I have had lots of therapy, many different types, some of which have helped. One that has given me a way of continually healing myself is Inner Child work.
My inner child has her own 'voice' and way of perceiving the world. I think she is my subconscious. I've been neglecting her lately, in the same way that my parents neglected me (us) when I was a baby, and last night for the first time she would not talk to me. She was very, very angry.
In the past she has forgiven me for my neglectfulness but not this time. I think this is a good sign that I am getting in touch with my true feelings about my early childhood neglect. It feels profound.
I have three children within. Susie is about 4 and is wounded. She is frightened of her own shadow and anxious all the time.She clings to me. When it comes to fight or flight she runs.
Gretchen is around 12. She came out when the kids at school teased her. She is angry and disgruntled. When it comes to fight or flight she fights (big time). She is also my gatekeeper. She keeps bad people away from me although sometimes she goes overboard.
Butterflygirl was born in therapy a few years ago. She is happy, playful, confident and loving.
I talk to all three of my girls. Sometimes Gretchen refuses to talk to me because she is sulking.
I met Susie in 1983. My AA sponsor suggested I like in bed with the drapes closed and meditate. I closed my eyes and found myself in a park looking over at a child kicking the dirt. I motioned for her to come over. She looked away. I kept calling to her and finally she walked over to me with her head down. I put my arm around her and she burst out in tears. I put her on my lap and comforted her until she stopped crying.
My favorite conversation with Susie was in recovery while dating. She said to me, "Mommy I don't want to go on this date, I am afraid." I said, "Why?" She said, "I don't want this man to hurt us like all the others." I said, "I will protect you. I will walk away if he is a bad man." She said to me, "You always say that." My own inner child busted me.
Here is my inner child poem.
The Eternal Child Within
You came to me one day, Mysterious and old. We spoke of your childhood – Of the wind that blew cold Across your path In the winter of despair; When you felt so alone As if God wasn't there.
Then we played together In the dim candlelight. You were so happy, All aglow with delight, To have found your way home To the one you adored. Shown the way, of course, By our savior the Lord.
Now, my dear child, My tender soul, You bring me such joy. With you I am whole. For I am nothing Without all my parts; Without the sweet voice Of my child's tender heart.
Last Edit: Feb 1, 2008 11:43:16 GMT -8 by Susannah
I am trying to remember how I first made contact with my Inner Child. It was a long time ago, back in the late 1980s. I remember doing an Inner Child workshop where I had to write a letter to my parents in my non-dominant hand and I think that is when she came through. I knew I had found her because I could see in writing that what she said was different to what I, the adult, would have said.
She is very independent and is saying now: 'I'm smart'. That's how I was originally, before I was bashed by my father and my real self (inner child) shut down.
How I generally communicate with her now is in a book I have bought specially for her. It has a red cover with white spots and a picture of a smart-looking little girl wearing glasses and a dog with a waggy tail. She is telling me now that she likes it. (She's speaking to me again!) On each page I rule a line down the centre and write 'Big P' on the top of the first column, and Little P on the top of the second. Then I open the dialogue by saying hello to her and asking her how she is feeling. It just goes on from there with me writing down everything that is said in the appropriate column. I usually do this dialogue just after I get into bed at night when it is quiet and peaceful.
I also try to actively nurture her by buying her things I sense she wants. When I was a child, my mother always 'knew best' and would buy me something she wanted, not what I wanted. So now I buy something for Little P that I do not want but that she does, e.g. a plastic story book about a mother cat and her kitten. I have this propped up on a cupboard at the end of my bed where she can see it, among all her soft toys.
I'm so glad I've found her. I just need to be a much better mother. Next week I'm going to start dialoguing with her every night without fail.
Hope this helps, Rainbow Girl.
I think I only have one Inner Child, but I did know a woman who, like Butterflygirl, had more. She actually had 13 (her child abuse had been very severe and she had needed them all to survive). Coincidentally, on one of occasions that I saw her, I was wearing a ring I'd had since my 'hippy' days in the '70s. It was silver with 13 small amethysts in the overall shape of the Star of David. I spontaneously gave it to her and she said she would use it as a constant reminder of her 13 inner children.
I was shocked when I first heard her story and could not imagine how she coped as she could never tell which one was going to come out. I still admire her fortitude and acceptance.
Last Edit: Feb 1, 2008 0:49:59 GMT -8 by fairydust
Are you alll saying that the inner child or children are born at different times in your life or shall we say different stages of trauma and we have to indentify each stage or trauma to pick up each child because i was led to believe there is only the one and when i have tried to talk to him i have only looked for one only inner child
How I see it is that we are born with one, but if the abuse is really bad, this inner child 'splits' into different personalities each with their own specific strengths. In other words, the personality is not integrated. I think it happens when the child is very much on his or her own and has to do 'adult' things in order to survive that a child is not really capable of doing. This 'splitting' is usually associated with a lot of fear. I haven't heard you mention fear, only sadness (grief).
The only time i experience fear is when i am making a business decision and i wonder is it the correct one to make and will i fail or any other serious decision of whether it is the correct one or the wrong one !!!
or i over react that something is not going as i planned it to go !!!!
I think this i think all adds up to a control thing actually because i dont like to fail or get things wrong .....jonny xxx
And i believe its all part of being an obsessive person !!!
Are you all saying that the inner child or children are born at different times in your life or shall we say different stages of trauma and we have to identify each stage or trauma to pick up each child because I was led to believe there is only the one and when i have tried to talk to him i have only looked for one only inner child? jonny
When inner child work first became popular there was one wounded inner child. See Hugh Missildine, Your Inner Child of the Past. But when Bradshaw wrote his book, Homecoming, he suggested that we have a child at each stage of our development. I believe it was infant, toddler, child, adolescent. It's been awhile since I read the book.
I believe the children are born when trauma occurs. Susie was born when I was put in the hospital at the age of 4. Gretchen was born on the playground when I was about 12. She did what Susie couldn't do which was fight back.
There is more than one theory about how the inner child works. The original source is The Games People Play by Eric Berne and I'm OK; You're OK, by his student Richard Harris.
Last Edit: Feb 1, 2008 11:35:07 GMT -8 by Susannah
After I read about there being more than one Inner Child, or age specific 'feeling reality', my adolescent feeling reality popped out! She is deeply depressed, head bowed and turned away from view so I can't see her face. I can't handle dealing with her because she looks so miserable and I'm feeling down already.
My old copy of 'Homecoming' has a different cover and I love the one here. I have already had the idea of doing water colour paintings of figures just like the inner child on this cover. Before I saw this, I bought a piece of agate that had been sawn through the middle to reveal a crystalline shape very much the same. I am so blessed by the one who is guiding me along the right path.
Post by Firststephie on Feb 2, 2008 6:05:29 GMT -8
It's funny that this thread has just been posted because in the past week , I wrote a story about a a young woman and and very young child which of course, represents her own inner child. The young woman who is not really young in years is just young at heart and she tells her inner child that she can take care of herself . She also tells her inner child that she must have fun, play, have a good time and should not worry about the young woman. It was interesting because after I wrote this story, the thread came up on the web site here.