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March 14, 2021

Healing Childhood Trauma: 11 Steps using Imagery & the Ideal Parent.

I don’t want to feel this way.

If there’s anything in my life that I wish could be different, it’s this feeling.

It’s a hole with no end.

I somehow manage to fall into it a few times a week.

I never know what day I’ll fall in, what time, or how long I’ll be in it.

When it appears though, it grabs ahold of my feet and yanks me in.

I don’t know what this hole is exactly. 

Some call it emptiness.

Some call it a void.

I call it the bottomless pit.

Someone once asked me if I looked for pain so I’d have something to write about.

I had no response, just more tears.

I honestly would much rather write cookie recipes on here or articles on the 10 best sex positions, but I can’t because I can’t get out of the hole.

Being in the hole is not a choice.

It’s not something I can just snap out of.

I’ve tried upbeat music.

I’ve tried the yummy latte and the massage.

I’ve tried the self-care thing.

The hole still comes back.

People with this hole don’t want to be in it.

They’d much rather be laughing and dancing.

Trust me, I would.

This hole, though, is large.

I feel myself touching the edges of it before the numbness goes down my arms and up my neck before taking ahold of my voice.

I become a little girl.

She’s five, maybe six or seven.

Her name is Rebe, and she is searching everywhere for her mom.

She can’t find her, and no matter what I do for this little girl inside me, she will not smile.

She will not eat.

She will instead lay there, either lifeless or sobbing uncontrollably.

I share my experience for anyone who can relate—anyone with a mother wound or other attachment trauma.

I know it hurts.

I know it’s not just in your mind. You feel it throughout your entire body.

I know you have likely been dismissed by some in the mental health field.

I want you to know, though, that you’re not crazy.

This pain is real, and nothing I have ever experienced has hurt this much. 

I don’t have all the answers, but I want to share with you an idea my new trauma therapist told me about.

1. Either close your eyes or draw out the childhood home of your dreams. What does it look like? Is there a toy room? Kitchen? Soft blankets? Mugs and hot cocoa? Is Matilda playing in the background?

2. Create an imaginary parent (I picked Michelle Obama. It can be a person, an animal, or even a tree. It just can’t be someone you know. Real people are complicated.) What do they look like? What do they smell like? How does their voice sound?

3. Pick an activity you would like to do (I picked reading in a huge library I created).

4. Ask your parent to join you, and snuggle up close.

5. Pretend to hold the hand of your parent and let them rub your back or rub their hand through your hair gently. 

6. Let your parent know you’re tired and have them tuck you in.

7. See if your parent will sing you a lullaby.

8. Listen to the melody of their voice.

9. Feel their heartbeat.

10. Breathe in and out in sync with their breath.

11. Snuggle in close until you drift off to sleep.

If you have this attachment wound, you are likely often blended with a younger version of yourself who shows up frequently during moments of your day that aren’t ideal.

What I recommend is attempting to make sure this part of you, as if they are your own child, feels secure and safe with the ideal parent you have created.

I have found that by having this child inside me spend time with Michelle Obama reading books, shopping, doing homework, and baking cookies, the adult version of myself is able to stay more present in the now.

This is a big wound, and one exercise is likely not to heal it, but this could possibly help.

For more on the ideal parent protocol, please read here.

*This article is dedicated to a therapist who my younger selves are loving to work with.

~

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