I look into his big, sparklingly mischievous eyes while he “is hurting” my doll. There are other dolls and toys lying on the floor, a whole bunch of them have already lost this fight. I know this is healing. His strong, inner and very natural strength – aggression breaks free. I’m not afraid of it. Part of him is getting back the lost control. It is safe. Let it out.
Between a relaxed play and laughter, I ask him, “How is it when someone hits you?” He responds quickly and clearly, “Like your heart would break into a million pieces.”
Deep pain spreads into the space between us. I can feel it lying there like a big motionless mass beneath his “unadjusted” behavior. This particular behavior is the best adaptation of how he feels inside, and it is nothing more than a big cry for help, a call for acceptance and love, even when it’s difficult.
All children wish to be worthy.
The greater the pain, the bigger the cry for help. The bigger the feeling of worthlessness, the more noticeable their behavior can be. Sometimes a cry for help means that they become completely invisible.
When the children experience hardships, they explain it according to their developmental stage. These explanations are dangerous as they misrepresent who these children really are.
When they get beaten up, they find themselves in an impossible situation: someone they love, depend on and whose love they cannot survive without is causing them deep pain and fear. Deep inside them, various messages occur:
“Move away, it hurts and it’s not safe.”
“Come closer, that’s the only way you’ll be taken care of.”
»Why doesn’t he/she like me? There must be something seriously wrong with me. ”
“You are alone, not worthy of love. «
The punches hurt, but the feelings truly cut deep. As children completely lose their sense of security and connection with an adult, their connection with themselves also starts to vanish. Their feeling of themselves disintegrates into various small pieces that are not connected to each other. The children will be able to search and establish connections between these pieces even when they grow up, and they will certainly be more pronounced during times of increased stress. At such times they will always come to the fore in the desire to be accepted, loved, healed.
Deep inner shame shakes children’s self-esteem as well, and they feel as if they are not worthy as they are. Love thus becomes conditional and requires effort. Children hide their painful emotions deeply, and they find it hard to face them. Without a filter to protect them, they internalize negative and often completely wrong beliefs about themselves. Guilt and a sense of inferiority cling to them like rampant moths flying towards the light, covering the light.
“You are so and so…” Impossible, is all they hear at that moment, and because children live all the time in the present, this message stretches into eternity.
To protect the vital bond they have with their parent, they blame themselves. This is how the children’s world works. They justify the punches by explaining to themselves that they deserved it, that it wasn’t so bad, that they survived and are well-behaved today, that mother and father just wanted the best for them. They have a lot of explanations, but only one pain, which is very real for a child at that moment, even if its memory may fade over time.
Children often also become more critical of themselves, just as their parents were critical of them. They do not reveal the inner critic to the outside world just like that, especially if they don’t feel really safe, which is why it fills up all the pores of their personality and travels with them throughout their life.
All of this causes tension in the child’s body, which often manifests itself in altered behavior or physical pain that cannot be medically explained. When their emotions are not recognized, felt, and reassured, the child feels rejected. Due to their distress, they often do things that cause them to experience punishment or rejection again, and the circle is closed.
Like any coin, this story has two sides: children and adult.
Even adults were once small children. Now, wanting to raise their children well after so many years, a number of things can surprise them during intense stress. They respond the way they don’t want to. They say something hurtful. They do something or they hit because they can’t do better or differently at that moment, and they often resort to the methods they themselves witnessed as children.
Only compassion for these little children truly heals. There are no shortcuts here, nothing can be forced. Compassion alone, which embraces pain with all the love, is the only right path.
Without this step, the pain is passed from generation to generation, intergenerationally, until someone feels it, heals it, and returns Love to that place. Let it not be the work of children once they grow up. A lot of courage lies in being able to seek help from adults, which deserves respect. This can be the first step that turns the life path into a more loving direction, before another child’s heart falls apart into a thousand pieces.