Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bit By Bloody Bit

The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmin Cori details the healing methods of inner child work, an idea that was completely foreign to me until I started reading this book.  It makes complete sense now, and previous to reading this book, bits of the healing work I was doing was healing my inner child, I just didn't realize at the time exactly what it was I was doing or how I was healing.

Many emotions run through my body when I read the words "inner child".  I feel a sense of love and protection extend to my own inner child.  And I feel sadness.  When you think of a hurting child, there's a part of you that may feel sad, whether it's your child or not.  When I think of my hurting inner child, I feel like an angry mother, who wants to track down my child's tormentors, matched with a deep ache for the cries ripping through my heart.
The following quotes in Cori's book really helped me understand the concept and importance of inner child work:
The child is the foundation upon which adult life is built.(pg. 159)
The child is the essence of this real self. (pg. 162)
The child parts carry too many wounds and thus are the foundation of a wounded adult.  Even if these wounds are for the most part well managed and out of sight, they leak out at times and we act immaturely. (pg. 159)
Often we are unaware of these inner child states, yet we are blended with them, feeling the same kinds of emotions and needs that we experienced as a child.  (pg. 161)
Children who are not loved in their very beingness do not know how to love themselves.  As adults, they have to learn to nourish, to mother their own lost child. (pg. 167 - quote from Marion Woodman)
Changing the inner atmosphere of your mind is the biggest remodel job you can take on. (pg. 174)

Cori goes on to list the primary methods used in inner child work, one method being dialoging between adult and child states through journal writing, and the method I decided to try first last week.  Why?  Honestly, I thought it would be the easiest since I enjoy writing.  With pen to paper in my personal journal, I slowly began writing. And I mean slowly.  I could hardly think of anything to write.  "Maybe my inner child is healed after all," I thought hopefully.  After a few minutes of sitting in silence hovered over my journal, the words began pouring out. 

I couldn't stop writing.  Thoughts and memories and emotions were flowing out of me.  Painful remembrances of insignificant childhood events which left a significant impression on me were written one after another after another.  At the end of my hand-numbing, illegible healing session, I remembered my counselor's advice to "pepper this kind of work in with other things I enjoy"...but I was feeling quite fine and proud of my mind's accomplishment.

That is, until I woke up the next morning.  My body felt so heavy, like it had been hit by something bigger than a tonka truck but smaller than a caravan.  I had forgotten all about my late night journaling so I chalked it up as having another down day.  It wasn't until at work that afternoon that I was able to put two and two together:  Writing in the words of my child self was profoundly moving--it hit me, and it hit me hard.

That was a week ago, and I haven't journaled since that night - somewhat due to the handful of books I am working to complete and somewhat do to fear and protecting my adult self.  Okay, mostly due to fear and protecting my adult self.  I'm nearing the end of Cori's book, and I'm ready to complete some more exercises pertaining to inner child work that she suggests. 

Last week, I tapped into a part of myself and learned where I was hurting and what events and circumstances caused this hurt.  I sat with the awkward, uncomforable feelings that this long-forgotten hurt mustered up, and today, a small piece of me feels a tad bit better than it did before.  I have faith that week after week, as my tad bits heal one by one, I'll slowly experience more peace and wholeness.

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