I remember sitting in a therapy group years ago. It was well before I was going for myself. I always went in the hopes I could find ways to change other people in my life that I thought needed changing. I wasn’t ready to change me. I was fine.
In that group I learned about The Inner Child. Back then Author John Bradshaws ideas of finding the inner child and healing the inner child were big in therapy groups.
That group was BIG into healing the inner child. We had to get up and speak to our inner child. I hated that. I was there to fix someone else. I was fine. Yes my dad drank. Yes he had anger issues and yes I grew up in a dysfunctional family but my inner child was fun. I was there to fix a guy. A guy I was dating.
I still recall the house where we met. It was a funky cottage in an older section of Bethesda, Maryland. Not far from the Potomac river. It was an eclectic neighborhood. And the house vibe wasnt what I would have expected for a therapist but the room with its area to sit in a circle on the floor with pillows lent itself to comfort and a safeness. But when we had to talk to our inner child I thought they were all nuts. I only attended two or three sessions. During the last one I attended a woman a little older than me decided to put it out there for me -she said that I needed to stop and look at myself and ask myself why I wanted to date such people that didn’t want to commit to a full relationship. It wasn’t him it was me that needed to change.
I was taken aback and left that night never to return. I wasn’t the one who needed to change. It was him.
I was only 24 or 25 years old. I wasn’t there yet. I was so immature. I didn’t see what the others saw. But good for me to seek therapy. Good for my mother who herself went to therapy over the years even when people made fun of those who sought such help. She taught me not to question therapy it was just something one did like go to the dentist. I saw no stigma.
I just wasn’t ready to search inside myself.
As the years progressed I went to a number of therapists. Some didn’t jibe with me so I left treatment. Othees worked out well for me and I stayed with them for years. My last one -Barbara-who we (my entire family ) saw died of Colon cancer. I still miss her and haven’t found anyone since that was a good fit for me. But i will.
But before Barbara there was Claudia. She might even read this as we are Facebook friends. Claudia. She was my therapist right before and a then after I married. She was the perfect therapist for me at the time. She got me to work on me. She wasn’t a Bradshaw enthusiast I don’t think though I’m sure we did work on my inner child in many non-direct ways -like in regression therapy.
Claudia and I talked, she did Reiki, tap therapy (as I was dealing with terrible anxiety) , hypnosis and more. She was a kind and caring person. She championed me and I’ll never forget her.
She made me see my inner self and my inner child. She helped me realize that I was a good person and I deserved good things. Though I still struggle with that sometimes.
But I came to realize we never really grow up all the way. And the most evolved humans are the ones who embrace their inner child and spend time healing any brokenness or trauma that child encountered.
And It’s fun to act child like sometimes. The other day my BFF from childhood -Eileen-sent me a text and in that text she wrote something that made me belly laugh. It hurt too since I’m recovering from surgery! But it’s good to let that child shine through sometimes. We go back almost 50 years. That’s a lot of lifetime but we still can snicker like the teens we once were.
My husband gets together with high school friends and they go on and act like they are still 17. It’s a good thing I’ve known a couple of them for almost as long as he has or the jabs and old stories and theimmature behavior might get old -but I can join in some bc I have old stories with some of them -though I forget many of them but our friend Terry has us doubled over much of the time. That’s the kids in us. Those connnextions are a blessing.
Tom Atkins wrote a poem about picking a honeysuckle and tasting its nectar and how it brought him back to his childhood. I love the poem be when I read it I felt it. I was picking honeysuckle as a girl and then later with my little kids. When I read that prom it warmed me ane I felt that child inside me giggle.
So all these years later I’ve come to know my inner child and I’ve worked on her. I’ve know when I go to therapy I go to help me not another person.
Little Anne is in there and she has healed a lot over the years because I worked on both of us. We still have a ways to go. I still have a lot to figure out.
A couple weeks ago I was perusing one of the local online yard sale pages and I saw this Barbie dollhouse. (See below). It came with the furniture and car. My heart jumped. I wanted it. My innner child jumped out and sang “get me that dollhouse”. I had one as a child though these have evolved and are even better than before. But I remember seeing that dollhouse under the Christmas tree one Christmas morning many years ago. I still remember how I felt.
I have no room for such a thing and no reason to buy it- except for the way it makes me feel. Like a kid again. And that’s a good thing.
I didnt buy it. But I saved the picture. I hope it goes to little girl who will someday when she’s middle aged look at a picture of a dollhouse and feel the way I felt when I saw it.
I’ve come to love my inner child. For a long time she was hurt and she was ignored. And that hurt child helped facilitate some bad choices bc she was hurt. But Now we are one. I’m am and adult and I am a child and we love dollhouses.
Screenshot Photo cred: Facebook yard sale site.
More about the inner child in this great article: