25 Signs You Have a Wounded Inner Child

What is the inner child image?

The inner child is the part in your psyche that still retains its innocence, creativity, awe, and wonder toward life. Quite literally, your inner child is the child that lives within you – within your psyche that is. It is important that we stay connected with this sensitive part of ourselves. When we are connected to our inner child, we feel excited, invigorated, and inspired by life. When we are disconnected, we feel lethargic, bored, unhappy, and empty.

Feeling Safe – What Does it Mean?

Safety is not just physical, it is also emotional, psychological, and spiritual. When we feel truly safe within our family environment, we have our physical and emotional boundaries respected, our authentic selves accepted, and we feel close to and love by our family members (most notably our parents). We also need to be given permission to grow and change and have all of our basic physical necessities met (food, water, a safe home or neighborhood).

10 Ways We Were Made to Feel Unsafe as Children

The reality is that life isn’t ideal. The families that we are born into aren’t always great matches for us.

Growing up, there were a number of ways we may have felt unsafe. Before we proceed, I want to clarify that I am in no way blaming our parents or caretakers here. It’s important to remember that our parents did the best they could with the level of information, education, and emotional/mental maturity they had. Blame and resentment only serves to intensify the pain your inner child may be experiencing. So be mindful and know your limits when it comes to doing this work.

Here are some of the most common ways we were made to feel unsafe. How many can you relate to?

  • You were taught that it’s not OK to have your own opinions.
  • You were punished when trying to speak up or act differently.
  • You were discouraged from playing or having fun.
  • You weren’t allowed to be spontaneous.
  • You weren’t allowed to show strong emotions such as anger or joy.
  • You were shamed by your parents or family members.
  • You were verbally criticized/abused on a regular basis.
  • You were physically punished, e.g. smacked, beaten.
  • You were made to feel responsible for your parents and their level of happiness.
  • You weren’t given physical affection, e.g. hugs, kisses, cuddles.
  • This list is by no means exhaustive. So if you feel I have left something out, please share in the comments.

Types of Childhood Neglect

Let’s further break down the ways you were made to feel unsafe and unloved as a child (if you had a dysfunctional upbringing).

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