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The Inner Child Thread


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#1 tealight rookie

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:19 AM

Hi all,

We have threads elsewhere that deal with how we're feeling day to day, and threads for our general rants and moans. We also have the therapy section, which is great for discussing the dynamics of our therapy and healing processes.

But, as far as I know, we don't have somewhere to come if we want to talk to our inner child. So I thought I'd start a thread for that purpose.

What is your inner child like? Do you have a good relationship with one another? How is she (or he) feeling today? Is there anything you want to say to her (him)?

Use this thread to honour them, and you.

hug.gif Ruthie

#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:25 AM

What a great thread Ruthie.

My inner child often escapes into hiding for fear that i won't listen to her ~ more often that not she is right, i don't want to listen to her, don't want to acknowledge that she is hurting so sometimes she just gives up trying to be heard. You see i push her down to an insignificant corner and try to leave her there.
but she is strong willed, in fact were both strong willed (my inner child and I) and i think that's why we fight a battle, she wants to be heared yet i don't want to listen to her.

so right now my inner child is quietly stirring, churning up all those emotions in me that i long to not feel, i am aware of her, but secretly i am scared of her.
my inner child is silenced by my ignorance and fear - sorry inner child cry.gif

Dawn
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#3 tealight rookie

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:57 AM

I thought, since I started the thread, that I should kick things off.

I call my inner child Little Bee. Her name is organic. It had been growing for some time, but it wasn't until I watched it settle on my arm like the bee she is that I knew why it was so.

We're really only just getting to know one another, and it is a bittersweet process.

Several months ago I had a profound experience at a Tori gig. Tori was singing The Beekeeper, and as she played I started thinking about what that song means. About the idea of losing our mothers, and the extraordinary pain and grief I feel, regularly, at the loss it is to have a living mother who is, really, not a mother to me at all. I started thinking about how as women, we all lose our mothers at some point. And as I sat there I suddenly felt all of this sympathy leave me for all the women in the audience who still had to walk this path. Indeed, I felt sympathy for Tori, too. Then, when I looked back at the stage, although Tori was still playing, it wasn't her that I saw at the piano. It was this small child, no more than 8 or 9, sitting on the piano stool and straining to reach the pedals. And it was incredible. It was both Tori, and me, and every other little girl who needs a mother.

About two weeks later I told Hilary, my therapist, about this experience. She said to me "is there anything you would like to say to her (my as yet unnamed inner child)?" I said to Hilary "I do love her you know", and Hilary replied "well, why don't you tell her?" But I was frozen. I just couldn't find the words. In the end Hilary told me to let her take the lead, saying that children are very good at breaking the ice. So I did...

And it was extraordinary. I was suddenly back in the Apollo, where the Tori gig had been, and I was on the stage with this little girl, sitting at the piano. She said to me "I'd like to play something" and I watched as she played, tears streaming down my face. Then, when she had finished she said "Now I'd like to show you something", and led me from the piano to the back of the stage. She had a game set up, an old game I used to play as a child, and I sat with her and we played. And I cried so hard. Good tears just spilling out all over my cheeks. I was crying so much I couldn't even tell Hilary what was happening...

Little Bee stayed with me for a while after the session. We went and bought some chocolate and sat by the fountain outside the hospital where I have therapy and chatted a little. She was afraid of letting anyone know about our meeting, but I managed to reassure her that there was nothing to be afraid or ashamed of.

Anyway, that was all some months ago, and since then Little Bee had been pretty quiet. Until last week.

During Thursday's therapy session, I suddenly realised that I could see her again. She was standing alone in the middle of a crowded shopping centre, while hundreds and hundreds of adults rushed past her. I told Hilary what I had seen, and she suggested I go to her. But I couldn't move. I got as far as the little pocket of silence among the hoards of frantic adults, but that was it. I knew, somewhere, that all I had to do was reach out and open my arms, or even, move over to Little Bee. But there was a coldness in the moment, and I knew that any movement wouldn't be genuine, that it would be forced. And so, instead, I watched as Little Bee stared, angrily back. It was a hard hard moment.

And it's been hard since. We may have made a start those months ago, but we have so much work to do. I realised last week that I probably have done Little Bee more harm than anyone, and that is a desperately uncomfortable realisation.

So, today, I want to say something to Little Bee:

Dear Little Bee,

I am sorry. I am sorry for not letting you speak. I am sorry for calling you pathetic and for belittling your pain. I am sorry that I have spent so long looking for something, or someone else, that I've not been there for you. I am sorry that while others were betraying you and letting you down, I didn't defend you, and that instead I abandoned you too. And I am sorry, so sorry, that I haven't loved you.

I know that I don't feel all of this yet, and that some of these feel like empty words. But please know that I am working as hard as I can to make them come true.

I do love you. throb.gif


hug.gif wub.gif Ruthie

Edited by tealight rookie, 17 October 2005 - 07:04 AM.


#4 Ardatha

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:58 AM

Yep, definitely a good idea.

