Usually, it is our inner child who is the love addict. As a child I used to chase my father around like a puppy dog and try to cheer hin up because I felt sorry for him. He used to shoo me away. As an adult I used to feel sorry for guys, fall in love with them, and try to make them happy. Like my father they were unavailable and the goal of my inner child was to get them to change their minds and love me.
Today, I have three children within. . .
Susie is four and very wounded. She cries a lot. She is the addict.
Gretchen is twelve and rages at people who criticize her. She is the avoidant.
Star was born in therapy. She is happy and was my inspiration for this board. Below is her picture.
Remember: Love your inner child but don't give her the keys to the car.
Last Edit: May 26, 2008 16:05:52 GMT -8 by Susan P.
I havent really identified my inner child.All I know is that I have SPLIT PERSONALITIES.I range form quiet to ubeat and happy to just feeling like crying sometimes,does that mean I have 3 different innerchildren for every emotion>Should I address my inner children as seperate people and treat them as if I would a normal seperate child?
You want to be careful with the word "separate" because the child is part of you. Ego states are like moods. They come and go. As for inner child "work," yes you can imagine them as little people. You are personifying the child ego state so you can communicate. In your meditation the child stands next to you and is the age your were when she was created. The child lives in the amygdala part of your brain and your amydgala will tell you how old she is. You find her through meditation and imagination. Everyone's experience will be different but it will tell you more about your childhood and any trauma you suffered. Talking to her is just another from of self-talk or self-soothing which love addicts need to learn. We are self-alienated and object orienatead (we ignore our own intuition and cling to others.) Inner child work also enhances your self esteem.
I have just started doing inner child work and finding it very emotional. My vulnerable inner child appeared with matted hair, filthy, with sores all over her body and a dirty nappy. She has been very neglected by me. I am really tring to listen to her now and to give her love and attention. For most of my adult life I have been very emotional and highly sensitive and I think it was her trying to get my attention. I am listening now.
Post by isobel47reilly on May 30, 2008 0:22:24 GMT -8
While in the mist of my addictive behavior to my P.O.A my drawings were filled with images of my inner child entwined in a playfull dance with my P.O.As inner child and his shadow(his alcohol addiction). As my drawings progressed they told the story of his shadow growing so huge that he and his shadow had to escape from my house leaving me alone with my mother who was asleep. I became so frightened of being alone that I screamed so loud she woke up and comforted me. The time of day was allways in the night. Quotes from the bible inspired these drawings. I am intriqued that my drawings have followed the abandoned child theroy and yet I had no knowledge of this until I stumbled onto this website. It was as if a higher power was telling me something all along. Now that I have accepted my addiction and in recovery (although early days yet) I am now looking after myself as a mother does with a child ie early to bed , eating properly, kind hugs and soothing words. My mother is waking up.
I've met my inner child. It just hurt to bad to contact her at this stage in my life. I would like to get to the point where it wouldn't be so painful to communicate with her. I think the communication would be key to my healing.
Taken it second by second, minute by minute, day by day!
Hi IVe been doing inner child therapy and wonder if Im doing it properly.I see myself at points in my childhood when I felt most abandoned and I just feel so sorry for this little little child that had to go through all those things alone.It breaks my heart that this littel girl had no one and I just cry.I cry as if my heart is going to break.It is so painful looking at her,she is so so sad adn withdrawn and she feels so unloved.I just keep telling her that Im so sorry that she had to go through all of those things.Thats all i can say for now.
I cant tell you how much Im learning from doing inner child work.Im starting to recall situations,that were seemingly simple,but stirred hurful feelings within me.Im starting to remember things people said and did and it hurts.
Im so proud of this little girl within me.She had to endure the most horrific things.Im also so sad for her,that she never had the life she deserved from the beginning.
She took alot of strain and i see her laying on the bed after one incident and she was unable to express what hurt her and she couldnt talk to anyone.NO one understood her.It is painful what this helpless child(me),went through.
