What do you guys think about Inner Child?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok...I am the first to admit I think the whole concept reminds me of flower power and hippies...lol. However, saying that, Im really wondering if there isnt something to this whole Inner Child thing? My therapist is convinced I need to get in touch with my Inner Child and help her heal. (Oh gag me!) Im having a really hard time with this process because it just feels too touchy feely for me and Im so not that type of person. Maybe Im afraid of my emotions...very possible.

    I know I am wounded to the very core. I understand that my "Inner Child" was not nurtured or taught how to be parented in the correct manner. I just dont know how to go back and re-parent myself.

    Anyone else here ever dealt with their own Inner Child? One good thing...by getting your kids help now, they should have less problems with their Inner Child when they grow up!....LOL.
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Personally I've never dealt with the "inner" child. However, I'm helping my tweedles heal ~ like you, they have been hurt to the core.

    Saying that, we are dealing with the "hurts" as they come up. The tweedles guide the PTSD part of the therapy as they bring up various topics/memories or various behaviors rear their ugly heads.

    As an adult, I would still think you would guide the therapy. I have heard of attachment disordered adults learning to re-parent & nurture themselves, but haven't done a great deal of research on that topic. And you aren't talking attachment disorder.

    Good luck in your search for answers.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I am not sure that there is a difference between healing your inner child (I am not big on that term either) or going back to your early years, digging deep, and healing the things that hurt you to the core. I have done that; I did it when I got clean.

    It is very scary and it hurts. But afterwards is worth it. all that baggage that I carried around for YEARS that I forgot I even had, just went away. Gone.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I don't really like the "inner child" idea either. However, years ago, a therapist did an exercise on me that was supposed to be helping the inner child. It involved closing my eyes and listening to her talk. I can't remember exactly what the exercise was but I was thinking the whole time about how dumb it was. Surprisingly, I did feel better afterwards, though.

    I'm sure I didn't stay with the therapist long enough to completely "heal my inner child" so I can't say how that would have turned out. I did like her and she was helpful but I probably went for my covered free visits and then stopped.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    To quote Richard Nixon, it seems "hippy dippy". Re-parent?

    I don't know, maybe?

    I am constantly shocked at how old I have become. But never so much as when the PTSD kicks in from something that would have gotten the same knee-jerk reaction out of me when I was 9. I know I can't run away from those things forever. But does anyone really not get upset about being taken advantage of or made fun of? Don't well adjusted people just do their best to walk away and move on if others don't care enough to work it out?

    But, "re-parenting your inner child"? I suppose if that appeals to you, then it's something you should try. I think I'd rather they call it something else, though. Even if it worked, I'd be embarrassed to tell friends or family about it.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I probably have attachment issues...maybe attachment disordered kids become personality disordered adults? Makes sense to me!

    I know I dont attach properly. I react in many ways like so many of the kids on the board. Only difference is I am able to hide it for short periods of time if I am in public so people normally think Im fairly normal. The problem lies in if you are around me for a great deal of time then you can see that I cant hold it together for long stretches.

    I dont know where I am going with this post either...lol. I guess Im just thinking outloud. Sigh. Parents can sure mess up kids.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witz...that is the knee jerk reaction I have too. However, the idea behind it is that in order to heal from the abuse and trauma that has happened to a person then you have to deal with this child that is within all of us. We are all products of our lives and the children we were live on within us...yes I know...sounds hokey...but supposedly you have to learn to save that child, love that child, nurture that child, etc...so that you can save yourself now from setting yourself up to criticizing yourself and self loathing...yada yada.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    My inner child wants to know if your inner child can come out and play. : D

    I had a t doctor years ago use that sort of thing. I can't remember if she actually called it that or not, but when I read about it and such they seem pretty much the same.

    All I can say is, I thought she was off her nut. lol I went along because she was an excellent therapist and I didn't want to go look for another. Next thing I know I'm an emotional basket case and I can't for the life of me figure out why. One min I'd be a raging wild woman, the next a sobbing limp rag. Lots of other emotions thrown in too.

    My family sure didn't appreciate it. This person they knew as docile, shy, introverted, push over was suddenly speaking her mind, ripping them a new one, ect without batting an eyelash. lol

    Dealing with those emotions I either didn't get to feel/ or let myself feel as a child set me free as an adult. I walked away a different person.

