“However, just because negative memories are repressed does not mean you have escaped them. And this is where your inner child enters the picture. As he witnesses current adverse circumstances in his life, he often incorrectly correlates them to past, painful memories he feels are similar. While you are consciously unaware of the negative memories, your inner child is fully activated and re-living previous emotional trauma, which he desperately wishes to escape.”
Dr. Eddie Capparucci – Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction. The Road to Recovery Goes Through Your Childhood
So true. This is a quote from Eddie’s book that we talk about on the show today. I have long been a supporter of inner child work because it’s so important, and because it works. Embracing what happened, how it has affected us and then how to grow from it allows us to actually mature. We have better relationships with ourselves and others. Life gets better. But why and how does this happen in the first place?
Our subconscious has two purposes: to keep us safe from harm to help us feel better. Therefore, when it sees, feels or experiences something that “looks” like something similar from the past, it will respond accordingly in the present. If the memory is pleasant, the brain will respond with positive feelings and thoughts. However, if the memory is anywhere from unpleasant to traumatic, the brain will react with some manifestation of fear and subsequent self-protection. Touch a hot stove once and all of that.
It is believed that the inner child is running the show here, especially if his/her original experiences have yet to be grieved and validated. The wounds do not just disappear on their own, simply because you no longer dwell on them or because so much time has gone by. Your younger self is not yet convinced that it is safe. That things (and people) can be different today. That you are an adult now and can take care of yourself. This is why we often have let’s say less than mature emotional reactions to things such as acting out or shutting down. Running from things. It’s also why it makes us crazy but is simply a meh annoyance to the next person. They have their own triggers from their past that we may not notice.
I think it is so important that men especially be given the chance, the safe space, and the encouragement to go back and heal his wounds. To understand why he gets mad so quickly. Why his shame surfaces so immediately over then smallest things. Why he has a hard time knowing what he feels and expressing it. He deserves to live differently today, and the only way toward that is to make a U-turn first to understand, validate, and heal.