Healing the Child Within

December 21, 2018

Have you wondered why you do the things you do? For instance, dating a person who treats you badly. Perhaps you get angry at almost anything. Maybe you have anxiety around certain people or while doing specific activities. Or maybe you do everything you can so that people will like you and continue to stay with you.  Have you asked yourself why?

Did you witness your parents fighting? Were you abused as a child physically, mentally, verbally, or sexually? The child that heard or felt those things is still hurting. When we witness or are victim to abuse we internalize it. We see ourselves differently than other people. We start to believe things about ourselves that are not true. Things like, “I’m not good enough,” “I deserve this,” “No one else would love me,” and perhaps, “I’m never going to be good enough for anyone else anyway.” These thoughts become like a tape on replay. We can’t seem to stop them.

Perhaps, if we reached out to the child within and helped heal the pain from the past the negative thoughts of today will go away. Think of life as a line drawn straight. When we suffer trauma, our line ends up with breaks or gaps in it. We no longer can continue, we get stuck in the past, in the trauma. We may think we have dealt with it, but sometimes we feel anxious, angry, or depressed and we do not know why. Perhaps it is the pain of events from the past and our bodies are asking us to deal with them.

Our body has a way of holding events as memory. When we experience trauma, our body takes it in and holds on to it. Have you ever felt angry, but instead of vocalizing it your throat feels closed off? It feels impossible to get out the words. If you had been abused as a child or witnessed violence, then you might have felt that you had no voice. In fact, you probably did not have a voice. As a child, you might not have known who to talk to about what you saw or felt.  Perhaps you thought it was normal and that most kids were abused. You took the abuse in and never told anyone. Now your body is telling you that you need to let it out. You need to share with someone what happened to you. You have been holding this all in alone and your body cannot hold it anymore. It is time to reach out, and let out the hurt, pain, and perhaps shame that those events took place caused. You do not have to feel alone anymore.

You are not in those events anymore. Those events do not have to identify who you are anymore. You moved on and survived them. Now it is time to thrive and live a better life. 

Dodi Forgione is a clinical intern at Meier Clinics in Bothell, Washington. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology from Northwest University and her BA from the University of Washington, Tacoma. She is currently enrolled in the Counseling Psychology Doctorate program at College of Behavioral Sciences at Northwest University. In addition to providing counseling for a variety of concerns ranging from anxiety and depression to trauma, she is a mother of three adult children who are all involved in various sports.


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