How to Heal Your Hurt Inner Child

       I was an extremely sensitive child. If you are into astrology, my ascendant is in Pisces, and my Saturn is in Aries, in the first house. I felt everything. I still do feel everything, but I know how to manage my emotions better. Things that children my age were able to brush off and move on from quickly affected me deeply; they stayed in my mind longer than they would in the mind of the average child. I wasn’t really understood either. I have a Pythagorean line of hypersensitivity in numerology. I am an empath, and not all parents know what to do with one.

         One of the few sentences that I remember my mum always said to me as a child was ‘Rónké̩, o ké̩ra jù, which roughly translates to me being someone who likes to pamper her body and avoid the slightest difficulty. It wasn’t really a compliment, in case you are wondering. My sensitivity to the environment made me a bit withdrawn even till early teenagehood, especially among people who were my own age. I got so devastated many times.

         My sweet mum constantly reported me to Sunday School teachers, and repeatedly called me a “saddist” [I don’t think she knew what it meant; she thought it had something to do with being sad all the time] because I was shy, and I always felt out of place.  Also, I had a lot of low self-esteem issues, especially because it wasn’t that easy for me to express my individuality as it was for other people. There are a lot of retrogrades in my birth chart; a lot of things that need repair and care in this lifetime.

         Many of us attempt to heal our wounded inner children [who experienced all the chaos and pain, even in settings that others often considered “heavenly”- it has nothing to do with wealth or poverty] by trying to have others heal it for us through love relationships. That’s laughable. It almost never works out. We become possessive, needy, toxic, and out of balance. Love relationships are not avenues for healing heartbreaks and pain. A person should have completed their own healing and attained balance before attempting to unite with someone else romantically, else they’ll be making matters worse. You don’t have to be perfect to love someone, you can’t be perfect anyway, but an imperfect yin and a perfect yang would never form a balanced circle. The other person would get very tired quickly when all they do is take care of your emotional traumas, and they would want a break or a separation at the slightest chance that they get. You would never feel complete on your own (without needing to do this or have that) if these childhood hurts are not properly addressed.

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         So, how do you heal your inner child? Our inner children never die. We grow bigger and learn/experience more things, but who we were when we were 5 or 10 or 15 years old is and will always be a part of us. We may repress all the hurts and disappointments and suffering, but until we properly address them, we will never heal, and not surprisingly, it will affect us for the rest of our lives, consciously or subconsciously.

Heal

REMEMBER

         Think about your childhood. Do this when you are alone and comfortable, at night perhaps, in your bedroom, away from bright lights. Think about everything you can remember. You may listen to this mantra while you do so; I personally enjoy it, and you may too.

         First, think about the good times. The day you were praised for being the best at something. The day your mum surprised you with your first toy car. The day you travelled with your favourite cousin. That sleepover that you enjoyed so much, you practically laughed yourself to sleep, because you were so sleepy, yet, you were having so much fun. Do this for as long as you can. Don’t be distracted by the negative thoughts yet. Go over and over all the good ones.

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SORT YOUR MEMORIES

         The next step would be to list the things that you can remember from your childhood that really hurt. Don’t dwell on them. That is not the point of this exercise. You may feel the pain, that is expected, but don’t be the pain.  The time you were bullied or made fun of. The time your parents’ marriage came to an end and you were confused. The time your uncle passed away. The time you felt unsafe. The time someone called you a monkey. The time you were not played with because of your tribal marks. The time you were publicly embarrassed. The time your father called you an idiot. The day your mum had an accident. The day you were beaten. The day you felt cheated on. It’s okay to cry. Remember, don’t be the pain. Don’t start to build up resentment and hatred. Detach. You may jot these experiences down, but you don’t have to. You may feel the urge to stop this exercise but try not to.

LET GO

         The next step is to consciously let the pain go. Forgive those that you need to forgive, although it may be hard. Let everything that is holding you back and affecting you negatively now, whether you realize it or not, go. You may imagine that your young self is swimming in a lake, away from all the pain. You may visualize that your young self is covered with a bright light, and all the pain is escaping through their forehead. Visualize letting all the pain and hurt and resentment go. Don’t hold on to it. Why do you want to hold on it? What purpose does it/would it serve to you? What gain do you intend to acquire by holding on to resentment, distrust and pain? I understand that it hurts, and it is not so easy, but let it go. Let all of it go.

