Narcissistic abuse really does a number on your inner child, and most people who go through a toxic relationship that involves a narcissist find they have a lot of inner child healing to do during their narcissistic abuse recovery. Can you relate?
What is the inner child?
We talk often about the inner child in the narcissistic abuse recovery community, but do you really know what it means? On a very basic level, according to psychologists, the “inner child” is simply that part of you that never grows up. It is your inner childlike aspect. It exists within you and seems to only recognize those things you learned as a child before you hit puberty.
It might help you to see it as a separate aspect of your whole self. In analytical psychology, the term The inner child refers to a semi-independent sort of subpersonality. It is separate from your waking conscious mind, but it directly affects your experiences and your understanding of the world.
Healing your inner child is a big part of the narcissistic abuse recovery process and is used in various psychological and health settings. The inner child concept became popularized by the books of John Bradshaw.
What Would You Say to Your Inner Child?
What would you say if you could talk to your child self? What if you could go back in time and talk to the child you once were? What would you want your younger self to know? What did you need to hear that no one said to you?
Here are the top ten things I’d have said to “me” back then.
1. You’re already enough. Stop caring what anyone else thinks and just be yourself already. Turns out? You’re pretty cool. And you’re a LOT better looking than you think – a lot of what makes people look hot is an illusion. You’ll become a master of it one day.
2. Here’s how to stop the tummy aches. You’ll never believe me now, but one day you’ll understand that getting so scared that you get sick to your stomach is actually part of what’s causing all of your problems. See, when you let yourself get so focused on negative thoughts that you can’t see the good stuff, something called the Law of Attraction causes more of the negative stuff to be pulled toward you like a magnet. This is not hocus pocus. It’s legitimate and as you grow older, you’ll see it for yourself. Learning this now can change your life significantly.
3. Your dream is real. It WILL happen, so don’t give up. You will become a successful writer. Someday you’ll have many, many books published. And you’ll make your living from your writing.
4. You are destined for a beautiful life – eventually. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t believe anyone who tells you to lower your expectations and that you don’t deserve to have the very best in your life. It is the belief that you can’t have something that ensures it – don’t forget that.
5. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s okay to be pretty and girly and smart and strong all at the same time. You can even love glitter, shiny and sparkly, and watch sitcoms and STILL be awesome. Yup. So stop trying to pretend you’re anything you’re not. You, specifically, have a huge amount of creative power and if you learn this now and stop doubting yourself, you cannot lose. Whatever you are is okay as long as you are staying safe, healthy, and legal. Embrace yourself and trust your instincts. They are spot on.
6. Big boobs aren’t as awesome when you get older. TRUST ME! Someday you’ll appreciate the fact that you never got out of a B cup. I PROMISE. Also, just a random comforting fact about the future: the size of the breast does not in any way affect the quantity of milk you’ll produce for your babies one day. But less bulk makes for easier nursing for all involved. Get yourself some padded bras and move on. You’re welcome.
7. Let that bright light shine and stop trying to cover it up with what you THINK is desirable or expected. Being dark and disturbed is not required to be a successful writer or artist. It’s also soooooo much less attractive than you realize. Stop it and admit you love pink already. It looks really good on you. And baggy grunge clothes don’t look good on anyone – especially you.
8. Give yourself a big hug and apologize for all the mean things you think about yourself – then stop doing that. And speaking of which, stop calling yourself fat. You’re not fat. But you will be if you keep focusing on that. Instead, focus on feeling good in your body and moving your ass. When you’re talking to yourself, don’t say anything that you wouldn’t tell your best friend about herself. Yes, it definitely does matter.
9. Crazy ain’t sexy, and you ain’t crazy. You aren’t bipolar or obsessive-compulsive or anything else. You just don’t fully understand the world and the people who live in it yet because you’re just getting started. But tell your mom to have you checked for ADD. Yes, girls can have it. And you do – learning this at 18 could change everything.
10. Hold on, your time is coming. You are a whole and worthy person with valuable and important things to do in the world. Stop doubting your ideas and your abilities and embrace the truth of who you are. Life will get so much better.
And, earlier today, I did a post in my SPAN group – asking…well, take a look at the video…
So here were their answers – they really came through.
- You’re worth it.
- You’re good enough
- You’re cute
- You don’t deserve your mother’s abuse (beatings, verbal abuse, etc.)!
- You are valuable as you are. (Haley)
- There is no need for perfection as you think about it, or as you think other people see it. (Haley)
- It’s okay to be you. (Haley)
- Abuse is not your fault you are good kind person
- It is ok to be queer – or whatever you happen to be.
