For many survivors, especially survivors of abuse as children, the aspect of ourselves that is innocently happy, vulnerable, and unweighted by responsibility is often shattered by our abuse. When we're abused as children, we're shown again and again that the responsibility of how our abusers feel rests on our shoulders. If we don't act perfectly to their rules (which often change at the drop of a hat), we're abused. If we don't allow ourselves to be abused, our siblings, friends, or family will be threatened or hurt.
So much weight rests on our shoulders so young, and many of us report feelings of having always been an adult. After all, when the happiness of your household depends on your behaviour, you're an unhealthily important provider for your family!
For those of us who were abused in our teens or even in our adulthood, we often feel like our innocence, the innocent outlook of our youth, has been stolen from us. Often, since our trust of the world around us has been shattered, that inner child of our gets put on the back shelf for her or his own safety.
So often, it's very difficult for us to heal that aspect of ourselves. In order to begin healing that part of our lives, we need to be able to identify why our inner child was hurt, how she or he was hurt, and what our inner child wants in order to be happy. Furthermore, while we're giving our inner children what they ask for, we must be vulnerable in a way - we need to have some semblance of safety in order to be able to feel carefree.
Since we have so many people here who are in various stages of healing, I thought this would be a great discussion to open up - what's worked for you, what hasn't worked for you, and how you connected with that inner child of yours.
So this week's questions are:
- Do you feel like you lost part of your childhood? Do you have struggles in helping your inner child?
- How have you connected with your inner child?
- What activities does your inner child most enjoy? Are there any activities that you need to avoid when connecting with your inner child?
- Do you have any advice for our members on how to connect with their inner child if they're struggling?