Connecting with the Child within

Children develop a deep sense of distrust when their caretakers are untrustworthy or unpredictable. The world appears as a dangerous and unpredictable place and the child learns to be on guard and in control so as to feel safe and vulnerable to being disappointed.

The cognitive function of a child’s mind learns that if they are in control, they know that no one can catch them off guard and hurt them. Issues of control stemming from lack of trust can destroy relationships in the future.

  • In friendships
  • Intimate relationships and intimate demands
  • In workplaces
  • In educational settings

Research shows that people with trust issues, either give up all control and trust in a naive, gullible way, or they withdraw into isolation and loneliness. A person who has never learned to trust confuses intensity with intimacy, obsession with care, and control with security.

Child within

Different categories that may rise

  1. Intimacy Dysfunction

Many adults, with a wounded child within, move back and forth between the dear of abandonment and the fear of engulfment. some refuse to leave destructive relationships due to their terror of being alone, and others remain isolated because of their fear of being smothered by another person. Still, others fluctuate between the two extremes.

The reason for this is that the wounded child within often contaminates the relationship because the person has no sense of an authentic self.

In order to feel loved a child acts according to the way, they perceive others and want them to behave. This false self is reinforced by the family systems’ needs and by cultural, sex, or gender roles. The false self eventually becomes all the person knows and they forget that it is an adaptation that is based upon a script someone else wrote.

It is not possible to be intimate if you have no sense of self, how can you share yourself with someone else if you don’t know who you really are? When a person knows who they are, they don’t fear being engulfed. When a person has a sense of self-worth and self-confidence, they do not fear abandonment.

  1. Narcissistic Disorders

Narcissistic disorders are seen in people who have an unquenchable craving for love and affection. They occur because the child did not receive dependable and accepting love. you may experience this to some degree.

The usual response to a child being over-demanding is to withdraw or sanction them, therefore leaving the child feeling unloved. However, this often times end up tightening the child’s anxiety and their craving for attention.

A child is needy by nature. Only if they are able to grieve for what they have not received will they be healed.

What identified needs were left unmet for you growing up?

  • Validation
  • Praise and Recognition
  • Acceptance
  • Belonging
  • Love
  • Be heard
  • Be understood

What can be done for the child within…?

It is not the traumas of life that often make people emotionally ill, but the inability to express the trauma and to have the experience recognised and validated.

Trauma is, at times part of a child’s development. When a child is abandoned through neglect, abuse, or enmeshment (lack of boundaries) there is an outrage by the child over the hurt and pain.

Children need to have this pain validated. If this is not done the child becomes ‘shame based’. A shame-based child is one who is told that they are not wanted, their feelings do not count, and they are responsible for others’ feelings.

In order for the grief to be resolved, there is a need for the right level of validation, support, grief work, and parenting of your inner child within to be present.

  • Who do you understand your child with-in to be?
  • What life experiences are unresolved from your childhood?
  • How do you act these out today?
  • How can you let go of this pain and thereby continue your growth journey in life?

If this article resonates with your experience, and you feel you need to talk to a counsellor, know that there is no shame in acknowledging your pain in order to set your inner child free. Contact Aazade.