I think these steps take the most work to do especially if the traumas and the effects are a big part of your life. For me, healing my inner child is HUGE progress not only for me, but the rest of my relationships.
The book mentions objectifying the pain in order to separate the feelings from traumatic experiences. I learned I never separated my feelings and coping mechanisms ended up becoming characteristics and traits. As a 30-year-old woman, I’m still carrying around all those feelings I had when I was 9. As cliché as it sounds, traumatic experiences don’t make you the person you are. This section of the chapter resonates with me the most because it explains so much about me emotionally. I wonder what kind of person I turn out to be if I did give myself the time and space as a child to fully objectify my pain. It’s important to separate those feelings so I can actually tell my inner child everything is okay. It’s funny that now that I’m dissecting trauma to figure out the actual effects on my life and developmental growth into an adult.
Earlier this week, I was on the way to work and I started talking to myself about how I process grief. It takes a while for things to hit me because I don’t give myself time to process what’s really going on. I have to actually sit and think about how I feel on a deeper level. My uncle died a couple years ago and it wasn’t until his funeral 2 weeks later that I cried. Grieving isn’t something that comes “naturally” to me. I’m not entirely sure how to grieve childhood pain but I definitely think taking my parents off the pedestal is part of that process.
Another way I think is part of the grieving process is telling my parents how I feel when I felt slighted or just speaking up about things in general. I didn’t do it when I was younger and it set a horrible precedent saying my thoughts and feelings don’t matter. It sucks when parents feel like they can still speak to you like a child whenever an issue is bought up. Now that I’m looking back on it, it’s not a great way to teach conflict resolution. Again, it’s easy for me to not process my emotions so most times I “let it go” but then it eats me up inside because I didn’t communicate how I really feel and the conflict/issue goes unresolved.
At this stage, everything I’ve grieved, learned, and accepted is resolved. I know I’m not at this stage yet because I’m still learning how to grow from being “child-like” to being a fully functioning adult. Robert helps me with getting to this stage a lot because he’s on the outside looking in and can point out things to me that aren’t right. When I reach this stage, I think of peace. I can finally communicate to my family how they’ve made me feel without any pushback and not walk away feeling emotionally drained. I’m thrilled to get to this point. I don’t want any of my other relationships to suffer and I just want to live my life and not feel like I have to take other people into consideration when doing what’s best for me.