Post by fluffybunny on Sept 10, 2008 21:22:16 GMT -8
I thought I had a pretty good bond with my inner child but I've realized that I really only feel connected to her when she's happy and energetic. When she's sad and vulnerable I ignore her. I don't think I really love her yet. My therapist told me to buy a doll. It's hard for me to direct love to a child (I don't have children BTW), but I can direct it toward animals.
Post by asianaries on Oct 11, 2008 20:59:37 GMT -8
Hmm...what can I say about my inner child. Well, shes' pretty sneaky and bad...but in a very subtle & quiet way. She keeps to herself most of the time because she doesn't know what love is or how it feels like. She plays by herself & watch a lot of tv just to form her own social life in her mind. She's very imaginative but can be too much of a dreamer for what most people can handle at times.
My inner child name is Sandy. Sandy wants love and affection from her parents. She wants her mom to kiss her and hug her. She wants her mom to ask her how her day was & make her feel important. She wants her mom to read to her and make her feel comfortable. She wants her mom to be like all the other mom's that she had witnessed at school.
Sandy is jealous, she's jealous of the affection that she had observe between her peers and their families. She craves that same type of intimacy that she never had... and had always wonder why she didn't have it? She wants comfort, support, & affection.
God is holding onto her rite now. God is protecting her and giving her unconditional love. God is trying to reach out to her and comfort her. Sandy will just take whatever affection that she can take...and will just keep taking & taking! She feels the wholeness that is being restored & the love. She appreciates the love, tears are drimming down her little chic, because for the first time in her life....she actually felt the love, the comfort, and the support.
asianaries: WOW reading this made me really sad.You are so hard on your inner child.She needs you gentle love and affection and reassurance.I used to constanly point out how bad mine was.But they are just kids and need so much guidance.
Sandy sounds like a pretty normal child who was deprived of love and affection.My little girl acts outs alot but I keep her in check and wont allow her to do things that will further hurt her.
Sandy needs you,you are all she has right now..and GOD.Love her,you deserve it.Be kind to yourself.
Last Edit: Oct 23, 2008 13:54:58 GMT -8 by Susan P.
Post by Victorious on Mar 13, 2009 19:22:52 GMT -8
Many years ago a therapist helped me do inner child work. That was when I met my 5 year old twins, Jack and Jill. Jack was brave, bold, strong, fearless, unemotional, protective and condescending of Jill. Jill was fearful, timid, withdrawn, intuitive, empathetic, emotional, and loving.
I worked with Jill to help her see how powerful she was. She didn't value her gifts so she didn't use or develop them. Because she didn't value herself she submitted to Jack all the time. The more I told her how special she was, the more confident she became. Now Jack respects her and values her.
Recently I became aware of my 12 year old named, alison (Alley). She's really angry that I won't let her contact her POA. She's the one that made me dream that I went to see him.
She told me that no matter what I do, she will not give him up. He was the only one that let her be imperfect.
Lulu is 3. She used to be detached from everyone and very lonely. Now she likes to dance around in pretty dresses to show everyone how cute she is.
"Trust ourselves and we will know whom to trust. Trust ourselves and we will know what to do. When we feel we absolutely cannot trust ourselves, trust that God will guide us into truth." Melody Beattie
I've done some inner child work in hypnotherapy many years ago. I remember an inner child a lot like willows. She's like a feral sewage dweller. Smelly, filthy, scrawny, starving, quiet and doesn't feel like she belongs out in public. "you can take the girl out of the gutter but you can't take the gutter out of the girl." Oh my gosh, some things are starting to make sense. I've always rooted for the underdog. Huge theme of trying to help others see their best, be happy, etc. Time to rescue that little girl from the sewer, clean her up, feed her, and take her out and treat her like a princess. (She is more than reluctant. It's so foreign she's more comfortable and at home starving in the filthy, smelly, sewer.) I guess I'll have to recruit some help in helping her. I'm so grateful I found this site.
