Dear Inner Child

Stronger Than REalized 11.7.14-1

Stronger Than You Realize by Kris Rozelle

Dear Inner Child,

You’ve been through so much and I am not sure how you coped. Your strength inspires me with every memory I recover. I know you are the reason we are alive today. And I thank you for all you did to keep going. Sometimes, others ask me how I lived through it and I don’t know the answer. You carried that burden. And to some extent, you still do.

Unfortunately, some of those approaches you used to stay alive might be setting us back these days. The dissociation, the isolation and the anxiety were perfect coping strategies in an environment of prolonged and inescapable trauma. But we aren’t there anymore. We live in a different world, a more benign world. Sure, there are still plenty of people who need an attitude adjustment (or much more). And the days when the kids just don’t care about boundaries can be a little rough. But in the current reality, there is safety, the kind you never knew as a child.

And I know you are tired. I know you are tired of the inner battles, the panic attacks and the attempts to thwart situations for which you should never have been responsible. And that is just it. You should not have to understand the adult dilemmas you were once expected to figure out. And I am here to tell you that you don’t have to anymore.

Why? Because there’s an adult here now. Not the kind of adult you are used to. Not the kind of adult that tells you lies, gains your trust and then invades your boundaries. Not the kind of adult that manipulates you to believe that all the pain is your fault. This is an adult with your best interest in mind. This is an adult that never wants to hurt you. This is me, you, just older. And I want what you want. I want peace.

But peace doesn’t come the way you think it does. It doesn’t come by hiding or avoiding all difficult situations and people. That was the only option you had as a child. And I commend you for using it to stay alive. But today, peace comes from listening to that inner calling, that larger purpose. Peace comes from standing up for myself and not worrying about what that other person thinks of me, or if they will retaliate later. Peace comes from knowing I am the full expression of my being.

I know you don’t agree. I hear you loud and clear. Some refer to their voice as an inner critic. They even talk about drowning it out or ignoring it. But I know better. I know you are a scared child and you are afraid of changing. You are afraid the change might result in death, or even worse, further abuse. While you may be critical, you are just trying to be protective. I don’t want to drown you out. I want to work with you. I want to cooperate. I want to use your knowledge to help us grow and become stronger. Your caution is needed. But so is my passion for purpose. And the more we integrate, the closer we will come to the peace we both seek.

Because the inner division will never bring peace. And since neither of us can have it completely our way, we will either continue without peace or we will work together. And with peace comes a meaningful life. They are the same. They must be.

So today I appeal to you, my child. And I know you aren’t sure what to think because honestly, nobody has ever appealed to you before. You have always been told what to do. You have always been forced to be someone different. And I know you don’t trust me. But I appeal to you anyway. And I will wait until you can understand that I am not here to manipulate or take advantage of you. But I would like you to let me take care of that adult stuff that is just too much for a child to take on. I would like you to let go, just a little, so I can do for you what nobody ever did, let you be a child, let you grow and develop in the way you were never allowed. And as you do, all that you are will become who I am. And we will be together, living life in a unified inner world.

And you will finally be able to rest.

You will finally be able to close your eyes without fear.

You will finally find peace under my wing.

You will be home.

Love,

Me … And You

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20 thoughts on “Dear Inner Child

  1. Dear Elizabeth,
    Wow, what a beautiful letter to those parts of you who have been so broken, misguided, scared and doing all they can so you all could survive. We’re all stronger than we realize! I did a piece of digital artwork titled “Your Stronger Than You Realize” tonight in honor of your story and our own quest for peace in the midst of the journey to healing. (If you would like to see it, I can send it somewhere. )

    Let me say, I sat fist to cheek in tears reading your blog as I contemplated my own letter to child alters who have taken ritual abuse, incest from multiple family members, the sex trafficking, and being less than a human in my stead. My heart melted at the love you have for your parts and it reminded me of myself. I choose to see them as family..it’s not the who I always say, but the do (behavior) in response to the abuse that has been unbearable at times. All these coping mechanisms are used as weapons against the pain and inner shame. I’ve so longed to show them we can be united and truly care and love them, yet I take back control and avoid out of fear and panic of what they took for me. If we can hold hands in this journey and share the work divided by two it is much less. For us, disassociation keeps me locked from what they hold, but if they could believe in the love I have for them, and the things that make us strong, that peace can enter our life for the first time and I will stand side by side with them in my life, not separated! You gave me such hope! To give the gift of life, we have to give Love! My alters cringe, but acknowledging their pain and letting them have a voice to speak will bring about that peace I’ve so long avoided out of fear of death, pain and loss that murdered their souls and shattered hearts.