My inner child and co-exist peacefully together. She frequently makes choices about what I want to do today and I often go along with it because she usually has great ideas! wink.gif She's a charming child, who has an almost unlimited curiosity and loves to help people whenever and wherever she can. She also believes in the good in people, looking for it in everyone she meets. (Sometimes I have to protect her, but that's okay, too.) She's good natured and a dreamer with a great imagination. The majority of the time she's very happy, very pure and innocent. She's basically a good kid and I like her a lot!

Edited by Ardatha, 17 October 2005 - 06:58 AM.


#5 heathbar

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:25 AM

Ruthie,

I think this is a good thread, but I don't understand the inner child thing. My T once told me to comfort the little girl inside me, I thought she was crazy. I just don't understand, if rainbowstar saw this she would not be happy with me. I honestly am not trying to offend anyone I really don't know how to get in touch with my inner child. It seems like alot of people talk about it. Could someone shed some light for me?

#6 tealight rookie

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 08:53 AM

QUOTE(heathbar @ Oct 17 2005, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ruthie,

I think this is a good thread, but I don't understand the inner child thing. My T once told me to comfort the little girl inside me, I thought she was crazy. I just don't understand, if rainbowstar saw this she would not be happy with me. I honestly am not trying to offend anyone I really don't know how to get in touch with my inner child. It seems like alot of people talk about it. Could someone shed some light for me?


Heather,

It's a difficult thing to explain as it feels a little more intuitive than any explanation will allow, but the idea is that we all have a smaller version of ourselves (or lots of versions, at different ages) that still exists within our adult selves. My Little Bee is about 7, I think.

Our inner children often direct the way we feel, or our actions, even though we often don't know this is the case. And this is especially so when we have been hurt as young children. Moreover we may often find that our needs now are at odds with those of our inner children. For example, I find (like Dawn) that I fight a lot with Little Bee. Inasmuch as our needs (or supposed needs) differ, or we have different agendas in a situation. The grown up Ruthie can be pretty abusive toward Little Bee.

Getting to know our inner children is such a good way of healing some of those hurts, and of learning to love ourselves. It's impossible to tell someone how to do it, because that would detract from the loving benefits that discovering our own inner child bring about, but the more mindful we become of our own process and emotions, the closer we can get to those children who hide within us.

If you want to explore it further (there is no pressure here), you could maybe think of yourself at a certain age (whichever age you choose) and write a letter from you now to you at that age. Or, you could do it the other way round, and write to yourself now, from the standpoint of you at an earlier age.

It does all feel very, very strange at first. I know I felt excruciatingly self conscious when I first started talking about/to my inner child, and I still do. But honestly, I'm beginning to realise that the more I feel that, the more I'm belittling someone who has already been so very hurt.

I hope this helps a little. smile.gif

Remember though - as with all healing etc, only do what you are comfortable with.

hug.gif Ruthie

Edited by tealight rookie, 17 October 2005 - 08:55 AM.


#7 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 11:16 AM

HI,

This thread has been playing on my mind all day long, making me really think about the relationship i have with my inner child.

It is not new to me to be exploring my relationship with my inner child, i did begin to work through a really good work book about connecting with the inner child ~ but needless to say i gave up because i felt that i just couldn't connect with that child in me.

The fact that this thread has been playing on my mind is probably an indication that i maybe can connect with my inner child if i really try hard to do so.
As i posted earlier my inner child is being silenced by the adult me, yet the adult me really wishes to reach out to the inner child (but is scared) but also because i have silenced the inner child for so long she just doesn't really want to listen right now, but maybe if i write a letter to my inner child maybe she will learn how i really feel.

Bear with me on this one.... it may not make sense but its an attempt to write to the inner child in me.

unlike Ruthie my inner child doesn't have a name (but i like your name for your's Ruthie smile.gif ) maybe when i do connect with her (the inner child) i will give her a name.... anyway, slight tangent there tongue.gif ....

my letter to my inner child

"For so long i have known you have existed, i guess i knew you were there even before Lisa told me all about the inner child, but you have been pushed to one side, neglected and ignored and the person that did that was me. Please don't be angry at me for doing that, i did it because i didn't want to get to know you. I feel bad for letting you down, for not nurturing you and for not caring for you when you were hurting.
I think you are seven now, and when i close my eyes and concentrate hard i can visualise what you look like, you look small, vulnerable and sad and you look rather dishevealed and neglected.... maybe the vision i have of you is a replica of how i looked when i was seven, and of how i felt when i was seven, because that's when all that bad stuff happened.
it seems that you knew it was hard and you took to safety deep within me, but you got hidden some where... you hid yourself away so safely that you got lost somewhere and i'm sorry to say i forgot about you.
When i was seven childhood was snapped from me, and i was forced to grow up very quickly, there was no place in my life for a child, not even if that child existed within me.... im sorry to say i forgot about you.... for many years you remained locked away inside me, not stirring, not making a sound, you were totally silent.
I sometimes wonder if you were silent, or if i just chose to ignore you, i know that recently i have been blatently ignoring you and i am really sorry, but your a stranger to me, im a stranger to you... and im scared of going back to see you, you remind me so much of who i was, and also of what i lost....
i know its not your fault please believe me when i say that, and i am sorry that i never found you earlier...
i hope that we can learn to listen to one another, and i hope that you can forgive me, i am so sorry for neglecting you."


wow. i was teary eyed writing that, and it hit me hard.... i need to connect with that child, because i know she is hurting... i just hope she will let me in and i hope that i can accept what she has to tell me, for i know she is hurting lots....

