The Inner Children

Okay, so I don’t know anything about inner child work. I hear about it constantly. But from what little I understand, there’s more than just “the inner child” but it’s actually inner children, aka different versions of yourself from your development that had different needs.

I’m very excited to understand this more because right now, when people say “nurture your inner child” I’m like… what the fuck does that even mean? How? I can’t hug an invisible 5 year old. And even if I could, what good would that do? Re-parent myself? What in the actual hell does that even really actually mean? It sounds like gibberish to me. I understand that it’s not, but I don’t get it… yet.

I definitely understand a few of my inner children though. Like, there’s 6-8 year old me who is just super lonely and scared and confused and just so, so extremely sad. And there’s 15 year old me who is just furious and destructive and wants to hurt everything including herself because she’s in so much pain and feels so helpless. Then there’s early 20’s me who just wanted to do her own thing but was always being pulled in a different direction and persuaded to do things she didn’t want to do.

That being said… I made a diary entry in the middle of the night last night where I allowed myself to express some really ugly, angry, judgmental thoughts. I was scared to write it, and I actually even edited some of the ugliest parts out.

I am not an ugly person. I’m extremely empathetic–to a fault. So when I have really angry, nasty thoughts like that, I get angry at myself. I beat myself up. I feel disgusting.

I watched a YouTube video about recovering from narcissistic parental abuse that encouraged me to journal and explore the side of myself that believes the horrible things that I was taught to think about myself. At first I was like, hell no that sounds fucking horrible. The lady in the video said almost exactly that, but she said the reason I still have thoughts like that is because there’s an inner child that wants to be heard, so you should let that child speak so she can go away.

I did not do that exactly, but it did inspire me to allow myself to write the diary entry I’m describing.

The point of all this is that I felt really bad for about a day, but now I feel so much better than I did before. I feel so relieved, and I also feel confident that I don’t actually, truly feel that way in my heart. That’s why it’s so awful when thoughts like that come into my head, because my soul is like… What is this?? Stop it! But they don’t stop. Even worse, when I try to push them away and condemn myself, my anger just comes out in different ways.

So the point of this post is… I think those thoughts belong to my 15 year old inner child.

It’s hard to describe how I felt when I was 15 except for rage. That’s the age I realized really how horrific my mother’s actions were. That’s when I started to realize that every excuse she gave me for her neglect and abuse was a scam, because when all those things went away, then all of a sudden there was a whole slew of new excuses. My whole life up until that point my mother had blamed my father for her behavior. The neglect was so severe, sometimes she wouldn’t come out of her room for entire days. We ate Kraft mac and cheese for dinner out of the pot every night for dinner if we were lucky. As a little girl, it wasn’t uncommon for me to go to school with greasy hair, dirt under my fingernails, underwear that I’d worn for two weeks straight.

Even though we were taken away when I was 11, when I came back things didn’t get better. She just got better at hiding it. She got better at teaching us how to act and what to say.

And she blamed all this on dad. “Your father makes me drink,” she would say through sobs. Your father makes me drink.

Your father this, your father that. It got to the point that in my 8th grade year, I was literally begging my own mother to leave my father. But when she finally did, things didn’t get better. They got worse. Much, much worse.

So, as a young teenager I realized all at once that not only was my mom full of shit, but now my Dad–my best friend–was gone, too. And I never got any sleep. When dad was gone, Mom cried all night long. All. Night. Long. And when Dad came to stay for a few weeks, they would argue all night long. All. Night. Long.

I was angry. I was sooo, so angry. I can feel it now. It feels like a hot coal in my stomach and climbs up through my face and then my limbs, and my chest gets tight.

Realizing the person I loved and trusted the most was a fraud made my entire reality collapse. I was filled with rage and judgement.

And I just fucking hated everything. Everything and everyone.

So that’s where I think a lot of those feelings were coming from. I know they’ll come again. When they do, I’m going to let them out here, where it’s safe.

The doctor on YouTube said 15 year old me is crying out to be heard, so I’m going to let her speak.

