I learned that the ‘inner child’ is a psychological reality and a very strong one. I’m not convinced but I’m open to the idea.
Most mental disorders and destructive behavior patterns are, as Freud first intimated, more or less related to this unconscious part of ourselves, the inner child. We were all once children, and still have that child dwelling within us. But most adults are quite unaware of this. And this lack of conscious relatedness to our own inner child is precisely where so many behavioral, emotional and relationship difficulties stem from.
To become an adult we need to acknowledge, accept and take responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. That is also the only thing that resonated with me from the Terrible Therapist. But to begin with I find it hard to find my Little One, she is mostly neglected, sitting in a corner with her head covered. She is denied many things, she is been critiqued for every detail and she is mostly afraid and just sad. What to do with a child like that? She wants to play all the time and eat pancakes every day.
To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child–representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, joy, sensitivity and playfulness–must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers. “Grown-ups” are convinced they have successfully outgrown and left this child–and its emotional baggage–long behind . But this is far from the truth as I came to discover the hard way. I really thought that I somehow was going to outgrown all the trauma and losses just by stepping over them. Like when you’re depressed, you just need to cheer up right? Wrong.
In fact, these so-called grown-ups or adults are being influenced or covertly controlled by this unconscious inner child. When I wrote about my ability to be endlessly irritated and that the result can be an ‘explosion’ of my emotions, it is the Little One that reacts to the situation. It is a hurt, angry, fearful little girl calling the shots and making adult decisions. Yet this is precisely what’s happening with us all everyday to some degree or another. And then we wonder why our relationships fall apart. Why we feel so anxious. Afraid. Insecure. Inferior. Small. Lost. Lonely.
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