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Connecting with my inner child in trauma recovery

Periodically in my inner child healing journey from trauma, I get these “light bulb” moments. Something that hits me, the light goes on, and suddenly I make a connection to something that I’ve always known or done but didn’t know why. I had another one of those moments here recently, in fact just the other day as I’m writing this.

I’ve always had a problem connecting with my inner child in a positive way. I’m quite fluent in connecting to that little dude in a negative way, though, since I blame him still for much of my past trauma. So the light bulb moment I had has to do with me not being able to cut loose, be silly, and have fun. That is directly related to my inner child and the lack of fun I allow him to have.

I get that we shouldn’t blame our inner child. It wasn’t their fault because they were young, too innocent and naive. They couldn’t understand what trauma was and certainly not at fault for trusting someone they thought was trustworthy. Yes, I totally get that, but I haven’t made peace with him yet in that way. Hence, the realization of not allowing him to have fun.

I am part of a Facebook group of survivors, and together we share, validate, and heal together.* In my group, one of the survivors recently shared a picture of herself playing with bubbles at a local street fair where she lives. It pictured her smiling, laughing, and just enjoying the innocent and wholesome fun of blowing bubbles with a big wand. This is something most of us have probably done in our younger years. Heck, I remember doing it myself. Bubbles were cool right, and they still are!

I tried to picture myself doing that now, and while I have done it in my adult years, that picture just hit me like a truck with the realization of why I don’t cut loose and have fun more often. My inner child doesn’t deserve that. He’s the reason I went through that abuse. He’s the reason I was bullied in school. He’s the reason that I was withdrawn, miserable, and kept to myself for so long. I  still do today, probably more often than I care to admit.

That’s what I tell myself consciously and subconsciously every time I remember my trauma. I see that little kid being abused, molested, lied too, and used by a neighborhood kid that he thought was the coolest person ever. That kid who was pushed around, name called, and emotionally beaten to a pulp in school because of how I looked, talked, and struggled in class.

So is it any wonder now that I don’t get silly and goofy and do fun things very often? It might seem like a no-brainer to you, and I suppose it probably should to me too. I never put two and two together until just recently, though.

I have been known to bust out my air guitar, and air drums pretty regularly while driving, but I’m not sure that’s attributed to having fun. Did ya catch that minimizing I just did there…dammit!

I do enjoy doing fun things, and there’s something to be said for just acting like a kid again when the opportunity presents itself.  To play in a creek and get soaking wet, or jump in a big puddle after a thunderstorm. Speaking of storms, how about going outside in a rain storm and building a dam at the bottom of the driveway just to see how big deep of a puddle you can create? I remember doing that. Of course, now I’ll probably get ridiculed because “hey kid you could get struck by lightening.” Times were so much simpler when I was a kid…but I digress.

So like, what about it then? What’s so wrong with seeing how big of a bubble you can make, or riding some crazy carnival ride and screaming like a kid while you laugh your head off? The short answer is nothing. In fact, it’s a good thing. It’s been proven that laughter is very beneficial to us both emotionally and physically.

You might even call having fun a form of self-care. In fact, it is absolutely self-care! If it makes us smile, be happy, and feel good then why not!

Obviously, as an adult we can’t act like that all the time; we have responsibilities to attend to both for ourselves and our families. However, it would seem that I might just do myself a world of good to let loose now and then. Hey, maybe I could schedule the time to be silly! Wait, does that even make any sense?

If only I can let my inner child have fun more often, this healing journey might just a little bit easier to handle.

September 17, 2016

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