Inner Child work is without a doubt some of the most difficult work we can do in our healing journey. It’s traumatizing, frustrating, exhausting, and often confusing. It’s something I know I have struggled with and resisted even going near, let alone diving into.
I’ve written before about casting blame on my inner child, punishing him for all of the abuse I endured between 5-10 years old. I even blame him for the bullying that happened from late elementary school into middle school.
I say”blame” vs “blamed” because there are still times when I harbor some resentment towards that little guy inside me. Always a work in progress.
Herein comes the thought process for this post.
Months ago I was asked if there was ever a time that I could foresee myself not blaming my inner child for every bad thing that happened to me then, and now. I immediately responded with a resounding, forceful, “No”.
I had no intentions of ever letting that little dude off the hook. After all I spent decades completely ignoring him because I didn’t even know I had an inner child.
Then I spent the last 2 years working with professionals, giving him every ounce of blame I could muster. After all, I had finally come to a place where I was admitting that I was abused and since he was there and didn’t run away, or didn’t stop it, then he must be to blame.
Fast Forward to the recent present, and things have begun to change just a bit.
I admitted out loud, unknowingly at the time, that I was accepting of the fact that I could see where my inner child is innocent and had no way of stopping the abuse and stopping the bullying.
It’s interesting how it came about too; because had the question been proposed as “Are you OK with not blaming your inner child and knowing that he is and was innocent?” It’s likely that I would have answered in the same way that I did before.
Rather though, it was put as “is it OK to realize that your inner child was blameless and innocent during the trauma, because he was robbed of his innocence?”
After thinking it over a minute, I said…”Yes, I could see that and accept that. I can see where if a young kid was robbed of something, he can’t be hold accountable for it”.
I didn’t even realize what I said until it was pointed out to me, and I had to fight off the urge to take it back for just a minute.
So yeah, my inner child…your inner child, was robbed of something they deserved to keep for as long as they needed too. Their innocence. Their ability to trust. To have someone to run too and reassure them that things were going to be OK and it wasn’t their fault. To have a rescuer.
Looking back now, from where I was to this point, that’s a pretty damn big deal! I’m saying those words out loud as I type them to reinforce the positive work that is going on by putting in the effort to heal and understand my inner child.
I’ve never had a problem when speaking to others; reassuring them that their inner child was not at fault. That they should love that little boy or girl and let them off the hook for the trauma they endured.
There’s been a mental block with applying that to my inner child, but finally gaining some ground in figuring out has been very encouraging.
I treat(ed) my inner child the way that I learned how to be treated in my early years.
By that I mean that I rarely had my friends or family come to my rescue, to tell me that something wasn’t my fault and to let me off the hook.
When I was being bullied, the usual answers were:
- Just toughen up, get a thicker skin
- Kids are kids, you just have to deal with it.
- Don’t cry in front of the teachers and other kids, you’ll just make things worse.
- You shouldn’t have brought that stuffed animal to school in the first place, I told you something might happen.
- Just try to avoid those mean kids.
The list goes on but that’s some of the highlights. So by casting so much blame on my inner child, I’m relaying to him what I learned at a young age. I’m treating him the way that I was treated. Invalidated the way that I was invalidated.
That’s a pretty deep realization there. If we did not have the support of family being present both physically and emotionally for us in our early years, it’s only natural to pass on that learned behavior to our inner child.
Our subconscious mind believes what we were told and what we lived through, and therefore we pass that along to our inner child. It’s essentially that our inner child is still living in our subconscious, and keeps reliving all that trauma over and over again.
Once we realize that, then we can ask ourselves: “would I ever treat my own kids like that?”
The answer is of course, No. We don’t want anything bad to happen to our kids and we want to protect them at all costs. We want to come their rescue, to validate their concerns, to be a safety net for them whenever they need it.
If you don’t have children, think of it in terms of other family members, a pet, close friends, anyone that you care about deeply and would do anything to protect.
So if our own kids now get that benefit, shouldn’t our inner child get it too?
It’s not easy, not by a long shot. None of this healing stuff is ever easy. I’ll close out with this old saying from back in the day… “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle”
Just another step in the right direction of healing…dare I say this might be a leap!
Feature image courtesy of Pixabay. Meme’s courtesy of Pinterest.