I’ve been feeling nostalgic but I’m very reserved about talking about it. I’m in touch with one of my cousins, he’s the son of one of my aunts who spoiled me to death whenever I visited. I want to tell him how much I loved visiting when I was little but I’m afraid of the questions he has about me. His brother asked me some of those questions about a year ago. He wanted to know why I don’t have a relationship with my father. I just don’t.
Something else I need to tell my inner child is that she isn’t responsible. I think that’s underlying in my general attitude as a child, that I need to save my mother. Even though I know it’s illogical, even though I have a hard time admitting it, that’s why I feel so much anguish for her. I do a lot of work to divest myself of my family, to leave them where they are and not communicate with them, but I’m starting to realize that distancing myself from them is not the same as not taking responsibility for them. I’m not sure how to have a healthy relationship with them.
I don’t like to impose myself on other people or tell them what to do but I take things too personally and focus too much on other peoples’ actions. That is such a weird way of taking responsibility for others but it’s what I do. It’s like I am watching others to find out what the rules are and I feel cheated when things aren’t right. The truth is that other peoples’ actions have very little to do with me, their behavior is a reflection of who they are. It is so important to remember, in all of my relationships. Why does my boyfriend make so many snide remarks and exaggerate so much? Because that’s what he does, everything is ten feet tall for him. Really, if people have some weird perception of reality then that is their problem, I just have to dodge it.
f. What irrational beliefs did your “inner child” have about life?
Reading about the feelings that children of alcoholics have has helped me figure out what the irrational beliefs are:
She has to do it all herself.
People don’t care about her or are too busy for her.
Standing up for herself would be too hard or useless.
Her feelings were wrong.
Her feelings were dangerous, they were too painful.
People didn’t want her love, her parents thought love was worthless. I remember this, I remember the strange looks on their faces when I expressed how much I loved them.
It’s was worthless to talk about problems, it wouldn’t accomplish anything.
g. How willing are you to deal with these irrational beliefs and replace them with realistic truths? It is important to deal with these now so your “inner child” can come out and finally enjoy life.
I need to reflect on what I have accomplished, I need to anticipate that people will like me and care about my wellbeing. My feelings matter.
I need to stop living in fear of bad feelings and actually walk through those feelings. I need to stop protecting others from the feelings I have and actually tell them how I feel.
h. What are some of the negative consequences of suppressing your “inner child”?
Not trusting people, not being able to open up to them about my feelings because I’ve been taught that nobody cares about those feelings. Feeling overwhelmed because I’m convinced that I’m the only responsible person around.
i. How open are you to enjoying the little things in life?
Yes, I’m working on the basics, exercising, eating fresh foods, reading novels. I’m working on noticing the nice things in everything.
j. What part does fun play in your life?
I have fun when I laugh with my friends. I have fun when I read and watch movies. I have fun when I cook.
Gosh, I really take things very seriously. All I think about is accomplishing things. I was so excited last week, I was anticipating Saturday so that I could run errands and get some things done. I had a list of things I needed to do and I couldn’t wait to do all of them. Ugh.