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April 12, 2020

Reconnecting with our Inner Child After we have Abused it.

I don’t have an inner child. My inner child doesn’t speak to me. What’s the point? 

Are any of these thoughts familiar? For me, it’s every single one. I was introduced to the concept of inner child work at a young age. While it has always resonated with me, it has often felt impossible to keep the connection.

When I was a teenager battling with social anxiety, I was unable to love my inner child. As a university student, I was lost to depression and continued to abuse my inner child. Now, as an adult, I am continuously trying to reach out—but I fear the damage has already been done.

So, what do these experiences tell us?

They tell us that no matter how much we deny the existence of our inner child, it is always there—present, but disconnected from the inner adult. One is always dominating the other. The inner child has always been with us, screaming for attention, but now it is too hurt to let us get close.

However, hope is not lost. It just means we have more work to do—we cannot give up.

Our inner child is there, waiting. We must go within—go deep into stillness, breathe into our core, and open our hearts to hear. The inner child is afraid. It is protecting itself from repeating past rejections, but it still wants to be loved.

We have to show how we have changed. We have to prove that the inner child will no longer be alone, judged, or abused. We have to show that we are committed to loving it.

The inner child simply wants to feel loved, accepted, and cared for. It is not enough to say that we love it—we have to show it through our actions.

This is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. Start small. Show great amounts of care by doing the things the inner child enjoyed—drawing, singing, swimming, or listening to music. Rather than shutting it down, listen and give comfort.

Now, you may ask, what if my inner child doesn’t speak to me?

It’s true that if we have been disconnected from our inner child for a long time it will not be forthcoming. It’s important to accept this and give it time. We must show that we want to be present and don’t expect anything in return.

I noticed improvements when I began writing to my inner child.

At first, there was no response, but I didn’t stop writing. I said I was sorry for what I had done, and that I would be waiting with love and acceptance. Slowly, my inner child started to write back (I would hold the pen in a funny way, so my writing was more childish, which helped me to move between adult and child). This part of me was angry and sad, but my inner adult did not defend itself. Instead, it listened and validated the inner child’s feelings.

This is the part of the process I am at now. I am hopeful for where this will lead.

I learned that our inner child has often experienced rejection, neglect, and criticism. While we cannot change how others treat us, we can change how we treat ourselves.

How often have we let what others say to us become our truth—or let it become something we internalize until we just start telling ourselves that same thing?

How often have we beaten ourselves up, felt guilty, or blamed ourselves when someone has been unkind?

How many times have we thought we deserved the mistreatment?

Our inner child doesn’t need us to prevent this from happening; our inner child needs us to love it when faced with negativity from others. When we can do this, our inner child will start replying.

When we do finally reconnect with our inner child, we should say this:

I am here for you, and I will always love you.

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