We Are Products Of Our Childhood. We see the world through personal experiences from childhood and behave accordingly. Do you have a difficult time managing your emotions? I have clients who can’t manage their emotions because they don’t know what they are. Instead, they act out through unattractive behavior, which makes them look and feel bad. We all have a narrative we created by what happened and what didn’t happen while growing up. This narrative, I sometimes refer to as the”cartoons” in our minds stir up uncomfortable feelings like anxiety, anger, and fear. These cartoons are made up of what our “inner child” thinks and feels. The inner child is who you are from birth to seventeen years, whose experiences of embarrassment and humiliation get the adult you in trouble. Our inner child still exists within us. Despite our chronological age, the inner child sometimes causes us to revert to a younger emotional age in order to manage life’s stressful situations. In essence, we revert to a lower emotional maturity, which can seriously throw our lives off balance and affect our dearest relationships.
We Are Products Of Our Childhood
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, wounds and abuse. This trauma not only affects your primary relationship, but all your relationships.
Inner child wounds:
- Abandonment – feels left out; fears being left; hates being alone; co-dependent; threatens to leave; normally attracts emotionally unavailable people.
- Neglect – struggles to let things go; has low self-worth; gets angry easily; struggles to say “no”; represses emotions; fears being vulnerable; normally attracts people who don’t appreciate them or make them feel “seen”
- Trust – is afraid to be hurt; doesn’t trust themselves; finds ways to not trust people; feels insecure and needs lots of external validation; doesn’t feel safe; normally attracts people who don’t feel safe
- Guilt – feels “sorry” or “bad”; doesn’t ask for things; uses guilt to manipulate; is afraid to set boundaries; normally attracts people who make them feel guilty
Things Your Inner Child Needs To Hear:
- It’s not your fault when other people are in bad moods
- It’s okay to feel
- You’re a good person and I love you
- You are worth protecting
- You’re not alone; I’m with you
- You are beautiful and loved
- What happened to you was not your fault
What you can do to heal your inner child:
- Acknowledge your inner child
- Listen to what your inner child has to say
- Write a letter
- Give meditation a try
- Learn to do some breath work
- Bring back the fun parts of your childhood
- Talk to a therapist trained to do “inner child” work
When needs for love, recognition, praise, and other types of emotional support go unmet in childhood, the trauma that results can last well into your adult life.
But it’s never too late to heal. By learning to nurture your inner child, you can validate these needs, learn to express emotions in healthy ways, and increase self-compassion and self-love.
For more information please contact me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or (858)735-1139