Christina, one of my patients, recalls how her mother would leave her working and sleeping with the maids. Away from the rest of her siblings in the house.
“The more I tried to please my mother, the more she’d put me down. All throughout my childhood, I wondered about this: I felt like an ‘insect’ rather than my mother’s child,” laments Christina.
Christina is a 50-year-old adult now. A wife and mother of 3 grown up boys. But she still feels like an “insect.”
Although she looks naturally pretty, she rarely appreciates what people say about her. Mostly she hardly looks people in the eyes.
Somehow, Christina figures that she is that way always. Her life today is safe and comfortable, but it’s barren and emotional destitute.
The “inner child” contains memories, images, and feelings of your childhood. Both conscious and unconscious. What is consciously remembered and what’s repressed or forgotten.
When a child is abused, traumatized, or deprived, the “inner child” splits from consciousness when being abused. But it carries repressed anger, rage, hurt and fear.
As you grew into adulthood, the repression from childhood and “splits” from consciousness remain. Even now, as an adult, you still have inside you the child you once were – your wounded inner child.
Healing the wounded inner child involves telling the story in therapy. Why is telling the story important?
Dr. Charles Whitfield eloquently explains,
“We begin to see the connections between what we are doing and what happened to us when we were little. As we share our story, we begin to break free of being a victim or a martyr, of the repetition compulsion.”