We have more than one inner child. Sillyme: Your "wounded" child sounds very sad. I want to cry.
Try to find your free and happy inner child. I could not find mine so in my therapist's office I gave birth to Star. We play and do fun things together. She is my recovery child. Kind of like a love child from the 60's.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2009 19:26:06 GMT -8 by Susan P.
Susan, on may 26th you started a thread about the inner child. you talked about your own inner child and gretchen a twelve year old. i too have an inner child about four or five. i don't know yet if she is the addict or not. what i do know is that i also have an adolescent inner child. she can be very childish when not getting her own way or losing at things. she's a very poor loser at games for example. wants to quit when she's not doing well and throw things.
but a troubling aspect of the adolescent who i think is about fourteen or fifteen, that surfaced strongly today is her neediness. i never realized before how terribly needy she is. desperately so. she is the one that doesn't want to let go of the person who was abusing me. it doesn't matter to her what he does, how often he does it. she thinks she will die without him. something happened today to trigger her neediness and i was able to reflect back on the relationship i had and see some of her role in it. i can remember a time during a fight when we were breaking up. she panicked, was crying and wouldn't let him leave. when he insisted she followed him. well i followed him. but i was acting out of that time in adolescence. is there anything you can tell me to do that will help her to grow up?
From Susan . . . I recently read Susan Anderson's book about abandonment. I now realize that Susie, the 4-year old, is my "wounded inner child" and Gretchen, who is twelve, is the "outer child." She is a gatekeeper to protect Susie. She is angry and sensitive to perceived rejection whether it exists or not. I no longer call her my angry inner child. Here is the link to an article.
Is there anything you can tell me to do that will help her to grow up?
The inner child and inner adolescent do not grow up. They remain eternally who they are. The trick is to develop your "adult" ego state and let him or her be in charge. Put another way you learn to use the thinking part of your brain (neo-cortex) and override the inner child/adolescent (amygdala). It is an ongoing struggle to stay in charge of the child within. The book that helped me most was Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
I am making progress but I still have my moments. Today someone rejected me and I walked out rather than verbally abusing her. Gretchen, who hates rejection, went home with me and we made a list of all my friends who love me. She settled down and I got through this with my self-respect intact.
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2009 12:42:18 GMT -8 by Susan P.
Post by gretchen7883 on Jul 1, 2009 20:34:42 GMT -8
I think I have met my inner child. I have not yet read any books on this topic yet, I've only used techniques shared here to find her.
I was laying in bed the other night crying my eyes out because I felt lonely (my 2-year-old son is gone for two weeks visiting his dad). I have not been without him for this long. Also, childhood memories of 'nothing I do is ever good enough', getting hit for it, not being believed by my mother when I told her of my being molested by her husband, and overall failure came whooshing before my very eyes in a mad rush. Anyway, I thought this emotional moment might be a good time to try to find and communicate with my inner child.
After letting go of myself for a few minutes with my eyes closed, she appeared. She was 3-years-old and was wearing the flower girl dress I wore to my father's second marriage. At first she just looked at me, looking a little nervous and shy. Then I reached out to her and she immediately outstretched her arms to me and began crying as she ran to me. I knelt down and reached out to her and she plunged into my arms and burried her face in my neck, sobbing and clinging tightly. I immediately began sobbing with her as I thought how neither of my parents ever held me in such a comforting way. I tried to calm myself down so I could calmly assure this little girl that I was here for her and that I loved her and that I was never going to leave her. But I just couldn't. I just held her tightly and and continued crying and sobbing with her until I apparently fell asleep. The next thing I remembered was waking up the next morning.
Did I really meet my inner child? It was so sad. Even now as I visualize the look on her face, the desperation and need for comfort, it brings tears to my eyes. Where do I go from here? I know I have a couple more inner children to meet, I can almost see them in my mind's eye, each a different age with a different attitude and emotion. But for now, I can't stop thinking about this needy, abandoned little girl. How do I overcome my adult sadness when I am with her so I can begin to reparent her and be there for her the way my parents never were?