- Not everyone be at your spiritual level
- Do not rush relationships
- Do not do all the giving
- Stay put – as in do not move so many times
- Look for a man like my father! And take a relationship slow! Get to know someone really good before getting into committed relationship!
- Watch for red flags.
- “Don’t date this guy, this guy or this guy…”
- Get an education
- Stop thinking you’re so ugly!
- Let go of all the pain you feel about not being loved. And then learn to love yourself! (Linda)
- You are not all the things people say you are. You are good, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are caring. All this stuff you feel means you are an empath, learn about it. (Linda)
- You are going to be ok.
- You are a survivor.
- Keep doing what you are doing.
- The straight path is the right path.
- You will help many on your way. ? (Linda)
- It’s not your fault that the people you loved, trusted, and looked up to were not there for you and abused you.
- You are enough.
- You have a voice.
- You are beautiful and not fat.
- Slow it down and don’t start dating so early.
- You only need you.
- Know yourself and learn to love yourself so you don’t depend on others for love and valuation.
- Set boundaries. Know you are a survivor. (Mary)
- “It’s not your fault.”
- “You didn’t do anything wrong by being born.”
- “You belong here (on this earth).”
- Focus on building yourself first – before committing to a serious relationship.
- Life doesn’t come with a guide manual. Try to learn why you are who you are.
- These are people you should look out for – and let’s talk about narcissists and codependency and everything in between.
- You’re a kind, loving, smart person who has a lot of good in you.
- Show others how to treat you by example.
- Don’t try to keep up with your brother’s eating habits. He doesn’t know everything he thinks he does!
- Learn to let go of negative people
- Set boundaries
- Speak up more.
- Don’t be so scared
- Don’t value yourself by how a man treats you or doesn’t treat you.
- You are worth more than you realize and don’t put anyone before yourself!
- You are lovable and need to find someone that can love you unconditionally and puts God first.
- Know your worth because others do – or they would not try to take advantage of you!
- You can not fix anyone especially if you believe you are worth nothing.
- Believe in yourself – and don’t believe them when they tell you otherwise.
- You’re not lazy.
- You’re not bad or stupid or otherwise unsavory.
- Your feeling and thoughts are real and legitimate.
- Don’t believe anyone who pretends to be better than you – everyone is equal.
- You are actually pretty cool.
- You don’t have to settle – ever.
- Choose your friends wisely.
- Get into a relationship with someone you know really well.
- Choose yourself first.
- This is how you do the gray rock method.
- One day, you’ll understand why it had to happen.
- You will come out of this stronger than you could have ever imagined.
- It’s okay to cry – but don’t cry forever.
- Being depressed is only making your life harder – be happy.
- Nobody’s perfect, least of all your mom or dad.
- Wear sunscreen.
- You’re going to get through this – and when you do, stay focused on the goal.
- Don’t drop out of college.
- Date people who get you – not people who hurt you.
- You can’t change anyone but yourself.
- Your brother (or sister) wasn’t really better than you.
- You have to learn how to be enough for YOU – you’re already amazing – but you just have to start owning it.
- If you imagine that your life is uphill all the way, it will be.
- You’re really, really smart – and that is a very good thing.
- You’re right – nobody understands what you’re dealing with right now. Hang tight – you’ll make it.
- When you feel paralyzed, just do one thing – make one move. It might lead to the next one – but if not, at least you tried.
- It’s okay to fail.
- You should never give up on yourself – despite what others say.
- What you like is okay and not weird – go ahead and like it.
- You don’t have to be what your mother says you are – you get to choose.
- Remember that you matter as much as everyone else.
- Start focusing on what is good in your life – that will help you bring more of the good.
- Don’t give rude people free rent in your head.
- Don’t let people walk all over you because you think you don’t deserve any better.
- No one who claims to be doing you a favor by treating you politely or even letting you live there is telling the truth.
- You don’t have to sleep with someone to make them like you.
- You were abused, and it was not your imagination.
- You aren’t crazy now, and you won’t be crazy in the future.
- Remember that your home life is temporary – the future is where you get to make choices.
- You can still trust people – just don’t trust the wrong ones.
- Just get through it – life can be beautiful if you let it.
- 101 Struggles Only Narcissistic Abuse Victims and Survivors Will Understand
- Narcissistic Abuse and Isolation: Feeling Alone in a Crowd
- Stop Living in Fear: Free eCourse for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors
- Toxic Relationship Recovery: Find Your Inner Strength After Narcissistic Abuse
- Narcissistic Abuse and Gaslighting: Reader Shares Decade-Long Survivor Story
- A Toxic Relationship Survival Guide for Victims of Narcissistic Abuse – QueenBeeing
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.