ADOPT AND HEAL

         When you have done this, visualize holding your young self in your arms or holding their hands, adoring them, acknowledging their pain, feeling everything that they felt. Adopt this young self, this young you, as if they were your child. You know everything that they’ve been through. You know where they lived as a child. You know what happened when they were 6. You know this child better than anyone does and ever will. So, the best and only person that can adopt and heal this child is you. You know about all the love that he never felt, and how hard it was for her. It is now your responsibility to take care of him or her. The big question is: are you going to continue to remind him of all the negative experiences that he had, and all the pain that she has gone through, or are you going to help him or her move on from it and embrace healing and relief? Now that he has been found, and she is before you, what do you intend to do about this child? How do you intend to make it up to him or her? How do you intend to make her feel beautiful, and love her? How do you intend to help him express his artistic abilities and assist her with expressing her passions? How do you intend to give this hurt child a voice? You owe it to him/her; nobody else owes this child anything except you. Nobody. Do you remember the day the day she was ridiculed? How do you intend to honour her and help her heal? How do you intend to make him feel naturally handsome or help her feel appreciated? 

         It is now up to you to make the right decisions, to nurture and honour your inner child. Remember, if you need to discuss with me further or you need a free reading, you can always reach out to me.  Love, light, and healing!

H-A-P-P-WHY?

YemayaI was about 9 when my family was visited by armed robbers. I am going to leave a lot of details out, which is unlike me, but some memories never completely fade. The day after was one of the unhappiest and scariest days of my life, naturally, I suppose. 

I didn’t want to go to school, but my parents wanted me and my siblings out of the house, not just because there was too much going on in the neighbourhood, but because only sickness and death could save you from not going to school in my home. Even if someone was fatally ill or they died the day before, as long as it wasn’t you, you were expected to be in school the next day, no compromise. 

I remember that I was matching back to my class that morning- the morning after the attack- singing “WE ARE H-A-P-P-Y” back to class, on top of my lungs.

“We are h-a-p-p-y,
we are h-a-p-p-y,
we know we are,
we are SURE we are [sure? wtf?],
we are h-a-p-p-y,
happy!”

I wasn’t singing it on top of my lungs because I was excited, I was, because I was extremely livid- angry about many things. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t know if the person in front of me or behind me, all of us in matching uniforms, tiny, little juveniles, were happy, but I had to sing it anyway, to avoid being picked on or flogged.

I’m going to leave the name of the school that I was attending at that time out. The whole system itself is messed up; it’s not about one school.

Why would you flog a child for wearing old socks, or pick on a child for not bringing food during the end-of-the-year party? You don’t know the condition that the child is living in, you don’t know the trauma that the child is going through, you don’t know anything. Flogging a child because their school fee has not been paid is even the most fucked-up of all.

Now that you have flogged me- 15 strokes, have I vomited the 15 000 naira for the term? Ehn? You have not only completely embarrassed and abused me, you have injured my self-esteem a little, or a lot. 

I’ll stop here. I cry “ugly”, and I don’t want to shed tears where I am. I just STILL feel sorry for many of the children that I met when I was their age, and the millions that I didn’t get to meet.

As far as education is concerned in Nigeria, many things have to be corrected. Many things. 

It’s Still Rape/Abuse If You Enjoyed It

Bus Stop

“Bus Stop” by Larry “Kip” Hayes

Many men and women (who were probably first abused as children) find it difficult to agree that they were abused. They think “well, I enjoyed it; is it still abuse then?” Your little “peepee” was pulled or rubbed against your consent by an older person or your breasts/vagina were touched against your will, whether or not the abuser had sex with you, and you think it’s alright then. Actually, it’s not.

Don’t think- “well, it was just a little stimulation”; it was abuse, whether or not penetration was involved. I have spoken/had chats with a couple of men and women who were abused as children. Their innocence was taken away by older persons, usually, and they were convinced into thinking they were enjoying some sort of secret, pleasurable activity.

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“Forever Friends” by Larry “Kip” Hayes

In some cases, they believed the other person was helping them become an adult or become more mature. In a few of those cases, they had a crush on that older person at that time. Even if they wanted to report the issue or tell someone else at some point, the older person- the abuser- would convince them that they were going to be blamed instead, and so they would not.

Well, it’s still abuse if you enjoyed it. It’s still abuse if, as a child, you had said “yes” to being touched because you were naive and innocent, unaware that it was wrong and it would result in psychological trauma and regret. 

It’s still abuse, and you should never ignore that. Don’t tell yourself otherwise, so you can find healing, if need be.

Who Sat and Watched My Big, Fat Head?

Who sat and watched my big, fat head,
when sleeping on my queen-sized bed,
and tears of sweet, planned revenge shed?
My brother.

Don’t Forget My Children

Little children who can’t pronounce war yet;
children who shouldn’t know what it is.
Running, their bodies plagued with beads of sweat,
with kwashiorkor and tuberculosis.

“Uncle, where is mama? Where is papa?”
Parents’ bodies are lifeless on the farms.
“Mama, why did you leave me here with master?”
Babies are starving, dying in their own arms.

Don’t try to make me shut my mouth
when I get possessed by pain and cry.
  
But if we return to the past, we’re going south.
Can brothers forgive other brothers if they try?

Take flowers to the sea for my children,
who could’ve been all they wanted to be.
At least, admit it was not okay for grown men
to snatch my children away from me.

hunger

Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970)