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The inner child and the emotional wounds

The inner child carries the thoughts, attitudes and emotional experiences formed in childhood. 

The Inner Child conditions, with its past baggage, the life choices of the adult.

In other words, our action is influenced by the decisions we made with the logic we had when we were little. Therefore, the wounds we have suffered may have caused us to adopt some protective behaviours, which may cause us to find ourselves acting behaviours that correspond to logical principles of the past, even if the conditions in which we live have changed.

For example, if we have been criticised by our parents, teachers and peers; out of fear, we may have internalised the decision that it is useful not to express our point of view, in order to avoid feeling attacked, devalued or mocked again.

This decision has enabled us to defend ourselves against pain. 

However, when applied in adulthood, it can limit us in today's relationships. This is due to continuing the use of the same patterns of behaviours in our adult life, regardless of the fact, that our environment has now changed. 

Although we have developed new skills, we continue to behave like the ‘Child’ whilst referring to the same beliefs, the same behaviours and feel the same feelings of the past. 

If at an early age, instead, we have experienced abandonment and neglect by significant figures, we can return to deal with sadness and anger when we perceive the risk of being left by a partner. We then may re-experience the same abandonment anxiety, the same sadness and anger, perceived when we were little and put in place behaviours similar to those adopted then. 

The Inner Child carries both positive and negative experiences.

How was your childhood?

It's a fairly simple question, but one to which not everyone can give the same answer. While some had loving, encouraging, present and supportive parents, others felt neglected. Those who had a happy childhood are more capable of connecting to their inner self.

Those who, as children, had an unhappy childhood, have been neglected and have suffered an upset on one or more of the following levels:

  1. Emotional upsets: Is a trauma that involves those who grew up with parents or other significant adults who are disinterested in the emotional needs of their child. They have failed to provide emotional support, protection, along with acting as a guide and role model. They have not paid attention to their child, condemned their emotional expressions and their need to feel loved and accepted.

    The result can be that this child as an adult:
  • Has developed low self-esteem for themselves.
  • Ignored their own emotional needs and demands.
  • Hides or avoids expressing their emotions. They mistakenly think that if they expressed themselves freely they would again be ignored and neglected.
  • Manifests psychological or physical illnesses related to the inability to listen, accept and deal with their emotions in a healthy way (they repress their emotions). They may suffer from eating disorders, anxiety or panic attacks.

2. Psychological upsets: This kind of childhood trauma was experienced by those who had parents who could not listen or welcome and give them importance when they were children. 

The result can be that this child as an adult:

  • Developed low self-esteem. As a child, they were as ridiculed, ignored, punished, rejected and criticised. They were under strong pressure to meet high parental expectations.
  • They have problems dealing with anger either because of the unresolved trauma or they are struggling to love themselves;
  • They have developed an addiction to compensate for insecurity, to calm anxiety and find comfort.
  • They may have trouble creating and maintaining healthy, respectful relationships.

3. Physical upsets: The basic needs that parents must be able to satisfy are primarily those of nourishment - hunger, thirst, physical care - sleep and other physiological needs. Whilst ensuring physical safety, shelter and protection from danger. 

In the absence of these basic aspects intrinsic to an emotional relationship between parent and child, the following problems can develop:

  • Lack of autonomy. 
  • Neglect and difficulty in caring for one's own body and adequately satisfying one's physical and nutritional needs.
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviour with the intention of ensuring a sense of security. 

It is important to remember that while many of the problems that people endure are the result of abandonment suffered in childhood, it must be considered that one is the victim of their parents who are also a victim themselves. As they themselves have been neglected by their own parents.

It is, therefore, a chain of psychological, emotional and/or physical wounds that have been handed down through generations. The real problem is the total lack of awareness from all the generations of parents, about the effects of their actions and the harmful impact that their educational style would have on their children. 

How to heal the inner child

Some parents may not have met the needs of their children; in any case, the person who has become an adult can heal their own wounds by becoming the good and loving parent of themselves. It is possible to re-parent yourself and to develop vital and essential skills such as acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and self-love.

Below are some points that may be useful to reconnect and heal the wounded, frightened inner child. 

Stay open and in touch with the inner child: 

Hesitation and fear slow down the healing process of that vulnerable, child side within you. Think about the child you have been, what you have lived, what you have drawn from your experience, how you learned to act as a result of the experiences in your first years of life. Think about how you felt, what you liked and what you did not like. Recover from your memory a clear picture of the child you were, even look at old photographs. Connect with your inner child, listen to her/him, tell her/him what she/he needs to hear. The inner child wants to be heard and to feel safe, loved and happy.

Encourage your inner child to come out:
Recover hobbies and passions. Along with everything that allows you to recover the playful and joyful aspect that you have put aside or suffocated with maturity. Do what made you feel good back then e.g. blow soap bubbles, swing on the swing, eat candy, play games, do fun things and smile. Allow yourself to do silly, useless and ridiculous things just for pleasure. As adults, we have the absurd belief that in life you should always be serious, rational and behave sensibly and controlled. Adults have a strong propensity for duty and lose the sense of pleasure, freedom and spontaneity typical of children. What ages faster with time is not our body but our mentality. 

Explore the reasons why your inner Child is hurt, scared, angry:
To get to know yourself better find reasons why you act inappropriate behaviour or feel limiting emotions today.

Ask yourself these essential questions to find useful answers: 

What happened during your early childhood or adolescence for which today you feel vulnerable or stuck in living freely and joyfully?

How were you treated by your parents or other adults who contributed to your education? Did they meet your emotional, psychological and physical needs? 

Have you had experiences that have marked you and prevented you from feeling loved, respected and happy? 

Do your current thoughts, feelings, behaviours and beliefs have a connection with what you experienced as a child?

Develop deep love for yourself:
Take on affectionate and protective behaviours towards yourself, to build a good inner parent. This will allow you to consolidate and encourage yourself when you feel troubled, frightened or angry about today's issues that remind you of traumas from the past. Try to look at yourself as a precious, lovable and worthy human being in life. 

Use positive affirmations such as "I honour my inner child. I love myself, I give myself the freedom and act spontaneously because I have the right to be happy.”

Learn to pamper and care for yourself, by taking into account your emotional, psychological and physical needs. 

Love, Carlotta

 

I am Carlotta — an emotional healing practitioner using kinesiology and other healing modalities.

I help release negative emotions and shift emotional wounds.

Because let’s face it: now is the time to break free from the past and trauma to live your best life ever. 

Work with me.

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