I run my life from my Inner Child..not good ..so although I love him so much he is out there 'with the keys to the car'-so I get very hurt from normal everyday life criticisms and am emotionally so sensitive and inappropriately project merged ego boundaries onto others(fantasy).
How have others set Inner Child limits and grown up to run their life from their Adult ?
Yes, mac6, it is exactly the work I'm doing right now -- I'm doing intense therapy weekly and reading Homecoming by John Bradshaw, which deals directly with inner-child issues. Slowly, slowly, I'm growing up....
Post by freetolive on Mar 30, 2012 13:48:12 GMT -8
My inner child seems to be very playful, childish sort of. Lazy or rebellious. Sort of angry and quick to suck his thumb if he doesn't get what he wants. He seems to be very fearful and is somewhat reserved when in crowds of people. Especially if there are people there that intimidate him. He seems selfish. He likes to be around people, but he also likes his alone time. He LOVES MUSIC. He loves nature and all it's beauty. It amazes him how the clouds form so many countless different images. He thinks his creator is one swell cat.
But he also has compassion for folks pain, as he knows what that feels like. He seems to have a loving nature to him at times. Cut's up and laughs. He seems to pull for the underdog and is very opinionated against those that seem to have it going on. I guess he is envious.
To sum him up, he is a great child. He just has some pain that still needs healing. Some discipline to learn, but he is going to be ok. I love him and God does too.
Life is short. Enjoy the ride with love as your guide~I said that.
mac6 -- I am reading John Bradshaw's book "Homecoming" and my therapist is well versed in addiction and inner-child issues. She's supporting my inner-child work, which right now is self-directed and I'm getting my cues and practice from Bradshaw's book. He takes a person through all the stages of childhood and facilitates self-awareness, healing the inner child and the 'growing up' process through very practical exercises. It is a very effective, yet gentle, approach. I share my work with my therapist and she keeps me accountable.
It has been absolutely KEY to my recovery. If you do the work -- you WILL move forward and begin to heal.
For me, I am an adult in many areas of my life -- I have two wonderful children, raised them responsibly with my spouse, have always been gainfully and happily employed, pay my bills, have great family, wonderful friends, very social, have an overall well-rounded life -- except in one area....
I am a severe case of arrested development in the area of 'love' -- because of past abuse, I never learned what it felt like to have a mature, evolving love relationship with a man. How I have remained married 26 years is beyond me (except that I have a overwhelming sense of responsibility that includes taking care of people).
I also want to move forward as an adult. But I have to get beyond my 15-year-old mindset when it comes to the opposite sex. I MUST do the inner-child (or, for me, teen) work that my parents didn't do or I will remain as an obsessive, confused 15 year old when it comes to eros-love.
Last Edit: Apr 3, 2012 9:01:43 GMT -8 by havefaith
I have several inner children and oddly enough I can name them after my siblings and my parents.
First there is Roy who is a hard worker and who works hard at getting what he wants. He is a sexual deviant who manipulates weaker minds. He is charming and charismatic. He prays on the weak and rewards their cooperation with conditional love and gifts. He is a predator. His needs are above the needs of others but he hides that well. He has an addictive personality and denies that his addictions effect any one else in any way.
There is Peggy who is loving but likes to keep people at a distance. She herself is a wounded child. She is afraid to let people in. She also uses sex to manipulate and her vanity helps her to mask her feelings of self doubt. She never really feels loved and has problems expressing her true emotions to others. She feels safer in a fantasy world and escapes reality through the men she gets attached to. She puts these men above everyone else including her children and only sees her value through their eyes. She could be so much more than she is but the threat of abandonment and fear of failure have consumed her life.
There is Michael who never takes stuff from anyone. He will smile and talk to you calmly as he steals your most prized possession right under your nose. He is selfish and makes no excuses for it. He will break your nose if you disrespect him. He is the oldest and therefore in his mind the wisest. He rarely ever feels guilt over the things he does and sees crying as a sign of weakness. It's best for everyone involved to keep Michael underwraps and locked in a cage until the stuff really hits the fan. If you bring him out you better be ready for chaos.
There is DeWayne who is fun, totally shuns responsibility, just wants to seek the next adventure and lives in the moment. He believes that being grown up is for suckers. He often runs away, is always seeking mischief, and loves attention. He thinks the world owes him something and he has plans to collect!
