Letter to my inner child.

Vulnerable, raw, fearful. That generally describes how I felt as a child growing up. Yet even after years of breakthrough and healing there are occasions as an adult when I hurtle backwards in time and my thoughts are of that of an overwhelmed eight year old or a terrified teenager.

It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does my whole body numbs. My mind goes blank. My emotions however run riot. Any sense of serenity escapes me and even my faith feels as if is beyond my grasp. Thankfully today I have experience of recovery and psychological strength to draw on. I can remind myself of how far I’ve come and how far I have to go. I can reach out to others who in turn can remind me of my worth. And my faith which never leaves me becomes bright and forceful in my life again.

But as a child dealing with abandonment and abuse I had no way of knowing how to deal with the hurt. And no adult to help guide or reassure. I often wished that I could have written to my inner child during those trouble times. those times. It could have read:

“Dear little one,

When your mother left you never to return – it wasn’t your fault. When your father made you into a commodity for himself and others – it wasn’t your fault. You don’t have to go through the rest of your life carrying the burden of guilt that was not yours to carry. Put down the shame and walk away.

The words spoken over you that left you believing you were worthless and unlovable were lies. You are precious. But don’t go trying to replace the love you should have had by seeking out a mother who will reject you further, or from other men who will abuse you again.

Look inside your heart. Look inside your soul. The treasure that is ‘you’ is waiting to be nurtured and released. Trust your quiet determination that lies within. You will survive.”

The letter didn’t exist for me as child but all the same, I survived. My journey through life continues to both challenge and amaze me. Sober, peaceful and fearless is how I would describe how I feel today. But sometimes I need to reassure myself as I would a child. Today the letter reads:

“My loved one,

Hold on, Keep strong. Everything’s going to be alright.”

Yes, it is.

Images thanks to the amazing Katie m. Berggren

74 thoughts on “Letter to my inner child.

  1. Carolyn, What an inspired letter! So glad your shared it. I certainly would have liked to receive your letter when I was a child. I recently accepted Christ as my Savior and have been in counseling for sexual, physical and emotional abuse from my father and physical and emotional abuse from my mother when I was a child. My counselor suggested I write a letter to my childhood self and I have been struggling so much to do so. When I was younger I had the gift of poetry, albeit it was dark, but my brain seems to be fried as an adult. I would love to be able to kick out a poetic yet simple (not in meaning) letter like yours to my childhood self. I will pray on that. Blessings!

  2. After years spent rebuilding the trust of my inner child, I can finally go to where she is and feel the unconditional love we both craved. Today we have it from and for each other. But, like yours Carolyn, it was a long journey. Your first letter to your inner child should somehow be “packed” with us when we come into this life …

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    As always this was a beautiful posting. It reminded me of something Julia Cameron talks about (“The Artist’s Way”) regarding the damage that shame does to the inner child, and how this impacts on the adult artist.

    Best wishes,
    Val xoxo

  4. You are beautiful Carolyn, You are so worthy of love, You are an amazing inspiration. Your comment “Put down the shame and walk away” is sooooo appropriate, to all of us who have ever felt lost, guilty, and worthless, especially those who have been victims of abuse or abandonment as a child. There is a quote I love and it reminds me of You –

    “It’s unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.” ― Emma Thompson …

    This is You Carolyn! You are giving so generously of Yourself, Your life experiences and what You have felt, to everyone who needs it, Your kindness is astounding, and it shows how much You have suffered in order to be so kind! I love Your blog, and I am so inspired by the journey You are on. Thank You for sharing YOU with the rest of US.

    Sending much love Your way my special friend x

    • Your comments are always so special to me Christine. I love your quote from Emma Thompson! I think one of the greatest benefits of having been through any sort of trauma is that it can open your heart and mind to a completely new level of compassion. So glad to be on my journey with beautiful friends like you 🙂

  5. Beautiful post! Even though I had a good childhood in general I did struggle some with my self-image and once in a while I have those old feelings of “not being good enough” creep in. I think many people can relate in some way. Love your writing style!

  6. Although my heart truly breaks when I hear of stories like yours and the pain and suffering that children go through it is also heartwarming to know we have the tools to heal ourselves in adulthood. I applaud you for taking the necessary steps to take charge of your life and love your inner child. Great example to so many. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Lovely article, Carolyn 🙂 It reminded me of Susan Jeffers’ mantra, ‘It’s all happening perfectly’, which helped me through a very difficult time. Words are so very powerful.

  8. That letter was beautiful Carolyn. In some ways it reminds me of my mother. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. She always wondered what it was like to have a mother. Her father raised her, her twin sister and baby brother. He was very hard on them. They did survive, but with low esteem. She was not adicted to anything, but she did end up marrying a man (my father) that was an aloholic for many years.

    I wish she had had your post to read while she was still on this planet. She was not a perfect mother, which none of us are, but she tried very hard.

