Danielle Aubin, LCSW
Healing The Little Girl Within
I've been reading some pretty heavy books lately. I just finished Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD and I was up until 12am last night reading
Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma Hardcover by Galit Atlas, PhD.
I've spent most of my life discounting the traumas I have experienced and the weird ways that I felt unsafe in the world. Looking back, it is so obvious that I have not only carried my own wounds from the traumas I have directly experienced but also the wounds of my mother, father, grandmothers, grandfathers, and those who came before them. Most of them were deeply traumatized people with family secrets and shame.
As far back as I know, all the women in my family have been sexually abused. Perhaps my great grandmother wasn't but I don't know her story well and she came to America alone at 12 years old from Odessa, Ukraine.
I am saying all of this not to overshare intimate details about my family but to normalize that family history can be seriously messed up. And it shouldn't be kept a secret. These are ancestral wounds that need to be healed and they reach far beyond the individuals involved. My ancestors experienced trauma from wars and oppression and it seems they passed on these traumas to their children. And then their children passed them on to their children via abuse, secrets, mental illness, substance abuse, etc. I don't want to give my daughters this family heirloom that has been passed down to me.
That is why inner child work is so important. That is why it is vital that we heal so that the next generation has less to heal from. The more we keep secrets and hide from what we cannot bear to face, the more it festers and waits to express itself in the next generation. These books I have been reading are just one step on a long road of healing my inner child. She didn't get many of her needs met. Luckily, I am here with her now and she is safe.