You don’t have to hate that younger you. He or she is free of blame!
These clients have all grown into lovely people but the one thing which they all share is a degree of self-hatred. They can be some of the world’s most lovely people, full of compassion for others and yet scathingly aggressive and unpleasant to their own selves
You see, we can survive our experiences and we can tell ourselves rationally that we’re not as bad as those people said we were. Nonetheless, a part of us has come to believe that we somehow deserved to be treated as we were. If we didn’t, how could they have done it?
Young children, you see, don’t yet have the tools to tell themselves that Mummy or Daddy are just messed up, that the abuse they suffer is the fault of their parents’ shortcomings. They believe that they are somehow to blame. They believe that they are responsible. They really are the ‘bad’ little boy or girl they’re told they are.
Now, people won’t often recognise that they feel this way consciously. What they will often believe, however, is that to be sad or angry because of what they experienced is somehow weak, pathetic or pointless. They will often have taught themselves to feel nothing – in order to dull the pain.
Does this sound familiar? If so, read on…
The refusal to accept the right to feel angry or sad about the past leaves such people in conflict with themselves because there will be a part of them which cries out to be listened to, understood and loved. However, this part is often suffocated, hidden away and denied. It’s the weak and despised part, after all.
Alcohol, drugs and other habits may be employed to help push those awful feelings away. Food can be a great comfort too and so weight issues can arise, threatening health and only worsening self-esteem and acceptance.
From here on in it all becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of self-hatred. Perhaps it’s time to accept that you need some help. Reaching out and asking for such help is a real sign of strength. I know, it doesn’t feel like that right now but for every person who sits in the chair opposite me there are ten others who simply continue to put up with it, too fearful of facing up to their problems. It doesn;t have to be like this any longer. I’m here and I’m happy to help.
My clients have often learned to be their own abusers
Many of my clients will have grown to be beautiful and compassionate people – to everyone but themselves. They will often think of themselves in the most terrible of ways. They will often verbally – whether out loud or in their heads – abuse themselves dreadfully.
How can these people learn to learn to show themselves compassion? How can they learn to integrate that crying child with their adult selves?
When the therapeutic relationship is secure and the time is right I will sometimes ask such clients to picture their younger selves. I will ask if they’re ready to say to this younger self the things which they say to themselves every day.
Directing such hostility towards a child is impossible. My clients are far too decent.
When they refuse I begin to explore why. It generally turns out that they are beginning to discover compassion for this younger version of who they are now and can begin to feel what they cognitively know to be true – that they were not to blame, that they are innocent victims and deserve compassion. It’s amazing what a little bit of imagination can achieve!
When they can do this they will be ready to begin re-parenting themselves. They will begin to rebuild self-esteem, self-acceptance and confidence. They will begin to feel affection for their own selves and to treat their own selves as if they’re somebody worth caring for.
Contact me to ask how I could help you overcome the consequences of emotional abuse
You deserve to feel compassion for the younger you who suffered so much. Through such compassion you can learn that feelings can be coped with, that you needn’t hide from them anymore. It will do wonders for your ability to enjoy life and for your ability to build healthy relationships in adult life.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?!
If you’d like to explore the idea of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and live in or around Reading, Oxford, London, Wallingford or Thame then do consider getting in touch.
Give me a call if you’d like to learn more of how Resolved! Hypnotherapy could help you.