Archive for June 6th, 2008

Girl with pail (c) Lynda BernhardtOn my post Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Alter Parts, a reader wrote the following comment:

Hello all, I had a psychologist try to connect me to the 5-year old me and talk to her. But I only could see her, not communicate. It felt like there was a wall between us and that there was nothing I could do or say to protect her. Anyone else have a similar experience? -CS

Yes, I have experienced this a number of times.

My first experience with my inner child came years before I recognized that I had a lot of healing work to do. I was still in college when I had a disturbing dream. I saw a dark, vast room that had nothing in it except an ugly child. The child was hideously ugly – so ugly that I could not even determine the child’s gender. Its face was burned and splotchy red, and it only had a few wisps of hair on the top of its head. I was repulsed by it, but I could also sense that it needed to be loved. So, I walked up to it and hugged it, feeling repulsed the entire time. As soon as I touched it, it started screaming these horrible, blood-curdling screams, and I jerked awake with my heart racing.

Since then, I have has much more focused ways of reaching out to different parts of myself.

The barrier that you are experiencing is your own denial. You have separated from this part of yourself because you do not want to face the pain that this part of yourself holds. To embrace her is to embrace her memories, emotions, and feelings. You separated yourself because those experiences were too painful to face. When you are ready to accept her as you, you will break down those barriers.

One thing that worked for me to was to find a picture of myself at that age. When I first looked at the picture, I hated what I saw. It took me a while to push through my initial self-loathing. I had to think of this little girl as someone standing on the street rather than as “me.” As I distanced myself in this way, I was able to recognize how tiny her hands and feet were and see the sadness in her eyes. As I looked at her this way, I was able to develop compassion for her, which really was compassion for myself. This is how I broke through my barrier.

Related Topic:

Does an Abused Adopted Child Have an “Inner Child”?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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