or two, to fall into the same behavioral pattern with the same heartbreaking results.

Shame and hurt has been at my core for 23 years( i am 29) Anger has been the coward, that tucks itself away deep in the folds of my personality, occasionally peeking its head out and sticking its’ tongue out at people, places, or things.

In this society some of us are raised to believe that it is bad to conjure up the past, to talk about it. That’s how I lived my life. Never did I know that the unhealed past is what can cause a broken future filled with “Possibles that become impossibles and impossibles that are possibles'(and certainly not in your favor).

One more repeated behavior forced me into recovery that I always knew I needed but was too afraid of because of what my dysfunctional family would think. A friends attempted suicide, put icing on the cake for me.

At first recovery was routine, different, but routine none the less with things that I had heard in the past such as “Let go and let God”, “get in touch with your inner child” and blah blah blah.

But one weekend trying to read a book on love addiction and just 2 months after joining a local ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) group; she came. The 5 year old baby girl who watched her mother break her brothers leg accidently while beating him, and was later put into the foster system for 8 months, separated from her other 3 siblings. She came to me sat quietly, told me the story, even the details I thought I never knew. Then she cried and cried and screamed and cried. I felt her I saw her, I gave her a Pinochio picture that she had during those times. Holding on to this framed picture she cried herself to sleep.

The holding on of this picture was me. I was shocked. I walked and truly felt like a little girl. (well we (I) had to let go of Pinochio, for it was making sleeping uncomfortable) and rescue a teddy bear and a stuffed cat from Goodwill. This worked. It was difficult for my other children to come forth but they did. The shamed 7 yr. old, the sick and lonely 11 year old, the awkward and hated 12 year old, the quiet and spiritual 15 yr. old. The sad and quiet 16 and 17 year old, the emotionally abused yet sultry but quietly angry 22 year old. All came to me. I began to feel again. I began to recognize patterns that would lead to the repeated behavior patterns and be able to stop them dead in the tracks by simply recognizing the child it was coming from and talking to that child and taking care of the real need of that child rather than allowing it to seek a superficial fix.

So what was I looking for constantly repeating the same behaviors? Love, acceptance and approval. You eventually learn how to give this to yourself, and most importantly, even learn the importance of doing so, by hard but worthy caretaking needs of your true self(inner child).

Today, I can feel. Triggers cause me to acknowledge whatever feeling come up rather it be shame, anger, sadness, hurt, be ok to feel it and let it go and continue about my day. Today I know it is ok to feel a variety of feelings and still be in control while maintaining a relative constant attitude throughout the day. It is true what Nereset says, the wounds that are there that the child experienced; that child is no longer in control because they have been allowed to feel, let it out and breathe again. In recovery I was sung a song of life because I ( my true self) had been dead for so long closed up in silence. You do have moments where your first reaction to a triggered situation is that of a behavior that you had unlearned, but thats when compassion for yourself IS needed. You must understand that recovery is about progress not a destination. For those of us who are recovering, we will be progressing in our new changes for years to come, but think about how long you functioned dyfunctionally, better yet, look at how 98% of the population continues to function dysfunctionally and don’t even know why. With those odds, there is then, plenty of reason to be proud of your progress, knowing that you no longer function 100% of the time as the wounded child without a caring parent.

The percentile of the dysfunctional society we live in doesn’t make us better because we have figured out how to heal and to be the adult, but it does give us a sense of responsibility to those who are just starting out in recovery, knowing exactly where they are coming from and knowing how to relate. This was a great blog Neseret and thank you. MW.-katy, tx.

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Neseret March 22, 2012 at 2:23 am

Hi Melodi,

So wonderful to meet you! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing and touching story. I admire your courageous and loving heart. You are truly BEAUTIFUL!

You’re obviously engaged in the sacred work of healing and have found your unique path to healing. Your beautiful journey of healing is a GIFT to all those who come in contact with you.

There is so much you’ve said in this post that I can relate to. I love your perspective on the journey of healing. I agree those of us who are on the path need to support those who are embarking on this journey. The beginning is often the most volnerable time.

Many people feel scared and alone. They’re told by family, and friends to “get over it!” The effects of trauma is not something someone can just “get over!” People need help and support. People need to process what happened. People need to grieve the loss, the betrayal, and the hurt. They need to heal from the anger, the shame and the pain.

Unprocessed trauma, unhealed past, negative subconcious limiting beliefs (about ourselves, others and the world) that originate from our past traumatic experiences are what HOLD people back from becoming all that they were meant to become.

The good news news is there is HOPE. Healing is possible. Healing is a process. Yes, I’ve come to believe that healing just like self development is ONGOING!

The process of healing involves looking back and looking within. Looking back and acknowledging what happened and how it affected you. It involves looking within to those parts of you that were not allowed to BE who you were and building a nurturing relationship with those split of parts.