... i have a feeling this oculd be a scary journey

Dawn wub.gif

#8 heathbar

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 11:31 AM

Dawn,

I have not even really thought of my inner child, I have always looked at that as psycho babble.
But your letter I found to be intense and emotional. It has my inner child stirring but I keep telling her to be-quiet.

#9 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE
Dawn,

I have not even really thought of my inner child, I have always looked at that as psycho babble.
But your letter I found to be intense and emotional. It has my inner child stirring but I keep telling her to be-quiet.


Heathbar,
I too often tell my inner child to be quiet, but i don't think i can or want to silence her anymore... i think it may be scary to learn to listen but also maybe very empowering perhaps.
Hope you can listen to your inner child one day too....
I used to also look at the inner child idea as psycho babble, but i think there is a lot of healing in connecting with the inner child, particularily for us that are survivors of CSA

take care
Dawn wub.gif

#10 heathbar

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

I will try to keep an open mind, that was what my T was reffering to was during my CSA incident

#11 dodo

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:22 PM

I have not been able to read much of the above posts. I find anything to do with inner child work absolutely terrifying. I wish I didn't. I don't want to think about or make any kind of contact - but I can see how important it is for any kind of healing. My T has suggest inner child work a couple of times and just the thought of doing it makes me sick.

Karen

#12 heathbar

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:29 PM

I am with you on this Karen scary scary, sometimes I hate my inner child, I think she is wimpy and a whiner. That is probably harsh I would like to make my inner child go away. I wish I could be more sensitive, to it's needs.

#13 linda

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:55 PM

Im the same dont know my inner child, too scared to let her out. I think thats why i always feel messing thing up as im trying to keep her quite i just dont know how to handle an inner child thats been hurt so much by so many people.

linda

#14 Rosebudish

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 05:57 PM

Today, my inner child is happy. She is finally feeling like she can stop hiding again! She got angry with me for allowing her to feel the anger and react like she sometimes does. I've hugged her and told her it was okay to be angry, okay to be furious for that matter, and okay not to feel bad about it. I told her it was okay to not want to be what everyone else wants her to be, and it's okay if she doesn't want to put up with some things anymore. It's okay, she doens't have to feel guilty for wanting more. She's happy that I have again, let her off the guilt hook.wub.gif



(funny but I never addressed my inner child, but someone told me to write myself a letter. I didnt' see what use it would be, but I awoke telling myself that it was okay to feel the way I felt. I stuff anger and turn it into guilt, just like that little girl did when everyone ignored what had happend and blamed her. I've spend most of my adult life wavering between strong independent and totally washed up and anxious. When I feel anger I get anxious, then feel guilty for feeling anger.... you get the drift. I just want to say I am finally at peace with myself for the first time in over a year. It feels good!!)

#15 Rosebudish

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:18 PM

[I wrote that without reading the other posts. I guess I took it in another direction, but a direction that works for me. I always felt like I was a victim, in most all aspects of life. I didnt' feel like I was the one making the choices, but that the choices I'd made had gone wrong because of someone else's choices. It's that I make choices from that inner child... that little 7 (funny how that is a common age) year old girl who was first touched and scared. I made choices looking for her saftey.... her security.....not adult choices, but either fun fun choices or choices based on childish views. When those choices turn sour, my inner child is then that 14 or 15 year old who's mad at the world because no one listened to her and blamed her for the events that made her so scared. Everyone is out to get that inner child in her view. Sadly, the adult in me, and the teen trying to make it all go away internalizes anger or someone's shortcomings as somehow directed to her and acts out like a typical teen. It's my husbands fault for making me sorry I married him..... no it's my fault for marrying him for the wrong reason, saftey, I thought he'd never hurt me and I've spend most of our marriage mad because he did then mad that I wanted out, then guilty because I wanted out....... it's a whole ball of wax. My inner child was taught that she was worthless so guilt makes it feel better, but it's not better in any way. It's ugly, I think the guilt side of me is uglier than the anger....and the guilt comes from the adult me. I'm angry as hell that no one ever hugged me and told me it was going to be okay.....I've spent my life trying to find that someone. It's not in someone else, it's in me. It's okay to not like the way my husband treats me, though if I loose that guilt for my anger, maybe I won't see it so bad. That is yet to see. Maybe now that I have told the inner child in me it's not her fault, dont' be afraid, and never feel guilty for what your feeling, maybe then I can come to terms with other issues. yes, it's all part of the healing....... and I'm very glad I have that inner child, she makes me proud...... she survived all the years, not so effectively does she speak, but she speaks none the less. I gave her a big hug, let her cry on my shoulder and saw her smile for the first time in many many years.