You might have heard of inner child healing, but have you heard of healing your inner teenager? Truthfully, when I was working through some of my own healing, the child that came to mind was the one that had to grow up too fast. It was teenage me that experienced most of the “big T and little T” traumas compared to the child version of me. The one that was told she was too much, she wasn’t enough, she could do this but not that, etc.
I may not know what you went through as a teenager, but I want you to know that this is a safe space. Your feelings and experiences are and always were valid, and there is no judgement. I’m very grateful you’re here!
For shared experience, I thought I’d walk you down a little of teenage Melissa to show that no trauma is too small to affect the adult you. Teenage Melissa experienced a number of things including but not limited to: abandonment issues, daddy issues, divorce, lack of friendships, fake friendships, running away, getting suspended from school, stealing, moving multiple times, flunking classes, having to be the caretaker of siblings, etc. She was always told she had a bad attitude that couldn’t be controlled, and that she was going to end up like (insert a disliked family member here).
She was too much.
Some of the experiences I listed were symptoms, or ways I lashed out from internal problem. Running away from home, ditching classes, stealing, these were things I did because I no longer cared. I didn’t feel seen, and I was tired of being misunderstood. Not once did someone ask if I was okay. Not once did someone ask why I was having an attitude, I was just meant to stay quiet, and not speak up for myself, or others. Any other reaction of mine would lead in punishment.
I thanked younger me as I sat in meditation, wondering what she wished she had.
She just wanted to be a kid.
She wanted to be loved, understood, and cared for. Not grow up and learn to dismiss all emotions and become hyper independent.
If you can relate to any of this, I have some prompts for you to walk through with your own inner teenager. You can work through these in a number of ways. If you’d like to journal, you can write your answers out. If you’re more of a visual person, you can image yourself sitting in a room with teenage you as you ask, or do both. Whatever feels the best for you is what will work the best. Remember that there are no wrong answers.
Inner teenager healing prompts:
- What do you feel you missed out on as a kid?
- Where would you have liked to received more attention?
- Where do you feel you were the most misunderstood?
- Is there something that would have made you feel loved?
- What would have made you feel safe?
- What do you wish someone would have told you?
- How can current you make it better?
Allow yourself to sit with those questions for as long as you need to. Keeping in mind that this is a no judgment zone. What comes to mind as you meditate on these questions? What feelings, fears, or beliefs come to the surface? Accept them as they are. How can you and your inner teenager move forward in healing together?
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