Molodi, You and I are a living proof that it is possible to heal from trauma. It is possible to feel peace, joy and happiness. It is possible to love and be loved. It is possible to overcome the effects of trauma and be an agent of healing and change in the world.

I am so grateful our paths crossed. Thank you again for sharing your story here. I look forward to learning more about you. Wishing you many blessings and peace,

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

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Heather Scriven March 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

I love the article you wrote it is very true and powerful. It is so important that we all discover what our inner child and to love that part of us unconditionally and to give that child a voice. By doing this you will understand the triggers and start to be able to regonize when you are wearing your masks. We all have them, and wear them for protection. We have to understand when we are triggered and how to stay within our true authentic self. I have been doing work with my inner child and it is very powerful and so healing . It sure makes you understand yourself better and how to stay within you own body. It sure helps you be empowered by giving that child a voice it deserves! I agree it is a ongoing process in ones life but awareness is the key to healing. When we fight it it just goes underground and attacks us at the most uncomfortable moments. Thank you for sharing your insight that we can relate to it gives reassurance that we all do have challenges and with support we can get through these times in ones life. Learning and supporting each others growth is so important in this process. Much gratitude to you both for sharing…

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Neseret March 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hi Heather,

You’re absolutely right that many of us develop a “mask” for protection. It is because we grew up around people and society that didn’t give us permission to be ourselves. From a very young age many people are forced to conform, to obey the rules, to be a certain way and to be anybody but yourself.

It is a very sad and painful experience. So in order to fit in and to please our parents, peers, society and everyone else we develop a false self/the mask. Many people by the time they are an adult don’t really know who they are. They’ve lost touch with who they truly are long time ago.

When you don’t know who you really are and when you can’t be your true self life is very frustrating, boring and painful. So we struggle. This is where the journey of healing begins. Each of us naturally have a desire to reconnect to our true selves. The journey of healing is doing the work necessary to connect with our lost true self.

The work of inner child healing is nuturing that part of you that hasn’t been allowed to be. I agree with you doing inner child healing work is powerful and healing. It is one of the most important work any of us can do for ourselves. Our happiness and peace of mind depend on it.

I thank you for sharing your experience here. Keep shinning your bright light. Wishing you many blessings and peace,

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

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marquis June 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

I agree about society being dishonest and emotionally dysfunctional. In this country, we have buried so many issues over 40 years, it is not even funny yet we can’t understand why xyz is such a problem!

I heard about the inner child and my therapist talked to me about it last year (I was 26 last year). I just…don’t….feel comfortable with it. My therapist asked me why am I not comfortable with it? I told her because I still feel like I need that set of parents to “parent” me because other people I knew had parents who gave them guidance on making better choices while I always made poor choices.

I told her (therapist) why do I have to “parent” my inner child? I said one time, I tried telling myself that I’d do better and it worked for a very short while and reverted back (this was a long long time ago). My therapist told me I need to let go of trying to find a set of parents trying to parent me and parent myself. I told her sadly well, what do I tell myself? I have never been the kind of person who says ok, I am gonna do this and roll with it as I always flip flop in everything I do – a bad trait from my parents.

With parenting the inner child, I have so much self-doubt about myself. For example, applying to jobs to different fields and not sure if I can do the job without looking like a fool and rebuilding the simple life skills we all need. I told her I’d feel stupid “speaking to my inner child.”

“It is a very sad and painful experience. So in order to fit in and to please our parents, peers, society and everyone else we develop a false self/the mask. Many people by the time they are an adult don’t really know who they are. They’ve lost touch with who they truly are long time ago.” IDK, maybe I could get a better example/insight on inner child….

I agree, been doing that for a long time always putting on a mask for people because I don’t want them to be “embarrassed” of me.

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marquis June 25, 2013 at 5:50 am

I just realized about the inner voice that had me thinking: within my own voice, I hear myself and my mother arguing or just me arguing with myself. Usually, when things happen, I start arguing silently and gesturing my motions about the incident and saying this is not fair, you (parents) should have been there, done this, etc.

It’s like I tend to have these conversations within myself about these issues. Now, I am understanding what people mean by the voices in my head. I’ve even gotten so angry with myself and my mom’s voice that I was in rage and took me forever to calm down….

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grenville Norville March 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

Neseret,I have never had this kind of exposure before,but as I read what you said about pushing our buttons,& the inner child, I realize that I am not alone.the experiences I am reading about, are so helpfull . I feel so relieved that after all this
time ,I can now identify (WOW) this is more than I bargain for .I really hope some
day soon, I will be able to speak to you via the phone,as I said before I am from
Barbados in the carribbean.I thank the LORD I saw your Blog.bye
Grenville.

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