Software Before Hardware

Your Inner Child Hates Your Competent Adult

If you are a people pleasing type A over functioner, your wounded inner child hates your competent adult.

One of the principles of mindbody work is that the body produces symptoms instead of feeling emotions that your brain has deemed too unbearable and too unsafe to experience.

The brain made the decision not to feel these emotions when you were very young. Then it simultaneously created a false self that protected you from your own feelings by obsessively taking care of everyone and everything other than yourself.

Basically, your mind, in a vain attempt to protect itself from its own pain, locked up the tragically hurt, sad, and lonely inner child in the basement of your body. It threw away the key and did such a good job, that even it forgot it had done it. 

But even though the conscious mind forgot it was there, the inner child has been hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling and feeling everything. And down in the basement of your body, where the plumbing, boiler and circuit panels are, it’s been venting its unfelt sadness and rage by sabotaging those systems. Hence symptoms.

And that wounded inner child hates the competent adult because every action she takes for someone else is simultaneously seen by the inner child as one more act of neglect and abandonment. Of someone else’s needs coming before hers. 

On the surface, this doesn’t seem rational. But if you imagine that you are a child in a home and you saw your “caretaker” literally taking care of everyone else. At the same time, they ignore you so completely that you feel like you don’t exist. You can get a sense of how unbearably terrible that would feel. 

When I imagine my own daughters experiencing that for even a moment, it brings me to tears.

Healing the Relationship between Your Inner Child and Your Competent Adult

Part of healing symptoms is reuniting with our inner child. We must learn that now, as an adult, it’s safe to feel her unbearable feelings. Then we can invite her out of the basement and actively and consistently care for her needs. When we do this, she no longer has to express her terrible feelings of pain by attacking our body systems.

It takes time and practice. This is not a one and done cathartic reconciliation. When we get stressed (or simply lapse in our self awareness) and go back into our people pleasing ways, our inner child will quickly feel abandoned again and go back to her sabotaging activities. 

The trick is to remember that most symptoms are an invitation to reconnect with our inner child. They allow us to feel our feels and reaffirm our commitment to caring for our own emotional needs first. Over time, this new self loving state replaces the self abandoning state. 

Learn more about healing and your inner child.

Address your people pleasing tendencies and stress responses, check out CFS School.