Wounds of the Inner Child

by Billy
(Myrtle Beach, SC)

I have always acknowledged that my codependency and ensuing addictions to most anything and everything began with pain, fear, and being traumatized in childhood; while acknowledging this very important contributing factor to my codependent life of dysfunction I now feel as I have just been paying this awareness lip service all along till now.

Now realizing that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) played a crucial role in laying my foundational development that would have a lifetime of consequences. I also feel that my past 14 years of recovery involving therapist, self-help books, and numerous 12-step programs have been woefully inadequate in my attempt to recover my sense of self from this childhood trauma.

I have used cognitive behavior modification (CBM) along with abstinence in the attempt to arrest the self-destructive forces within me that want me dead. I have had great success in the areas of abstaining from alcohol, drugs, smoking, and even soda, and have modified my sex conduct to maintain a healthy bottom line; I have performed the corresponding 12-step work as well, yet still I suffer as the child within still suffers. I feel that if I do not come to the rescue and re-parent my little Billy that I will continue to still suffer in the usual manner just not with the self-medicating tools of the past.

I do not have any vivid childhood remembrances that would cause such rage, terror, and fear in me, perhaps it is still deeply repressed in my internal warehouse filled with rows of "emotional Tupperware" that holds these feelings and memories locked up tight and as fresh as the day they were stored. I do know that some factors caused my inner child pain such as the alcoholic father, codependent mother, undiagnosed ADD and bipolar II, as well as struggling with my sexual orientation.

I recall a vision that I had after catching my first partner in sobriety cheating on me with his ex boyfriend which lead to hours of makeup talk followed by the obligatory makeup sex. Many months latter I had this vision of me laying in bed with the very person that just violated me with his infidelity and I being so desperate for love giving him my most prized possession, me.

In my vision my inner child, little Billy was sitting on the foot of the bed crying uncontrollably while I gave of myself to someone that did not deserve it. When I noticed my inner child crying I stopped asked him what was causing him such pain, and little Billy said that he was so upset because he could not get the love, attention, and affection from me that I would so easily waste on my cheating partner.

Thankfully, I was on the phone with a good friend in my support group when the lid of my emotional Tupperware popped off without warning, I cried for mine and little Billy's pain nonstop for nearly 20 minutes while my good friend just reassuringly listened on the other end of the phone.

This is just but one glimpse of many trespasses upon my inner child from my warehouse filled with my emotional Tupperware all of which are begging to be finally heard, to be felt, to be freed at last. I feel that I am at a crossroads in my recovery of self, and have a very special little boy inside of me that adores me and fears me all the same. Today, I get too hold, nurture, love, guide, and discipline that boy until there is no longer a we, and the two of us become a me.

Be well,

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Aug 20, 2010
Fellow wounded inner child
by: Jayne

Hi your story was like reading my own.I too have fears of abandonment following the death of my mothers at age 4 which led to co-dependecy, alcohol problems and suicide attempts. The best thing that happened to me was finding the 12 step programme and have made huge progress feeling good from within.

I still have difficulties with my own children as I am still trying to save them from pain and I know I have work to do in this area. I was wondering if therapy would help, I have had counseling and CBT in the past but its been a short term fix and don't feel it got to the root of the problem. Or should I just continue with the 12 step programme and work on this area which I am frightened to do but am willing to try. What is your experience?

Feb 07, 2010
At the core...
by: Don Carter

Thanks for sharing Billy! It is obvious to me that you have "peeled the onion" of recovery back to the core issue...learning to value, protect, and love your True Self.

They say that love heals...with Codependency "love" is always directed outward toward others. In order for love to heal YOU, it must be cultivated inwardly through loving your self...just as you have so eloqently been describing!


Feb 06, 2010
it just keeps getting better!
by: xmkx

*smiles* It's so liberating, isn't it? To finally feel again and get it all out and heal from it all! To realize that you were completely normal for the way you reacted to the crazy environment you grew up in and finally learn to forgive and even love yourself! This post brought back memories of how relieving that part of the recovery process was for me. The rest of the recovery process becomes so much easier as you raise the emotional boulders left behind from your childhood that you've been carrying on your shoulders for so many years. This is a fantastic stage of the process!

Flashback therapy has helped me a lot with the complex PTSD aspects. If you haven't started this already, I highly recommend it. It really helps to recapture repressed memories and work with the emotional/behavioral imprints that they have left with you.

Good luck on your journey! It sounds like you are making good progress. :)

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