A not so normal journey to find and heal your inner self…
As I read the John Bradshaw Inner Child steps they seem inverted to me. When I look at the word trust – I don’t feel trust. I trust my dad. That may be the only person on this earth that I trust. And do I? I don’t know. I trust my children. i love them unconditionally and I appreciate their love and unconditional support. It is so wonderful to have unconditional support. I don’t know what i would do without it. I want to start with the bottom of the list, though, because they seem to be the toughest things for a wounded child to deal with. Tough thing is loneliness. We fear abandonment, but we don’t mind being alone. We fear being hurt, but we don’t mind being hurtful. We fear trust, but we over trust. We do not make any sense – to ourselves or to others. It is very confusing in this non trusting, too trusting, fearful unfearful world.
Yet – we are totally capable, and happy and upbeat people. But we are very complicated. I apologize to everyone for that. I know that I am not easy one to figure out. I can’t figure myself out – so I can’t be easy. I try to be upbeat though and I enjoy being nice to and getting niceness from others. I love it when I have a big hug from my tiny little daughter. She has abandonmenet fears too. She feels them so heavily sometimes that it is overwhelming to her to the point where she can’t move. She is learning to move through it but as I work with her through her anxieties, I see my own there too. They are like a shadow.
The infant moving within is a constant source of fear, rigidness, sadness, masked distrust. She is frightened and overwhelmed. No one is there for her. She feels held but not hugged. Most of the time she is in her crib sad and all alone. It is not a good feeling for her. She’s aware of her brother somewhere – next to her alot of the time. She wakes up one day about about 7 months, sits up and decides, hey, let’s make some trouble. She goes from there to rabble rousing a bit – a very fine sweet baby girl but learns to walk and starts doing silly, crazy attention getting things while their mom is pregnant with her fourth baby, right after losing her third child.
I don’t kow how to combat this loneliness. Sometimes I will eat bowls of popcorn and crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch. Or bags of vegetables. Crunch crunch. Yes. The crunching is the chomping of all the anger in me. There is sooooo much built-up anger from being soooo longely. So dissapointed. So not emotionally connected to my mom. She was a good mom but she didn’t connect emotionally. I don’t ever remember her, after I was about 11, being emotionally connected to me very much. She was wonderful I remember, when I was in like the fourth grade and I still needed like momma time and she’d make me tea and rock me in the rocking chair. That’s literally one of the best moments I can ever remember with her. That and then there was the week I was leaving for college when she suddenly realized I had a severe eating disorder and starting making me shakes and trying to feed me. That also felt incredibly good but at the same time I was in a rage inside about it. I didn’t rage at her – I raged inwardly by being annorexic and bulimic and just turning it all inside myself.
The loneliness frightens the baby – the child – the one inside. She doesn’t want to go back to basic fear and basic loneliness. She doesn’t let herself feel grief. She just feels a stinging horroble toxic shame. TOXIC SHAME. It is toxic because it hurts you and your life and the people around you. It makes you do stupid actions and horrible things. It makes you wonder who the hell you are and what you could have been doing during your whole crazy, insane, inane life – but at the same time you are over achieving, makng friends, and being in life. But inside – it’s not a hollow empty feeling although it can be. It’s a feeling in the pit of your stomach that you are going to throw up. That you cannot stomach things. That you are in that shame, that contamination – because you had to have done something horrible to be rejected like this.
So – when you are slightly pushed off or rejected guess what? It feels terrifying to you. It’s horrifying. It’s severe separation anxiety to the max. That’s why I couldn’t tolerate relationships with people who needed space. I needed to be suffocated and stuck like glue to the point that I got stuck to people and then found out later they were horrible people. They would actually turn away and abandon me. Maybe I did something to make it happen but more likely I kept choosing addictive half-people. THat’s it. I cannot think any more because I will hurl. The healing for all this in my opinion starts with grief. How do you get grief going?
Here Again is a Reminder about John Bradshaw’s view on Loneliness
The deepest core feelings of grief are toxic shame and loneliness. We were shamed by [our parents] abandoning us. We feel we are bad, as if we’re contaminated, and that shame leads to loneliness. Since our inner child feels flawed and defective, he has to cover up his true self with his adapted, false self. He then comes to identify himself by his false self. His true self remains alone and isolated.
Staying with this last layer of painful feelings is the hardest part of the grief process. “The only way out is through,” we say in therapy. It’s hard to stay at that level of shame and loneliness; but as we embrace these feelings, we come out the other side. We encounter the self that’s been in hiding. You see, because we hid it from others, we hid it from ourselves. In embracing our shame and loneliness, we begin to touch our truest self
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