Discover more from Return to Self
When the Inner Teen Shows Up...
She's not here to play.
Before we talk about the topic at hand, I want to share a revelation with you—I overthink everything.
OK, maybe this isn’t new information, but I had a moment last night when I realized just how much I overthink even the smallest things…like these posts. There are always topics and experiences I want to share with you, and yet, I always create some standard in my head on how it has to be presented and that leads to paralysis by analysis, so I just wanted to let you know that I’m saying screw it.
Part of what’s enjoyable about newsletters within a community is the dialogue, and I don’t want to let ~business~ overshadow why we’re all gathered here in the first place.
So, let’s get into today’s discussion. I’ve been noticing a trend, and I wanted to share it with you in case some of you are in the same boat.
At this point, you’ve heard of inner child healing and are well aware of what that means and maybe even what that looks like for you. But man, we don’t talk enough about that inner teen healing.
I’ve spent so much of my healing journey focusing on Little Bru, despite not being able to remember so much of my childhood. I knew there were things still alive within my body that were yearning to be recognized and released, and we went down that rabbit hole for years.
Lately, it’s become incredibly clear that my inner teen is now asking for my attention, and it’s been trickier than I anticipated.
You know the Universe will always throw signs at you until you notice, and this was no different. I was experiencing certain reactions, emotions within my body and mental narratives that were all too familiar (and not fun). I was having lucid dreams of ex-boyfriends from high school trying to kill me (yeah, that was terrifying). I came across old journals and notes between my best friend and I in high school while cleaning my mom’s garage, and I knew that my inner teen was here, and she was saying, “It’s my turn.”
Transparently, I think there was a part of me that was dreading the integration aspect of healing my inner teen trauma. Those were some of the darkest years of my life, as I’m sure many of you can relate. It’s already a tricky time in general—your body is changing, you’re forming your identity, you’re getting into high-risk relationships—and if your experience was like mine, then you were thrown into some really fucked up situations that could affect you for years to come.
Still, it needed to happen, and I’m not one to shy away from the journey.
When I sat on my mom’s couch and reread these notes and journal entries, I cried. Yes, there were plenty of cringe moments, but it was also just so incredibly sad. I was hurting so deeply and I had absolutely no idea what to do with the big feelings I was experiencing. I didn’t really let anyone in, either. Thank goodness for my bestie. She was the only person I confided in.
I know that I’m great at intellectualizing feelings. I also know that’s not how this works. I really just had to surrender to her. I had to mother her, father her, counsel her, reassure her, love her. It didn’t matter how inconvenient, frustrating or annoying. I had to let it happen without perpetuating the same cycles of criticism, shame and judgment that I was trying to heal from. And listen, that hasn’t been easy.
The beautiful thing, though, has been being able to witness my growth. I don’t always get it right, but I’m doing it. I realized that a lot of my overthinking and my anxious mind were actually her talking. She’s terrified. She’s angry. She also doesn’t trust me very much. She wants to, but, to no fault of her own, I haven’t exactly shown her that I’m better equipped to take care of her now. I had to own that, and prove that I won’t sacrifice her well-being, her body or her livelihood for the sake of feeling validated, wanted or loved anymore.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, just know that you’re doing it—exactly how you’re meant to, exactly at the pace you’re meant to and as best as you know how.
That’s not for nothing.