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#23621 - 05/20/06 05:06 PM Inner child question?
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
I hope that this does not sound crazy but I often do not understand when people speak of themselves as "little______" and "big______".
Does this speak more to our emotional maturity? For example, I was abused at about age 6 does that mean I may be stuck in the hurt mode of a six year old and need to support and love myself as a child that age? I hope this does not sound silly or insult anyone. Thanks!

Jaay


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#23622 - 05/20/06 05:12 PM Re: Inner child question?
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
I have had problems with regression where I would acutally turn into that age, which would put me in a place where I couldnt protect myself.

It refers to anytime you are feeling or acting as a younger person than you are, and big means your adult self, at least that is how I understand it

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#23623 - 05/20/06 05:18 PM Re: Inner child question?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
JAAY,

I have books on working with the inner child, but basically your hurt goes back that far.

It is the root of who we are today, a product of the hurt little kid.

So, you were six, and what would a six yo want?
Playdoh, paint, teddies, anything you can think of.
You can have fun with the right type of therapeutic approach.

It is best to work in stages, and best for a T to guide you.
Just be careful of the level of hurt that can come up.

You could write a letter with your less dominant hand and tell him what you would have wanted him to hear at that age, and how he is safe now.

It is not corny, it can be a load of fun,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#23624 - 05/20/06 05:29 PM Re: Inner child question?
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
Thanks for quick responses. I think that both of your response make a ton of sense for me. I work as a special eductaion teacher and often use these materials to "reach" the children I work with. I have always know that the activities I planned for my students had some sort of theraputic benefit for me (that is not why I planned them). I guess I provide some therapy for my inner child long before I was aware of my abuse. Attending night school addressed my educational needs but not my social or emotional needs.
Thanks and good luck!
Jaay


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#23625 - 05/21/06 01:29 AM Re: Inner child question?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jaay,

The idea of the "inner child" is a way of envisaging the extremely complex ways that abuse affected us in childhood and continues to affect us now.

Rather than talk about how traumatic memories are stored and recalled in different ways in the brain, we talk about "Little Larry", for example. The idea is that as an adult I am still carrying memories, self-images, feelings and ways of coping that I learned as an abused boy. I didn't get help as a boy, so all these are still with me and affect how I live now. In order to recover and heal, one thing I have to do is understand these feelings and images and learn how to cope with them. It really is like "discovering" yourself as an abused child all over again.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#23626 - 05/21/06 06:48 PM Re: Inner child question?
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
Larry, much thanks for your post. What you are saying mskes sense. I guess that the hard part a of all this is that my father also beat me up while putting down. I learned to avoid him and could do it for weeks at a time because he worked nights. Life was good when he was not around. I recalled that once at dinner (after he was dead) I announced to my family "that I am not bad". I had no idea were that came from. I also was always afaid that he would kill me in the basement. I would always get stessed when he and I were in the basement together because you never knew what would piss him off. Thanks for listening.


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#23627 - 05/22/06 12:14 AM Re: Inner child question?
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Jaay,

I always discounted the idea of the inner child till one time here on the site when one of the members mentioned his stuffed animals. As I recall it was in Late November of 2005. I may have been Larry now that I start to think about it again. Anyhow, the idea of having my own stuffed animal struck my fancy and while at the coast for the Thanksgiving holiday, I went to a stuffed animal shop and purchased my very own stuffed animal, a large, soft, cuddly male lion.

I remember taking him home and later on in the week when I was alone in the house and feeling sad I picked him up and held him. It was then that I began remembering all the stuffed animals I'd had as a child, and even as a teenager.

Suddenly I was that little boy again sitting in my room holding my animals and crying. Suddenly I understood the concept of the "inner child" and the hurt and pain he still feels at what happened to him. How he needs me to take his hand and lead him in a safe way into adulthood. To show him that I am in control now and I won't let anything bad happen to him. I've found that when I keep him reassured, he will not feel frightened at the things that have always been such a huge burden and challenge in my adult life.

This experience of the inner child was a real breakthrough for me and has been such a help in understanding myself, and progressing along in my recovery.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#23628 - 05/22/06 01:03 AM Re: Inner child question?
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
JOhn,
Thanks for your insight and post. You may find this funny but I always have had a stuffed male lion toy in my apartment. When I first leaned that I was abused I would hold it and cry just alittle. I guess it is time to talk to that lion again.

On a side note, as A kid I always would visit ask to go see the lions. This is the only good memory I have of my father. He would always take me to see the lions without hurting me.

All the best!
Jaay


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#23629 - 05/22/06 08:43 PM Re: Inner child question?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
JAAY,

hope this is not going to start another stuffed animal thread.
John is right, those stuffed animals were who we told all our secrets to.

We cried into them or our pets.
They are symbolic of how little boys percieve them as a pacifier.
I could not live without my stuffed dog as a kid.

Just something to hug onto and cry meant so much.
If you think about it, the boy may have felt abandoned or marginalised by his family and friends.

The boy would have felt worthless, dirty, not being able to successfully communicate with even those he loved.
This is the silence he endured that did the damage.

You need to get to the inner child, and tell him it is safe.
I guess it is what makes me so over protective,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#23630 - 05/22/06 11:26 PM Re: Inner child question?
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
Ste,

Thanks for the post. I never really did have time for much of a childhood. I spent alot of time avoiding my father and mistreated or abused. I will try the stuff animal therapy because it makes sense and I have not tried it before. It is comforting to talk out loud and a trusted toy should bing me comfort.

All the best,
John


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