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#384183 - 02/02/12 09:40 PM inner child question
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I’ve read and heard others referring to their “inner child” and things of that nature under various terms. I guess I don’t quite get it. It or he doesn’t seem real to me. When I remember things that happened way back it’s almost like they were happening to someone else and I know all the facts of what he/i experienced but don’t really feel connected. Except that I now feel the fall-out of what happened. But there is a big gap or barrier between who I was then and who I am now.

I was reading something about talking to your inner child before I went to bed recently. I was sort of dismissing it as just a faddish thing at the time. Then I fell asleep and had a weird dream.

I was outside my adult body looking at my own back and that (my) body was reaching out to someone or something in the other direction from “my” observation point. I knew that I was reaching toward a boyhood version of my self. But I couldn’t see that boy because my adult body was in the way. And I couldn’t see my face on the body because my body was turned away from me. Very surreal. In fact it reminded me of a painting i've seen by Magritte of a man looking in a mirror and both the view of the man and his reflection show the same thing - only the back of his head.

This dream was a perfect image of how I sometimes have felt – like I am or was just watching my life – not really involved in it. Pretty messed up – huh?

Anybody have sources or references for where I can learn more about getting in touch with my younger self? Is it worth the attempt? Have any of you had good results come from that sort of effort?

Regards,
Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#384190 - 02/02/12 10:48 PM Re: inner child question [Re: traveler]
Edward Wong Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 40
Sometimes, after intense flashbacks, I've been followed by a 10 year old version of myself. Little Edward would follow me everyplace, quietly whimpering the entire time. I felt so sad for him. Eventually, little Edward would walk away and disappear.

I thought I was going crazy. However, I think seeing myself as a distraught little contributed to my healing. It made me realize how vulnerable that little boy was and that I couldn't blame him for what happened.


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#384202 - 02/03/12 02:19 AM Re: inner child question [Re: Edward Wong]
redsox046 Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 56
Loc: BOSTON
Early in my recovery i tried really hard to get in touch with my "inner child" because i felt so disconnected from the abuse and like you, felt like it happened to someone else. Honestly i found it counter productive and something that actually was not only a waste of time but heightened the feelings of fear and helplessness that i felt before because it only led to re-traumatization. Re-experiencing trauma, even if it is only mentally and/or emotionally, without resolution (discharging the traumatic energy that was unable to flow through the nervous system at the time of the trauma), usually always leads to re-traumatization and further reinforces the "freeze" response to a threat. After discovering somatic trauma resolution and reading Peter Levine's book's "waking the tiger" and "healing trauma", i've come to the conclusion that everything i thought about recovery was totally wrong, and that everything i was doing was actually traumatizing me even more deeply. Drudging up old memories over and over again and talking about them over and over again in therapy is actually more harmful then helpful when there isn't any release of the traumatic energy that is stored in the nervous system. Feelings of fear and feeling unsafe, and like the traumatic event is still happening are a direct result of the traumatic response's lack of resolution because to our bodies, the trauma is still going on due to all that energy never being released in either a fight or flight response (he explains it a lot better then me). The thought that PTSD is a life sentence and that we just have to learn to "manage" our symptoms is complete nonsense. I would urge you and anyone who is looking to heal their PTSD to look into somatic trauma resolution and any of Peter Levine's books on the subject because in my honest opinion, that is the way out, that is the light at the end of the tunnel.
God Bless,
Nick


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#384204 - 02/03/12 02:46 AM Re: inner child question [Re: redsox046]
alone Offline


Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 55
I have always had a feeling that he (me as a little boy) has never left me. I am 62 and it was 50 years ago. I am retired now but I look back on career choices I made and while I worked at these places, everyone always seemed older and more mature than me. Even ones that were 35 or 40 years younger. I never felt like I ever measured up and that every one else had it all together. I know probably that has been my perception all my life but it has never left me no matter how much therapy and meds. So even though I can't see him in the mirror (I see an old guy now) he still is there either inside or at my side. If I compare myself now to my parents and grandparents when they were "so old" at 62 they seemed so serious and really adult. I'm an adult, but I have never felt like one. I'm much more comfortable talking to my young nieces and nephews and kids of close friends than adults. It's always been that way. So "that little 12 year old me" has just been holding my hand and dragging me through life all this time. All in all, I have NEVER, EVER, felt equal in an adult gathering.