There is Sharon who is the victim, she has been violated in ways that no one should ever be violated and uses that for justification in violating others. She is a chronic liar and distorts things in her head to the extent that she begins to believe them. She often has to create a fantasy world in order to escape the reality around her. She cant seem to let go of childhood memories, especially the bad ones.
There is Karen who is just so sweet. She is a peacekeeper. She never starts an argument and never yells. She is the people pleaser. She will do anything in her power to please the people who come into her life normally forsaking her own well being and desires. If there is a problem... she can't see it or will deny it while she brings you another piece of apple pie with cool whip on top.
There is Darlene who is intelligent, level headed and a go getter. She wants answers and she wants them now.. even if it means digging you out of your grave for a family meeting. She is not in denial about how messed up things were in childhood.. but she will not let it stop her from being happy and being positive. She is a POWERHOUSE and even Michael will bow down to her in a fight. She is the voice of REASON. She will step in at a moments notice during a crisis and rescue you from a burning building. If she had fears she keeps them well hidden and she doesn't show it. If I could become her 97% of the time... I would be so HAPPY.
Post by FlowersForever on Dec 10, 2013 21:09:59 GMT -8
My inner child is Taylor and she is 5. She loves animals and likes to swing (the playground kind). She loves to color and do all sorts of crafts. She loves to sing loudly in the car even though we have a terrible voice. She loves the bath and the pool. She longs to be noticed and feel loved, wanted and beautiful. She loves affection. She has big eyes and she is often looking with wonder and curiosity at the world around her. I love her very much and want to be around her. I think about her nearly every day. When I stopped solely responding to her when she was sad or upset, but proactively sought her out to check in on her and give her love, our relationship blossomed considerably. I was afraid to do this initially, as I thought I'd always find her sad, but that was not the case at all. When she is hurt, disappointed, or shamed by our POA, it is devastating. Now that i (my adult/thinker/observer) know my role is to love, validate and protect her, it makes choices about maintaining NC with my POA a bit easier. I cannot allow Taylor to be harmed. I cannot allow unhealthy men to have access to her, she is far too trusting, far too fragile. She is my delicate little flower.
My survivor is 13, going on 40. She is incredible, I am so proud of her. She is resilient, persistent, inventive, and alluring. She knows how to get what she wants and is aggressive but dignified. She rarely fails to attain what she sets her mind to. She masquerades as an adult so effectively, my adult is sometimes challenged to discern who is in control. She has done an unbelievable job of getting us to where we are today. Unfortunately, it was accomplished from behind a mask, leaving us hollow, and I am ready to live an authentic life. Also, she is a terrible judge of character in men. She also is very short sided, and is willing to suffer devastating emotional consequences for a few hours of romantic bliss, mainly because she is sure it won't be so bad next time. "We can handle it." She loves Taylor and wants her to be happy and feel good, but she cannot foresee the ramifications of her unhealthy choices. She thinks she is in control. This is what she says: "if we do the same thing over and over, and keep getting the same result... well let's try again and maybe we will get a different result, mostly because we want a different result so badly." Finally, she has a dark side that is very conniving, secretive, and downright scary at times. She has plotted some very unkind vengeance in her mind; thank goodness that it where it has stayed.
Thank you for asking this question. Of all the work I have done in recovery, the inner child work has given me the most insight on why I have done what I have done lo these many years, and more importantly, how I can choose differently/better going forward. Learning about my inner child has enabled me to stop thoughts like "what is wrong with me?" and "there is something broken inside me".
Post by caringcara on Feb 17, 2014 13:36:07 GMT -8
I'm very new at this and they are just now emerging, I'll call her Cara. Although, most of you have younger children, mine is a teenager. This is the most traumatic time I can remember. Cara is confused, desperate for love, and anxious. She doesn't even know what she's missing or what she needs, but she knows she's hurt and scared. She is addicted to her friends, and addicted to a boy at all times. She feels rejected, unloved, naive and ugly. She desperately wants love from anyone other than her parents, They never gave it to her so she feels angry with them, and the thought of finally getting love from them is VERY awkward and uncomfortable. I am trying to tell her that she is beautiful and has so much potential. She doesn't know how to receive it yet though. She's interested though!
The other child I see is not that much younger but she is about 11 years old. She is still young enough to be receptive to the affection I want to show her, not quite a hardened teenager yet. She is less depressed than Cara is so I feel like I can work with her a little.
I can't relate to any younger versions of myself yet. I think the reason is because I was not abused, but neglected and it was all I ever knew. I did not realize there was anything missing. I suffered a lot of anxiety even as a kid, but I didn't know why. I'm going to keep trying to seek out a younger child though.
