For a number of years now, I have been doing inner child work, and the term ‘inner child’ may have been something I first heard when I read one of John Bradshaw’s books. I think that his books are terrific.
Anyway, when I first started doing this work I would get in touch with the parts of myself that related to when I was a small boy and, as time has passed, I have got in touch with even younger parts of myself. During these times I have felt like a baby.
More than One
I say ‘parts’ in both cases as I haven’t got in touch with the same part each time I have done this work on myself. This is why I don’t believe that there is just one inner child or one inner baby within me, or anyone else for that matter.
It is usually out of my control as to whether I connect to a child part or a baby part within me. What usually happens is that a wound ends up being triggered within me and when I connect to this wound, it will either be a child part or a baby part.
When I think about these parts, I often see them as being split-off parts. What this means is that whenever I experienced trauma as a child or a baby, a part of me ended up being pushed aside.
But while this stopped my system from being so overwhelmed that I was wiped out, it meant that it wasn’t possible for me to operate as whole human being. I ended up becoming more fractured as time went by.
One thing I have remembered is being separated from my mother when I was born and being left shortly after. Connecting to the pain I experienced during these moments was not easy, but it was good to cry it out.
I have found that there are many layers of pain within me, though, so I haven’t been able to process it all in one go. However, by doing this work on myself, I have been able to let go off a lot of pain and to become more integrated in the process.
Over to You
After hearing this, you may think that inner child or inner baby work sounds like a load of rubbish. Then again, you may have been doing this type of work for a number of years already.
Conversely, you may sense that you are carrying a number of split-off parts within you, and that these parts need your attention. Getting in touch with these parts is one part; another part is being able to hold the space so that they can speak out.
If you find that you are unable to connect to these parts without being overwhelmed, you will probably need to reach out for external support. A therapist or a healer, for instance, can hold the space so that you can go where you wouldn’t go by yourself.
With their presence, you can start to work through the pain that is within you and to gradually become a more integrated human being. After a while, your presence should grow, giving you the ability to hold the space for yourself.