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It's Time to Start Healing the Inner Child

Recently I had a therapy session in which I was recounting various times as a child when I witnessed violence, aggression, anger, etc carried out, usually by adults, but not just adults, adults in my life - family members, neighbors, you get the idea. As a child, I was witness to many events, and like a true voyeur, nobody ever noticed I was there, which also means, nobody ever shielded me from any of it either.

I was tasked to revisit those scenes, to go back and care for that little girl whom nobody else paid attention to. Tasked to go back and tell her that she’s safe, to take her to a place where she doesn’t have to watch everything unfold. Take her to a place where I can ask her if she’s ok, help her process what she saw, show her love. When I was tasked with this, my response was to laugh. I told my therapist:

Nope. I can’t do it. The Protector says, “Don’t bother, we already know we survived. There’s no need to go back there. There’s no point in revisiting this.”

My homework since then has been to work with this, to let the Protector know that it’s ok, that she doesn’t need to stop us from going back. In the process of this homework, and the constant divine messages to let something from my past go - not to forget it, but to stop living in it, I’ve come to realize something else entirely.

Part of offering that little girl, and even the Protector, a chance to change the narrative, an opportunity to change their state in those trauma events, also means offering them both comfort, to possibly hold that little girl, to let her cry. This isn’t something the Protector is comfortable with receiving, because we never received it as a child. I was always the giver, in childhood and adulthood, but I am never the receiver, in childhood or adulthood. This is why she coaxed me away from going back because she knew it would mean giving me permission to bring her comfort, and she simply can’t receive it. Instead, she reminds me of key times in our life, as a child and adult, when we brought comfort to another, but never received the comfort we needed to heal. The exercise of going back to parent the inner child seems meaningless to the Protector because we already parented the people who were there in the first place.

Because the Protector can’t cry, neither can I. Because the Protector can’t share her truth, fears, love, neither can I. Because the Protector has consistently been rejected and silenced, so have I.

The constant parenting of other people has led to the Protector establishing that that sweet little girl is strong enough, which is good because people won’t notice her anyway. The Protector taught that little girl to go unnoticed, to slink in the darkness, to tread quietly, to hunker down, to watch but never to participate. Participating will only lead to rejection, and it’s better - easier - to go unnoticed because being unnoticed means never feeling the ache of rejection from those you expected would take you in.

In a lot of ways, that’s what love was to the Protector - hidden, toxic, violent, manipulative, cold, raw, and brutal. What love wasn’t, was warm, nurturing, inviting, unconditional, supportive, accepting, honest, or safe. I learned to love the way the Protector learned to love, despite how much I try to fight against it now. Suddenly the disconnect in my body and my mind begins to make sense. So the homework continues as I try to reach the protector and that sweet little girl. As I try to redefine love for them and for myself. As I try to accept being accepted. As I forgive the parenting that I’ve done. As I demand a love in return that matches the love that I give. Mostly, the homework is in realizing that the Protector has protected everyone else, and I can’t do that anymore; protecting myself is more than enough.

Love and Light,

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