facing the inner self

inner childThe more and more I peel back the layers of what happened this past year that caused old pain to surface, the more I am realizing just how much the inner child part of me is here, and I am pushing her away out of fear and denial.

I look at this photo of an adult with her arms crossed and the child is reaching out, and the adult part is not sure of what to do.

She looks scared to reach back out towards someone she spent a very long time putting away behind walls. She can’t even look at her, because if she can’t see or face her, she is not there.

She is somewhat stuck in this belief that because she is over 40, a mom, a wife, an adult that already grew up and could do nothing for herself when she was little and abused, so why bother now?

She is stuck in the belief that she doesn’t need to grab a hold of this child’s hand. It’s too painful to grab this hand, because if she grabs this hand, what will she see? or better yet, what will she feel?

From the moment I knew how to build walls and numb out emotionally, I hid the younger me behind those walls and lived my life as the adult I was expected to be, and forced to be. These walls provided me with the strength to move forward with hope and not look back at the pain, because if I looked a the pain, I could never go forward.

Never did I realize how painful it would be someday to reach for something hidden for so long, and to be told that there is healing on the other side of this.

I stayed strong my whole life. I fought through the pain every day. I hid all the emotions so deep inside of me that I was lifeless to any tears or even joy. I was so numb to the emotions that when I did feel them, it literally burned my skin to feel tears.

Since I started therapy 6 years ago, I have told my story, I have talked about the pain, but from who? me or the child inside screaming with the real pain and real feelings and not the filtered mix that I created to survive.

Something big happened last year that kicked up a huge trigger inside of me that was the base of the abuse I endured as a child, and that was – being watched and violated by another person. And ever since this trigger happened last year, all the emotions, fears and old lies came screeching to the surface and made it harder to put “her” the inner young self and the emotions back behind the wall where it was safe.

The walls I so creatively built since I was a child have come tumbling down in the trigger and I am fighting SO HARD to build it back up as quick as I can, but everytime I try to build those walls back up, another memory, another emotion, another fear or saddened dream weakens the wall to a crumble – to no avail.

It’s not working anymore. I can’t build walls like I once did as a child. I can’t hide feelings and emotions inside some punched hole in the wall in the closet to put away so that I don’t have to look at it, or to hide it from others.

It’s not working anymore, and I need to face what is in front of me. I need to face what is here. I need to face this hand that is reached out to me instead of building walls that will never hold in a foundation again.

I wake up crying many times a week out of a sound sleep. Dreams and memories come to me that I can no longer put away. Emotions I can’t swallow even if I tried and it’s becoming harder and harder to fight this war that I have fought since I was a child.

I have this anger inside of me that doesn’t want to believe that there is such thing as an inner child even though my therapist and many other therapists tell me how normal this is, and how healthy it can be.

I want to believe it, and I have talked about it many times in my blog, but deep inside I am in denial not because I don’t care about what I went through as a child when I was abused – but because I am scared to look at all those things I put away for so very long.

I want to stand up tall, and be the adult that I am. I want to fight and work hard and find empowerment and wisdom and move away from the things that were done to me as a child. I don’t want to grab the hand of the child – why should I? I spent years and years building big tough walls to protect her and myself, but those walls are gone, and now I am faced with what is right in front of me, and I am fighting it tooth and nail to keep it away.

It’s not working, and I am finding that the more I push it away, the harder it’s becoming on me and it hurts, and I am isolating because of that.

My therapist and I have beautifully worked hard on what our role was in this last year and we have created this new bond and connection, and it’s so wonderful that I feel I can be so open with my therapist again. He also has a hand out to me waiting for me to grab it, and just like the child I am hesitating because I am scared what is on the other side of accepting.. because if I do take the hand of the child, if I do take the hand of the support, what will I see and what will I feel?

I think it’s time to accept that building walls are no longer a form of protection, but more so a form of abuse onto myself.

Healing is found in the tiny rubbles of rocks sitting on the ground that are waiting to be picked up and handled with love and care. It’s time to accept the hands reaching out – one hand of support, and one hand to accept and see what it is I have been hiding all these years that need voice, love, care and healing.

It’s time to stop “trying” to build walls; but instead picking up the pieces that need putting together.