    You Carolyn are helping many people and even myself when it comes to loving ourselves like we should. You are an inspiration. Thanks you for sharing

    • That is such a touching story of your mother. It shows how family patterns can be passed down through the generations in different forms. And as you say, none of us are perfect mothers but what is important is being the best mother we can try to be. Thank you for your encouragement Debbie. I really appreciate it!

  9. I find I have to revisit my inner child and reassure her now and again, although when I write from her point of view she often reasures me. I get very frustrated and sad that after coming so far I slip back, as we do from time to time but if we think about how far we have come, especially knowing that God sees our full potential and is urges us to keep going (see Jeremiah 1:8) and the love of friends who understand will pick us up again. I hope sharing here helps you as much as it helps us your readers…

    with love, Karen

    • Thank you Karen for sharing your story. It’s good to read that your inner child can reassure you when you need it. Knowing that God sees us for what we will become is a powerful image to hold on to. Thank you for reminding me. Love Carolyn

  10. So many need healing of past, to move forwards with courage and strength. Such a beautiful article… love the letter. I wish I could’ve had my mother alive, when I grew up. Well the past is past and we can learn a lot from our misfortune, even more than from our fortune. What doesn’t break us, makes us stronger. Thank you so much for sharing this with others. 🙂

      • I was also emotionally abused by my parents and it didn’t make me stronger.In fact, i wish the abuse didn’t happen at all.I wanted to be happy as a child, not stronger.

      • Hi Laura, So sorry that you suffered the abuse from the very people who were meant to love and nurture you. No one wants to have to go through abuse as a child, and it’s a right for us to be allowed to be children, and part of that includes being happy. That was stolen from you and I can relate to that. I wanted to be happy too, but I was desperately unhappy. And like you I could do nothing to change what happened. But it’s now that I can find my strength. I am loved and lovable and good enough. You are all those things too and whether your parents see that doesn’t change who you are. I sense that you have a courage and inner strength today, but perhaps your inner child still needs the love it should have had.
        Take care xx

  11. Great post Carolyn. We all have a story inside of us and an inner child that needs to be taken care of no matter what our age. Sometimes the best medicine we can give ourselves is to unleash that inner child and let them shine. We need to let that part of us know how much we love it!

  12. Wow, Carolyn, your posts are always so powerful and full of raw, emotional energy. Your letter “My loved one,Hold on, Keep strong. Everything’s going to be alright.”Yes, it is….That is true power, my friend. Beautiful!

  13. I am so glad you “have experience of recovery and psychological strength to draw on.” Congratulations on your continued warding off of the desire to seek out “a mother who will reject you further” or “other men who will abuse you again.” That takes phenomenal self awareness! I wish you ongoing strength to lead vulnerable people towards their inner saviours and hope I have not misinterpreted your light.

  14. Beautiful by every measure! Thank you. I had just such a day last week. None of my practices restored my sense of inner peace so I jet decided to fall into what was going on with curiosity. By the next morning things had shifted and I had gained new insights about my triggers. Nice to know someone as lovely as you has the same struggle.

  15. I feel the same as the other commenters. Your letter resonates so much with me. If I could go back in time I’d hand out copies to all of us. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Carolyn, you are a beautiful soul as your letter says and you deserve every happiness.

  16. I, too have done some inner child work due to having a mom who was physically present but too often emotionally absent. As the oldest of 7, I became the mom and lost out on parts of my childhood. I wasn’t abused but it was painful none-the-less. I LOVE your letter to self. I have to remind myself of the precious child of God I am during the ‘fall in the pit’ times.

    • Thank you for sharing your story Shelly. It is so true that you don’t have to be abused to suffer emotional pain. Taking on the mom role as a child is something no child should have to do. I love how you see yourself as a precious child of God in the hard times. That is a wonderful thought to hold on to!

  17. Thank you for sharing this, Carolyn. This is a letter I could have written to myself as well. That little girl surfaces often enough for me. Thank God that I am strong and will continue to grow and survive! Bless you.

  18. Hi Carolyn,

    Beautiful letter!! I wish that you could have received that as a child. What is wonderful about being older and wiser is that we know we will get through those painful days and find meaning and joy in our lives. Wishing you all the best now and in the future.

  19. I relate Carolyn, this resonates with me so much, and it’s always good, no matter how long ago I slayed my dragons, to know that I am not alone, that little frightened girl surfaces often. xx

  20. Yes, this sounds very much like a letter I could have written to myself, too. Thanks, Carolyn, for posting it, for reminding me that I am strong, I’ve survived, and I have a life to live. ❤

  21. I am so glad I clicked to read this, I could have wrote this letter, it brought tears to my eyes, I have been on my healing journey for many many years and yes even now I free fall backwards right into that scared vulnerable place and yes thankfully, I have enough resources to bring me back to now and the ability to soothe that child within.. After many years of healing I know that an absent mother was the hardest, most painful thing for me to heal,so I hear you loud and clear. Thank you so much for sharing xx

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