“Nothing Holds You Back More Than Your Own Insecurities.” – askideas.com
Connie Thinks Back
Connie, a woman in her late twenties, had left Cincinnati about a year before and moved to Knoxville, TN where she took a job in a little boutique on Market Square. She rented the upstairs apartment above the shop.
When the boutique was closed she’d sit at the window in her little apartment watching the people in Market Square. She didn’t have any friends in Knoxville. She wasn’t sure she even knew how to make friends anymore. She had felt so alone and locked into the boutique shop.
The customers and the owner seemed to really like Connie, but they weren’t friends. She was all alone. Her mother was back in Cincinnati, but Connie rarely answered the phone when she called. A guy, James, from Cincinnati called occasionally when she first moved, but it had been months since she had seen his number on her phone.
One day while sitting at the window in her apartment with a bottle of Scotch and a package of donuts, she looked around. There were no pictures on the walls. No personal items, nothing to indicate that a person even lived in the apartment.
She looked at the people in the Square. Couples walking arm in arm laughing. Kids playing in the little splash pad, sidewalk musicians entertaining the people walking by or sitting on the benches or at the restaurant tables. They all looked happy.
She looked at her company, a bottle of Scotch and a package of donuts. She burst into tears, “If this is all there is I don’t even want to live.”
Connie In The Present
She had been seeing Gary, a Life Coach, for two or three months. She had finally connected with her mother and with James. She was making progress. She had decided to stay in Knoxville and go back to school, but every time she thought about entering a classroom with a male teacher fear would sweep over her.
She sat in Gary’s waiting area thinking about her move to Knoxville, her lonely life at the boutique, everything. She was very nervous about this meeting. He had given her a worksheet to complete –“Identifying Your Inner Conflict: Becoming Aware of Your Feelings.”
In her visits with Gary, she’d become aware of her Inner Child and how hurt she had become during her childhood years. She had stuffed all her feelings down deep inside. Yet, when she was confronted with the fact of having a close relationship with James, she ran.
Gary had taken it slow about confronting her insecurity and fear. As she sat in the waiting room it was all she could do to sit in the chair. She wanted to run and run and keep on running. But with Gary’s help she knew if she was to ever have a loving relationship, even with herself, she had to confront her insecurity, her fear, and her Inner Child.
The door to Gary’s office opened.
“Connie, come on in.”
Connie’s Inner Child
She raised her head and looked at him. She felt like she was glued to the chair. Gary continued standing quietly in the doorway as she finally managed to get up and walk toward the doorway. Tears started running down her cheeks. Gary reached for a box of tissues as he showed her to a chair.
Connie took a tissue and wiped her face then handed him her worksheet.
“Would you like to tell me what’s happening?” Gary said
Connie paused wiping the tears that wouldn’t stop flowing. It was like someone turned on a water faucet, “The tears won’t stop,” she said.
“Actually, that’s good. They are washing away all the pain from the past. Ignore the tears. Let them flow. Just tell me about what you’ve learned from the worksheet.”
“You told me to pay attention to Little Connie, to listen to her and what she needs. I have. I’ve also journaled about everything that has come to my mind, including the images.”
“Good. In the waiting room, you looked like you were scared to death. Can you tell me why? You’ve been coming here for two-three months, so, why the fear now?”
Connie paused wiping her eyes again and looking at the floor for a few minutes, “Well, I guess, what I’ve discovered is still trying to sink in.”
Gary sat quietly.
“I realized that I had blocked some things out of my mind. When I started working on this my memory started coming back a little at a time,” she said as she pulled out her notebook. “I’ve written about 20 pages.”
“I notice you don’t look as scared as you did in the waiting room.”
“My eyes are still leaking, but as I talk the fear is starting to go away,” she said as she opened her notebook. “You know my mother has always bad-mouthed my dad to me. I realize that’s why I ran from James, but at the time I didn’t know why.”
She paused again wiping her eyes.
“I remember my dad beating on my mom. I had a couple of memories of it, but I finally remembered the last time. He hurt her so badly that she was lying on the floor unconscious.”
“How old were you?” Gary asked.
“I was trying to figure that out. I even called my mom, but she refused to talk to me about it and hung up on me. I think I was about five or six.”
“Continue,” he said.
