Doorway to Wonder HOW INDULGING YOUR INNER CHILD BREEDS CURIOSITY & BRINGS HEALING with
Your youthful, innocent, whimsical self lives inside you still. All she needs to show back up in your life is an invitation.
s part of my therapeutic journey to cope with a severe
Looking on the scene from my perspective of healing as an
anxiety disorder, I have worked on identifying my
adult, I understand where things had gone wrong in my inner-
myriad emotions as different versions of myself: each
life: that little girl was still scared, still ashamed, still in need
dominating feeling has taken the shape of me at a certain age or in a certain time of my life. My child self is the embodiment
of comfort and assurance.
of my Fear.
As part of my healing process, I emptied out a flowered
I can picture this scared little girl within me, who, despite
and found a few snapshots of my seven-year-old self, one
having a delightful life and a kind family, hid herself away in
in particular where I had been crying and my mother had
the back of her closet, always crying, always terrified that she
dressed me as my beloved American Girl doll to cheer me up.
had done something wrong. She was about seven years old.
storage box, dug through the family collection of photographs
I put the photograph in the box along with a few of my kept
With her brown hair still long, she hugs closely to herself
treasures from childhood: a stuffed bunny whose long ears I
the American Girl doll she was dressed to match, all frilly
would flop around and tie together whenever I was bored, or
white socks and patent leather Mary Janes. This was me the
content, or scared; a book of autographs from the characters
year I had a panic attack in front of my second-grade class.
at Disney World; a small card with an encouraging poem my
In response to my perceived outburst, my teacher chose to
mother had given me some time before I could remember.
reprimand me rather than comfort me. Though it was a small, short-lived moment in the space of my life, that scene had a big impact on my as-yet-unidentified anxiety, and it was a key source of fuel for the fear and avoidance that would render me housebound in my teens.
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The JOY ISSU E
Featuring Connecticut creatives Ave Rivera, Ann Marie Drury, Margit Fish, and Kellie Semmelrock