Inner Child: The Untold Story of Abandonment
Inner Child: The Untold Story of Abandonment
In this blog, we will be exlporing more about Inner Child.
Ever wondered how it feels to have a child but unknown of it’s existence? What if we tell you that each one of us carry an invisible child with us?
Maybe the weight you often feel on your shoulders during distress could be the child trying to seek comfort. The constant stab in your heart could be the child spreading his/her legs and hands out while throwing tantrums due to your ignorance. The glim in your eyes and spark you feel when you see colors could be the child getting excited for small little things.
We are definitely not narrating any horror story and please don’t be frightened. There is surely no extraterrestrial species around or in you. We are here to narrate the untold story of abandonment and neglect. The story of buried pain and fears, unhealed past, self-manipulation and self-sabotaging. “The undiscovered story of your inner child.”.
Yes, we all carry an inner child; a metaphor used for the blend ball of emotions, beliefs, values, pain, etc., that we carry from our younger self. While conversing about the context of inner child, one’s inner child doesn’t necessarily have to be the wounded ones. They can also be the happy ones. The secure or healing inner child often manifests as confident and grounded adults. However, the still wounded and neglected inner child often manifests as the insecure, anxious, perfectionist adults.
Shadow Self & Inner Child Wounds
In the previous article, we did discuss about shadow self. Is there any connection between our shadow self and our inner child wounds? The answer is a big, YES!. The ignored pleas of our inner child are something that gradually builds our shadow self. The foundation of our dark, undesirable side are the past wounds and the little voice that we often ignore or run away from. Remember, the skeletons in your closet can’t be hidden for a long time.
Let us dive deeper into the inner child wounds before discussing how we can reconnect with our inner child who fears us.
Types of Wounds
1. Abandonment Wound:
If you have been abandoned as a child, you may show signs like:
- Hating to be alone or left out.
- Attracting emotionally unavailable relationships.
- Threatening to leave in relationships.
2. Neglect Wound:
If you have experienced neglect as a child, you may show signs like:
- Issues setting boundaries.
- Low self-worth or self-esteem.
- Fears vulnerability & represses emotions.
- Attracting people who are unappreciative.
3. Trust Wound:
If you were not protected and let down as a child, you may show signs like:
- Low trust in self.
- Feels insecure & needs external validations.
- Attracting people who don’t feel safe.
- Afraid to be hurt & find ways to not trust people.
4. Guilt Wound:
If you were made to feel guilty as a child, you may show signs like:
- Constantly feel ‘sorry’ or ‘bad’.
- Afraid to set boundaries.
- Do not like to seek help.
- Attracting people who make you feel guilty.
The wounded child most of the time remains wounded. As we are growing, we often forget to tend the child’s wounds. Certain wounded parts from our younger self don't heal, because we choose to not heal that part as we grow up. We often forget to make the child feel safe and assure the child there is no need to throw tantrums or feel insecure as the child is safe in your hands now. We believe that we have got over the pain it carries. But, behind our consciousness, it stays. The wounded child lingers around unhappily with fear.
Wounded Inner Child
The wounded inner child often feels unsafe and insecure around us and others. During stressful situations or unfamiliar situations, the inner child often comes out to protect us from ‘perceived’ threats. Imagine a child taking control of an adult. How would that be? It would be chaotic and unreasonable, with tantrums and silences. That is why we may wonder ‘I am a calm and composed person, why did I behave like that?’, or ‘Why was I speaking like that when I actually understand their point of view?’. It is actually not you, but your inner child taking control. It may have ‘perceived’ the situation as a threat or the scenario may have triggered or given the child some flashbacks from the past. Thus, as previously mentioned, it manifests through our shadow self.
The shadow side of seeking ‘control’ in relationships could be a sign of needing ‘security’ and ‘fears abandonment’ that comes along with lack of security. The inner child may have witnessed either one or both caregivers exerting control as a child as a sign of love and it may be a deep rooted belief that through ‘control’, he/she is able to make their partner stay and that is the ‘assumed’ right way of showing ‘love’.
The shadow side of ‘pushing people away’ could be a sign of feeling ‘scared of love’. The inner child may have come from a chaotic and lack of love environment, and unfamiliarity like ‘love’ can make the child feel fearful and as a coping, the child would take control of your adult self unconsciously and push people who show love away. Usually these adults also feel uncomfortable with physical touch and lovely words as it is very much unfamiliar to their inner child.
The shadow side of ‘perfectionism’ or ‘over-achieving’ could be a sign of someone having the ‘constant need to prove self to be loved and accepted’. The child may have grown up in a setting where he/she has been constantly invalidated and pushed to achieve more. There may be lack of appreciation or love, and more pressure to achieve more to please caregiver(s). The child may also believe that his/her self-worth is entirely on what he/she has to offer. As adults they may push and beat themselves to achieve and they may not be good at accepting criticism.
Healing the Inner Child
There are several ways to heal our wounded inner child. You can start with journaling, meditation, visualizations and also therapy. Among the ways, therapy can be one of the best choice. With a trained therapist assistance, you can dive into the depths of your past and help your inner child to heal and feel safe again in this world. It also helps you to learn how to reparent your inner child.
In short, inner child can also be seen as your subconscious sending you signals to dig out your unhealed pain from the past and give it a proper closure. The closure that it deserves. Just like everyone else, your inner child deserves love and attention. It has already been wounded and scared, curling around in an unknown depth of darkness within us. Let us not inflict further pain by ignoring and constantly picking on the child. It’s high time to rescue the child from darkness and show the child how it feels to be in the light.
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