I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I do know what a hand looks like and that is the hands of support around me. A therapist who has helped me to break down some of those walls in the past couple of months who has given me love, care and gentle support – it’s here right in front of me, I just need to trust it and grab a hold of it.

The hands of all the people in my life who love and care for me unconditionally who don’t deserve to be behind a wall with all the other pain I have hidden, but instead keep that support right beside me.

This is hard, and its painful. I tear up and cry just thinking about it. I don’t know how to be with the pain I put away as a child, but she has her hand out asking me for an out, and how can I deny myself that? I wouldn’t do it to my own child, why would I deny myself that love and healing that I never had a child?

No more building walls. I know it will be hard and painful, and will take some self-care and love, but I have good walls around me – people who love and care about me, and this is where the healing begins for ME and FOR HER.

** PHOTO ABOVE is owned and taken by Laura Ballesteros Photography**

8 comments

  1. It is amazing when we start to ‘see’ the hurt and pain ‘through’ a child’s point of view. I have had to do that and it is hard. SO hard. yet I have learned through the hard that ‘she’ the child or they ‘the children’ were just little people and not able to care for themselves in ways that big people do, they were little and powerless and vulnerable waiting for a rescuer. Sometimes that never came in the old ‘time’…but now… Right now, you can be the rescuer. You can be the one to open the door and say “I hear your pain, I understand your hurt and I am so sorry.” Then you journal and listen and allow ‘the stories to be told’. ALL of them. Not some. ALL of it is welcome.
    Healing will come but you have to be willing as the ‘adult now’ to listen.

    1. Thank you Sharon.. that was beautiful :) I appreciate your support and thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Karen,

    This is the mot courageous blog writing you have ever written. I may have said that before, but this one takes all of them by miles.

    You are so right, and I am sorry that is so painful.

    Everyone has an inner child Karen. We all have that inner part of us where the child always remains, but yours was damaged so much that there was never an honoring of those child like emotions to escape.

    Building walls in the past was your survival, building walls today is damaging to the healing process. Building walls today is denying the child inside the right to feel and be heard.

    The work you and Andy have done in the past week and this past year, you are opening that space to let that child come forward and it takes work, hard work, but healing work.

    I am excited for you, at the same time I feel sad for what you see and feel.

    I am proud of you. I am sure Andy is proud of you as well.

    Hanna

    1. Hanna, per usual, you always make me smile. You have really been a huge help to me in times of loss hope.

      You give me hope that I am doing the right thing… thank you for your nice comment

  3. Oh Karen this is so good. I like how Sharon O put it…the hurts that were done in the past you can now heal, and you can rescue your inner child NOW.

    But I was also thinking that your inner child is not just all about pain and wounds. I was wondering if you could find out how your inner child would play or be creative. And maybe that would also be part of the healing. To let her teach YOU the adult, what brilliance she wants to share with you.

    Sending love and warmth your way.

    1. Hey Gel ….

      I dont know what is harder, being with the painful memories that the inner child holds, or being with play and fun .. they both are painful for some reason .. something I will need to explore.

      Thank you Gel .. I always love your responses and I am heading over to your blog to comment on your awesome writing today .. I read it when I was in the car and wanted to come home to respons.

      HUGS

  4. Karen~
    I totally agree with Hanna! This one of your most vulnerable blog’s. You’re so brave and you encourage this girl and her inner child. I called Gretchen and had her read this blog that is how powerful it was. She totally agreed! You’re feelings are familiar and you’re risk is inviting and scary! You’ve given me “food for thought.” I’m excited to see how this part of your journey unfolds. You’re a strong woman with so much support and love around you and that right there as you know is where the healing begins!

    There’s a song by Josh Wilson called, “Carry Me” ~ I think you might like it!

    Hugs & Love,

    ~ Lauren ~

    1. Lauren … thank you and thank you for sharing this as well.. that means a lot to me. It was my hardest write, not only to write it, but to honor it in whole. It’s not an easy process. When you spend a lifetime putting something behind walls, it’s so hard to look at it and face what it means, and how it feels.

      My dreams have been vivid, my memories have been shocking and clearer and something is here and it’s big and I need to find a way to honor that.

      Love you girl.. thank you for being a part of my journey.

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