Have you ever gone through a traumatic childhood experience that left you emotionally wounded beyond repair?
Do you think that your parents or guardians failed to create a nurturing household when you were younger?
Are the remnants of disturbing memories from your youth still haunt you to this day?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be suffering from an inner child wound. This happens when you’ve undergone a traumatic childhood while being neglected or abused by your parental figures, which led to you harboring painful feelings.
As a result, these negative emotions could resurface once you reach adulthood and cause issues in both your relationships with others and yourself. According to Dr. Paul R. McHugh, this condition has two types of overactions.
This occurs if you grew up without a close relationship with your parents. They could not provide a secure environment for you.
Instead of feeling safe, you feel insecure and fearful within your family. If you were raised by a guardian who was emotionally unavailable, you may experience feelings of vulnerability and anxiety due to having no reliable base of security.
It means having difficulty trusting others due to a traumatic experience where you felt unsafe and unable to depend on someone. In this case, you become anxious around strangers and avoid situations where you might be hurt. You may find yourself feeling detached and alone.
You may also tend to blame yourself for terrible life events when you feel as though you did something wrong and caused the problem. Thus, you start to believe bad things about yourself.
How to Heal Inner-Child Wounds
There’s no one right way to heal from inner child wounds. Everyone heals at their own pace. But here are some steps to guide you towards healing:
1. Forgive yourself and let go of guilt.
When we beat ourselves up over the past, it keeps us stuck in the same place that prevents us from moving forward. We keep carrying around all these negative emotions without processing them. Letting go helps release the weight of those negative emotions and allows you to fully live in the present.
2. Talk about your hurt feelings.
If you feel ashamed of something that happened in your childhood, talking about it can lessen the embarrassment, makes you less defensive, and free you. Talking about it in a safe environment with someone who you trust (a therapist might work best) is helpful.
3. Reclaiming power from the past.
Once we take back control, we can then decide how to react to our past which can be empowering and liberating. We can choose to heal instead of letting our past dictate our future.
4. Remember that healing takes time.
Healing is a long journey. Don’t expect the wound to disappear overnight. Rather, focus on moving forward each day.
5. Find out what works for you.
If you have been struggling with the inner world of your childhood trauma, it can be hard to know what treatments work best for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Therapy — Experts can guide you through the traumatic memory and help you learn coping skills if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You can get specific instructions on how to deal with your issues from an expert.
- Support Groups — Online groups offer an alternative option for receiving support, especially if you don’t want to talk face-to-face with others. These online communities offer similar benefits to traditional therapy groups.
- Meditation — Meditating can give you clarity and perspective on your past experiences. Many different types of meditation exist, including mindfulness meditations, guided imagery, mantra meditation, etc.
- Self Awareness — Sometimes just being aware of ourselves can bring relief to our pain. Take notice of any feelings or thoughts that are triggered by old memories. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that the trauma wasn’t pleasant. It was painful, but you survived.
Ultimately, know that you are not alone. When it comes to emotional healing and recovery from an inner child wound, it could be challenging but often necessary.