The repression of the childhood self

inner child

Recently, I had come to discover something truly awful, or rather, a confirmation of a deep inkling that I’ve had for a few years. Since my early teens I had been busy repressing my inner child because I was seen to be behaving so recklessly as a kid. At the time, I became so insecure about who I was as a kid that I was burying it deep into the subconscious, along with getting rid of everything that was associated with that era. This became the inner child, which festered within and languished over the years while the real me became tightly wound in the quest to survive in a world that demonizes the individual spirit.

As I have looked back on childhood, I have come to a startling conclusion, that I was far truer to myself as a kid than I was as a teenager (even though I’m closer to that side of myself than ever before), and that one of the main reasons for unhappiness during the adult years is that many of us become very detached from who we are, and many of us become so used to going with the flow that we never consider why. This is exactly what the establishment wants – a collective of working drones who are not concerned with their individual selves.

This, I feel, ties in to how the adult world deals with youth. Rather than stoking the bright young flames of expression, the adult world spends its energies extinguishing the hopes and dreams of the young people, forging them into brainless tools (“factory fodder” if you will) who go with the flow until they drink themselves to death, devoid of ambition, or if not ambition, the drive to realize it. Is that what we aim for our children to aspire to? If not, then why do we see state school teachers holding them back? Perhaps they do not know, but in the end, when someone has no hope, that hopelessness inevitably results in apathy, stagnation, and spiritual death.

To me, the inner child represents the emotional needs that we have taught ourselves to ignore. We are taught to hide from our emotions and ourselves because the focus of our education is currently on getting a job, and we are conditioned to believe that the individual does not matter. In fact, as we’re older, we’re taught to “grow up”, which is literally code word for surrendering your brain, your spirit, and what’s left of your emotions to the single, monolithic whole that we call society.

It is entirely possible to get back in touch with our inner child, but I’m still baffled by how society conditions us to distance ourselves from our inner child. How do we treat it instead? By poisoning our minds with scaremongering, booze, and bad sitcoms. This is how we make ourselves comfortable with repressing our true emotions. Imagine how much better we would feel if we didn’t do that, or if we let our inner child come out to play every once in a while. After all, there’s no real truth to the idea that we must detach ourselves from our inner child in order to develop. In fact, your inner child is a piece of where you came from. I’ve learned recently that if you cut yourself off from your inner child, you find yourself excising the truest part of you and your values, and if you take that away, what have you got left?

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