Often, I sit and think to myself,
– why can’t I move forward?
– why do I sabotage myself?
– why do I easily feel anxious, depressed and self-critical?

In every one of us, there’s an inner child that was once wounded.

This is my story:

I have an inner child (we all do) and to avoid the pain, I tried to ignore my inner child, but she never goes away. She lives in my unconscious mind and influences how I make choices, respond to challenges, and live my life.

When I was younger, my father emotionally abandoned us due to his affairs. Once (I was about 11), my mum left us to go back to her hometown because she and my father had a huge argument. That was the first time ever in my life that I felt abandoned by my mum. I flew in to meet her the following week, and it was the best feeling ever.

I never felt a strong urge to please my mum, but with my father, I was trying hard to please him. ALL. THE. TIME.

I studied what my father wanted me to, for a while, and when I realised I wasn’t happy, I quit. It was then that we slowly drifted apart.

I panicked. I wanted to reconnect, so I did everything to get my father’s approval. I was so afraid of failing and disappointing my father.

At the age of 13, I realised I was interested in drawing and painting. My brothers who were (still are) creative and artistic thought my stuff were good. I wanted the same validation and recognition from my father, but it didn’t happen. He said I was wasting my time. That was it. Nothing about the artwork I made.

As I grew older, he’d share his business ideas with me (and my brothers), expect me to help him out and I’d try very hard, because I was scared he would no longer love me if I didn’t. So, I was supportive of him, and yet, he wasn’t when it came to me. I became very angry. There are so many things that led to my feeling inadequate when it comes to love, attention, and support from my father.

Through all the things I went through, I knew I had to heal my fearful, wounded inner child to have the courage and strength to continue down the road less travelled.

If you’re like me – feeling lost, lonely, small and afraid of losing love and acceptance, you might also benefit from healing your inner child who once felt not good enough and / or insecure.

Self-care and self-love are important when helping your inner child heal through all the heartbreaks.

Love your inner child. Start with yourself. You don’t need love from anyone else but yourself. Tell her that you love her, and that you’re not going to abandon her. Only then you’re able to move on and love others.

Forgive your inner child. Don’t hold on to shame and regret. It wasn’t your fault. It was never your fault. I was sexually abused as a child by someone outside the family. I always thought it was my fault, that I encouraged him. I didn’t. It wasn’t me. It was him. It was all him.

Hear your inner child. Don’t suppress the voice of your inner child. Let her know you’re listening. That you’re hearing her every cry. Let her know you both will work it through together. And that everything’s going to be alright.

Your inner child didn’t deserve the abuse. Or the lack of love. Lack of attention. In most cases, people who wounded us simply didn’t know better. They were perhaps abandoned, abused, punished by their parents. For so long I thought it was my fault and that I deserved the lack of love and attention. Through therapy, I realised my father may have been mistreated by his parents too and that he loved me the best way he knew how.

Say sorry to your inner child. Growing up, I was always trying hard at everything. Slowing down was a sign of weakness to me. Just a few weeks ago, I was very stressed out because I wasn’t doing enough. I couldn’t enjoy myself. Then, it dawned on me that, as a child, I was always pushing myself to be heard, to be seen. I criticised myself way too much. I wasn’t only stressing myself out, I was stressing my inner child out as well. And felt very bad. So, I told her that I’m sorry. She didn’t deserve to be pushed so hard. And as an adult, I don’t deserve it too.

Thank your inner child. Thank her for never giving up, never abandoning you. Thank her for getting through the tough times in life together with you, with strength and perseverance. Thank your inner child for protecting you, even if her was was holding onto the painful and ugly memories.

– – –

I’m a work-in-progress. I’ve only realised a few months ago that I haven’t been loving myself and my inner child (yeah, I’m late to the party!). And I’ve only, very recently, started saying all the above to my inner child.

I believe that I’m healing (although at times, I don’t really feel like it) and it’s all coming from acknowledging, accepting, and beginning the ongoing process of re-parenting my inner child.

– – –

What would you tell or have you told your inner child? Share with me in the comment section below.

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  1. I would have told told my inner child they did not deserve the abuse, abandonment and isolation. The adults in my inner child’s life were the ones responsible for meeting their needs, well being and keeping them safe, it is not your fault!!

    • That’s great, Hot Mess. Your inner child and you didn’t deserve the abuse, abandonment and isolation. Always remember that. I hope you’ve been well 🙂