The Wounds Of The Inner Child Can Effect Our Lives
Children come into this world filled with joy, spontaneity, creativity, playfulness and love. They, and their inner child, are free of constraints and experience the world with an innocent sense of curiosity and wonder. As they grow older, their parents, siblings, elders, peers, and life events slowly influence them. Expectations and increased responsibilities begin to restrict the free flowing creativeness of the child. These situations, depending on the cause or the outcome, can be experienced as trauma in the young person’s mind.
Everyone encounters some degree of trauma growing up. A favorite toy is mistakenly thrown away. A wished for red bicycle is not received at Christmas. A close friend moves away. Simple circumstances like these can create wounds in the young child’s psyche. These unintentional yet perceived upsets can be lessened or resolved if the traumatized child is offered care, nurturing and support. This helps to reduce the potential damage these situations can cause. If a parent is not there to support the emotional needs of their child, the child is forced to deal with the hurtful circumstance alone. This scenario can cause wounds that do not heal.
Inner Child Wounds Often Develop Early In Life
Children who live in homes where they experience neglect, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, the trauma can be can be amplified. For these children, hurtful scenarios, instead of being a one off thing, are something they encounter repeatedly. These experiences can create deep wounds within the child. Moments of unresolved distress can lead to serious, long termed effects that can plague them well into adulthood.
Parental abandonment, rejection or strait on abuse often leaves a child believing that they are only lovable if they are doing what is desired of them. These children quickly discover that life is easier if they hide their emotions. They learn early on how to push down their feelings of anger or sadness. They may endeavor to forget their inner pain in order to survive. They shut down, stifle or even kill their authentic selves. They do this to avoid being hurt, abandoned or rejected as they portray to the world that they are strong and unaffected.
These wounds deepen throughout childhood and can continue to intensify well into his or her pubescent years. Negative encounters can cause the child to make choices and internalized decisions of how they should be in order to be seen as being normal by their peers.
The Inner World Of The Wounded Child
The early life choices a child makes form scripts which the child internalizes about how their life should be. Scripts are like little computer programs that subtly direct how a person acts and interacts with others. These scripts eventually create barriers that block individuals from accessing their true inner nature, all in an effort to protect them from being hurt. Sadly, these same walls can trap the growing child inside a self-imposed prison, inhibiting their ability to experience their true needs, their true wants and their true desires. They can become disconnected from themselves and all that they encounter.
Triggers And The Inner Child
We can all act childish every now and then especially when we our world is challenged. While we may appear to be adults on the outside, when situations occur, that trigger one of our scripts, our wounded “inner child”, can appear and take over the show. It is an indicator that our fight, flight or freeze stress responses is active. We are not reacting to what happened to us as an adult, but are responding to the situation from an injured place within ourselves, from a place of trauma. This unconscious part of ourselves can at times covertly control our demeanor. In some situations this part of ourselves can unknowingly run our lives.
A temper tantrum, incessant worry or feeling panicky are a few indications that our wounded inner child has been activated and is now calling the shots. We might struggle with feelings of anger, hopelessness, worthlessness, sadness, loneliness or unexplained fear.
Other Indicators Of A Wounded Inner Child
Other indicators that may suggest we have a wounded inner child include being a people-pleaser, clinging to a relationship, even if they are toxic, or having a hard time trusting and committing ourselves to others. We might feel that there is something inherently wrong with us. We might constantly criticize ourselves or are unforgiving of who we are and the things we do – a perfectionist. We might also find that we have difficulty letting go of things, especially negative emotional experiences.
As an adult, we may think that we have outgrown our childhood trauma. Our hurt feelings and repressed emotions, however, do not go away. They, instead, fester inside us, hiding in the shadows of our psyche waiting to reemerge. These unhealthy scripts, especially in someone who has experienced a high degree of trauma, can lead to ongoing cycles of destructive and self-sabotaging behaviors which can underscore many emotional, behavioral and relationship issues.
Healing Our Inner Child
The therapeutic concept that there is a part in each of us that houses both the positive and negative aspects of our authentic, childlike demeanor, was first posited by Carl Jung. This aspect of our being, in therapeutic circles, is referred to as the inner child, the child within, the wounded child or the child archetype. This unconscious part of ourselves is formed by our environment, the people and situations we have experienced.
We have all encountered this child. It makes itself known through our anger, fears, frustrations, procrastination, anxiety or exhaustion. It is made up of our unconscious memories, thoughts, beliefs, feelings and wounds. When we find ourselves skipping down the street when we feel happy or conversely reacting negatively when someone tells us “No”, each reflect our accessing this inner child.
When a child experiences hurtful situations, unless addressed at the time, the trauma is stored in their bodies. When a similar situation presents itself, instead of reacting to it from the adult self, it is the wounded traumatized child who steps in and tries to navigate the situation in order to minimize potential pain. He or she does this because their need for love, understanding and compassion were not met when they were children. Addressing the unmet needs of the inner child and healing these deep inner wounds, anyone can begin to experience a happier, healthier and more authentic life.
The Dysfunctional Dance Of The Empath And Narcissist may also provide you with some additional insights into the role of trauma in your life and ways to heal it.
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About Dr. Rita Louise
A gifted and talented clairvoyant medical intuitive, Dr. Rita Louise helps people identify the root causes of their concerns. She is a naturopathic physician and the founder of the Institute Of Applied Energetics that trains students in the art of medical intuition, intuitive counseling, and energy medicine. She has authored six books and produced several feature-length and short films. Dr. Louise has appeared on radio, television and in movies. She lectures on health and healing, ghosts, intuition, ancient mysteries and the paranormal. Her books and articles have worldwide circulation.