    Oh, I still have issues. (don't we all) But nothing at all like the issues I had 20 yrs ago. It was like a 2 ton monkey had been lifted off my back, and I hadn't even realized it was there.

    Just realize before going in that it's a process. It might not be pretty for awhile, and you might not think you're getting anywhere, then suddenly one day you realize things have changed.

  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    There is a high risk of attachment disordered children to "develop" borderline personality disorder as adults - that I do know. However, that is the thinking now, it could change in the next few years.

    AND there are times I feel I've done too much research on the topic. I just hope & pray that you find the inner peace & calm you so sorely need.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Janet -

    I've been thinking about Keyana all day - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER!!!!!!! 2 today huh?

    Yeah about this inner child term. I made it clear when I went into therapy there was a few things that I would not respond to - 1.) And HOW does THAT feel? 2.) Let's get in touch with your inner child.

    I did do some EMDR therapy to go back to my farthest memory and see from a very early age I had attachement issues. A lot of adopted kids do. So we worked on things from a young age an worked our way up through hypno therapy.

    I went into EMDR therapy a sobbing mass of nerves and sensitivity - I came out a no - nonsense, do not tread on me, type of person. So I did gain some things from regression type therapy, but I just am icked out by that whole innerds thing. I figure whats innards should stay innards. And the rest of it I can work on - a day at a time.

    - If that doesn't grab you - Grab Lisa's inner child and go play. OH THAT would be a "I want to be a fly on the wall" moment for me - I'd pay to see that. Skipping, laughing, teasing boys. Loving animals. Yeah - I can see it.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Now that Star brings it up we are using EMDR for both of the tweedles. It's a pretty amazing process & we've seen significant improvement in kt; not so much in wm. It's a pretty slow process for both of them & isn't used more than once a month.

    I'm with Star - it's time to go out & play.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Timer -

    I had such traumatic events with my x and the abuse that I could not function well day to day. I would have these almost catatonic states where I would hear/smell/see something that was a trigger and - bam - off I'd go.

    It became dangerous for me to function day to day and the worse Dude's behavior was the worse it became for me.

    SO I did EMDR. I did it 2x a month because you really can not or rather I couldnt' process that much memory in a month. Too much, too bad even with 12 years of therapy under my belt. And I could probably use more, but I'm finally at a place where I'm comfy with what I mentally got rid of and what is still in there that may never come out. If it does - I've got my little movie theater to process in where I'm totally safe. Know what I mean??

    It helped Dude to a point - but when they got to the point where he was left in that place by his biodad - he shut down, blacked out, and passed out. Whatever happened to him was so traumatic it has ruined his behaviors for years. The doctor said they may try again at a later date - but for now Dude has closed that door and won't "play the movie" in his head to work on it.

    Can't blame him, but I absolutely praise EMDR therapy. I've overcome a lot doing it.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmm...maybe Lisa and I could sell tickets for you guys to come and watch us have our inner children come out and play...lol. But do remember...both of us come from rather traumatic childhoods so our lil inner kids are rather traumatized.

    Im actually reading online about something called emotional freedom technique. Supposedly they will send you the packet for free so you can do it. You can buy the whole CD set but the packet you can read and its free. Im literate so reading is fine with me.

    I really dont mind much what we call this work. I dont want to have a doll to carry around and call her Little Janet and all that junk...that is too cutie pie for me. I would feel to fake. I can more deal with trying to stop the hurtful critical voices that caused me pain AS a child.

    My therapist is a dear, wonderful woman who understands so much of what I have been through because she has been through much of it herself. She has a difficult child so she never judges. She loves me with all her heart. I know she only wants the very best for me. I know when I hurt, she hurts. Bless her heart, she calls me Baby Girl. No one has ever called me that...lol. I am honored to have her in my life not only as my therapist but also as a friend. Not many therapists call when on vacation just to see how your week is going. Or get your grandchild a birthday present. We swap pictures of our babies. Yeah we are probably a bit more enmeshed in each others lives than is normal but we clicked rather well right off the bat.
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think your therapist is wonderful and I think she feels you are ready and have the resources needed to start working on this.

