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Working With My Inner Child: How I Became the Adult I Always Needed

“The person you are today is who your younger self would’ve felt most comfortable with.”

This is a recently trending TikTok about how you’ve grown up to be the person your childhood self has always needed. To me, this touches on the portion of myself that has gone through inner child work. I had to build a safe place for the 3-year-old me who desperately needed help.

When I was creating this safe world for my younger self, she didn’t ask for too much. She didn’t speak at all actually and has not to this day. She wanted a small space, just somewhere she could curl up. I brought toys in for her, I brought coffee, blankets, everything I could think that she would want.

Then, my therapist talked about how much anxiety I had as a child and what part of that could be soothed. I never felt safe. I brought in a plastic army man that came to life, “Toy Story” style, as large as the ceiling. I called him my bazooka man. He would stand in the doorway while she was tucked securely in the corner. It brought so much comfort to me that my three-year-old self had someone protect her, a larger-than-life figure that could stare deep into someone that could harm me.

One of the important aspects of inner child work is allowing them to heal themselves. You cannot force it. Guided by my therapist, I invited my young self into my safe space we created years ago. She came through while clutching her panda stuffed animal that my stepdad gave me when I was 10. Remember this girl is three years old. We sat across from each other. She stared. I stared back. Many sessions were roadblocks, staring at each other and not speaking. I tried, but it seemed like she needed presence more than she needed kind words. But she felt comfortable enough to invade

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