Growing up in a straight jacket

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In a straight jacket, gagged and tied to a chair. This memory of how I felt came up several times in the last few days, in fact, many emotional memories are beginning to surface one after another in the hope of being integrated. I have to be careful not to get overwhelmed by it. My awareness became acutely sharp to any feeling coming up in my body when I easily and quickly and directly associate it with a particular emotion or attitude, which I had felt before or learnt to do before. This is equally scary and liberating at the same time, just hope I can handle it at this fast pace.

Straight jacket restricts my movements completely. Not able to speak, cry, scream produces an effect of hopelessness and a frozen state in the body. I am gagged. When you are tied up to something while already in a straight jacket you know you are not going anywhere and that’s where fear comes in because of feeling completely defenceless and not knowing what will be coming next. This feels about right in terms of how I felt throughout my childhood. Granted I would never have imagined it being so traumatic if I didn’t take a path towards integration and healing five or six years ago now. It has been a process of unfolding, but I feel so far it has been circling on the surface and only now I am realising the depth of my despair and effects of traumatic emotions, events and experiences.

Many people say they don’t remember their childhood. Many of my clients brought that ‘not remembering’ state into the therapy room. It is an empty energy like a screen wiped clean, yet it is still dirty somehow. When this vibration of not remembering comes into a room there is a sense of fear and suspension in the air, ungrounded, not solidified, unpleasant. It is not surprising that this happens due to past trauma and forgetting is one way of coping with difficult emotions and events that had occurred in early childhood. It doesn’t mean a person doesn’t remember, it means they chose to forget in order to survive, but they do remember, their body remembers. It doesn’t go away, just gets supressed deep in our unconscious. Hence, working with the body often unveils a trauma and it can be a way into connecting emotions with experiences and memories of the past.

What has been coming to me in the last day or so, due to an overwhelming number of memories flooding in, is to sit down and do a timeline. It is an therapeutic tool where an individual maps out any important events in their life beginning from birth up until present moment. This brings awareness to any ‘stuck’ or suppressed feelings and awakens associations with certain events,  building up links with the present moment. This work should be done with careful guidance and unconditional presence of a professional, as feelings that come up are often powerful and must be carefully held and contained, so a person feels safe and comfortable being around difficult material.

I am going to do this myself and see how it transpires. So far I have delved into memories to do with my father primarily, but my mother also came up a couple of times. Different feelings are associated with one or the other parent usually, e.g. supressed anger – my mother, abandonment and fear – my father, grief is an overall feeling that seems to taint all of my traumas throughout my life and today I discovered that my grief is of yellow colour, which would explain my attachment to yellow flowers and subsequently my attachment to pain and suffering. The process is unfolding fast and I felt it would be useful for me to write parts of it down on my blog in the hope it might help others as well as myself to be able to keep an order or a storyline to it in one way or another. Breaking it down into manageable chunks, i.e. small blog posts also clears it out of my head, so I can continue getting on with my daily life. Writing is a powerful tool I have always used in my life and I highly recommend it to all my clients and people I know.

Much love

Parenting with inner child in distress

Girl on swing at sunset

It occurred to me a while back through self-awareness and deeper knowing just how difficult it is to parent when your own inner child is screaming in pain and distress. Makes perfect sense. That deeper knowing within me was present since the age of ten due to my childhood ending very early, at around five. By the time I was ten I knew as clear as day that I did not want to have any children. I was aware of the wounds within myself and I knew that taking on a responsibility of looking after a child could not work for me considering my own child was in so much distress. This was clear as day to me for as long as I remember, so when a child manifested in my life (and what a magical child he is), all my dreams and nightmares at the same time came true. Everything I knew deep down to be true turned out to be true. I found parenting very hard and what made it even harder was my constant awareness of what actually went on inside my child’s mind, body and soul and me not always being able to do anything about it due to the fact that my own inner child displayed raw and bloody wounds most of the time. It was like a competition and a tug of war between my inner child and my actual child. They both had needs, which required my attention.

So, if you find yourself struggling, here is my advice based on observations, self-awareness, years of personal work, psychology and psychotherapy professional training, being an intuitive and empathic, being a parent and a woman with a deeply wounded inner child:

  • Become aware of your own pain, see the pain of your own inner child as it is and for what it is. What do you still feel to this day? What triggers you the most and transports you back to that child place in an instant?
  • Do NOT beat yourself up about things going wrong in your life with your actual child. You are doing your best with the highest awareness possible. No one is perfect and it is a difficult long road to integration. Exercise self-love and compassion
  • Watch your projections and reactions. Pull back into yourself and explore what is happening in the moment and reflect back on certain reactions and behaviours 
  • BE with your actual child and your inner child as much as possible
  • Do not punish or persecute yourself for feeling hopeless and incapable. It is a learning process
  • Ask for help, do not push through something that is very difficult
  • Do not abandon yourself when YOU feel lost and helpless. Pause, make space and time for you. No excuses. Very important
  • Find someone, who understands or goes through the same cycle on a daily basis
  • Talk to your child as much as possible, allow the space for their emotions and expression. VERY important! If you do nothing else, just do this one thing.
  • Play with your child and if you can’t then find someone who can give that outlet to them and simply observe. You might have forgotten how to play and need to learn and allow your inner child to play 
  • Forgive yourself for manifesting what seems like an emotional suicide, don’t punish yourself. Look at it as a learning for the higher purpose. You are healing and learning through your actual child. They are the best teachers 
  • Be honest with yourself, never pretend or hide how you really feel, which makes things worse and puts the process of growth back
  • See the miracle in it, the sacred nature of your child. They are precious gifts
  • Follow a routine for your psychological and spiritual well-being whether it is an hour, day off here and there, sessions with a spiritual counsellor and psychological professional. Stick with it religiously. It is worth it 
  • Create things, paint, dance, etc. whatever you are into. Your soul needs feeding so you can be more present with your child (actual and inner)

There is more, much more. I hope this might help. It is important to acknowledge and realise that this struggle is very real and you are not alone. Parenting is a journey, which will constantly challenge you to learn and integrate. Go with it. Things get better, much better I can tell you. In fact, everything slowly will begin to transform. Commit to your journey and learn as much as you can.