A Message to My Child Within
A Message to my Child Within.
From a woman working to heal herself.
Social media can be an extremely toxic environment that has the ability to fuel your self loathing on a daily basis. It can essentially warp your view of reality, the world, and yourself. That is why we work to fill our feed with positive and inspiring content that reminds us to be authentic and honest on our journey. Recently, while scrolling I saw this photo of the sweetest little girl resting her head on her hand as she leaned on the couch. "OMG, I love her," I thought to myself. I was inspired to read the caption.
Instead of continuing to mindlessly scroll, this post made me stop and think more about honoring the little girl that lives within myself as well. These words are so powerful and so honest that it is hard not to immediately connect to pain that is conveyed through the message. I was moved by this post and by Amanda Munn (@honnoringthechildwithin), so I reached out to her to thank her for sharing. I was able to dive a little deeper into the meaning behind this post and Amanda herself. She shared withe me how her inner child is the core of her being, and that is what she is working to love unconditionally.
What was your inspiration behind this post?
Both of my parents were alcoholics and drug addicts who struggled with mental health issues. From a very young age they took their pain out on me. As only a child, I took it all in. I would tell myself there was something deeply wrong with me. Something so rooted, so engrained in me, that I blamed myself for everything. I was made to believe that I was deserving of all of the abuse I received. When you’re a little girl, and you’re being told that you’re a bad person and that you are the cause of the abuse, you believe it. You believe all of it. Especially when it comes from the one person who is supposed to be your mother and love you. It took me 23 years (and counting) to realize just how wrong she was. Because of the abuse I received as a child, I believed my only purpose on this earth was for other people to put their pain onto me. I held that belief for so many years and it is something I struggle to overcome every single day. I wrote this letter to my younger self because I need the reminder that I am here for myself. I have realized that even though it is a challenge, I can give the little girl within the love she deserves.
What lead you to start your Instagram page @honoringthechildwithin?
I started my Instagram page (@honoringthechildwithin) as a way to help myself heal. I wondered if there were other people who feel the way I do? I have felt alone my entire life. I have always felt like the odd one out, the “black sheep”. As I started my IG page, I began to share my pain as well as the positive messages that have helped me on my journey. To my surprise, I started getting responses from other people who were just like me. That was when I realized that my page can help me and helped others too!
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your inner child?
The greatest lesson I have learned from her, is to not ignore her. There is a reason she is loud at the moment. There is a reason why she feels unsafe at the moment. There is a reason why she is throwing a tantrum inside of me at the moment. She needs something that was never given to her. She needs someone who was never there for her. She needs me. And the more I ignore her, the more I perpetuate the same patterns that will stop me from growing as a human being. I never want to stop growing, evolving, and learning. I’m here for her now and I am not alone.
What would you like to say to other girls and women who were not loved and cared for they way they deserved to be?
First, I would say, I am so sorry. Those are the words I longed to hear when I was a little girl. The first time I heard that statement was when I finally put myself in treatment at eighteen years-old. I had experienced compassion for the first time in my life. I just wanted someone to sit with me, to connect to what I was feeling, and to hold my hand. I couldn't think of anything I wanted more than someone to be there with me at age 6, 10, 15, and to be honest, sometimes I still feel that way. When you have been through an abusive childhood, you can close your eyes and instantly be that terrified child again. But it is important to realize that even though you may feel that way, you are not in that place anymore. You deserve to let people love you, connect with the amazing person that you are, and hold your hand. It is hard to do, but letting yourself feel the loving side of yourself is a beautiful and healing experience you deserve.
My last few last words of advice would be to not let shame get in the way of figuring out why you are triggered or react to certain situations in life. As a survivor of incest, and physical and emotional abuse for much of my life, the biggest hurdle to overcome has been shame. Shame has stolen my voice. Shame has kept me stuck in endless cycles of self sabotage and such a deep sense of self hatred. You deserve to work through this trauma without the shame because it doesn't belong to you. It belongs to your abuser.
Through therapy, there are so many things I continue to work on in order to rebuild myself and love my inner child. I have had to deal with attachment issues with my therapists. I struggle to not be consumed by anger. I feel so angry at myself for wanting my mother to actually be my mother, knowing that is something she is not capable of. At times I feel angry for even wanting a mother at all. For as long as I can remember I have carried my mother’s voice in my head, telling me how pathetic I was for having these needs. Maybe you share these same feelings and thoughts? If you do, I want you to know that EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS NEEDS. IT IS A HUMAN RIGHT TO BE LOVED, AND NOURISHED, AND HELD, AND WANTED. I so badly wish I would’ve heard these words sooner. If you have shame for having a need, please speak up for that innocent part of you. For that human part of you. I swear you are not alone.