Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory

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MamaDryad

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Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« on: February 05, 2020, 11:28:49 AM »
I've been drawn to inner child work / meditation / writing lately. I know that it's something I need to do.

My problem is that my memories from really any time before 18 or so are extremely spotty. I have a few events, a lot of feelings that I can't necessarily pin to a specific incident or even year, and that's it.

How do I reconcile those two things? I've tried sitting down and writing what I remember of each year, but it always comes out in a big jumble that doesn't give me a lot to work with.

How necessary is it to have clear memories to do this work? Is it enough to comfort your child self, tell them you believe them, that it wasn't their fault, and that they are loved?

Related: I've been feeling like I'm "in trouble" a lot. I'm an adult with a small child (and married to someone who would never want to make me feel like this), and yet I go around feeling like I'm bad and wrong and about to be punished for it. I'll talk to my therapist about it on Friday, but it's really bubbling up a lot this week, and I needed to write it down somewhere. Just another reason I think inner child work is what I need to focus on.

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Amadahy

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Re: Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 01:22:27 PM »
Invite your inner child to write from your non-dominant hand. It will all be true, even if not factual. I mean, literal memories may or may not come, but the bigger picture and deeper truth will find its way.

:hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 01:26:13 PM »
I also battle with this. I have almost no clear memories from my childhood. A lot of inner child work mentions bringing up a time you felt X, but I have no recollection of X.

Itís like when people talk about your higher self as how that is who you were before everything happened. I never had a period in my life when I wasnít being told how awful I was, Iíve always walked on egg shells and stuffed down anything that would get me in trouble. I feel like I never got a chance to have a childhood and figure out who I am. And of course now I have no real memories Of that time so itís impossible to do the work.

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athene1399

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Re: Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 03:07:14 PM »
I'm totally guessing here, but here's an idea: Maybe just work with what you do know, even if it is just the feelings. I don't know if that will help, but I don't see why not. Maybe just sit with the feelings your child-self was never allowed to express. Maybe offer your child-self support as if you were the parent. How would you talk to your kids if they felt this? Say these things to your inner child. I think it should be enough just to tell your inner child you are sorry they had to go though this and feel this, but they they are enough and are loved.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 03:19:04 PM »
I wonder if it could be useful to use other stories to start with? Do you ever see anything happen in public that gives you some feeling, like a kid crying in a grocery store, or a child at the park scraped a knee? The example could be positive or negative - maybe the child at the park was being comforted by a parent and in your tummy you were wishing you had that? (Doesn't matter if you have no concrete memories otherwise). Or perhaps the child crying in the grocery store was being snapped at by their father and it made you feel upset inside?

You could use these as a base to rewrite how you would have parented yourself, how gently you would have held yourself with a scrape, or how understanding you would have been if you were maybe tired and hungry at the store.

You can also use cues from TV, movies, books. Or just make them up out of your imagination. Because the truth is already inside you, and the exact narratives aren't required.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Fortuna

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Re: Inner Child Work vs. Poor Memory
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 06:58:26 PM »
I'm totally guessing here, but here's an idea: Maybe just work with what you do know, even if it is just the feelings. I don't know if that will help, but I don't see why not. Maybe just sit with the feelings your child-self was never allowed to express. Maybe offer your child-self support as if you were the parent. How would you talk to your kids if they felt this? Say these things to your inner child. I think it should be enough just to tell your inner child you are sorry they had to go though this and feel this, but they they are enough and are loved.

 :yeahthat:
Just talked to my therapist today about this. I have the same spotty memory and there are a few concrete things but mostly feelings. She told me 'you know enough' You know you didn't feel comfortable asking for your needs to be met, you didn't feel comfortable speaking up. You know enough and can go from the feelings you have now and work from there. She told me people like to find the why of things, or in this case the what happened of things, but the result of it, the feelings are there and that's enough to do the work.