Jeremiah McDonald is an actor, filmmaker and associated artist with the Comédie de Caen theater in Normandy, France. Jeremiah took the simple concept of talking with your inner child and created this hysterical viral video.
The video really got me thinking about all of us “invisible daughters” and how sometimes we still carry that little girl around inside us, the one that’s still searching for her mother’s love, approval and support. Since my mother died about a year ago, I have fantasized about what I would say to her if I could go back in time with the same strength and confidence I have today. Knowing that there’s no changing the narcissist mother, I guess I need to go back and have a good chat with myself instead. If I could could magically go back and have that conversation with my inner child, what would I say?
As I sat back and thought about it, I had to first think “What issues do I have as a direct result of my mothers inability to love?” There’s far too many to list here in this forum, but…
A.) I fail to recognize my instincts and then trust them. I was always told the same thing as a child….”No you’re not”! As a result I’ve never learned to trust my own instinct. Am I cold? Am I hot? Does this hurt? Even though Menopause was probably easier with this fault, (hot flash? Am I having a hot flash? No I’m not!) I still find myself sitting in a hot car during the summer while my husband fills the tank up with gas and I don’t have the good sense to roll down the window. My husband will invariably get in the car and ask “Aren’t you roasting”? As the air of the outside rushes in and cools me off, I gasp at how I suddenly realize how hot I was and say “Well, now that you mention it, I guess I was”. I’ve been trained not to think about me.
B.) When a friend/husband/child/coworker or even the local grocery store cashier fails to communicate with me, I take it very personally. When I run into someone I haven’t seen in years, I assume they will have erased all memory of me. I’ve been trained to think I am invisible.
C.) When someone compliments me on my curly hair, my eye starts to twitch and I can feel my head begin to throb. Doesn’t seem like a compliment could cause such strong reaction, but it does. I’ve been trained to think no one likes curly hair and any compliment I receive is just because that person felt sorry for me.
One of my favorite quotes:
There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her fore head
and when she was good she was criticized anyway. Elan Golomb, Ph.D. Trapped in the Mirror
D.) Being generally unhappy with where I’m at in my life and feeling like I should be further along in something….better at something….richer….skinnier….blonder….always something different than what I am. I was trained to think EVERYBODY ELSE was successful at things, except me.
So here’s what I need to tell myself at the age of 12.
1. Think, Barbie about what you’re feeling. Feel it. Trust yourself. You are the sole owner of your “being” and you have every right to feel the way you feel. It’s not “Just You” and for God’s sake roll down your damn window, turn up the air conditioner or take a Tylenol.
2. Think about the relationship you have with any of these people. Is there a reason the person in question hasn’t called you back? Is there something you could do about it? Introspective looks are hard, but can sometimes lead you to becoming a better person. Also, some people are just not suited to be in your life, but that has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them, and that damn cashier just isn’t into her job, she’s into “herself” – it has nothing to do with you.
3. Think about the person complimenting you. Will anything really be gained from a false compliment? There’s no reason anyone should feel sorry for you. Embrace the curl!
4. Think about what being truly happy looks like? You never learned to recognize it. Don’t let the negative messages that are constantly being played for you to become your own tape that plays in your head. Create your own journey and appreciate every exit and sidetrack you’re going to take…..Sometimes it will lead you to a place you never knew you wanted to go. Don’t just sit there frozen on the couch, afraid to fail, afraid people will laugh at you…..go do it.
I hear ya. The list is comprehensive. #3 is so interesting. I say ‘Thank you’ now to compliments and shut up after. I don’t try and qualify it anymore or even analyze if it is sincere or not. If it feels sincere I still say Thank you and continue. That has somehow freed me. #4 is still a struggle. Great post! xoxo
Paragraph A/#1 really resonate with me. When you’re conditioned to just accept what the people in charge decide, it’s really difficult to feel your own reality.
Bess, hopefully the fact that we are becoming aware of that issue, will allow us to act on our instincts instead of relying on the old disparaging tape that plays in our heads. Even if we’re taking one step at a time, we’re moving in the right direction.