    We are stronger than we realize… these precious children no longer have to do it on their own! We are there to hold them close and tell them they have wonderful sunshine in their hearts. They have someone who believes in them and will protect them with an unconditional and understanding love. I’m so deeply encouraged by your message and it resonates in my healing at the moment. As we let go and open our arms true healing happens, What an appealing appeal!

    I’m Wishing you well on the journey Elizabeth. It takes bold courage to face your inner child with a desire to let go and your to be commended! I’m still choked up here! I desire to be whole and free thought we have so much memory recovery work to do and I’m scared out of my mind! It’s a time for learning why I have missed half of my life. One ounce of pain is worth it though, look what they all took for me. Thank you for your beautiful example to all warriors in battle over their lives. May we all find our peace!

    Best,
    ~K

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  2. Dear Elisabeth,
    Thanks sooo much for your blog. This letter had me in tears. It is such a beautiful gift, tears and all. I have been grappling with this myself at a fairly deep level for over 12 months, trying to gain the trust of my own inner child so I (we) might access specialised rape recovery counselling. For most of that time I have been trying to reassure her that I will not force her to say anything, or remember anything she is not ready to. Now I’ve been waiting for 3 months since my intake counselling appointment to be seen regularly.

    Realising how much abuse my inner child has carried and shielded me from for so long (over 40 years) was an enormous shock. Here are two poems I wrote. The first was written for a friend many years ago when I had just begun to know her, I had no idea then it was also my story. The second poem I wrote last year – hard on the heels of seeing this was my story.

    She
    I know a woman: she is beautiful.
    She has much to give others
    she is warm and loving
    she is compassionate and strong
    she is self-reflective and courageous
    she is speaking and singing her truth
    she is learning to care for herself
    she is clothed for protection as best she knows how.
    She is deeply afraid

    I know a child: she is beautiful.
    She is small and vulnerable
    she is abused, traumatised
    she is crying out for love
    she is desperately seeking safety
    she is appealing to be rescued
    she is naked and has nowhere to hide.
    She is mute with terror
     
    The two live in the one person –
    they are becoming acquainted
    the woman is learning to listen to the child
    the child is learning to speak
    the woman is letting the child be known
    the child is being embraced
    They are growing into one
    Her beauty shines from within
    She is loved.
     
     
    ©Kristin Gillespie, 9 May 2002
    May the God who is mother of us all wrap you in her unconditional love
    may Jesus the crucified touch and heal all your deep wounds
    may the Spirit join your scattered pieces and let your unique beauty shine through

    She is Found

    The woman approaches Him
    “Please find my lost little girl:
    For no other can trace her
    And cut the ties that bind”

    Taking up His crook the shepherd
    Departs on the painstaking search
    Throughout all the world
    And down so many weary years

    Finally He finds His lamb, captive
    In her stepfather’s bed –
    A man she loved and trusted
    Who never should have touched her

    The shepherd tenderly severs the bindings
    Cradling the child with compassion
    Cleansing tears wash over them
    During their arduous journey

    He’s carrying her safe home
    To the arms of the patient supplicant
    Whose love and wisdom
    Belong to the woman she will become

    Kristin Gillespie© July 2013

    Blessings on your journeying,
    Kristin

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  3. Oh my this is so me, I have read this with free flowing tears feeling it with all I my heart, thank you so much for writing this I couldn’t put anything on paper. Maybe this will help me within my own therapy

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  4. This post is very comforting. I know how you feel. I am a child trauma abuse survivor. I blog about it here: http://self-love-u.blogspot.com/ It is nice to see your bold stance and success in this area. It is my passion to spread the word and help victims get the information they need to heal earlier than I did. I want the pathway recorded for people to follow more easily. I also want to prevent the world from stigmatizing abuse victims. I want to open a national dialog about child abuse, recovery, etc… I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way I’ve suffered. It’s pointless. It’s all under cover. Thank you for sharing your light and your courage.

