The Inner Child
The inner child is there in all of us. Have you ever found that your head tells you one thing but you can’t seem to stop yourself from doing the opposite? My inner child really showed herself during a recent break up. Despite all of my training in mental health and my skills in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), I was unable to talk myself out of the emotional state I found myself in. I was acting on strange urges that were irrational. I believe this was my inner child acting out.
The recent break up acted as a trigger for an earlier traumatic experience in my childhood. I was literally transported back to that place and I was back there emotionally, reacting as a child of five years old would. I didn’t have the happiest childhood and felt rejected and unloved on a regular basis. I don’t seem myself as a victim and I have worked hard to put my past into perspective. Despite this, emotional trauma can be incredibly powerful.
The inner child is still there – when you feel like a kid among other adults or when you find you are reacting on an emotional level that you cannot reason your way out of, you are probably behaving in accordance with your inner child. The best way to counteract this is to nurture the ‘healthy adult’ within you. Responding in a mature, reasoned way is the goal.
Let the healthy adult nurture to the little kid in you – be kind and compassionate to yourself. Don’t criticise yourself (as your parents might have done) and allow yourself time to heal from past trauma. Counseling can help speed up the process and can help to teach you how to love and respect yourself. Children who grow up with abusive parents never learn how to internalise a healthy adult as they never witnessed it. This ‘reparenting’ then has to take place as an adult in retrospect. Love yourself and spoil the inner child in you. You will feel a happier, more ‘whole’ individual for it.