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#384309 - 02/04/12 11:07 AM Re: inner child question [Re: traveler]
cris40ky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 188
Loc: KY, US
I credit most of my recent progress to recognizing my inner "self". Trying to do it through books or someone's guided attempts always seemed lame. It never bore fruit.

But like you, I have always felt like I wasn't really "here" or present. Like a ghost in the world that people could hear.

For me, the little boy that was traumatized all those years ago, who disassociated so thoroughly, was and is still there inside. A part of me. As I began to let him speak in whatever way he could, I feel more whole than I have ever felt.

It started with the flashbacks. Letting them come. Trying to approach it through my "head" never worked. Lil Chris is stuck in a very scary place that doesn't make any sense. Giving myself permission to "see" and experience his memories has validated his existence. He feels heard! Something that he did not have back then.

After what happend, he didn't understand it. He couldn't "tell" because he didn't know how. Didn't know words like "rape". He wasn't sure of anything but that all adults are dangerous. What was stuck is becoming un-stuck by giving him his voice. Granted, that voice is hard to explain. He doesn't "talk". Talking to him doesn't work either. It's feeling his pain, recognizing it as "our" pain that has helped the most. Allowing him to matter. And believing him. Forgiving him for his "crime" of trusting, of needing.

It is a thoroughly surreal experience. Lil Chris is not me. I am so much bigger than he is. He is definitely his own person. His memories so emotionally charged to be VERY real, but separate from the adult I am now. Blocked off, forgotten, numbed in the attempt to just get through each and every sunrise. For 42yrs.

Now that it's not blocked off, it's scary. But I feel much less like a ghost in my own body. Much more connected. Seeing and validating little Chris' pain has given me my first real sense that the process is working. I am really healing.


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#384315 - 02/04/12 12:19 PM Re: inner child question [Re: cris40ky]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2452
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brothers.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity."
As he is me.

Young Pete, is very much in me. He had kept his deepest secrets & hurts buried for 69 years of our life.
Since I got my inner child back almost 3 years ago at a WoR. He has taught me more about myself than I ever knew in my previous 69 1/2 years.

I talk to him every day. I listen to him every day. I love and nurture him every day. I tell him every day that I love you, i will never let you go.
I feel his pain. I feel his loneliness. I feel those beatings, beratings those words of hate.I can see him there hiding in terror & fearing for his life. Why, "mom" i'm just a little boy. I can see, feel & smell those things that were happening to him.
Especially those forbidden pleasures that were done to him in the name of love, nurturing & care.
Especially those done to him by someone whom he genuinely loved all his life.

For it is he that has taught me the facts of life, our life. We don't have to hide who & what we are anymore. We don't have to pretend that we weren't there at times to survive anymore.

Now in healing young Pete can finally become the man that he is supposed to be. I am glad that I have met him. I really didn't know me until now.

I have made plenty of posts on this inner child subject. There are many old threads on this subject.

My story about it. Most likely does not make any sense to anyone who hasn't been there with their inner child.

Wishing you all well in connecting to your inner child. Perhaps sadly some of you never will.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity." As he is me.

Pete..Irishmoose.



Edited by petercorbett (02/04/12 06:49 PM)
Edit Reason: word spelling
_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#384317 - 02/04/12 12:47 PM Re: inner child question [Re: alone]
wayne9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 161
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: alone
I have always had a feeling that he (me as a little boy) has never left me. I am 62 and it was 50 years ago. I am retired now but I look back on career choices I made and while I worked at these places, everyone always seemed older and more mature than me. Even ones that were 35 or 40 years younger. I never felt like I ever measured up and that every one else had it all together. I know probably that has been my perception all my life but it has never left me no matter how much therapy and meds. So even though I can't see him in the mirror (I see an old guy now) he still is there either inside or at my side. If I compare myself now to my parents and grandparents when they were "so old" at 62 they seemed so serious and really adult. I'm an adult, but I have never felt like one. I'm much more comfortable talking to my young nieces and nephews and kids of close friends than adults. It's always been that way. So "that little 12 year old me" has just been holding my hand and dragging me through life all this time. All in all, I have NEVER, EVER, felt equal in an adult gathering.



