What does it mean to heal? Are we able to heal ourselves? Where do we even begin? How do we even begin?
Many drivers of mental health and mental illness can be a reflection on the traumas and stories of our younger selves. My friend Grace started going on a personal journey of her own and introduced this idea to me - the forgetting of memories to seal up and forget your trauma. Until very recently I’ve realized that many of the memories that I held when I was younger were missing, forgotten. By, perhaps, choice? I decided I was done being sad and done hating myself a while ago, but instead of actually dealing and working through my traumas - I forgot them. This is known as complete disconnection from your own inner child. Your inner child is a person’s “original or true self, especially when regarded as damaged or concealed by negative childhood experiences” (Oxford). However, what I now see is that, even though I’ve forgotten many details, the tendencies that I carry create such visible patterns in the way I hold relationships with people - intimate relationships, friendships.
I had no idea what anyone meant by creating boundaries. How does one even go about doing that? Am I allowed to do that? “As children, our greatest need was to receive love from a parent. To get that love, we had to unconsciously deny our reality or deny parts of ourselves. We “play small” because we learned in our earliest conditioning it was necessary to survive” (insta @the.holistic.psychologist). Play Small. I sadly - almost ashamedly- realized that one of my biggest issues was that I was so scared of what people would think of me I stripped my personality down to nothing around people that I believed could hurt me - whether that be through intimate relationships or friendships. I was constantly in an anxious state over what the person I was communicating was thinking of me, of what I was saying. I thought of nothing else but the way I was sitting, standing, talking, walking, being, making - I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I stopped.
In the process of un-conditioning this tendency, I feel nothing but joy. The opportunity to allow yourself to just be, to be yourself. I have felt an incredible release and ability to enjoy my own life. My brain is no longer obsessing over what the person trying to make a connection with is thinking of me and what I am saying - my brain can now be creative and authentic. Just writing about it makes me so happy that I have come across this hurtle, and for no one other than myself. That is self-care. That is self-love.
I know I am not the only person who has experienced this or something like this. I know I am not. Maybe, just maybe, this can spark something in you as it has in me. Because for once in my life, I can feel like I can actually breathe. I can just be. And I have been the absolute best thing for me.
“Inner Child: Definition of Inner Child by Lexico.” Lexico Dictionaries | English, Lexico Dictionaries, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/inner_child.