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the wounded child


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I really want to integrate with that child. She's a part of me and I want her to live. But there's a huge chasm between the healthy adult and the wounded child. When I block her out totally, I'm this functional, confident, and, dare I say, happy person whom people like to be around. Well, at least that's the side of me I let others see.

But, when I let my guard down, this little girl comes to the surface who is this worthless, hurt, sad little bitch. I'm trying to let go of the hatred toward her and embrace her but it's so hard. There's so much of it. Sometimes a hint of anger even comes out but, at least I push that back down because anger isn't something I allow myself to feel ever!! When she comes out, that's when the flashbacks are out of control and the body memories are so real!!!! I wish I could get a break from them. They're so overwhelming!!

As time goes on, I do feel more empathy toward her but for the life of me, I can't let it happen without reservations and I can't sustain it. It's like grief takes over that is so strong and she's the cause of it!!!

I guess I'm rambling now. There are so many emotions mixed into this that I still need to figure out and find some perspective.

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Having been brought up in a violent and abusive home my inner child was very angry at me for such a long time for putting up with a situation I had no control over. I'm not a hundred percent sure that we are talking about the same thing but I'll share this with you and see if it helps.

Do you feel like two different people sometimes? If so this is your own beliefs of the situation and your underlying beliefs of what is actually going on. I might be wrong here but I don't think she is the cause of the grief that takes over. I believe she is trying to share with you the grief she feels. She is only getting angry and frustrated because she can’t yet communicate very well.

"But, when I let my guard down, this little girl comes to the surface who is this worthless, hurt, sad little bitch. I'm trying to let go of the hatred toward her and embrace her but it's so hard. There's so much of it. Sometimes a hint of anger even comes out but, at least I push that back down because anger isn't something I allow myself to feel ever!! When she comes out, that's when the flashbacks are out of control and the body memories are so real!!!! I wish I could get a break from them. They're so overwhelming!!"

Oh my God! Forgive me but she is not a worthless, hurt, sad little bitch. And the sooner you recognise that the sooner you heal. She is You - in pain!

It took some time but I learned to communicate with my inner child. I learned about all the pain she had been through and I understood why she was so angry with me. After that we called a kind of truce and I began to take care of her for a change. It's all to do with our inner self-talk. I don't know if this will help you but ask for forgiveness and try to get across that you didn't understand everything that was going on but now that you do you will help this part of you heal no matter what.

Be kind and generous to her - and yourself. Buy her kids stuff, sweets and toys. Yes it'll feel like a silly thing to do but it works. And whenever you feel her anger tell her over and over that you understand and that you are going to make everything better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Danni,

My home of origin wasn't violent, but I was alone too much when I was small, and have attachment problems, and ever since I could remember was filled with self-hatred and fear. I often feel like my 'sad little bitch' is in control too often, and it's no fun! I worry about your separation of your selves, though... and I agree with Blurose in saying you should try to be kind to her; it's fun to think of yourself compartmentally at times, if it helps you to deal, but I fear you may have a bit of PTSD and/or a dissociative thing going on, and I hope you'll seek professional care. You deserve to be whole and integrated, your selves hand-in-hand as friends. I hope it's okay for me to say all that!

But hugs to you, all your selves :) From all of mine!

Take care and good luck!


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Danni, would you ever think thoughts such as that about any other child? I am more than willing to bet the answer to that question is no. No child is ever to blame for any bad situations that life places them in under the care of those intended to protect them. Little Danni was an innocent child. She deserves the very same gentle care, nurturance and love that you would offer to any child, don't you think? Perhaps this anger is misplaced and would better directed away from little Danni. I think that sometimes when painful things happen to us as small children our minds may stay "frozen" at that age. Maybe as a child, in your fear of being angry at the person who hurt you, you took the anger out on yourself. Young children, being the center of their universe, often place the blame on themselves. This is something to let go of because the fault in this is not with a child. What happens when you try to nurture your inner child?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Danni,

In order to embrace and love the injured child inside of you, it will be important to stop blaming her. By blaming her, you are blaming yourself. If she is a "bitch," then you are a bitch. None of this is true. Children do not create the life they live in. They are too young. Rather, they must adjust to the circumstances doled out to them. They are depending upon the big and powerful adults in their lives and, therefore, must do everything to keep their attention and love. That means that if the adults accuse them of being "bad" and at fault, they believe it and take that belief into their adult lives.

Now, as an adult, it is important to embrace the hurt child. The way to do that is to understand that she was and is innocent and in need of love, kindness and nurturing. Based on what you just wrote, you do not believe that about yourself.


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I wouldn't say that we are seperate people. Mostly I just want to deny her existence but that is getting harder and harder to do. I know there's a lot of anger inside but I leave it there because I don't really know how to express it.

No...I wouldn't think that about another 5 year old. The dumb thing is that none of my struggles are about what I know. I've worked with both victims and offenders and I know what I say to them. I just can't internalize it and apply it to myself. I can't make myself believe it. I can't feel that that little kid was innocent because it's hard to let go of the fact that I really wanted to be strong enough to stop it. Or better yet....to erase it. Yeah....it's not about what I know....it's about what I feel. I know my feelings are wrong and irrational but I also have been powerless to change them.

I have been trying for months to nurture her. Allen, you're right, I don't believe I deserve those things. I think other people have value and worth but I can't believe it or think it about myself. I'm nothing special.

