quieting the inner child
Everyone has that little voice of reason inside of them, you know, It’s that gut feeling, or voice inside that allows us to weigh out hard decisions or choices.
That inner voice that warns us that something doesn’t feel quite right, a second guess, a doubt, or a fear. Well imagine living with that every day – welcome to my life.
For me, the inner voice is my past, and it keeps me from doing anything without a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th guess – TRUST WHAT?
The inner voice is the child I was when I was abused. I was abused sexually from the age of 5 till I was 11, but the beliefs and the inner voice is the 9 year old, because that is the age I came to the understanding that what was happening was not right, and “hey, this is not right, this doesn’t feel right anymore, they are hurting me, not loving me”.
That is the age I started to fight inside and knew deep deep inside that this is not what a child should be doing or going through. This is the age I started to fight them off, and this is the age I started to plan the “how do I tell” – and I did tell at the age of 10.
The 9 year old child inside today is the past and the beliefs that no matter what anyone says, it will have it’s say before I can rationally be what what is vs what I hear.
When someone says something, I have to hear it 2 or 3 times before I even consider it to be true or right or true. There is always that voice inside of me that doubts everyone’s intentions – there HAS to be a motive, how can anyone do anything for me without there be some form of abuse attached to it.
As the adult today over 40, married, and who has 3 beautiful boys of her own, I know I am no longer in that abuse. I know I am not being hurt, but that little voice inside of me always makes me take a step back in fear – because nothing is safe.
There is a good side to that, but there is also a bad side to that; or as my therapist would describe it – “a blessing and a curse”. The blessing is, it allows me to have boundaries and walls that are needed.. the curse is it allows me boundaries and walls that are not needed.
When someone tells me “I care about you” the inner voice of the past say “at what cost?, whats in it for you?”.
When I am told I am supported, loved and cared for, that small voice inside says “yeah but, what if, are you sure?, maybe I am not good enough”.
This is a huge obstacle for me in my healing and always has been. It has been helpful at times, and other times it has gotten in my way from accepting the beautiful things that people offer me.
“Caring for your inner child has a powerful and surprisingly quick result; do it and the child heals” – Martha Beck
Sometimes my therapist and I will smile and laugh at it, and say “what a pain in the ass this 9 year old can be”. But it truly shows just how DEEP these wounds are. I was so abused that it indented my own beliefs. It took away my own ability to have a sense of self.
It took me years to trust my own husband. Granted I am married now 21 years, but the first thing I told him when we first started dating was “if I have to ask you for permission for anything, this is not going to work, we will both be level”. My husband is wonderful and we have a wonderful relationship. We both treat each other equal, and he is one of the safest people I know – he is my best friend.
It’s not just about trusting others, it’s about believing and accepting that someone would invest their time, love, care and energy on me without a price. I never had unconditional love, it was always conditioned as a child.
Conditioned meaning sexual favors = love, hitting = love, taking off my clothes ans touching me = love, belting me over and over on my legs till they were scarred and bleeding = love. To get love, I had to endure, and at 9 years old I came to realize this is not what love is.
The pain of my fathers good friend Bill showering me with gifts, love and attentiveness for months until that one day when he got me alone in the bathroom with the door locked … can’t say I saw that coming – and a wound was created for the rest of my life. A wound that would forever remind me that gifts given = a scar I will never forget.
This is one of the biggest reasons why I struggle with dependency, because to become dependant on someone is to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable requires me to quiet the past and the inner voice inside that tries to warn me that danger is ahead. To quiet down the inner voice is to take risks, and that taking risks is a fear without warning.
To be dependent on someone is to be captive, owned and chained to another person – when in the past I knew the only safety was myself. I only depended on myself as a child; that’s all I knew.
Sometimes in therapy my therapist will tell me something big and important, and he will pause and say “wait, what did the 9 year old hear?”. because he knows my past that lays deep inside of me.
As a child I lived looking through cracks in the door. I lived knowing every single creek on the stairs that made a noise. I knew every door, every corner, and every small space I could crawl into to not be found. Sitting on the toilet and going to the bathroom as fast as I could watching the door in fear there would be a small little crack of being watched.
All I had was my inner voice – “no, don’t take those stairs, go around the back because they will hear you”. “NO it’s not safe to go outside of the bedroom yet, they are watching you”.
Today that inner voice still resides in me. It doesn’t allow me to have open arms to all the love around me without TRUE self belief that I am okay and I am not being hurt by accepting.
Today in session my therapist told me something that was so big and honoring… and I knew I would struggle with the voices of the past on the way home in the car.. I knew I would struggle with the old beliefs and the past.
So on the way home I had an argument with myself and I WON. I silenced the past and said “NO this is what I heard and this is what I am going to believe”.
I silenced the LIES from my past for a good couple of hours. I said to the inner voice from my past “NOT this time, I can accept this support and love without you warning me because – I am OKAY, and what you are trying to tell me vs what is really being said to me I CHOOS TO BELIEVE.
Now, this is not to be confused with any kind of personality disorder, I don’t have any of that – I know I am the 40+ year old adult today, married and has 3 boys – it’s about the OLD beliefs of my past that acts as a voice to my now. The past is so DEEP and WOUNDED that it’s hard to move out of those old beliefs.
The beliefs being that I have to 2nd guess everything until I finally let go and believe I am LOVED for just being ME – no motive, no sex, no pain, no manipulation. The beliefs that I have to take 2 steps back and observe before letting anyone even close to me. The beliefs that no one will ever love me unless I give to them.
This is and has been a work in progress – however there comes a time when I have to let that inner voice of reason go and let myself decide what is safe, and to also let myself be hurt and realize this hurt is not the same as that hurt (meaning the past).
it’s a challenge everyday. It’s hard, but I am healing and I am trusting, and I can connect, hold a hand, hug and accept a lot more than I could 6 years ago.
I am reading this book called “healing the inner child” and it’s about how to heal the child who was hurt so that you can be allowed to be FULLY the adult today. Its a process, but a fulfilling healing process.
I can’t wait for the day when I wake up to where I can be in charge of my own decisions and fears, and loves and take those risks on my own.
just like tonight writing this blog – it was a huge risk, and I will silence the inner voice and make the decision to share this with everyone who loves an cares about me – unconditionally.