I’ve recently been in touch with a very young part of myself. I have an old photo of this infant aged about ten months, with a wonderful, eager expression and bright eyes. She was so willing to meet the world, and so willing to mold herself to parents’ expectations.
When I was born my parents had just moved to a new city, they already had my sister Suzie (who had Down Syndrome), my father hated his job, and my mother was timid and overwhelmed. No space for new demands. I learned to adapt to circumstances, be good, and not express any needs.
All these years later, I’m finally accessing this core of early beliefs. With the help of EMDR and my therapist, I can feel deeply into this infant’s open-eyed being. I need to let go of the belief that I can’t speak up for myself and can’t ask for attention and space in groups. I can feel the strength of the Inner Child’s grip on this belief. She’s very scared to let go of it because she thinks this is the only way to cope. But when I stayed with her fear, something shifted just a bit, and I could see it as her fear.
I try to take this awareness with me into the world and notice how I feel in real-life situations. I’m consciously asserting myself more, bit by bit, and noticing the reactions. I wish I could just blow the old beliefs away with one big breath, but I can’t. So I go step by step.
It feels right to know what’s up with this very young Inner Child and, with all the patience I can muster, to stay with her as things shift.