- Jeannie Scott
The screaming kid on the bus is with you...
Have you ever been sat on a a bus with screaming child whose parents are just ignoring them? You’re sat there, and the din fills the space, and yet seems to be noticeable to everyone in the vicinity apart from the parent!
Well…you could be doing the exact same thing with your inner child.
Your inner child is part of your subconscious brain that has been picking up messages from your surroundings, long before it was able to comprehend what was going on mentally and emotionally. It’s the part of your subconscious that feels the pain of early unmet needs, trauma and neglect.
If you notice regular patterns of self-sabotage that feel uncontrollable; overwhelming emotion; patterns of toxic behaviour in relationships and difficulty creating strong and safe boundaries, then you’ll want to read this…
Your inner child is wailing for the attention it needs. But you’re the parent ignoring them on the bus because to deal with it would be much harder work.
Now imagine you’re the stranger sat in front of you and your inner child. You can feel the child kicking the back of your chair. You’re not sure why, but you can definitely feel it. So, you get pissed off.
Now you’re you again (parent you) ignoring and yet still hearing your wailing kid. You feel awful, because, well, you’re not a robot. You’re hurt and anxious because the child beside you is in obvious distress. But you’re hoping beyond hope that they might just get tired and shut-up.
*spoiler* they won’t. Or, they may get distracted for a few minutes by something else. But sooner or later they’ll realise they’re still in pain and start crying again.
And you can’t block it out, or enjoy the journey. It’s all you can think about. And you take that energy of frustration at the wailing child, and annoyance at yourself for not being strong enough to face it, and it ruins the rest of your day
How is this sounding? Familiar?
Okay, now, you’re the child. You’re uncomfortable. You’re in pain. You need something but you can’t articulate what that something is. Everything is loud and overwhelming and you just want to feel comfortable and safe. But again, you can’t articulate that to your parent. Or maybe they’re just not listening hard enough to you.
So, what do you do?
You act up. You kick and punch and scratch and scream because it’s the only way you know how to get attention. It’s the only way you know how to get notice
But then your parent takes your hand; firmly, but softly. They come down to your eyelevel and look you straight in the eye, and ask you: ‘What’s wrong? What do you need?’
And suddenly you’re heard, and seen and held. And when you tell your parent that you’re hurting, they kiss the part of your body that is bruised or scraped. When you tell them that you’re scared of the loud music, they put their hands over your ears and cuddle you to make you feel safe again.
You're reparenting your inner child.
You're acknowledging the pain which was masked by crying. You're acknowledging the unmet needs and past trauma from a place of wisdom.
Your hurt inner child will make themselves known to you. It’s their prerogative. They might show up in bouts of aggression; big feelings around seemingly small insignificant things; patterns of self-sabotage; low self-esteem or fear etc.
You can’t enjoy the journey if the kid beside is screaming their lungs out. And the people around you can’t enjoy it either.
So, I invite you to have a think about what you’re struggling with most at the moment.
And ask yourself:
Journal Prompt: what patterns of self-sabotage am I noticing? What are the feelings associated with this unhelpful behaviour? And what's my earliest memory of feeling like this?
And I wanna know what ones up for you! Because you can BET I've been there too. Slide into my DMs and let me know what came up for you in your journal practice.
Keep kicking as and taking names from the comfort of your sofa!