“Dad started gathering up his things to leave. Mom was laying on the floor bleeding. I could see myself running out to her yelling, ‘Mommy, Mommy,’ when he grabbed me. He started yelling that it was all my fault. If I had never been born this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Let me get this straight,” Gary said. “Your mom is lying on the floor unconscious and bleeding. Your dad grabs you and says it’s all your fault. Is that right?”
“Yes, he said if she hadn’t gotten pregnant with me he wouldn’t have had to marry her and none of it would have happened. He then threw me against the wall and walked out.”
“Were you hurt?”
“Yes. I must have had a concussion because I had headaches for days. I also hit something when he threw me and broke my right arm.”
“My mother told me for years to stay away from guys they would hurt me and leave me. When I told her about James asking me out, she went into a rage. I never could figure out why. Also, she was never as loving to me after that time. She would never give me a hug or hold me. If I’d cry she’d tell me to stop. A couple of time she even said it was my fault.”
“Did you go for help?”
“No. In a few minutes, the fire department and ambulance were at the door. I never could figure out how they knew. But, my dad must have called them.”
“Oh my,” Gary said. “Now, what do you think?”
Easing Her Inner Child’s Fears
“It wasn’t my fault. Mom got pregnant and dad got her pregnant. Not my fault,” she said taking several deep breaths as calm settled down over her.
“But, little Connie still needs the love that she never got. She also needs to know that it wasn’t her fault.”
“So, why did you run from James?” Gary asked.
“When I ran, I think I believed it was all my fault. I didn’t want to hurt him or be hurt by him. At the same time, my mother’s words would always echo through my mind that men would treat me horribly and would hurt me. But James is a really good guy. I definitely had a war going on inside and I didn’t know how to handle it.”
“Now what do you think and feel?” Gary asked.
“For the first time ever I see it wasn’t my fault and all men are not horrible creatures,” she said with a little grin as she looked up. “Not, you, of course. It actually feels different inside. I don’t feel the stress in my gut like I have for so long.”
The Inner Child
“That’s really good. Let’s go over a few principles here. Little Connie is going to need more attention, that’s a given. Don’t run from her or try to tune her out by watching television, movies, or videos, having music playing all the time, socializing, working, hobbies, or using drugs and alcohol. It’s very important for you to listen to her.”
“Should I write about my contact with her, as I did before?”
“Absolutely,” Gary said. “That helps you listen closer. It also seems to give the inner child a sense that you are really listening and doing something to resolve her issues.”
“The first step to dealing with a wounded inner child is to become aware and listen, which you have been doing. When you aren’t aware she will appear whenever something feels like the past. For example, if you feel like a man is being mean to you or someone else or is being unjustly harsh you will feel the fear and insecurity that she felt that night when your dad hurt you and your mom. Does that make sense?”
Gary continued, “I had a client who had been very verbally abused by his older brother. Every time someone around him would raise their voice, even for emphasis, his inner child would raise up to defend himself against attack. Even though the other person wasn’t attacking it felt like it to his inner child. He found that many times it was a struggle for control, just like it was as a kid.”
“I think I’m beginning to understand,” Connie said. “But, in my case how do I keep the fear from rising up and taking over like it did this morning.”
Parenting Your Inner Child
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“You are now the adult, parenting your inner child,” he said. “I know that sounds really weird, but in essence, that’s what it is. You tell your inner child that it’s okay. He isn’t your dad. You don’t have to be afraid. You actually need to talk to her, calm her, like you would a child.”
“In the case of the guy who felt attacked, he had to say to his inner child, ‘It’s okay. You’re not being attacked. She’s just making a point.’ Eventually, it got so the inner child did not rise up to defend. The same will happen to you. One day you will hear a guy raise his voice and you won’t feel that fear on the inside.”
“How long will this take?” Connie asked.
“I don’t know. Everyone is different. Your attack was very severe it may take a while. Has your dad ever tried to contact you?”
“He did after I moved here. He sent me a letter. I sent it back after I read it. I remember becoming so afraid when I read it that I started shaking violently,” Connie answered.
“Did you keep his address or phone number?”
“I did,” she answered. “But, I have no idea why.”
“That’s probably your true test. When you can call him without any fear you’ll know you have taken care of Little Connie.”