My inner child is 4 and she is just beautiful. She loves to sing, dance spend lots of time in nature. She particularly loves flowers and loves to write stories. She is extremely imaginative and creative. She trusts everyone and just wants to love everyone. She is fragile and delicate as a flower. She loves people and just wants to love everyone and be love herself. She always wants to loved and comforted when this world gets a tad too scary. The first time I saw her was through a meditation retreat to heal my heart.She was wearing a white dress and had long dark curly hair. She was by a lake and was surrounded by mountains. She also had a kitten by her side which turned out to be my cat who sleeps with me at night . She was playing with the kitten running and skipping everywhere. She saw me and approached me. She asked me why it took me so long to meet her. She missed me.I cried and told her that I was sorry. She also asked me about my ex-POA and why he had to leave, that she enjoyed being friends with him. I explained to her that he wanted to leave and that it was time for him to go as his role in my life was over. She was the reason why I had to meet him.We hugged and she consoled me. I cried throughout the meditation, in fact I am tearing as I am writing this.I promised her and myself that I would never abandon her and that would protect her and make life only pleasant and beautiful for her.
My other inner child is whom I call as my inner teen. She is 15. She is strong, dynamic and just has this presence about her. She is also hot-tempered, incredibly angry at times. She is focused on fighting and asserting herself and her independence. She is fiercely protective of her individuality and is not afraid to tell it as it is whether it hurts others or not. But she has a vulnerable side which she is ashamed of as she sees it as a weakness. She wants to be accepted by her peers. She feels lonely and that she does not fit in anywhere in her peer group. She wants to dance to her own tune yet be accepted amongst her peers as well. Recently, for the past week or so, her presence in my life has been intensifying. Her anger gets triggered whenever she feels that she has been disrespected or dismissed as unimportant. She does have diva tendencies at times. She loves to wear bright clothing and is not ashamed of her sexuality. She is sensual and is mature beyond her years. She is not afraid to use her sensuality to control and seduce men whom she thinks as weak. This is not because of what she really makes of them but rather a defence mechanism as she views them as a threat to her independence and freedom.She is eloquent and is a dynamic speaker. She is into the performing arts and sports. I have been having trouble in connecting with her as she wants to be in the driver's seat. So this week is challenging as I am trying to reconnect with her and to heal with her especially at that time period of my life, where social acceptance and bonding was part of the development process. It was stunted due to an over controlling mother and this inner teen got angry as she could not assert her individuality and independence. This child needs the most healing. I believe that she is the love avoidant in relationships due to fear of losing her independence through intimacy. So I am working towards healing this inner child by doing the things that interest her, namely sports and getting back into expressing my individuality through fashion. I feel energised whenever we work together on our likes and strengths.
My inner child had a lot of struggles and self-esteem issues. She had a loving family, that was a bit dysfunctional at times, but the love was always there. She had a good work ethic and cared about doing well in school and doing well in everything. But she wore really thick glasses due to vision problems she had since birth, was always feeling more overweight than other girls, had uncontrollable frizzy naturally curly hair and a poor sense of style.
She was friendly and always had friends, but she also had resentment towards popular girls or girls who were pretty. She got picked on a lot, and this made her shy and an outcast in some ways. She had a nurturing home life, but her dad was really bad alcoholic and sometimes things would be tense. Her mom and dad would be fighting over his drinking and the drinking would make his moods unpredictable and sometimes he would argue or "over-discipline" her compared to her brother. Her brother stayed out of everyone's business, either kept to himself or play with the neighbor children, and kept his room clean.
Even though he never did as well in school as her and was not as ambitious or motivated to be involved or try new things, it seemed he also never had any disciplinary struggles with the parents. Her parents were hard on her about school but not on her brother, which always seemed odd. Her mom also never taught her any domestic skills. She wanted to learn how to cook when she was young, but her mom only ever allowed her to make sloppy Joe's once. She grew up with bad motor skills due to the vision issues, and lack of domestic skills as well. But her parents had her play softball to work on coordination. She was literally kicked out of dance classes and gymnastics classes, so they decided to try sports.
