Connecting With My Inner Child
Well now you are in adult but you were once a child. Your life may have seemed to have flown by even though it didn’t. I wanted to tell you that I see you and I acknowledge your existence. I see all the hard work you do. I see all of the adult responsibilities you have taken on at such a young age. I see your stress and I see your fear. I see the pressure you face and how overwhelmed you feel. I see how tired you are. I also see your strength. You are not alone. There are many like you who didn’t have a childhood and many who had to be the adult in the family.
You were the interpreter who had to speak to adults and you could barely translate what they were saying from English to Spanish. You filled out the forms and you advocated for your family. You took care of your siblings, changed their diapers, dressed them, you fed them, you took them to school and picked them up. Of course, you helped your mother get proper documentation.
All of this while managing your life, your demons, your trauma, your mental health, school and trying to figure out your future. Then, to realize you haven’t even grown up yet. This reality takes a while to figure out considering how much responsibility you took on and how much trauma you experienced. Not to mention the anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress you inherited growing up.
It took me a while to figure out I was still the same child in pain. I never took care of myself and I put everyone else’s needs above my own. It wasn’t until I went to college that realized I wasn’t okay. If you don’t treat your pain, you don’t heal. Sitting in therapy, brought up a lot of feelings and traumatic memories that I didn’t think I would speak of. One of those unexpecting moments was reconciling with the fact that I didn’t have a childhood. This realization was very painful because I knew I had lost something that I could never get back. All I could do in that moment was cry.
Now I have a lot of empathy and compassion for my younger self. After four years of therapy and doing the work, I have reconnected with my inner child. The first thing I did was write a letter to my younger self. I provided words of honesty and comfort to help her feel less alone. Writing the letter was hard. I didn’t know what to say or where to start. I decided to be honest about the bad and the good that came later. Reconnecting with my inner child has been a process in which include finding joy and being kind to myself as much as possible. In this life it is hard to do those things yet it is still possible as long as you try.
In the meantime, just know it is possible to reconnect with your inner child and to heal together. That child is still in you and they need you just like you need them. You have done so much for others that you deserve to dedicate time for yourself and your inner child. Whether it’s an hour, a day or 15 minutes. Doing activities that once brought you joy as a child, can be one way to reconnect with your inner child. You can also read, paint, draw, watch an old film, etc.
It may take a while for you to reconnect with your inner child and that’s okay. You may not even know you have been neglecting them. I know there were different things that I enjoyed as a child that I stopped doing. I didn’t even notice that I had stopped doing them. It’s easy to get caught up with life. I believe when you pay attention to your inner child, you are a lot kinder to yourself.
Looking at your younger self is not easy. You find a lot of challenging memories and feelings. Just know you’re not doing it alone and you especially don’t have to do it alone. Be patient with yourself. I believe when you pay attention to your inner child, you are a lot kinder to yourself.
Right now, I say thank you to my inner child. You survived so much and you overcame many hardships. Thank you for helping me stay afloat. Thank you for reminding me to put ourselves first. Thank you for reminding me to breathe. Thank you for reminding me of the things I enjoy. Thank you for being with me every day.