When I try to connect with my inner child I see four children...one is still a baby in her baby bed, another is about 5 she won't come close I can't really see her well. Another around 12 she is the one rejected and unloved. She stems from my mother believing me about the abuse but not leaving my father...she is angry so very angry. The other is about 17 and she acts out, she is the persona that talks on line and acts out sexually....she does all the things I wouldn't let her do when I was her age. I haven't really talked to any of them yet. I am scared especially of the feelings of the 3 younger children. Rachelle, the 17 year old refuses to talk to me....she just gives me her seductive little laugh and smiles....as if to laugh at me in my attempt to get well...she knows if I get well she won't be allowed to act out anymore...
Okay reading what I just wrote makes me feel absolutely crazy!
I met my first inner child. She is about 4 or 5 years old. She is very happy and full of energy, but is a little scared about how angry her father gets. I play with her in her room and ask her lots of questions. We play all day and at night I tuck her in and read a story. I tell her how much fun I had with her and what a wonderful little girl she is. She doesn't say anything, she is a little embarrassed, but then she just goes to sleep.
I met my second inner child yesterday. She was about 12 or 13. She was sitting at school all by herself sad and despondent. I sat down next to her and told her that she was beautiful and to have confidence. I then helped her think of witty retorts to make when people made fun of her.
I see my inner child as the 3 year old. She has blond curly hair and always wears this red dress with white trimmings on it that her mother made for her. (She is the one that emerges when pain comes forth and I follow the trail back to her.) She does not know how to play, and watches TV alot, yet finds comfort in her pet cats. She watches the adults in her life constantly. She loves her father, and has committed to take care of him because he is an alcoholic, and needs her. Mother is always angry and passive agressive, so it is up to 3 year old to take care of Daddy. To get HER needs taken care of she screams, has tantrums, gets sick, and also, be the 'good girl', eats all the food on her plate. She feels confused, chaotic, hurt, angry, lonely, sad, and very tired.
There is also the teenager...she plays the guitar, smokes cigarettes and silently sulks...she is smart, and knows it. When 3 year old is happy, my inner teenager likes to play guitar, and paint. She is talented, and this gets her the attention she craves. She is tough, one of the boys. She hates anything to do with parents, rules, authority; is rebelious, and never conforms.
Then there is the young maiden. She is starry eyes, and dreamy...life is unicorns and rainbows. A perpetual romantic, she is waiting for prince charming to come rescue her and carry her away to eternal bliss and happiness. She doesn't want to be responsible, self sufficient, or a realist. She is crushed when her ercieved prince can not take care of her.
This is my inner family, my inner council, my inner children. Behind the older ones is the 3 year old. If she is happy, then the others usually are as well. As I work with her, the others are helped as well.
This week, in a meditation, the memory of the moment my 3 year old realized that her father loved his alcohol more then her. I became frozen with greif and fear. I was a child, how can I accept his addiction at that age, take responsibility for myself at age 3?
Right after that, I made the decision to do whatever I could to make him love me, and that involved 'taking care of him', being his friend, sticking up for him when mother was being difficult, drinking with him, (yes, as a child), and sexual acomadations. Yes, this bought me crumbs of his love, sometimes. I was jealous of my sister and mother if they got his attention. They threatened my source of love and attention, as meager as it was, it was better then nothing. Sad, and sick, but true.
So, I have been feeling these feelings for a few days. Actully tip toeing around them, feeling them in small doses, so I won't be overwhelmed.It is a mixture of anger.."ok, this is sick, I am not going to take care of you any more..." says 3 year old to father. To, ok, now what do I do? Accepting that he really doesn't love me is the start, but still allowing the feelings of saddnes and greif to be felt.
I am going to work with higher power on this. The truth is that I am lovable, cherished and appreciated. I want to show 3 year old that she doesn't have to be an adult, that she can learn to play, be light and have fun. Not sure where to start. She always did love coloring books, and singing songs, maybe I'll start there.
