I have made some significant headway in my recovery recently, and I would like to share some of this with you in hopes that it will help you or someone you love.
I've had roughly 8 very successful sessions now where I've connected with my inner child using Lucia Capacchione's technique from her book "Recovery of Your Inner Child". When writing as your current self you use your dominant hand. When writing as your younger self you use your non-dominant hand. I want to share some of my findings with you.
To begin with, I approached this with a great deal of skepticism. I'm a scientist through and through, and the inner child work seemed extremely "hoaky" to me. It was only out of complete desperation that I overcame my skepticism and gave it a try. Right from the very beginning, powerful things started happening. Here are some of my observations/realizations:
a) new and helpful information that I had not remembered in my adult life emerged from "conversations" with my younger self. This was really freaky at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly. Some of this information is clearly the root of my current irrational fears. For example, I've been able to recall some lies that my parents told me that were designed to "keep me in my place".
b) I have been able to "see" my inner child, and actually make eye contact with him. In the beginning, I was never able to get him to look at me. I realize that the notion of inner child is an abstraction, not a physical reality. However, with splitting that occurs as a result of severe abuse, compartmentalization can separate memories, etc... Imagining an inner child helps put you in the right frame of mind to access some of the compartments that would otherwise stay tightly shut. The long and short of it is that now that I feel that I have made a connection with this "imaginary" inner child, I feel more integrated, more whole. There's no denying to myself that I feel better about myself. In fact, I feel better about EVERYTHING. I no longer care whether anyone thinks that the approach is "hoaky" - it works.
c) because I have felt like I had no ties whatsoever to my childhood, I've always felt like my inner child was more like an outer child, standing beside me. I've felt completely disconnected from my younger self. This has had a profound impact on my sex life, as I've felt at times like there's also a child involved when I make love with my wife. This has led to me flipping back and forth between feeling like a disgusting pervert, and being retraumatized as a child. The integration of my current self with my younger self is a step in the right direction with respect to this issue.
d) I have been able to get my younger self to admit that he/I was utterly powerless, and therefore not responsible for what he/I endured. He/I didn't do anything wrong. This is HUGE.
e) I was able to realize that because of not bonding to either of my parents, when my wife came along my inner child bonded to her AS A MOTHER. On top of this, the anger that my inner child has due to my parents has been redirected at my wife. She hasn't done anything wrong.
f) In the beginning, my inner child wrote very short sentences. Now, he writes volumes. It's like he has discovered his lost voice. This is extremely empowering.
I've been discussing inner child work with a couple of my newly discovered brothers (you know who you are
) . We have all independently come to the conclusion that this is an extremely powerful tool, if not THE WAY, to make it through recovery.
If you have some insights into how to help in the integration of the current self with the younger self, I would love to hear it.