    I couldn't deal with the term Inner Child. I know it's just words, but I instantly do the oh, gag me thing you mentioned. I don't do sappy. But, then I haven't been in therapy addressing this stuff so maybe that's the difference. I would prefer to use terms about the period of my life we are addressing...like pre-verbal (where they believe the Borderline (BPD) personality starts - or that was one theory a few years ago anyway).

    I have to commend you for doing this. It's not easy. I don't know that I could do it. Anytime a therapist started to address this stuff, I instantly went into arms folded, legs crossed, foot tapping and doing the 'I don't know' kinda clipped. Didn't realize it until one therapist pointed it out.

    But, then I only ever got like 20 visits a year and it takes longer to build the resources necessary. I had a therapist that probably would have been great. Except at the second session she said that my mother was not a good mother, but was a better mother than hers and I'm a better mother than mine. I wasn't ready to deal with that and never went back. A little self-sabotage I guess.

    You're a stronger woman than I am, Janet. I'm quite content with the baggage I carry around like a security blanket...even though I'm sure some of it holds me back. It's just safer this way. *shrug*


    P.S. And I think you are normal and we love you the way you are. We'll still love you when you deal with your Inner Child, too.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Heather...you just described me sitting in the chair in her office when she started talking about it! She mentioned it probably a year or so ago and my hackles went up. It has been a running joke between us for so long now that its almost comical.
  16. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm with you on this. 9 months in counseling helped me make the connect to why things in my past were causing certain attitudes and actions in my present. I don't know about the inner child stuff--we just mostly talked about my family history and present hurts and pieced the cause-effect together. That pointed me in the directions I needed to take for moving beyond (which for me was some additional counseling, a Bible study focused on healing wound of the past, and biofeedback for stress).

    I think one of the dangers in any such process is getting stranded with your wounds laid bare. You want to have a support system in place and a someone who can guide you practical steps in healing.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Janet, I'm a big fan of "if it's broke, get expert advice, a second opinion and then go to work to fix it". If you feel like you need to go to your past/inner child/whatever to fix what's broke. Do it. Suffering when there is help is stupid. You aren't stupid.
    Don't let preconceived notions of hippy dippy or touchy feely stop you from helping yourself.
    Try the therapist suggestions. What you were doing before wasn't working.
    People who laugh at someone pursuing help says a lot about ignorance and fear of mental health issues.
    Get healed and get on with the work of living a good life.
  18. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I think the goal in "healing the inner child" has to do with evolving, and laying claim to, the rightness of cherishing the self we are, just as we are. For those of us taught there was nothing in us to cherish, there is nowhere to begin learning how to do that, no way to know how to change those old, negative tapes. We need a tool, a key of some kind, so that we can relearn our core selves from a different perspective than the one we were taught was the truth.

    At the heart of it, we were born innocent.

    That innocent little girl is still in there.

    She has been taught terrible things about herself.

    She may even have said or done terrible things.

    But she is in there, hurt and beaten down and imprisoned beneath the falsity of the abusing parent's perceptions ~ perceptions that had nothing to do with the child, newly born, but with the parent's own woundedness.

    We can choose, if we are strong enough, to stop that cycle ~ to stop allowing ourselves to be defined by a truth that was never true to begin with.

    And if we do that, if we have the courage to confront and dismantle those old, negative tapes that never had a thing to do with that poor, victimized little girl who was sent out to cope in a world filled only with hatred...we can save her.

    We can envision, and nurture, and protect her, now.

    And when she is able to trust us, then she will become who she really was, all along.

    There is no shame in it, Janet.

    A wound is a wound, whether emotional or physical.

    If you look for her, you will find her.

    Your task will be to listen, and to help her reinterpret herself.

    That is what is meant by "reparenting".

    We reparent our inner child by bearing witness.

    There was a time when you could not protect the child you were. Until recently, there was a time when you could not even question the interpretation of self you had been brought up to believe.

    Now, you can.

    Here is a quote you may find helpful:

    "Once, I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities I was capable of unfolding."

    Frankenstein's Monster Speaks
    Mary Wolstonecraft Shelly

    And another:

    "There was a time, oh tender elf
    when you were poetry, itself."

    That's John Bradshaw, I think.

    It's a celebration, what is happening for you now, Janet! You've worked very hard to get here.

    Know that I wish you every success.