Although someone is an adult and thus their childhood will be well and truly behind them, it doesn’t mean that this is actually the case. Of course, they will no longer be a toddler, infant or even a child; that will be clear from their appearance.
But, while this will be clear from the outside, what is going on the inside can be very different. On the inside, they can feel like a powerless, terrified and dependent infant.
Alternatively, this can be how they feel deep down and so how they really feel will be outside of their conscious awareness. Even so, how they feel at this level will have a big effect on their life.
By being this way, it can be normal for them to do what they can to please others and to act like an extension of them. This will mean that they will typically ignore their own needs and feelings.
Then again, they might rarely if ever be aware of their own needs and feelings, so they won’t realise that they are out of alignment with themselves. Not taking care of their own needs and listening to their feelings is likely to mean that they will often feel frustrated and very low.
What is certain is that they won’t be able to live a life that is deeply fulfilling as they will need to be in touch with and listen to themselves for this to take place. If they were to change their behaviour, though, they are likely to soon feel very unconformable.
On The surface
As to why they wouldn’t typically be aware of their needs and feelings, this is because they can spend most of their life in their head. By being upstairs, so to speak, what is taking place in their body will be a mystery.
For them to know what they need and how they feel, they will need to be in touch with this part of their being. The issue is that if they were to do this, they would soon come into contact with a lot of pain.
Without being aware of it, they will do their best to avoid coming into contact with the pain that is held inside them. Living up top will be one way; another way will be for them to stay busy.
Along with this, they can do their best to avoid spending time by themselves. At the same time, by having the ability to avoid what it taking place in their body, they can be so defended against their pain that it generally doesn’t bother them.
When they are not busy and even if they are and some of this pain is able to reach their conscious awareness, they could end up feeling helpless and hopeless. Their body could feel very heavy and it could be as if they are carrying a heavyweight on their shoulders.
At other times, they could experience a fair amount of fear and anxiety, with it being as though their life is about to end. Whatever takes place, they are unlikely to know what is going on.
A Bleak Existence
Taking into account how they experience life, what stands out is that they are not in their power, they don’t feel secure and they are in a disembodied state. Now, if this is how they have been for most of their life, there is going to be no reason for any of this to stand out.
Throughout their life, they will have done their best to keep it together and at times, it will have been a real struggle. Thanks to the defences that their brain has in place and how old they were when they were deeply traumatised, they won’t be able to join the dots, so to speak.
A Closer Look
If they were able to connect to how they feel and not get caught up in what comes up, they may find that they feel like a deeply wounded infant. Therefore, they will look like an adult but they won’t feel like one.
What this is likely to illustrate is that when they were an infant, they were often left and when they were given attention, it was misattuned care. This would have deprived them of what they needed to be able to grow and develop.
A Brutal Time
To handle the pain that this would have caused them, they would have ended up repressing how they felt and disconnecting from themselves. This is something that would have taken place automatically.
The outcome of this is that they would have gone into a shut down, collapsed, frozen state and been unable to take anything in. In the years that followed, the care that they received may have improved or it might have been just as destructive.
A Divided Being
Many, many years will have passed since this stage of their life but a big part of their consciousness will have been split off. This part of them will be in a very bad way and will need to be slowly integrated.
Connecting to the wounded infant inside them and working through the pain that it is in will allow them to gradually do this. This is something that will take endless patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.