I’ve been doing some inner child work. It’s not all structured or anything since my inner child is actually powerful enough to set the pace and content. I’ve been reading “Recovery of Your Inner Child” by Dr. Lucia Capacchione and rather than doing the exercises, my inner child wants to read the sections on re-parenting. Sometimes I wonder who is the child and who is the adult here, and then I remember that it’s all me.
I got it into my head to go to the toy store and let my inner child pick out a stuffed animal. It had been in my head for a long time, but I finally did it.
First, I had to deal with the salesperson. She wanted to know what I was looking for and what species of animal and other questions I couldn’t answer.
I told her my inner child would pick it out.
We looked at the whole section of stuffed animals and while there was a monkey that was interesting, nothing jumped out at my inner child.
I went back to the salesperson and asked if there were more stuffed animals. I was told that there were a few, intermixed with the other toys, so I took a stroll.
Nothing was jumping out at me. There had to be something my inner child wanted!
Finally, I came upon a stuffed puppy, and I picked it up. Immediately I started getting weepy and emotional.
Maybe this is not the right stuffed animal.
I put it back and continued my search, but I ended up back at that puppy, and got weepy again.
At this point, I wasn’t sure what was going on, but clearly, this was the stuffed animal. I paid and then walked home, holding the stuffed animal so the puppy could see as we walked. Yes, my inner child was the one walking home.
Once I got home, I removed the tag and notice that the toy manufacturer had already named it “Douglas”. Well, I have issues with a “Doug” and so this was annoying. I asked my inner child to find a different name.
Then, I sat down on my love seat and let the tears flow.
Nothing Is Ever Just for Me
The first message I got was that my inner child was overwhelmed because this puppy is just for her. She was upset and angry that she doesn’t have anything just for her.
I know she’s creative, and being the efficient beast I am, I try to direct it toward things that can help me as an adult. You know, like Photoshop, or web design.
Point taken. Things and experiences for my inner child specifically.
Then came grief over lost pets.
I’m 57 years old. When I was young, there were no leash laws and pets rarely had collars. There were no chips and services set up to monitor pets. They roamed free.
So, my brothers and I tended to drag home animals as pets.
Mom could barely feed us let alone a pet, so pets tended to disappear. The explanation was always “they ran away and went back to their previous owners”.
As an adult, I know that was code for “I took it to the pound”. And back then, they didn’t last long there.
My inner child knows what I know and needed to express all the grief over the lost pets. This took a while.
I Want a Puppy
Finally, there was the inevitable tantrum over wanting a puppy.
All kids seem to want a puppy. Or a cat. Or an iguana. Or something. My inner child was no different.
Well, we can’t have a pet in this apartment, and I don’t want a pet until I can afford doggy daycare and everything else that can come with it. I don’t want to leave a dog behind every day. They don’t understand and you can’t explain it to them.
She got it, she did, but the desire pops up when she holds the stuffed puppy. An intense desire that it would just come to life, like Pinocchio.
I think that it’s because on this stuffed animal, the eyes are so perfectly placed that it could be a real puppy.
Apparently, the name given by the manufacturer is the puppy’s actual name. He’s “Douglas” and my inner child won’t budge. She will compromise and so his name is now “Dougie”.
I (we) still get weepy when I look at the puppy. It makes me wonder if it was the right stuffed animal.
But maybe it’s a trigger for my inner child. Maybe it will help her get out all the angst she’s holding. Maybe it will help her heal.
And maybe I should figure out what else she wants…