I have lived my life in emotional pain, not realising or acknowledging that these were the result of my childhood. They are inner childhood wounds and like any wound, healing them is key to a better life.
I just thought I was a very emotional and unlucky person. I previously had no idea that I had been in abusive and manipulative relationships, because the abuse wasn’t normally physical. It came in the form of mind games, manipulation, gaslighting to name a few. Now I know that my relationship choices were a result of my inner childhood wounds. This is the reason I am trying to heal my inner wounds.
It is only with complete and sometimes brutal honesty with yourself that you can even begin to unravel who you truly are. I was always better outside of relationships, but within them I became co-dependent. At age 53, I finally realised that I was relying on other people to validate me, to give me my worth. This is never ever healthy, deep down you know your own worth. But you may have buried it and created a worthless value for yourself.
Don’t discount that you have inner childhood wounds that need healing. Be open that you may have and that these may have had a negative impact on your life and experiences. Know that these inner childhood wounds can be healed, but first you have to face up to the truth and acknowledge them.
These are some of the signs I believe may indicate you having a wounded inner child:-
You feel different
You feel different to others, like you didn’t belong and find it difficult to connect with others.
You have poor concentration
You struggle to concentrate and focus on what you are trying to do. It may be impossible or extremely difficult to even finish a book or you may read a page and immediately forget what you have just read. Or start a book but never finish it
You have an obsession with self-improvement / development
You may be obsessed with self-help and self-improvement, but nothing seems to make you feel better.
You struggle to finish things
You struggle to follow anything through. You may be initially motivated to complete a project. But you always lose that motivation, so nothing ever gets finished.
You struggle to maintain relationships / friendships
You struggle to keep friendships / relationships going.
You have patterns of unhealthy, toxic or abusive relationships
You stay in relationships even though you are deeply unhappy. You make excuses for other’s poor behaviour or you believe other’s criticisms of you.
You avoid intimacy
You avoid intimacy because you fear being close to anyone. You may prefer to have casual relationships. You may have ‘player’ ways or even be promiscuous because you have a fear of abandonment resulting in intimacy issues. You may even feel very uncomfortable with any form of intimacy, even being touched. If you avoid relationships, you may have an avoidant attachment style caused by your inner wounds.
You have long standing physical ailments
You may have physical ailments, sometimes with no actual diagnosis. You may suffer from gut issues, general aches and pains, tiredness or just generally feel physically low. You may even have an immune disorder.
You have a history of depression or anxiety
You may have a history of depression or anxiety, or suffer from panic attacks. You may have a constant low-grade functional depression, but when things go wrong, you cannot cope.
You get easily stressed and overwhelmed
You may think your workload is heavier than others and this may be the case, but you seem to get more easily stressed than others. One relatively small thing may happen that may push you to your limits.
You lack self-discipline
You set yourself a goal, but struggle to discipline your self in what it takes to achieve it. For example you want to lose weight or get healthy, but you never stick to it.
You have addictions
You may have addictions such as smoking, drinking, drugs, or sex. These addictions are your subconscious way of coping with your pain. You may have tried numerous times to quit your addictions, but you feel you can’t.
You feel overwhelmed with emotions
You find it difficult to regulate your emotions, you may become very emotional, angry, or aggressive when triggered. Or you may put on a front to the outside world, so you appear calm and collected, but you hold your emotions inside. But every now and then they surface in front of others.
You feel underwhelmed with emotions
On the flip side you may lack emotions because you have created a persona of a confident, happy person. A false self because you have buried your emotions so deep or you may appear cold to others. A sign of this is you feel extremely uncomfortable expressing your emotions or when others express theirs. You may be emotionally numb.
You lack self-esteem or think you are superior to others
You may have low self-esteem or at the opposite end of the scale think you are superior to others. Both of these could be a sign of narcissistic traits, although not as a stand alone sign..
You have inner childhood wounds, So what now?
If you have identified some of these signs, it does not mean you have inner childhood wounds. But could certainly indicate that you may have. Firstly, take the ACE test (see below) to determine if your childhood has negatively impacted on your resilience.
Know that you can and will heal, if you put the work in. Particularly by doing inner child work, reprogramming your core beliefs, self love and self-care. Please see my previous posts below which offer some tips on doing inner child work and core belief reprogramming.
Take the ACE test to determine your ACE score here. This test measures abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences which can indicate health problems later on in life due to your childhood experiences.
I hope this post helps you, it is a difficult when you first realise you have inner childhood wounds. Accepting that you have inner childhood wounds is part of your healing journey, remember that!