Innermost Wound and Inner Child: Reclaiming Autonomy
One of the most sincere and most simple requests of my inner child is to be taken care of. To have their security, food, shelter, and existence be sustained without struggle, question, or begging. To have safety be known; stable. In the soil where this core request resides lies the mangled and nearly impenetrable roots of my innermost wound-something far more complex than the simplicity of the aforementioned yearning-a distrust for everything and everyone. An innate fear laced with the lived experience of injustice and harm learned and relearned over and over and over. This inner child request and innermost core wound are so intricately enmeshed within one another that it has taken years of healing work to be able to clearly denote each. It’s still gruelling at times to distinguished what came first, which is loudest, and what piece of me is leading me impulsively at times. Thus, it should be stated, clarity of any wound doesn’t erase its impact. It just invites the option for autonomy. A choice, a pause, a different narrative that can be built alongside the body and mind‘s triggered survival reaction. A new way of life exhumed from the acknowledgement of survival and the surrendering to visceral grief.
Some part of me, most likely at the feet of and in the palms of my inner children, desires to be taken care of. Most all of me who knows what we know, and has lived what we have lived, believes that’s the wrong choice. Yet, even in that exhaustive pain, the desire to be safe and provided for exists. A yearning to relearn how to trust. The war that spirals from these very real fragments has demanded that I engage with my pain and not deny it. Make it a practice to sit and learn, kneel down and believe, feel and be broken open by stored memory. For without that healing work, I engage most readily in self-harm in the form of pattern. The pattern that seeks care and gets into situations that become dangerously unstable because they are founded on hazy boundaries and unclear expectations. Where my story is lauded, my person pedestaled, and the guilt of wanting to fix the injustice remains guiding force behind all offers. It’s not malicious, but this dance takes two and I have played my role in it well. Only to then exit, isolate, and try again. Try again. Try again. Watching myself in the review mirror be led unconsciously and unchecked by the inner child yearning for care and then undercut by the wounded reactions of hyper-vigilant victim expectant of injury. The only way to stop it was to recognize it before it happened again. Become aware of me, on intimate levels, and shift my external hyper-vigilance into internal stewardship.
Meeting all the many parts of me, taking accountability and leaning upon self-compassion, has allowed me to build a third party in this unhealthy internal dance of inner child and inner wound. A third party who leads by first listening, and guides with a strength that was not birthed from the demand to remain alive. This part of me is now who I intentionally make commitments with, build life and relearn love beside; this part of me is who I hope to act in partnership with as much as my trauma’s residual impacts allow. This part of me is who I can become apart from who I was demanded to be in accordance to my trauma.
I told my therapist that my hope was to lead with my growing autonomy around 30-70% of my existence. I said this knowing full well there are many moments in my existence where even though I’ve developed the space for option and breath-where I do not need to act from wounding-this option and breath can never be operated from 100% of the time. Sometimes I need to survive, even if the option exists not to. Thus a goal of 100% would not human. Even those without trauma (which is laughable because every human knows some trauma) are not operating from their most stable and healed self 100% of the time. What we all desire is the choice to. To both hold the space and breath to know more than one option, and to hold the space and breath to recognize when we chose in manners that don’t feel integral. To make commitments internally that we can sustainably remake and remake in order to be accountable, humble, and honest without shame leading the way. To become the one who meets our yearnings, our desires, our triggers, our needs first. To know the soil within us and the mangled rooted wounds that we built from without awareness, and now want to work towards reclaiming. To be our own healers, so we are not at an instant deficit whenever the world can’t meet us.
This is the work of healing. This is the work that leads to the outer work that is so needed. The community work. The world work. However, without accounting for the internal, the external will never ever be sustained.
Reclaiming our autonomy has no expiration date, our healing will always be available. I trust you as you seek yours. I believe you as you become self-aware. I kneel beside you as you grieve and remember. I believe you and your truth.
You are not alone here. You are not abandoned in the healing. You are heard.
Working on some new meditations. Let me know if have any requests.