Why do I feel like a child?

Some days I truly believe I am a child, not in body but certainly in mind. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but in times of stress I just stop being an adult. In my therapy session today Heidi said I was being petulant – she was right.

She asked me how old I was, my head could actually visualise childish me and I would estimate her to be 10 and so this is the response that I gave. I frequently feel like a child, especially in times of stress or conflict. Strange thing is, if you asked me to describe how it feels to be a 10 year old, I would have absolutely no idea what to say!

It is like I have grown into a mature adult, but parts of me have been left behind, forever young in my head and attitude.

So, I am an angry 10 year old who wants to take my anger out on Heidi. It feels easier to be angry with her, than sit with an anger that has no target. I’ve no idea what I am angry about. I need to throw a tantrum, I am so frustrated.

I want to say anything that will make her hate me, whilst at the same time I cannot bear the thought of saying anything hurtful to this kind and compassionate human being. The conflict exists in everything that I think and feel! I’m unsure if being nasty is just another mechanism for me to beat myself up. A desire to inflict more pain upon a mind and body that is already suffering way beyond manageable levels.

One of the things I allow myself daily, is to suffer.

Younger me is still hurting…

After the therapy session, I kept seeing younger me, like photographic images in my mind. I can see her sadness and I can feel it, or maybe it is todays sadness I am feeling but they are somehow connected. For brief moments I am her, I am seeing the world through her eyes. She is tiny, lost in a sea of people. She is searching for someone, her eyes scan the crowd but she cannot see the person that she needs. I sense her panic.

I feel like younger me needs help and I imagine that I am her parent. Then I remind myself I have no idea how to be a mum. So I decide to be an adult who cares deeply for younger me. If I could go back in time and be with younger me, what help would she need? What would adult me offer her, how could I pacify her? Yes, I do know how mad this sounds…

I have many memories from ages 5 – 16 that I have used to torture myself for years. Memories that cause me so much pain. Mostly though they are the memories that validate that I am unlovable, my only purpose is to amuse others and not in a pleasant way. These memories are full of fear, loneliness and isolation. I can feel the humiliation and ridicule.

I thought about the first memory, and I felt what I imagined was what she was feeling. Imagined putting my arms around her and hugging her, she so needs to be loved. I told her all the words I felt she needed to hear. But then the sobs started, immense pain and grief. I have no idea whose pain I was feeling, mine, hers or likely both for we are one and the same. She needs consoling, but I am not sure how because when I console her, who will console me?

If I help younger me, she will grow into an adult and stop morphing me back to her age?

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