Parenting tips: Why it's important to tend to your 'inner child'
You are your first child. Don’t forget you. If you do, your body will scream. It will break
I lost my voice for six months when my son was a little over a year old. It wasn’t the first time. I used to lose my voice all the time. My friends made fun of me. I love to talk, you see. I’m a talker. The thing is, there was very little talking I did with myself. I didn’t really speak or see my truth. I was told I need speech therapy. Nothing worked. My body shut me down.
When I was 27 years old, I was in a relationship that was slowly killing me. I couldn’t breathe. I literally stopped being able to breathe. I used to smoke cigarettes then… was it because of that? There were doctor’s visits and scans and finally a steroid asthmatic inhaler prescribed. I quit overnight but continued to use the inhaler for a few years. The problem persisted despite seemingly healthy lungs. Funny, after the relationship ended I did smoke here and there… and I could breathe.
My body. My body more than my mind has been my grace, my cornerstone, my truth. It held secrets. It held my heart. It held my pain. It still does. When the pain begins to take over, my body speaks. It uses language that forces me to listen.
No doctor could explain why I couldn’t breathe when I was 27. It didn’t look like I had asthma. No doctor could explain me losing my voice. Medicine isn’t trauma-informed you see. Our body is beautiful. It seamlessly links with our soul, our minds… it protects, it speaks. Medicine is only science, not trauma-informed.
So, what is trauma? Trauma is a wound. “It is what happens inside you when something happens to you,” Dr Gabor Mate says, in A Wisdom of Trauma. Your brain, body and development are arrested with pain. And when there is no one to speak to, including yourself… when there is no release of pain, your wound gets bigger. It bleeds and starts hurting you. The doctors didn’t know about my trauma. I barely did.
I found a Doctor of Natural Medicine, who uses quantum medicine principles to help the body heal naturally, through a friend. Her name is Dr Geraldine Naidoo.
I was willing to try anything at this point. I couldn’t speak. She touched me and I bled tears. Memories that I acknowledged but didn’t allow myself to feel, took over. I was a puddle. I became water. This was the beginning.
I saw her. I felt her — Me. When I was six-and-a-half years old in a boarding school. My grandmother had just passed away. My parents were on the other side of the world. There were rows upon rows of beds… and I was alone. There were no regular phone calls, no real communication. My mother was grieving, my father trying to work to create a life for us… and we were left in boarding school — my sister and I. The trauma ran deep. I started defecating in my pants — a classic trauma response: your body is in such a high state of danger that it immediately releases waste. It is what animals do in the wild when a predator is chasing them. I was in the jungle.
It’s taken me a lot of work, a lot of honesty and a lot of self-love to get here… to this moment right now where I can write this. I’ve spent over a year holding my child — ME — close. The way she was never held. I speak to her all the time now. She is my first love. And I love her. I kiss her face. I hold her in my arms… I feel her pain and soothe it.
I haven’t lost my voice once in the past three years and my breath is full. I am full… of me.
Your body is meant to protect you. It is meant to guide you through this magical ride called life. When it fails, when there is any problem, first look within. How were you wounded? YOU — the baby you; the toddler you; the child you… As children, we don’t have the emotional tools to process the pain. It would’ve killed us. Our body protected us. When your body speaks it’s because you’re ready to finally take care of your first child… the one you didn’t even know you orphaned with neglect. Your first child — YOU.
So, listen. So, heal.