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.