I can see that maybe my teenager wants to be part of a loving supportive, healthy family. She is talented and bright, but isn't sure how to express this, and not sabatoge herself, by following rules, and having boundaries. She will not give her power away.
I can envision my inner maiden becoming a strong and resourceful woman, able to make her way in the world, taking responsibility for herself and her own happiness. She will find other responsible people to be friends with. She is an equal to men and others, with a compassionate heart, and wants to help oters find their way, too.
Thanks for listening. It is amazing to see how these experiences in life led to my addicitions. This poor starving part of me had no other choice.
I hope thes children will tell me what they need, and I will trust HP to help me give it to them.
Post by 8888airplane on Mar 10, 2010 6:40:55 GMT -8
My Inner Child isn't just one place in time within me; it's all thoughout my young life. Once when I was 3 years old, my Mother left my Father to watch me, he forgot and I took off on my tricycle, I remember being lost, not knowing how to find my way home. Later over 1 mile from my home and after my Mother & Father called the police, I was returned home, that was in 1954. I have huge abandonment issues in my life which I still deal with even at age 58 though it's not nearly has bad now as in my past.
My father use to put me on top of the icebox and stand away and laugh while I was screaming, from the top it looked like if I fell off I would die, like looking down a sheer cliff to the bottom; I was 4 years old, to this day I remember every detail of the kitchen.
Your Inner Child is not just 1 age, it's all of those times when you were frighten in life or perhaps when someone died and no one was there for you. I have 4 or 5 inner childs in me from times when something happened to me and I was left to fend for myself.
At age 14, my grandfather died, all I was told was that he died, my mother and father never spoke to me or explained about life and what happens when you die.
So, everyone's Inner Child has a place, a date, something that caused huge feelings of hurt which instead of your family taking you aside and holding you, talking to you; instead you had to figure it out and for me it was just stuff it down. Only now at age 58 I am learning to go back and take care of the little boy in me which makes it so hard for the Adult in me to live a good life.
My little boy gets to go out and play with everyone else now. Learn to own your shame and adbandonment in life but don't let it own you. Let God into your life and remember that everyone is speical.
Post by foreverkaysa on Apr 9, 2010 23:41:31 GMT -8
I came across this post randomly, but reading everyone's responses has been very touching.
I have an inner child named Kaysa. I met her about 17 months ago. When I first met Kaysa, she was a very sad, lonely, hurt, and angry little girl. She seems to be age 5, but at times acts as young as 2 or 3. She likes to suck her thumb or a binky when she is feeling sad or hurt. She is a very shy little girl who has problems making attachments and tries to be invisible to everyone except the one she sees as her Mommy. When it comes to her Mommy, she tries to soak up as much love and affection as possible because in her first childhood not only was she denied that, but if she attempted to show affection, she was hit and worse, so she learned to always keep to herself. The more her Mommy now gives her hugs and kisses and cuddles, the stronger and happier Kaysa becomes. She is a very intense child, when she hurts or gets angered, it goes very deep, but at the same time, when she feels loved and happy, then she is safe and content. A couple of times I have tried to convince her to go back into the dark place because it becomes so hard to keep up with her because she is just soo intense with her feelings that it physically drains me sometimes. However she is a stubborn little girl and she continues coming back for the love and affection and safety that she has learned exists and she doesn't want to lose that. I am very thankful she gets the affection now that she so desired during her first childhood but was denied and abused over. I now rarely see that sad, lonely, hurt look in her eyes when I look at her, and that makes it easier to spend time with her when she does come out to play.
I think, when I get home tonight, I will play with both my real little boy (aged 2), and my inner child (I see him aged about 3). Include him in games and cuddles, read him a bed-time story along with my real little boy, and kiss him goodnight as well.
Just writing this is making me feel like crying, and I haven’t cried in years. Eek!