The moment when you realize you named your business after your inner 16 year old rebel girl. Yeah. That moment happened for me a few months ago. I have always been aware that there was a part of me that was eager to jump out in front and handle things for me. An angry girl that is reactive and maybe more than slightly pissed. A Rebel Soul. She needs love. Now I know WHY she is there. I am going to take this back a bit. In the last blog I mentioned how I don’t like to talk about the REAL things with my therapist. I prefer to share my joy and happiness. You can read it here. After I wrote that, I knew I had things that I needed to share. I began having terrible dreams, all involving some kind of trauma to my throat. A clear indication that I needed to communicate, but either couldn’t or wouldn’t. I emailed that blog to my therapist. Wouldn’t you know that the next time I walked in she wasn’t so quick to let me breeze through. Which is great, because I needed that push. Almost as soon as our session started, she asked me to close my eyes and then focus on my breath as I entered a meditative state. She took me through a guided meditation where we invited my own inner children into a conference room. I invited them all to sit at a table with me. It seemed weird and I felt vulnerable, but I kept an open mind and went with it. A few little Shannons came into the room and just wanted to play. They didn’t want to talk and they were genuinely happy and playful little children. Then an older child came into the room. A 12 year old me. She stood near the wall, barely inside the room. She didn’t want to be there. She was fearful and didn’t want to come to the table. My therapist asked if there was someone I could invite in that would make the little girl more comfortable. This is where shit got real. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. Little 12 year old me asked an older version to come join us. She was about 16. A rebel girl who came right in and sat down at the table. She was pissed and didn’t want to be there. She didn’t want to talk to the 12 year old and she didn’t feel like she should even have to be there. If you have never done any inner child healing work, this is probably extremely weird for you. I get it. I am doing the work and it was weird for me too. In the space of that conference room, where I was supposed to be the adult talking to those children, I got pulled into the role of 12 year old me. It sucked so bad. She was in a lot of pain. A lot of things happened to her that should never happen to a child. Sitting on that couch that day EVERY BIT of it came back and my entire body hurt. Physically. Some memories came up and came pouring out of me. Things that I have never said out loud or written about. It was the most uncomfortable experience I have had on that couch. But, we made it through. Over the next few days, I began to make sense of it all. My process is slow, but oh so thorough. That 12 year old me wanted the older child in the room because she is her voice and her protector. That rebel girl who will tell anyone to fuck right on off is the voice that the younger girl didn’t have. She can say no to anyone at anytime. The rebel girl is pissed that she even has to be there because she thinks none of this should have ever happened to the younger girl in the first place. She’s absolutely right, but here we are anyway. WOW. Mind Blown. Really. I was 12 years old when I started getting high. I smoked pot, huffed cleaning products and took any pill I could get my hands on. Escaping my reality. I completely ignored that little girl. I pushed her to the side and pushed through. My heart hurts for her. She needs love and compassion. She feels very broken and unlovable. She is terrified of everything, but my God is she tough. Every unhealthy coping mechanism she ever picked up was a survival tool and not only did she survive, she is thriving today. It took her a long time, but she grew up and she is figuring all of this out. She is not unlovable and she is not broken. She has a voice now. She is healing. My therapist and I talked about how I can work with these “inner children” and get to know their wants and needs. She believes that once I connect to them and learn how to nurture them and meet their needs, that feeling of “something is missing” will start to dissolve and I will feel whole. I spent a lot of time disconnecting from and ignoring these parts. Reconnecting takes time. I’m getting there. It’s a process like everything else. I am loving myself through the process because that’s what ALL the parts of me need.