Is Your Inner Child Ruining Your Relationship?

Is Your Inner Child Ruining Your Relationship?  Your Inner Child is your original true self and all of us have one residing within our adult selves.  Despite our chronological age the inner child sometimes causes us to revert to a younger developmental level of (emotional maturity) in order to manage life situations.  The inner child often carries and conceals negative childhood experiences, and our adult selves, regardless of how emotionally developed we think we are, frequently need help addressing and resolving childhood traumas.

Photo courtesy of RWA Consulting & Contract Theory
What is the Inner Child?
The Inner Child is who we are from age 0 – 17 years old but still exists within us.  It is the part of us that suffered trauma and abuse and was wounded in childhood.  In order to survive, we adapted by:
  • Suppressing our emotions because we were not allowed to express them.  It wasn’t safe;
  • Being overly critical of ourselves and constantly feeling the need to prove our worth;
  • Seeking ways to escape, such as losing ourselves in imagination and fantasy;
  • Disconnecting from our thoughts, feelings, memories, and sense of identity;
  • “Numbing out” by reading or watching television and through other unhealthy forms of coping (substance abuse, sex, etc.); and
  • Rebelling in order to be seen and heard, and to create and be part of a safe community of like-minded individuals outside our home environment.

In childhood, this younger part of us often loses the ability to be his or her true self.  This forces the child to meet their basic physical and emotional needs on their own, and robs them of the precious opportunity to just be a child. The traumas and abuses we experience at a young age within our Family of Origin and the wounds they leave can keep us from behaving like adults during emotionally charged life events.  The younger parts of ourselves take over and try to resolve adult issues through the lens of a wounded child.

When you act in a way that is self-sabotaging or detrimental, it’s helpful to ask yourself, “How old am I feeling right now?” If the answer is that you are feeling emotionally younger than your age, then you may be on the path toward identifying the unmet need (or needs) you are attempting to meet with your current behavior.  The unmet childhood and adult needs are often similar, if not identical.
As a Marriage Counselor, I often discuss with my clients that we are truly products of our upbringing.  Learning to heal our inner child enables us to identify and enact appropriate coping behaviors at the adult level. Choosing to become psychological  and not just chronological adults enables you to manage feelings of anxiety, insecurity, loneliness, inferiority, or lost. Which negatively affect our relationships.
For more information on healing your inner child please call me at (858) 735-1139.

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