She did OK in softball and pushed herself to get better and better until she got to pitch, which is all she wanted to do. She was always a dreamer, and even wrote stories and invented characters a lot. She fantasized about falling in love from an early age, but was too shy to admit any crushes on boys or pursue boys at all. Due to her self-esteem issues, she assumed no one would ever want to go out with her and that "going out" was for the popular, pretty peers only. She hung out with more nerdy people and other outcastish people but she took her friendships very seriously and made them her priority and could always have a best friend. She was happy when her social life was going well and saw having close friends as a way of survival and also a way of happiness. She has always been very emotional and will cry when she has a bad day or her feelings are hurt.
She's also always been very hard on herself. As a teenager, she became more rebellious, friendships and social events became more important than academics, even though she was a B-average student who still cared about grades. She worked really hard on improving her looks and became a bit vain. She got contacts, and even learned to really use the vision she was given to the point where she felt fine to not even wear glasses or contacts. She grew out her hair and would learn to do cute things with it. She started wearing make-up and would wear it every day. She also got better taste in clothes. She continued to struggle with her weight but would skip meals and work out and yo-yo diet to lose weight.
She started getting male attention around Junior year of high school. Boys started to notice her and ask her out, and she loved the attention because she had never had it before. She went out with several boys her junior year and really fell for someone who would later on cheat on her and really hurt her. She also met someone the very end of senior year that she started an adult relationship with and moved in with. She kept her dreaming, ambitious side though and even though she went to community college, she excelled in it by becoming editor of the college paper and getting straight A's her first couple semesters.
Any drama with her boyfriend though and she would put her attention towards that over school and her own achievements. She did leave her boyfriend though to go away to college and when she realized he was never going to get his nuts together, go to school or even permanently move to be with her, she lost interest and fell for someone who she thought was equally, if not more so, ambitious in his own way.... This person made her feel beautiful, smart and fun. Weird, because now he makes her feel ugly, dumb and embarrassing....
From Staff . . . we have divided your post into smaller paragraph to make it easier to read. Thanks.
Usually, it is our inner child who is the love addict....
Remember: Love your inner child but don't give her the keys to the car.
Oh my goodness! I love this thread. I love this picture @susanpeabody of one of your inner children. Has anything changed since this post? Have any of them grown up? Or changed their names/roles? Im so fascinated by this. I met several inner children in my own journey in the last 2 years. I now only have one. And occasionally I think there is a still a protector child that shows up.
But wow! I thought I was the only one who believed in this stuff. I don't share it often with many people! That's for sure. That's why it's kind of exciting to read about it here. Thank you for your vulnerability.
Has anything changed since this post? Have any of them grown up? Or changed their names/roles? I'm so fascinated by this.
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.
I also read recently (somewhere) something that I came to believe just before publishing my book Addiction to Love. The inner and outer children do not grow up. They are eternal despite what John Bradshaw says. They will always be children with their feelings and wounds. Your adult ego state (see transactional analysis) must keep them in check. I like it when my children are sleeping. When they wake up I love them but guide and restrain them at the same time. Quite a challenge.
Post by purplegrunge on Jul 17, 2016 1:11:13 GMT -8
My inner children are very weird.
I have three of them.
First one is a 6 year old happy go lucky girl. She is playful and fun and loves to paint and dance and sing and play. She is lovable. She thinks nothing is wrong in this world and everyone is her friend and no one could ever leave her because she is so awesome.
Second is a 16 year old boy ( mind you, I am a girl). He likes to date pretty girls and !@#$% them and make them moan his name. He does respect girls and saves them from guys who try to take advantage of them. But he is really good in bed and girls die to be with him. He is a charmer, football player, playboy. But later on when he finds his love of his life he changes and takes care of her protects her and spends a fulfilling life. (this occurs in a loop)
Third, is a depressed, lonely girl of 18 who is afraid to be on her own. She can't even cross the road on her own. She needs someone to save her. She can't even speak for herself. She needs help. She was born when she came to know that her happy childhood was just a screen. In reality her family is not at all perfect. Her mom dad don't live together anymore. She goes to college and everything is new and she doesn't have anybody.
I am 22 now. And all three of them surface from time to time. Mostly I am happy go lucky. But if I see a pretty face (boy) I want to hook up. I fantasize almost everyday about pretty girls even though I like boys in reality. And sometimes I become really depressed but my 6 year old self saves me every time...
Post by ithoughtilovedhim on Oct 20, 2018 10:17:24 GMT -8
I have an inner child who’s 8 years old. I call her either “Little Mary” or my pet name my daddy gave me at the time “Blue eyes”. She was very much afraid of her father when he was angry, but he was very handsome. My uncle was handsome as well. I had a crush on boys as school as well. I felt so unwanted by everyone at that age.