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#427724 - 03/11/13 08:31 AM Who/What is the inner-self/child?
si Offline

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 46
Loc: Utah
I hear about the "Inner-self" and "Inner-Child" a lot but I don't know what to think about those concepts. It seems the Inner-Self is who we used to be before the abuse, or someone that we're supposed to be healing. It seems to just be a nicer word for describing the pre-victimized self, and therefore someone that we should've been but someone we wont be because of the abuse. By trying to connect with that Inner-Self then hopefully we can become that person we were before the abuse, or become someone "normal".

It seems that the Inner-child is our emotional baggage we carried as kids, but we personify that baggage in the form of our kid-self. It seems that the idea of connecting with our Inner-child is actually us connecting with that emotional baggage which would include fear, shame, guilt, confusion etc. By connecting with those emotions, and having those emotions personified into our kid-self, we are able to look at and feel those emotions from a different perspective, and ultimately deal with those feelings of hurt by interacting with out kid-self.

I'm not sure if my interpretation is correct, but this is how it seems to me from reading forums and chats. I struggle with this though, because some of us were really young when CSA occurred. My Inner-self or Pre-Victim self was 4 and younger. How am I suppose to find my "true" self, or someone I should've been when that person died off long ago and I don't have enough memories to guess how he would have grown up. I can connect with the Inner-Child because I can personify and feel the emotions, but I struggle with the Inner-Self concept.

I became a victim at that age, and grew up with those emotional scars as if proof of being victimized. I can sprinkle sugar on it and call myself a survivor not a victim, but what's in a name? I'm this victim/survivor and will always be, I can't go back in time and change events. However I can improve my situation, I just don't know how. It seems connecting with the Inner-self is the best way, but that just doesn't make sense to me.

Thoughts anyone?

#427725 - 03/11/13 09:05 AM . [Re: si]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (04/22/13 02:41 AM)

#427728 - 03/11/13 10:51 AM Re: Who/What is the inner-self/child? [Re: si]
traveler Online   confused

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4255
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
i think it may be different for various people. i have never seen a description or formula for how it is "supposed" to work. for me - i have several past versions of my yonger self that i have different feeling for. i have never been able to form a continuous time-line along which i can see them morph into one another. they are each quite distinct and separate. these are not like multiple personalities - but differently-defined self-images that are like photos of various stages of my life.

the youngest is about 5 - pre-abuse - still innocent, carefree, happy, untouched and perfect. i feel an awe and wonder and nostalgia toward him - because he seems so far-off, inaccessible and unknowable. he is separated from me by the years, experiences and a disconnection caused by trauma. i have a hard time even remembering him - though there are a few isolated memories from his time. i have never wanted to connect with him because i have felt that i would pollute something pure by contact with my damaged state.

the next is the terrified 6-8-year-old crying for the loss of his mom's affection, the terror of the step-dad's raging violence, and the mysteriously confusing feelings of wrongness, fascination and repulsion from being exposed to sights and sensations he was not ready for. for him i feel compassion, regret, and a protective resentment towards those who beat him, verbally savaged him, and refused him the intervention he deserved. once i "saw" him, i had no problem in empathizing with him and connecting emotionally.

then there is the 11-13-year-old - precociously forced into sexual maturity, objectified, exploited and savagely attacked by bullies. for him i at first felt disgust, contempt and rejection. my biggest leap of healing related to these inner children was when i was able to recognize his painful and toxic self-loathing and begin to accept, pity and love him. that was a difficult step - but did my present self a lot of good.

i have never had conversations with these younger versions of me - as i have heard some do - though i did once write a letter to my past self - of a list of things that i wish someone had told me when i needed the comfort and guidance of the knowledge, understanding and insights that i have gained through my journey and the beginning stages of the healing process.

so - for me - it is a matter of self-acceptance and self-cherishing and self-nurturing - that is helping to make up for some of the emotional deficits in my past. it's almost like an interior self-parenting or mentoring, in a way.

hope this helps. i'm sure others will see it differently from their experiences - and i hope they will add their perspectives.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#427733 - 03/11/13 12:02 PM Re: Who/What is the inner-self/child? [Re: si]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929

I think you are right when you describe it as "interacting with and confronting the emotions felt as a child." If the abuse is over and you can functionally go out and get a cup of coffee, then modern life isn't really the source of your problems - rather, the fear, shame, confusion, disgust, etc, all are experienced as felt / remembered from childhood. And confronting them means confronting and validating yourself at your most helpless and powerless.

Personally I thought it was all a crock, until I'd stabilized enough to feel normal-ish but would plunge into mindless terror upon every thought of when I was attacked. Those were really, experientially the feelings of a child. Integrating them into an adult mentality, if for nothing else than being able to use adult-functional calming / reassurance mechanisms, is tricky. Workin' on it.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#427767 - 03/11/13 09:56 PM Re: Who/What is the inner-self/child? [Re: si]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 02:31 AM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED


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