Your Wounded Inner Child: How to Start the Healing Journey

By Dominica

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Last Updated: May 23, 2022

I didn’t realize I had a wounded inner child till I was nearing 40 years old. In fact, I thought my childhood had been pretty normal.

However, once I started revisiting my past, I realized that I started stuffing my emotions at an early age. Either I didn’t know how to express them or didn’t feel safe enough to express them.

I also forgot a whole lot of what occurred in my childhood. Some say this is due to the repression of memories or cutting off from my emotional field.

Professionals say that by the age of six, we’ve taken in a lot of information. Our personalities have become fairly formed. By then, we’ve made a lot of assumptions about ourselves, others, and the world. Depending on the living situation, those beliefs can be helpful or harmful.

 

 

What Was Your Childhood Like?

When I was going through a really rough time going in my mid-30’s, I took some time to revisit my childhood. I journaled about my parents and some things that happened when I was young. In psychology, there’s something called the “inner child”. This is the “little us” that grew up experiencing a lot of things.

I learned as an adult that I had a wounded child to contend with. There was a little girl who did not get the emotional support she needed as a young child. And, she experienced some very painful and scary things.

With a father struggling with alcoholism and a mother who struggled with depression, the household was somewhat dysfunctional. My parents were there, but not really emotionally there. They could not love me as healthily as they could because they were dealing with their own unresolved childhood issues.

  • What was your childhood like?
  • Can you remember?
  • Have you ever journaled about it?
  • Have you discussed it with a therapist?
  • Do you think your inner child is wounded or has unhealed emotional issues?

When I really began to realize that my current emotional issues were a product of a lifetime of repressed emotions and things that occurred as a small child, I felt a twinge of hope that I could get through the dark night of the soul. If you don’t think your wounded child is impacting your adult life, think again.

 

Forgiveness

First, I had to forgive myself for blaming me for things that happened.

Clearly, not everything is my fault. I felt responsible for many people’s happiness as a child. I wanted everyone around me to be happy and I did what I could to try to make that happen.

Throughout life, and I had to forgive myself for that. Other people’s happiness is not my responsibility. It’s a trait I picked up along the way because I wanted attention and affection so badly. I was love starved. That trait trickled over into my adult life.

I began looking at my wounded child with compassion. I also began taking responsibility and doing away with the victim mentality. I began to nurture my wounded child and let her know she is now safe and so very loved.

 

Your Wounded Childhood Affects You Later

Many adults don’t think that their childhood has an impact on them later in life.

Just look at the millions of people struggling with addiction. Many of them are really contending with a wounded child and a dysfunctional or traumatic childhood that they have not really dealt with at the core level. They've been stuffing and numbing since they were little.

If this is you, it’s time to do whatever it takes to start digging deep to get to core issues. Yes, you may need professional help with this.

 

What is the Goal?

Integration or wholeness is the goal of inner child healing.

Think of yourself starting out as a whole pie when you were born. A beautiful, scrumptious pie. But over time, as you were wounded and experienced pain or conditional love, pieces of your pie were taken.

You became fragmented. Now, you are a fragmented hurting soul. You’ve lost parts of yourself and your true being (soul, spirit) is nudging you to get yourself back. To integrate the wounded parts and become whole once again.

 

Take Your Power Back

You don’t have to walk around wounded anymore. Codependency will keep you feeling wounded and ashamed, but you can begin taking steps to get your power back.

It is certainly a journey and one you can begin today. I always tell people that are dealing with codependency or a wounded child to seek professional help.

Yes, you can read all the great books on the topic, but if you can find a professional to help you, even better. There are also groups like Codependent’s Anonymous that can help you learn more about codependency and yourself.

Once healing occurs, do you ever see your wounded child again?

I can say for myself, yes. She pops up every now and then, especially in my closest relationships. I may become insecure or find myself projecting. I may notice that I’m stuffing feelings out of fear of conflict. Or I may notice that I’m people pleasing.

I will be on the lookout for the codependent traits that I tend to contend with, so I can recognize them and deal with them.

Maybe I'm out of balance somewhere and need to spend some time in prayer or meditation.

I may need to speak the truth to a loved one, or may just need a season to really nurture and love my inner child.

 

 

How’s Your Inner Child?

What about you? Have you ever dealt with your wounded inner child? If not, make a commitment to begin doing so today.

It’s a journey worth taking, but don't take it on alone. Digging up these feelings and memories will be difficult, so make sure you have the support from loved ones, a support group, professional therapist, or ideally, all of the above. 

