I don't think I quite understand the concept of the inner child. I mean, I do, but it's quite abstract. How do I identify my inner child? How is it that I can heal the inner child within me? I have spoken of the pain from my childhood for as long as I can remember. I haven't kept it secret, I don't think, from anyone. Including my father, to a certain degree. Can someone outline a step by step technique?
Last Edit: Aug 19, 2008 13:05:58 GMT -8 by Susannah
I'm sure you will get a much better explanation, but I notice my inner child when I catch myself reacting to something in a childish way, then I know my inner child is in control, not my healthy adult. Through therapy i am working on getting more in touch and reparenting myself. I was neglected emotionally as a child, so this is a big job for me:)
Close your eyes and imagine what you looked like as a child. Pretend that this child still exists. Talk to this child and nurture her as if she were your daughter. Play with this child. Set limits with this child.
The inner child is a personification of your childhood. Some people had a happy childhood and when they resurrect an image of themselves as a child they find a happy girl or boy. Most love addicts find their inner child in pain and in need of soothing. They find their inner child neglected and in need of attention. They find their inner child willful and in need of discipline.
The link on transactional analysis explains the origins of the inner child concept. The point of getting in touch with your inner child by imagining yourself as a child is to give yourself now what you did not get as a child. Your parents neglected you but now you can take care of that child who got neglected.
Why is this necessary? We never really outgrow our childhood. Our childhood stays fresh in our memories in the part of the brain called the amygdala. Since this child ego state never goes away, we might as well deal with it. Have you ever tried ignoring a child who is trying to get our attention? They never give up. So turn and love your inner child. Play with your inner child. Control your inner child.
It is our inner child who gets infatuated with the wrong people. She or he must be taught better taste. You, the adult, must choose your partner.
Let me know if you have any questions. There are a lot of books about the inner child. My favorite is Your Inner Child of the Past by Hugh Missildine.
Thanks Susan. I guess I'll be reading some more! Ya know, when I think of my childhood, as in the formative years, I do remember happy times. My life didn't take a turn until around 7 or 8. That's when the "benign neglect" started. Come to think of it so did the "stomach aches" and the panic attacks. The skin problems came at around 9 or 10. The headaches didn't start until about 14. Benign neglect is a term my father coined (how clever). He was a hippie and wanted his children to grow up as individuals. Figuring things out on our own...like cooking, cleaning, homework, faith and spirituality, sex, death, drug abuse, alcoholism and most importantly...how to care for a 2 year old sister when there are no adults around! Yes, I learned a lot in my young life. I learned that my mother was emotionally absent and my father was an alcoholic and drug addict. I learned that it's scary to be alone in an old house with only you and your little baby sister. My inner child is wounded I'm sure. I just have to figure out how to talk to her and let her know it's ok.
There are so many things about behavior and personalities to learn. I've never knew of the inner child. Coming to this site, with all the differenct topics, you wonder - where have I been. I'm not normal because I can relate to so many topics.
I can't remember most of my early childhood. I think I've blocked out that part of my life and picked back up in 6th grade. I've often wonder about me as a child so much so that I've contacted older family members just to try and get to know me. How do you connect to a part of your life that seemed to disappear. All I can remember is I was a child who always wanted to please my father and get his approval - even up to his death. How do I get to know me as a child if I don't remember?
Thank You Susan for your description of the Inner Child. I have done a lot of work in recovery. Playing with dolls and all kinds of toys. My first sponsor and I tried to learn how to play jacks with her son, that was a good laugh! There are some thing this old lady just can't get! I talk to myself with love instead of violence and no yelling and screaming. I love going to all the kids movies, etc.