Parenting My Inner Child
Self-discovery is something that brings a lot of things out that don’t want to be said out loud. It’s covered up by the two big T words. Yeah, you guessed it, Trauma and Truth.
Trauma came up for me in a lot of forms, this year. Suffering from anxiety, made me tell the truth about my childhood. Growing up, I was not outspoken. At times, I felt that I would be persecuted for the mere thought of expressing discomfort in certain spaces around my family, which end up creating a prison in my own mind, while dealing with gatekeepers around me, not letting me be my fullest self. Throughout High School, this cycle went through some shifts. While I still read books to avoid people and certain social circles, I began to write. Addressing the discomfort in my life and letting my mind break free. My family, comprising outspoken individuals, still had ageist, homophobic and sexist views. I realized my trauma work in the first half of my life was rooted in silence because of the disrespect I wanted to avoid calling my elders out, even when they would be extremely problematic.
Fear-mongering and retaliation were their tactics, and I gained skills maneuvering those social situations, adaptive by force. As I listened to my cousins, aunt, uncle, and other elders, I realized in the back of my mind, at the ripe age of 12, that I knew this is not how I would want any (potential) future child of mine to live. My skin would just feel even more of a hollow shell, and I, just merely trying to co-exist while understanding what my own humanity means and how it’s diminished in this world.
Truth hurts, but silence kills.
Truth came out in the later part of my life when I started making friends. After breaking out of my shyness in High School, plus starting to create a healthier distance between me and my books that were stacked against my nightstand, I began to venture into writing and used Union Square Park as my own soundboard for my poems. In addition to this, I stumbled across Def Jam Poetry and Button Poetry and began to feel… seen. This began the journey into parenting my inner child, by listening to the things that hurt me, but craft it in a way that is personal, artistic, raw, but honest.
I’m able to parent my inner child by talking to myself through daily check-ins like a five-year-old. Did you eat? Do you want to go to sleep? What hurts? Why does it hurt? Simple things that older folx often neglect in my opinion. Since doing that, I’ve been feeding myself at better times, going to bed at decent hours and outwardly writing why things hurt me the way that they do. It’s a cathartic release that has helped me hold some of my family members accountable.
I am still working on it. Some days my inner child is masked with wanting to sleep all day, angry at the world and can’t think of anything else. Other days, they’re ready to let their imagination run wild and venture deeper into herself. It’s catastrophic sometimes, but humbling most other times for sure.