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Good morning Danni,

There is such wisdom and compassion shown here that it is almost painful to read for me. I carry many wounded children and have wrestled with them over several decades now. I've learned some things along the way and one is that of our "children" are closely linked together, arm in arm, and that the hurt child is never far from the joyful and happy child, one just as excited about life as the hurt one is distressed by it. I also learned that by keeping my hurt child suppressed so as not to feel pain, that my other children (the happy one, the one that forgives, the one that loves freely, etc.) were denied their expression, But b/c I needed to protect this hurt child, trusting others was impossible... and herein may lie the doorway out.

My realization, painful and stressful as it was, was to come to a place where I could allow one person in, to trust and allow myself to feel their spirit, not their knowledge, to illuminate the way. One deep and close friend, a deeply spiritual and compassionate one, was able to "loan me of her strength and spirit", which allowed me to unearth slowly what each "child" had to say in order to bring about mending or healing. Alone I couldn't do it: one strong spirit in my friend gave me permission to feel again in ways I had denied myself, and it allowed me to find a voice for my traumatized children.

There are really only 2 great fears here, the initial one where the child was created by from the ashes of that pain, and the second one, the fear of giving up our defenses and having to face what it would take to heal-- from here, fear becomes roadblock we service, maintain and even treasure b/c it "keeps us safe." But there is no safety, no joy, no sense of completion and living, when we are robbed of the fullness of life by fear and self preservation based on something that occurred way back when. It seems much easier to protect and live life hiding behind a cypress tree than it is to come out from behind. It is much safer to renew our fears years and years after the incident occurred, b/c they keep us from having to be open and vulnerable, but these are very short term fixes.

I remember this line from a book I read: Edith was a country bordered on the North, the South, the East, and the West, by Edith. And this pretty much sums up the picture of someone whose fears and road-blocks create not only hurdles they mistakenly think protect them, but worse yet, these boundaries also serve as mirrors to remind them of why they believe they must self protect at all costs, when what is needed are windows to see out. And this is where authentic and 4-dimensional relationships will take us.

Danni, there are certain steps or developmental stages that your hurt child must pass thru, but you must be willing and able to manifest the raw courage first to trust yourself and that deeply wounded child to be seen, heard and felt/touched in the presence of someone else, This is where my healing began and it may be where yours does also. It can be in therapy or with someone you adopt as a close friend over time. Can you look at this and decide if this is a first step in your growth and happiness, that you are willing to take-- both feet in? If so, we can begin this process here by gently encouraging you to "step out,' and be seen as a whole there in your world, where you live.

Warmest and warmest regards,


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I have read and reread your message so many times since you posted it. I understand every word that you have written because I am in almost the exact same spot. I don't have any words of wisdom for you. I know that people say you need to accept her, but it seems impossible to me. I am sorry that you are like me, but it has given me a bit of comfort to know that there is someone "out there" that understands me.

I see the little girl that was me and I feel disgust and revulsion. I hate her for being weak and stupid and a whore and for doing what she did to make him do this to me. I want to kill her.

I work with children as a teacher and I try to help them, love them and give them safety. I too appear to be strong and in control but when that child comes out I freeze, mostly with fear.

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  • 3 months later...


I can not agree with you more. I am an ACOA. I loathe myself. I don't necessarily see a child..I see myself as one..maybe not yet grown up. I feel like I have to be loyal, and still, at the ripe age of 29, I worry about what my parents will think..if they will approve, if I'll disappoint them.

David..your words make so much sense..but where do you start? Where do you start healing? I don't know where to begin. I know what needs to be done, but I have no idea where or how to start. It's so much..shit. So much I have to sift thru, so much I have forgotten..and suppressed. I remember things now..I noticed wood paneling at a friend's house..and I had completely forgotten the closet I used to hide in when my parents would fight. It was the furthest place I could hide.

I play a game, not intentionally..but I tend to push people away. I just lost someone very dear to me, he left me b/c of my uncontrollable rage, my temper, my controlling behavior, my verbal abuse. What happened to me? Why am I like this?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The wounded child. I can def relate. I cried for her a lot. Professional helpers told me basically what most of you mentioned, not all of it of course.

The hardest part is to let go, to forgive and forget, to *love* the child, to give her what she needs...

I was verbally/psychologically abused by my father and he left a big void which I filled with hatred, hatred for him, hatred for myself.

I've felt like I'm divided (not 2 different persons), the good myworld and the bad myworld. I'm at least coming to terms that they're both versions of myself. I used to blame it all on my father.

And I'm trying to forgive him first, it's taking some years but now I think I can see him more as a person.

I need to do the same with myself, with that neglected child. She's too hurt, too scared, too shy, too angry.

I'm unable to let myself go, I'm unable to trust people, no matter how close I get to them. I doubt myself and I don't like that. I lose my patience with myself.

It's no fun that it seems that I'm doing it all over again, abusing myself.

And people telling how good I am at some things, and worthy...people very close to me, that mean well...can you believe that their sayings don't compute?? They should, but they don't.

I wish I could change all that, but I fear the pain of letting go. I fear the unknown, what awaits me after that? What then?

I'm sorry I didn't start a new thread of my own and that I don't have suggestions...

I just wanted to say that your words made me think and remember the neglected little one.

What have I done to myself? I ask myself when I have a crisis, and at least it makes me stop crying and think of myself as a person who deserves my respect, consideration, love. Where my life should begin...

It sounds to me like you're preparing yourself for a change, or at least thinking about why you need to change (not yourself, but the way you feel about things).

I wish you well.

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Dear peoples,

I think to begin loving ourselves, and our 'child', we need new role models, and new language. Did we learn loving and nurturing? He__ no! How can we until we see it done and practice. DBT taught me a lot of skills, surrounding myself with loving people has done the most, as seeing them love others, and how, and even animals, and the result. It's given me strenth to actually start practicing with hope.

loves and lots of hugs


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