What's an inner child you say? It's a way of looking at yourself, by dividing your personality into three: Parent (or Critic); Adult; and Child. These divisions come from a system of reference known as Transactional Analysis.
The inner Parent represents all that you've learned from your parents and society in general about what is "right" and "wrong". It is very critical and quick to make value judgments on other people and yourself. I have an over-critical inner parent.
The inner Adult is that part of you that relates and transacts with other people on a rational or logical basis. It responds in a manner that is appropriate to the situation (sometimes). This is where you use your wits an intelligence instead of emotions or assumptions.
The inner Child is that part of you that emotes, where you can still feel 10 years old or so. It's not rational at all, and seeks reassurance and comfort where possible.
In some ways I grieve and mourn for a lost childhood. I'm sure my parents were as loving and supportive as they could be, but somehow childhood seemed one long nightmare for me. Maybe I didn't understand a lot of things, maybe my epilepsy warped my viewpoint and self worth, maybe a million things. I'll never know for sure. In the last few years though, I've been facing this issue of lost childhood with surprising results.
Pollychrome is the name of my inner child, and she's a girl. Why pick this name for her? Well it came to me in a dream, and later I used it for a character in a play I wrote (see below). I'm also pagan, and when I was initiated I made my spirit/magic name "Pollychrome, daughter of two rainbows". I figured that magic came from the heart, so this name was recognition of that.
Later, I found that the name came from an Oz character. When I read about her, I realised that as a child I'd probably read or heard those stories, and she'd left a lasting impression on me. So you see, that's what makes me a woman. Forget about chromosomes, forget about hormones. These things don't make one a woman, they just make you feminine. What makes a person a woman is how they feel inside about themselves inside. I feel this way about me, and my body image is that of a woman.
My core identity had finally surfaced with my transition. Over time, the initial guilt I'd felt (of "letting others down" by no longer being who I thought they wanted me to be) went, to be replaced by an inner knowledge that what I was doing, and where I was headed was the right path for me. And yet emotionally I just didn't feel adult, I felt like a 14 year old. That inner person had remained safe buried within my core, but had not grown in maturity. I felt a desperate need to connect, to be whole in this way.
Now it may be that you've read the above and thought "Just what is this rubbish that she's going on about!?" It does seem an odd and unexpected idea, doesn't it, to have an inner child within oneself? And yet, whether the inner child exists as a real or imagined quality, is not the point. It allows me to get a handle on deep and buried emotions, to resolve them and heal and grow emotionally.
And all this is for Pollychrome, my inner core of being. The hardest lesson that I've had to learn is that it's ok to feel bad, to feel down, that these emotions are not bad, but part of the spectrum of who I am and how I feel. And to have a full rainbow, I need the dark and intense colours as well as the light and pastel ones. Take one colour (or emotion) away, and it's not a rainbow anymore. And like Iris (Greek goddess of teh rainbow), that spectrum of emotion is important to me. Life goes on, and I learn more about myself and living everyday. I'm nurturing myself more these days. I still have a long way to go, but the adventure has only just begun. And it's not the destination that's important (we all will die after all), but the journey that counts.