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#403504 - 07/13/12 12:19 PM Healing the inner child?
alw72 Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 9
Loc: New York
I have read on these message boards about survivors needing to heal their "inner child". I have researched this concept/idea since I know noting about it but it does seem to make sense to me. I am wondering what others thoughts and or experiences are with this? Has your spouse tried to connect with their inner child? As the wife of a survivor who is working so hard at trying to heal I think this maybe very important in allowing for his self forgiveness .

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#403508 - 07/13/12 12:59 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
alw72 - Thanks for asking this question. I'm at a monumental moment in my own work, and this is spot on to where I'm at. First, I'm not a CSA survivor, but I have stumbled on my abuse issues in my past which now have me talking to my inner-child. Sounds foolish, but hang on with me... wink

I've had a history of abused partners in my past. Alcoholics, too. Codependent? Yep - you betcha! Through getting in touch with my inner child, I realized that I never thought my feelings matter or my wants, needs, desires for that matter. Happy to expand on "why" if you'd like, but I'll skip that part for now.

I started doing EMDR therapy a few months back, and in the past month the lid has blown off my thinking. I was able to get in touch with my inner-child, talk to him, give me a big hug, and see how hurt he was. He is always sitting next to me now. I can even feel him being very intrigued by the computer. Sounds crazy, I know, but my T assures me this is good stuff.

My inner-child was so ticked off and hurt that his needs were not being met. I had no idea. I thought that I was doing fine, but I was carrying around this little kid who never learned how to play, have fun, or take care of himself. He was stuck thinking that he doesn't matter. When you put that in context of an adult talking to a little child, it's appalling! Why would anyone ever SAY that? Turns out it doesn't have to be said. Kids are pretty intuitive that way, and those actions done to them and around them can have a profound impact on the way they experience and interpret their lives.

Imagine my surprise when I realize that I LOVE to play now. Do I know how? Heck no! But, I'm the adult here, and my little guy gets to come along for the ride. Oddly enough, he's MUCH more forgiving of my inability to "play properly" that I would have imagined. I didn't know that I could lean on him for strength as well, and doing so will, in fact, foster his self-esteem and feelings of usefulness.

In the context of CSA survival, it seems a proper fit. I understand development stops when the abuse starts. And why shouldn't it? It isn't a stretch to think that they don't matter. They've simply become a "thing" and nothing more. Oye - such a horrible idea.

It's this model, too, that's helped me really relieve a lot of my own contempt and hatred for my history with my P. It's also been helpful in making amends to him because I want to be able to give the unconditional love the same way I want to get it, so let it start with me.

I hope that some survivors will chime in here as well. I'd love to hear their thoughts and reactions.

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#403528 - 07/13/12 05:28 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
Both my friend and I are survivors and have done some "inner child work" which I admit we both scoffed at initially, as it sounds new agey and like pop B.S. However, I have found it extremely helpful and he is gradually embracing it as well. A lot of his self-loathing stems from the shame and blame heaped on his child self, who deep down believes he deserved the abuse. I can see as he slowly embraces his child self and all that goes with him (vulnerability, healthy needs, innocence, playfulness) he is reclaiming some lovely parts of himself that he had previously cut off. I think it was harder for him as a man to embrace his child self than it was for me, because the characteristics of a child are so different than society's expectations of a "manly man" (strong, invincible, fearless, bold blah blah). So actually a by-product of the inner child work is gradually accepting a more rounded and humane picture of himself as a man as well. Also he IS very much still a child in many respects so its making him more aware of his wounds and ways in which his behavior and expectations of others are still immature and need some help "growing up."

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#403557 - 07/13/12 08:39 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
I was first exposed to the "inner child" concept by watching a PBS show with John Bradshaw back in the 80s. I was mesmerized because he was talking about ME.

I went to a workshop he had that Saturday, and there were men there too. Some crying as he spoke about fathers, abuse, alcoholism and "the inner child." This was when I first realized that I wasn't alone in my pain. I didn't feel so "alien."

I bought his book "Homecoming" and it gave me hope. I have used the concept in both traditional counseling and EMDR work.

My wife isn't aware of my past, or my Recovery work. But... ummm she has met my inner child on a number of occasions!

Jim
_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#403559 - 07/13/12 08:45 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
My friend scorns his inner child. Will this book perhaps open his eyes to accepting him?

Thank you.
_________________________
Female.

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#403561 - 07/13/12 08:59 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1988
Loc: durham, north england
I'd never despute that there are lots of people who find the inner child concept extremely helfpull, but Disappointed, it's not universally so.

I myself have never really found it a usefull idea at all. maybe it's because my own sa happened at school not at home in a family setting, and was perpetrated by kids my own age or slightly older rather than by an adult, or maybe it's just that my synaesthesia gives me a slightly different mental landscape.

Heck, maybe it's because i pretty much still enjoy all the things i enjoyed as a child anyway, --- I rewatched the Lion King just last night laugh.

So, while I am certainly not against the concept and I'm extremely glad it helps a lot of people, it's not really something that I do myself.

The reason I say this disappointed, is that it might be that your friend is just in a similar state to me as far as the inner child goes, and just doesn't find it fits with his mental landscape, which isn't a denial of healing in other circumstances, just an admition that what works for one person might not work for everybody.

I'm sorry if I am utterly wrong or just being unhelpful.

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#403564 - 07/13/12 09:20 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Oh, it's all good, D.E...

I just ordered two of them. My friend has an alter that's 13, so, it's worth a try.

Thank you!
_________________________
Female.

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#403595 - 07/14/12 07:29 AM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1988
Loc: durham, north england
Ah, if your friend actually has literally an alter with a distinct age it might be more helpfull, sinse I agree that would imply that the hole inner child thing might be helpfull to him.

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#403807 - 07/16/12 02:23 PM Re: Healing the inner child? [Re: alw72]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
i thought inner child was only for CSA survivors... i read boundaries in relationships by Charles Whitfeild, also author of healing the inner child and a gift to myself...


well i read these books due to some STRONG abreaction/age regression that took place in therapy, (i am not a big 'crier' and i had some out of body experiences to which i felt i was four years old curled up and crying: these experience were completely out of my control i still don't know 'why' i reacted like that) so i felt i had no choice but to look into this crazy 'inner child' "crap" as i liked to call it....

i am only at the beginning, i was in therapy because i was the partner of a survivor, i read these books to understand him more, and now i am in the midst of my own healing... it is scary but at the same time i finally feel hopeful... please understand, i went from rolling my eyes at the thought, to working through pain from when i was five years old....for me personally, it is a big tool in healing.

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