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February 20, 2023

Writing has been so therapeutic for me. When I was little I wrote all the shit down. Then when I hit my 20s I was in denial anything was wrong with my parents. In my 30s I adhered to the “stick to the positives” mentality. Keep a Gratitude journal they said. I know theres a place for that but there is something very powerful about cleansing yourself of the thoughts in your head by getting them out on paper. Now in my late 30s, I’ve been writing and writing any memory that hurts, any mean word she ever said to me, all the crap my dad ignored. Once it’s out and there in black and white it’s real. She can’t gaslight what I’ve written in my journal and there it is. Stark. Truth. Validation.

I have a favorite I watch on YouTube as well. Dr. Ramani. It’s helped me make a lot of sense out of my family structure and why me and my siblings are the way we are. Who do you watch?

Trust the process. Go easy on yourself. You are safe to write anything you need to get out even if it’s for your eyes only. Validate the child in you that needs to let out the steam. <3

February 25, 2023

@celestialflutter Lol stop being mad at yourself for writing long-ish stuff! First of all, its not even that long, and second of all, relating our situations does not mean you’re “talking about yourself”. I know the fear of that though! God I know, because there’s nothing worse than trying to open up to your Mom and here she comes with a Me me me attack. That’s not what you’re doing OKAY thank you! I am always so excited to see what you have to say.

But, all of that yes yes yes! I also wrote all the shit down when I was a child. And I was also in denial in my 20s. I thought I could fix it. I really thought that my mom was the ultimate victim and no one had ever offered her a helping hand, and that hand had to be mine. I actually had a vision of a hand reaching through water to a person drowning. That’s the image that was stuck in my brain in my 20s regarding my mother.

Dr Ramani is good! I like her bluntness. I really do. Sometimes she’s a little intense 😅 but that’s not a bad thing. I have several I watch now that help tremendously, including a woman from Ireland who’s my favorite.. I’ll find her and send it to you.


February 20, 2023

Goshdarnit, I thought I was doing good at keeping it short.

February 21, 2023

The simplest way I can put this is “Love Her”. Clearly your inner child was not loved, she was not heard, she was not taken care of. I have a photo of my younger self tapped to my bathroom mirror. Whenever I get critical of myself, or mean, I look at her and I realize that i’m talking to her to. So I change the way I speak to myself now. I love me the best I can. I give her what she needs. Love, Hugs (yea sometimes I give myself a hug), time to relax, time to be angry and then remaining myself and her that it’s okay to express emotions even if they are negative. Just love her, the best you can.

February 21, 2023

Oh also- anger, happiness, sadness, grief, they’re all emotions but they are also driven by energy being stored up in our bodies. Our body can carry emotional pain for decades if it’s not released. There’s this grounding technique that I learned when you feel a release coming, if you’re able to go outside do. Sit on the grass or ground just sit on the earth, put your palms down on the grass and as you’re releasing the emotion picture it flowing out of you. Wherever you feel it, say its in your chest, give it a color or, decided wether its like a stream of water or a cloud of smoke, whatever it is to you. Picture that flowing from your chest, to your stomach, down your legs, out your palms into the earth. And let that shit out don’t hold back. You will feel so much lighter I swear

February 27, 2023

@thegirlwiththemessyhair Thank you so much for the helpful advice! That all makes so much sense. I have a photo of myself on the fridge as a baby and I never think nice things about it! Isn’t that awful! Dang, that really says a lot… I’ve been wanting to take it down actually, but I’m going to take your advice and practice being nice to it. Also twice over the last few months I’ve gone outside to the tree in our backyard and just let myself full ugly cry while I sit on the grass just bc I didn’t know what else to do haha. And you’re not lying, I always feel so, so, so much better.

February 27, 2023

@ohmylanta sending you love <3

February 23, 2023

I admire your desire to heal yourself,  even if you feel like you don’t know.  That is an amazing gift to give yourself…. and you deserve it.  All parts of you.  This you.  Younger you.  Future you.

I struggle with a lot of what you’re talking about,  myself.  If I wouldn’t say it to my daughter,  I try not to say it to myself.  Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but I at least try to be aware.

The other thing that has saved me is writing here or in paper journals…. and just getting raw like I couldn’t be as a child.

Sending you so much support and wishes for healing!

February 23, 2023

Oops, typo… meant to say:  I admire your desire to heal yourself,  even if you feel like you don’t know how.

February 27, 2023

@thecriticsdarling The part about what you wouldn’t say to your daughter blew my mind. What great advice. Thank you for the kind words!