Photo by RODNAE Productions

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18 comments on “Your Wounded Inner Child: How to Start the Healing Journey”

  1. I was born unwanted, a fifth girl child. I realized i was unwanted by the age of 7 when i was diagnosed with psoriasis. Then started the physical and emotional abuse. My brothers and sisters were loved while i was left to suffer from a debilitating disease. I had been prescribed a mild anti depressant at the age of 7. I was discriminated at school. My mother hated me from the bottom of her heart. I could see it very clearly. Due to psoriasis i suffered from.hyper acidity and wanted to have lots of curd to cool me down. By the time i was a teenager i suffered from severe depression. I tried to commit suicide with the anti depressant pills. But i didn't die but there was a severe reaction to the ingestion of the pills so i was taken to the doctor and he couldn't give me a stomach wash and threatened my father of calling tbe police if this behaviour toward their child didn't stop. I was given a strong pill to sleep for 48 hrs and sent home. The moment I opened my eyes after 48 hrs my mother thrashed me and kicked me. I was completely confused and didn't know what to do. The suffering and torture continued. My mother tried to suspect of all impossible things and called me a whore and best me up regularly and house arrested me. I waited patiently for better times. I became very weak. I'm afraid i can't continue its been a very long painful journey and the memories have remained and tortured. I never received any love .. never a hug .. never kind words. A kind man married me and got me treated .. but the intense pain remains. I do t know if I'll ever get over this. I'll die with this heavy burden in my heart.. unloved uncared for by the people who gave birth to me and cursed me for having been born. It wasn't my fault. They could've killed me. But they didn't. It was my karma.

    1. Prema, I am horrified and saddened by your story. You must be a very brave person to have been through all of that and still be working toward finding peace for yourself. I have no understanding of what you have been through, but I think you must have a very strong spirit to keep going. Your words will resonate, touch and inspire people who have been through similar things, so I hope that brings you some solace. Wishing you so much luck on your path.

  2. Very profound topic.. wounded inner child
    Thank you for the helpful insights and suggestions

  3. I have during the last 2 years, discovered that I am suffering from wounded inner child. I don't know how to let go, I have had counselling 24 sessions and am now just finishing extended sessions with a Psychologist and still struggling.

    1. AS many others have said, please do not give up hope Patricia. You couldn't help what happened to you, but you are doing what you can to heal yourself now, and that is an extremely brave place to be. Sending you positive thoughts and wishing you so much love in your journey to come.

  4. I suffered the same abuse and also psoriasis as Prema Viswanathan and I also became an alcoholic to hide the pain and scourge of the abuse and disease.. but when I followed Jesus 30yrs ago my life changed and I'm now a 72yr old individual with no regrets and living a beautiful life .

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Cedric. You will inspire many people to stay on the path to healing their past and finding peace.

  5. Prema, I do not pretend to know your pain. I have not had your experiences, but I do have my own pain from my own experiences. Please do not give up. There is hope. Sometimes you have to search very hard, but there is always help out there. Thank God for the kind man that married you. Physical treatment is the first step toward healing. But there are many more steps. Do not stop now. I will pray for you and am cheering for you.

  6. This is a very profound topic. An aspect of the soul that many of us don't recognize. I would al so like to reply to Prema Viswanathan that I am relieved that a kind man married her. Attracting and experiencing a kind husband is a focus of gratitude that can ease some of the suffering. May we all find a space for gratitude.

    1. Well said Sharon. This is a very difficult topic to talk about, as it can reveal deep wounds. Know that we are not in this alone as long as we have a caring community.

  7. Dear Prema. Your profound suffering is awful and heartbreaking, but there is also hope. Many people have, through Grace and commitment, turned their lives around as Cedric shared with us. My own life is being saved through the relationship to my Beloved Guru, Adi Da Samraj. You will discover a wealth of information and videos with his teaching online. I hope so much you take this first step towards true healing. It's not easy, but it is real.

    1. Thank you for sharing your journey with us Ben. This is the kind of support we need to give each other. Hopefully Prema and everyone else who this has touched can see that we are not alone.

  8. Prema, love to you. So many kids and adult kids are treated differently to their siblings. I was one of these too. I am thinking of starting a not for profit charity to help those like you to connect with others who have had similar experiences. If this existed on FB or the net would you share with others and would you like to have a meet up where you can meet other adults who can share healing tips and support each other. I've been thinking on this for some time, xxx Angie

    1. That's a wonderful idea Angela, please keep us posted on your idea, as that would likely help many people who feel they have no one else to turn to.

  9. I have talked to a few of my close friends about the fact
    If we misbehaved we were always told by my mother wait till your father got home. When he did arrive home we got a hiding so we
    tried to hide but he always found us and smacked us severely.
    My friends mostly had the same story as mine.

    I remember my mother in law asking me when i had my 3 children why do you hug and kiss your children so much. I replied its because I love them so much.

    1. That's lovely Heather, they are so lucky to have you. What a beautiful example of how you can change behavior that was taught to you as a child. Thank you for sharing with the community.

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