Healing my inner child – a daydreaming experiment

In the last few weeks, I’ve realised that many of my negative thoughts and emotions come to me in the voice of a traumatised yet defiant seven-year-old stamping her foot and shouting that life isn’t fair. I’ve been asking myself why my wounded inner child shows up as a seven-year-old, and I think it’s because a few months after my eighth birthday my life changed very significantly. A move to a new area meant leaving my friends behind and starting a new school, where I felt I didn’t fit. It wasn’t an easy time, and I think a part of me refused to accept the reality of the change. And as a result, that part of me got stuck, stubbornly staying seven years old, never feeling strong enough or supported enough to face the challenges of growing up.

But as a result of the therapy I’ve done since my breakdown, I’ve come to realise that it’s time to heal my wounded inner child. And it feels right to involve my daydream self in that. Now, I want to make it clear that I’m figuring this out as I go along, I’m trying out some strategies that feel right to me, but this is an experiment. I’m not suggesting anyone else should try this; everyone’s childhood traumas are unique, many need to be worked through with a qualified therapist, and I don’t even know if this daydreaming strategy will work for me, let alone anyone else. But it’s my mind, and I get to use it in the way that feels right for me.

So, I’ve spent the last week putting together a new daydream world. It’s along similar lines to my parallel reality, which I’ve discussed before; but in this version I’m both the parent and the child (which does create a few problems with the timeline, which I’m ignoring for now). I’m giving my inner child the childhood she wanted, which the real me never had. In my daydream, I foster, and later adopt, my inner child and become the stable loving presence she needs to finally grow up. I’ve found a house for us to live in, near the school she wants to go to. I’ve mapped out a general idea of how her life develops from the point where she comes to live with me to the point she sets off for university as a happy and confident young woman ready to take on the world.

In addition to the daydreaming, I’m also connecting with my inner child through guided meditations and through discussions with my therapist, but the daydreaming allows me to visualise my inner child in a way that makes her feel very real. I can relate to her directly, have conversations with her, ask her perspective on situations and give her experiences that I wish I’d had at her age. In a way, I’m reinventing my childhood, travelling back in time in the way I’ve always wished I could do in real life. It also gives my inner child a safe space inside my head where she can say what she needs to say and be loved the way she needs to be loved. She doesn’t need to have a temper tantrum to get my attention any more.

I’m enjoying spending my daydreaming time getting to know this delicate beautiful soul whose development I have committed myself to. All she ever wanted was to be seen for who she was and accepted unconditionally. And I can do that. I’m looking forward to building a relationship that will allow both of us to reach our full potential. We’ll see how it goes…