Talking to the little you
She felt so drained, so desperate, so ashamed and alone. She did not want to be herself anymore but she had to be. She was stuck with herself. She needed to escape from herself. She felt so wrong and did not fit with this world.
As she spoke she told me
‘I hated myself for feeling, for not being able to get a grip like others and for feeling so low.
Within those desperate moments, a thought went through my mind. A flashback as I remembered an occasion as a child, being left on my own, in my room after I knew how disappointing I had been to those I loved, my parents. If only they had listened to me rather than feel so ashamed of me.
It’s all happening again now, those same feelings, this time it’s the boss I so needed to please and so distrusted to.’
Looking at myself
Then she went on to tell me
‘Well now, today in that moment, feeling so alone and ashamed I decided to look at myself. Who do I feel like now? Not adult, just like I am ten again. As I thought and felt I became almost aware that I was watching myself again as a child, but the child was alive in me now, waiting to be acknowledged and accepted. I was looking at my self today, as an adult, but seeing the little me again.’
This is something some of us may have experienced, becoming aware of the little you hidden inside the big adult you. I have seen this often when helping those I counsel. Suddenly the little one is making themselves known.
A caring witness
It’s possible, but not always easy, to have a dialogue on our own, with ourselves in a typical situation such as this. Often the high intensity of emotion and feeling can make it confusing and hard to stand back enough to switch between the adult and child parts of ourselves. It is possible though and as I have seen, when helping others, it is often very helpful and much needed. Often this can be something that the counselling relationship can assist with but it can also be explored in other creative ways such as writing a journal. One of the benefits of writing is that the process of having something separate from ourselves, the pen and paper, or computer, can help us step back a bit, just like the counsellor, which maybe allows for a dialogue to flow between the adult and little you.
Maybe the important ingredient here is finding a way for that little inner child, that still lives within us, to be heard, to have a second chance to be acknowledged and understood. If this can be achieved within therapy, with the counsellor there to be a witness and offer genuine understanding and empathy it can be so helpful but a pen and paper can be a witness too, if needs be.
Please note that although the situations expressed above are common and very real for many individuals, the person and their situation in this article is not based on any one specific true life account but rather a fictitious example.
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