6 signs you’ve truly healed from your childhood wounds, according to psychology

Let’s be honest – most of us carry some wound or another from when we were little.

Maybe your parents didn’t know how to show you love. Maybe each of your accomplishments went unnoticed. Maybe you’re from a divorced family or maybe your caretakers were so strict you can’t stand it when rules are enforced upon you.

Whatever the issue, you have suffered. And unfortunately, most people still carry that suffering inside them, letting it wreak havoc on their day-to-day life – often without even realizing it.

As someone who’s done a great deal of healing work, I have some great news for you.

It’s completely possible to heal your childhood wounds.

Here are the 6 signs you already have.

1) You have learned to gently parent the child inside you

If there’s one book that’s helped me the most when it comes to my healing process, it’s got to be Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child by John Bradshaw.

And that’s because in order to heal your childhood wounds, you first have to recognize there is a wounded child inside of you.

When your partner doesn’t pay you enough attention, it’s your inner child who feels abandoned and rejected.

When you fail to accomplish a task and feel severely disappointed in yourself, it’s your inner child who’s worried they aren’t worthy of love.

Seeing this child for who they are and approaching their pain with compassion is the first step toward healing the broken parts of you.

The second step?

Become the parent you wish you had. Even if your parents did 90% of things well, it’s the 10% that truly pain you – and therefore it’s the 10% you’ve got to embody.

So, how do you gentle-parent your inner child?

When you’re distressed, employ self-soothing strategies to bring your nervous system back to a state of calm.

When you fail, tell yourself what you wish to hear, such as, “I’m proud of you. Just keep going.”

In short, recognize that there is both a child and an adult caretaker inside you. Let one look after the other in the best way you know how.

And if you’re already in the habit of doing all of this, congratulations!

It’s the first sign you’ve truly healed your childhood wounds.

2) You know yourself extremely well

While inner child healing takes place on an emotional level, using reason to get to the bottom of why you are the way you are is just as important.

And that’s because the more you know about the root of your pain, where it comes from, and how you react to potential triggers, the more likely you are to take the necessary precautions and actively work on yourself.

Let’s say you get irrationally angry when your romantic partner doesn’t have time to hang out with you.

Well, if you’re self-aware enough to realize that this anger is a blanket emotion thrown over much more painful feelings, such as the fear of abandonment or of not being valued enough, you’re already ahead of most people where your healing journey is concerned.

But recognizing your feelings for what they are isn’t the end. Not at all.

Self-aware people always try to get to the bottom of why they feel the way they do – even if it’s uncomfortable or painful.

They don’t run away or hide from their pain. They face it. And through processing it properly, they come out stronger and more resilient on the other side.

As psychotherapist Mark Shelvock RP(Q), CT, MACP, MA, says, “Self-knowledge, insight, and awareness is essential for positive change in a person’s life.”

3) You can assert and honor your boundaries

Moving on to a much more externally oriented sign, I want you to have a think about your relationships with others for a second.

How often do you assert your boundaries, from saying “no” to stating you dislike a certain kind of behavior or insisting that people respect your wishes?

And how often do you stick to your word and reaffirm your boundaries when necessary?

Many people who grew up in dysfunctional households end up being people-pleasers. They’ve grown so used to navigating other people’s unstable moods that they try to do everything in their power to keep the peace – even if it means suppressing their own needs in the process.

If you’ve truly healed your childhood wounds, it means your main goal is no longer getting in everyone’s good books. It’s to have fulfilling relationships rooted in authenticity and respect.

As therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab says in her book Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself:

“The hardest thing about implementing boundaries is accepting that some people won’t like, understand, or agree with yours. Once you grow beyond pleasing others, setting your standards becomes easier. Not being liked by everyone is a small consequence when you consider the overall reward of healthier relationships.”

4) Your relationships don’t suffer as a result of your pain

The best advantage of setting boundaries is that your relationships aren’t going to fall apart during explosive arguments or slowly disintegrate over time.

This applies to healing your childhood wounds, too.

Too often, we are so blinded by our pain that we let it seep into our relationships and poison them until there is nothing we can do but leave.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that healed people never get triggered. I’m not saying they never act immature.

But they try to keep it to a minimum. And they are able to do so because they have learned to self-soothe, stay in charge of their feelings, and recognize their emotions for what they truly are.

In other words, people who have truly healed from the past do still experience irrational feelings, but they don’t let them get in the way of having healthy relationships.

5) Your body is no longer in a fight-or-flight mode

“Children who experience neglect or emotional or physical abuse may grow up living in survival mode, where their inner child has become emotionally ‘stuck’ at the age in which they experienced trauma or chronic trauma,” says psychologist Annie Tanasugarn Ph.D., CCTSA.

She adds?

“Kids who experienced chaos and significant trauma often become adults with dysregulated nervous systems. Many may turn to distractions (like gaming, overusing technology or social media, over-exercising, or even pathological behaviors associated with love) as ways of trying to self-soothe and feel validated. Yet, these patterns of escape and avoidance perpetuate trauma; they don’t heal it.”

Personally, I realized I had truly healed when it hit me that I no longer lived in survival mode.

Through fostering healthy relationships and employing self-soothing strategies, I learned to regulate my nervous system, which helped me feel less anxious, sleep more soundly, and lower my stress levels.

If you used to be constantly ready for danger on a physiological level but no longer feel that way, it’s another sign on our list ticked off.

(P.S. This might mean you sleep much more than you used to. That’s okay. It could mean your body is finally able to fully relax.)

6) You look at your past with a sense of peace

No, nothing’s ever going to make it okay. No, what happened to you wasn’t right or fair. No, not everyone deserves to be forgiven.

But did you know that forgiveness isn’t really about the person you’re forgiving at all?

True forgiveness is all about you.

It’s about your ability to look at the past from a bird’s point of view and accept what happened for what it was. It’s the relief you feel when you can acknowledge reality in all its rawness, validate your pain, and then… let go.

It’s about inner peace.

Psychologist Rubin Khoddam, Ph.D., agrees: “Forgiveness is not just a noble act; it’s a vital process for our own well-being. By letting go of anger and resentment, we create a healthier emotional environment within ourselves. Cultivating forgiveness practices can significantly impact our mental health and emotional healing.”

You can’t change what happened. That is outside your control.

You can, however, be in charge of your own healing. That is where your power lies. That is where you can reclaim yourself – and live a happy, fulfilling life as a result.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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