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  5. Embrace the negative part or eject it?

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about this. First, let me say, this letter is phenomenal. Right on time with exactly where I am. Thank you so much for your honesty and open heart. You are truly helping more than you know.

    Here’s my interest regarding this paragraph you wrote about the Inner Critic….

    “I know you don’t agree. I hear you loud and clear. Some refer to their voice as an inner critic. They even talk about drowning it out or ignoring it. But I know better. I know you are a scared child and you are afraid of changing. You are afraid the change might result in death, or even worse, further abuse. While you may be critical, you are just trying to be protective. I don’t want to drown you out. I want to work with you. I want to cooperate. I want to use your knowledge to help us grow and become stronger. Your caution is needed. But so is my passion for purpose. And the more we integrate, the closer we will come to the peace we both seek.

    Because the inner division will never bring peace. And since neither of us can have it completely our way, we will either continue without peace or we will work together. And with peace comes a meaningful life. They are the same. They must be.”

    And this is an area I am personally working on closely. Right there; so I thought I would share.

    Embrace the negative part or eject it? I know it’s important that we embrace our wholes selves, however, I feel that parts of us that are divided against the well being of the whole (even if they’re trying to protect us), should be kicked out, separated, banished, shoved against the wall, kicked to the moon.

    That Imago Interject is the internal response to the voice of the abusive parent. It’s insidious. When you are hurting inside and in pain because of something your subconscious is telling you… things you were taught about yourself as a child, under all the layers, keep repeating themselves over and over and repeating the trauma. We’re programmed to do it to ourselves. The pain our wounded child feels is the result of these false messages. It’s despair.

    There is no power in despair. But, there is power in anger. Even the body response is different, more alert, upright and ready for action. Tapping into our anger inside against the false messages that are inside. Getting mad at the injustice our own hearts spew without conscious awareness. Standing up to the Inner Critic has helped me to access my own power and given me the ability to set boundaries within and without against criticism and conditional love.

    I love the way Peter Walker, MA Psychotherapist explains how to deal with the inner critic. I’ve read it many, many times.
    http://www.pete-walker.com/shrinkingInnerCritic.htm

    Once I started rebelling against the negative inner voices, I stopped hurting. There was no hurt in that area for the inner child to be hurt. It feels like I embraced the hurt not by holding onto it, but by kicking butt internally. Stopping the bleeding. Standing up to the Inner Critic has made all the difference. 1000s of little hurts, but one at a time.

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    • I hear what you are saying and I tried that. Believe me, I tried that. But to me, it isn’t as much about kicking out the critical parts as it is about integrating them back in to the whole. My inner critic is stubborn and angry and sad and confused, but there are good aspects to those things too. Once she is integrated, her strengths become my strengths. When we are on the same page, we can accomplish almost anything. I have made a choice to join with her and it has been unbelievable helpful in my recovery work.

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      • I believe you. So interesting. Our own hearts know the path and every one of us is different. I think the exploration of our differences offers breadcrumbs to more healing for me.

        My Inner Critic is never sad, confused or angry. It is just cognitively and constantly saying that I’m not good enough. It doesn’t go that deep, however, it wounds deep. My Inner Critic is not in my limbic, it’s in my Cerebral Cortex. It’s the judgment piece, which takes critical thinking, which is higher level, more cerebral than the wounds of my inner child (the emotional part).

        What a beautiful journey. I would love to hear more about integration and breaking dissociative walls. I think this letter is a prime example of that process. I am closing in on those parts and sometimes feel like I’m worlds away.

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      • In my case, I actually had multiple inner children at different ages. One definitely more cognitive (although still very unconscious) and one more emotional. I discovered that most of my inner upheaval was the battle between them. One has been easier to integrate, but both have been quite a journey. Most of my work these days is about the integration of dissociated parts. While I am not diagnosed with DID, I share many of the same separations. But I do not lose time. My ego self stays “in charge”.

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    • That’s just my point. I don’t have it because I don’t lose time. With my writing and speaking, I am bringing the idea of “parts” in to the main stream. Parts aren’t just for those with DID. We all have them. We all have separations, some worse than others. It is the recognition and integration of our parts that make us whole again.

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