This is me with the exception of the feelings of talking with younger people. I feel uncomfortable around anyone my age or younger. I have little problems being around or talking with elderly people. In a crowd I have always felt as if I didn't fit in. Even in the group meeting I have been attending for the last month. I am one of the oldest there but feel like I am a kid with a bunch of adults.


tim


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#384319 - 02/04/12 01:00 PM Re: inner child question [Re: redsox046]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: redsox046
Early in my recovery i tried really hard to get in touch with my "inner child" because i felt so disconnected from the abuse and like you, felt like it happened to someone else. Honestly i found it counter productive and something that actually was not only a waste of time but heightened the feelings of fear and helplessness that i felt before because it only led to re-traumatization. Re-experiencing trauma, even if it is only mentally and/or emotionally, without resolution (discharging the traumatic energy that was unable to flow through the nervous system at the time of the trauma), usually always leads to re-traumatization and further reinforces the "freeze" response to a threat. After discovering somatic trauma resolution and reading Peter Levine's book's "waking the tiger" and "healing trauma", i've come to the conclusion that everything i thought about recovery was totally wrong, and that everything i was doing was actually traumatizing me even more deeply. Drudging up old memories over and over again and talking about them over and over again in therapy is actually more harmful then helpful when there isn't any release of the traumatic energy that is stored in the nervous system. Feelings of fear and feeling unsafe, and like the traumatic event is still happening are a direct result of the traumatic response's lack of resolution because to our bodies, the trauma is still going on due to all that energy never being released in either a fight or flight response (he explains it a lot better then me). The thought that PTSD is a life sentence and that we just have to learn to "manage" our symptoms is complete nonsense. I would urge you and anyone who is looking to heal their PTSD to look into somatic trauma resolution and any of Peter Levine's books on the subject because in my honest opinion, that is the way out, that is the light at the end of the tunnel.
God Bless,
Nick


Nick, I agree wholeheartedly. The inner child thing is quite controversial from what I've read. Some of the therapy (rebirthing) is kinda weird. It would be weird for me so decided against it. Tried it briefly once through visualization and didn't like it. The old saying, let sleeping dogs lie seems right on this inner child subject. Of course, my emotions are rare and I hate them since it seems to always be depression.

_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#384325 - 02/04/12 02:52 PM Re: inner child question [Re: phoenix321]
drc84 Offline


Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 4
I remember 2 young children. The youngest was an extraverted happy child living in a world full of wonder and promise. Then at about age 9 child number 2 showed up. He was introverted, depressed, fearful, unable to deal with others, living in a dangerous world where bad things could and did happen, a victim. This is the child that became me as an adult. I don't know what hapened around age 9, but something certainly did. I played in the victim role most of my life and it's time to stop. I don't think that I can get child 1 back anymore but I hope to take better care of child 2 and give him and me a better life. F--- victimhood. Dario


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#384332 - 02/04/12 04:05 PM Re: inner child question [Re: drc84]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
There are parts of me that feel very young, scared, and immature. This includes parts of me that seem stuck at the moment of the abuse and other traumas.

And there are parts of me that are courageous, wise, and optimistic.

I continue to learn how to take care of myself-in all respects. Having people I trust to try different approaches, including T's, mentors, sponsors in 12 step programs, reading lots of books on recovery, trauma, spirtuality, and having good men in my life I can talk to and be real around.

The principle here is that I need to respect those hidden parts of me-they have something to tell me and serve a purpose. I am teachable today, I remain open-minded to the experience and teachings of others, and I can try for myself how to utilize what they have to offer.

Too often we take things literally: the term "the inner child" can be a bar to misunderstanding and lead to ridicule, and small thinking that keeps me scared and stuck.

I know for me one of the most dominant parts of my personality has been the defensive, fighting teenager who threatens anyone who comes near. Combine that with the younger part of me that never got the attention and nurturing all children deserve, as well as the part of me that was dominated and abused by other males, and you get a pretty good roadmap of how I lived my life the next 30 years.

Today, these serve as a guide to what I really need to take care of myself-(a far cry from the false solutions I sought for years). All of this is IF I am willing to really listen and own the inner dialogue with myself.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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