Childhood Trauma: Your Wounded Inner Child from ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
Your “inner child” is part of your subconscious that has been picking up messages way before it was able to fully process what was going on (both emotionally and mentally). This part of your brain keeps emotions, memories, and beliefs from the past in addition to hopes and dreams for the future.
We all have an inner child, and our inner child can be damaged in various ways. When we make space for this inner child and allow for its healing, we can see greater improvement in overall progress. Here’s what you should know about your potentially wounded inner child and how to heal it.
How Is Your Inner Child Wounded?
There are several wounds your inner child may have sustained during trauma. Here are some to keep in mind.
- Abandonment wound
If you’ve sustained this wound, then you may become easily attached to others. You may often feel left out or fear being abandoned in relationships due to a past traumatic experience. That experience made it difficult to be left alone, so you may struggle with co-dependency. However, you may also struggle with setting boundaries because of your fear of abandonment.
- Guilt wound
You may feel sorry and bad when others get upset. If someone else expresses emotion, you’re the one who feels guilty. Due to trauma, you’re unable or afraid to set healthy boundaries. You don’t like to ask for things, but you also may use guilt to manipulate others in your life. Additionally, you tend to attract people who make you feel guilty.
- Neglect wound
Neglect wounds causes people to struggle to let this go and struggle to say “no.” Individuals with a neglect wound repress their emotions and fear being vulnerable. You may be angered easily and have a low self-worth. Typically, you’ll attract people who either don’t appreciate you or who can make you feel “seen.”
- Trust wound
If you have a trust wound, you’re afraid to be hurt, which makes it difficult to trust others around you because you don’t feel safe. You often feel insecure, and you require a lot of external validation. However, despite your intense need to feel safe, you usually attract people who don’t make you feel that way.
How to Address the Wounds of Your Inner Child
So, if you have one of these inner child wounds, what do you do about it? You must address it based on the wound itself. Here are some ways to address it based on each of the wounds mentioned above.
- Abandonment wound: Remind yourself that people aren’t planning to leave you. You can use sayings like, “I am safe,” and “I won’t abandon you.”
- Guilt wound: Tell yourself (and retell yourself) that you don’t have to rescue other people. To be in healthy relationships, you must set healthy boundaries.
- Neglect wound: Acknowledge how your inner child feels. Give yourself enough space and time to heal because it can be difficult.
- Trust wound: Build inner trust by keeping promises and commitments to yourself first — before anyone else.
Do you have an inner child who needs to be healed? Learn more about childhood trauma and how you can reshape your life with Derek Clark. Visit here to learn more about his story as a childhood trauma motivational speaker.
Have Derek Clark speak at your next childhood trauma, trauma informed care, ACE’s or child welfare conference. Derek is a top conference keynote speaker on childhood trauma and foster care. Visit here for more information.