Loving Yourself Can Heal Traumatic Childhood AbuseBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 16, 2017
You CAN heal from childhood abuse. Inner Bonding is a powerful process that enables you to remember and heal from traumatic abuse.
In my many years of counseling individuals, I have often worked with people who have suffered from severe physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse in childhood. Many who have sought my help were suffering from fear and anxiety, depression, various addictions, relationship problems and sexual problems. Many of these people had no memory of their childhood and had no idea why they were so unhappy. Many had spent years in therapy yet had never remembered their abuse.
The reason they could not remember the traumatic events of their childhood is because the child or children within, who suffered the traumatic abuse, did not feel safe in revealing the abuse. These unconscious inner parts were protecting themselves from reliving the horrible pain of the past. These inner children knew that the adult self did not have the strength to learn about and manage the pain.
In order to remember and heal traumatic events from the past that are affecting you today, you need to learn to see, value and love yourself, and you need to develop a strong, loving adult self who is capable of managing extreme pain. Without this loving inner adult, you may get so flooded and overwhelmed with the feelings of the traumatic memories that you cannot function.
The practice of the gentle, transformational Inner Bonding process not only develops this strong, loving adult self, it also teaches you how to love yourself.
The loving adult is the aspect of you that is connected with a powerful and loving Source of spiritual guidance - whatever this is for you. Learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process develops your ability to connect with your personal Source of spiritual guidance. It is your connection with your guidance that gives you the strength to manage the intensely painful feelings of childhood abuse, and that teaches you to see, value and love yourself.
Remembering Your Past – And The Erroneous Conclusions You Drew
Once the inner children who hold the memories feel safe that there is a loving adult self who is capable of managing the pain, you will start to remember your past. As these memories come up, you will begin to understand the conclusions you drew about yourself that are currently causing your pain. Almost all children who are abused draw erroneous conclusions about themselves as a result of the abuse - false beliefs such as "I have no worth," "I am just an object for others' use," "I am not lovable," "I should never have been born," "I would be better off dead," "I don't deserve love," "I am a bad person." It is these beliefs that are causing your current pain.
Healing from childhood abuse is not just about remembering the past. It is about remembering the very good reasons you had for drawing the conclusions that are now causing you such pain. It is about gently and lovingly acknowledging what happened that led to your present beliefs that are now limiting you. It is about learning how to access the truth from your spiritual source so that you can move out of lies that you are telling yourself that are keeping you in the cycle of pain.
You Learned To Abandon Yourself Rather Than To Love Yourself
Most of us learn to treat ourselves the way we were treated and the way we saw our parents or caregivers treat themselves. We learned to abandon ourselves in the ways we were abandoned and in the ways our parents abandoned themselves. When your parents abused you, they were also not taking loving care of themselves and were not role modeling loving self-care. As long as you treat yourself the way your parents or other caregivers treated you and themselves, you will suffer. Healing from childhood abuse is about developing your loving adult self so that you can learn to love yourself - your inner child or inner children - the way you always wanted to be loved.
You CAN heal from childhood abuse through learning to access and bring into your being the love, truth, wisdom and strength of your spiritual guidance. Through learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process, you will discover the incredibly beautiful and perfect essence within you - the part of you that was never damaged by the abuse. This is your true self that will emerge as you heal the false beliefs of your wounded self. This is what will happen as you develop your loving adult self through learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process – along with practicing physical processes that release stored trauma out of your body, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and the Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), and other trauma therapies.
However, you can't do this alone. You were alone during your abuse, and you might re-traumatize yourself if you try to heal alone. You will need to be facilitated through your healing by another loving presence, and you might need to be lovingly held by a loving other who can bring the love of spirit to you.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
Photo by Ying Chou-Han
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Notice who you feel responsible for - yourself and/or others. Are you taking responsibility for others' feelings while ignoring your own? Do you believe you can control how others feel? Do others have to be feeling good for you to feel good? Are you making others responsible for your feelings?
By Dr. Margaret Paul