Honoring Your Inner Child to Find Your Strength

We all have an inner child within us.

An inner child who was, at some point, abused, traumatized, wounded, either intentionally or inadvertently by someone, more often than not, who held the power to protect us.

We all have an inner child within us.

Mine is named “Little one.” Little one is small and fragile. She is around five years old. She likes to play alone behind a chair in the corner.

Little one and I spend time together often. Learning to communicate with each other, learning to trust each other, learning to love each other.

The adult me wants to protect Little one. Keep her hidden from those of whom first hurt her. Ensure her safety at all costs. Wrap her in bubble wrap so she is never wounded again.

The adult me prefers to be the one in control.

Recently, I was re-traumatized by my abuser. Re-traumatized in the most intense and painful way to date.

This sparked a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stress response of a magnitude I have yet to experience.

Adult me responded in complete and total panic to keep Little one safe. It was an intense panic to keep her hidden, keep her from getting hurt. A panic so encompassing, I didn’t listen to her, didn’t acknowledge her crying, or her pleas for help.

The adult me demanded Little one and forced her to remain hidden. Protecting her from further abuse was the top priority.

Adult me pleaded with her to stay down, keep her head low, stay in her bubble wrap behind the chair where no one could find her, despite her begging with me to allow her to help.

Every fiber of my being, both rational and irrational, fought to protect her heart from more wounding while she was cried and pleaded with me to let her give me her power, be that power within me. Yet I refused. I refused to surrender to her love and care.

This is what a PTSD stress response looks like.

Manic behavior to protect something unseen, but felt.

Scorched dirt war tactics to ensure the safety of someone not physically present but who resides within you.

The willingness to suffocate the one you love in effort to keep them from further harm.

Rarely does any action to a PTSD stress response look or feel like rational behavior.

Abruptly, the combat ends. The stress response wears itself out. Normal, functional behavior takes over the controls of your mind. Rationality returns to the helm of the ship. The war continues, but this battle has been won. Exhaustion seeps in.

It is in that exhaustion, where clarity takes center stage. Clarity that Little one held the power the whole time. Understanding that as hard as you were trying to keep her hidden, protect her, she is your source, and your power at the same time.

Little one is where wholeness within yourself is found. She is the answer. She is where all love lies.

Without Little one, you are incomplete. You are only strong when she is rowing in the boat beside you, not cast aside, hidden away, buried safety underground. You are only strong when your hands are held tightly together.

So you ask for her forgiveness. You take her tiny hand, apologize and ask her to stand beside you, within you, as you. Together you start rebuilding the shattered pieces of your soul from this last traumatizing event.

Hand in hand you lay them out in a different way this time…a broader base, a firmer structure, placed on the rock foundation of love and surrender instead of the slippery sand of control.

The broken shards are placed together with more care, acknowledgment and honoring the sacrifice each one was so willing to make.

You understand this time your structure is more sound, stronger, fused with the unconditional love you have for each other and together, you offer thanksgiving.

When finished, you both enter your fortress together, with more fortitude than before, smarter than previously believed, wrapped in an impenetrable bubble of love.

You look at Little one with reverence and gratitude, finally fully understanding she is your source for life and love, knowing she holds all your power, and you smile. You know, together you are unstoppable. Together you are love. Together you will wait, acknowledging and honoring each other, for the next stress response to happen, as it inevitably will, measuring time through the frequency of the attacks.

Together, you will be ready.

We all have an inner child within us.


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