Inner Child — 4 Types of Inner Child Wounds Explained

Inner Child — 4 Types of Inner Child Wounds Explained inner child — 4 types of inner child wounds explained
Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov on Unsplash

Our childhood experiences influence most of our decisions in our present lives. We are mostly unaware of the connection between what we went through when we were young and some of our present actions. That’s why we may end up struggling in adulthood with feelings of anger, shame, guilt, doubt, attracting toxic relationship patterns, or simple day-to-day stresses without feeling like we’re making any considerable changes even when we correct our behaviors. We even feel that these negative aspects of our lives are integral to who we are. We get stuck in these patterns because the problem didn’t start in the present moment; these feelings are tied to our past experiences.

The inner child is more of the child that lives within you. It’s more of a depiction of ourselves in the earlier days of our lives. It’s the unconscious, instinctual part of yourself that internalized messages received from outer experiences. They run the show and dictate most of your behaviors and actions behind the scenes.

What Are Inner Child Wounds?

As children, we are very vulnerable, and we are like sponges that readily absorb what our environments and caretakers teach us and how they treat us. If that child constantly receives negative messages from the environment or from their parents or caregivers, then that inner child is wounded or hurt.

Inner child wounds develop if our psychological needs were not met when we were young. As children, we modeled our lives around the adults close to us. We were powerless to take care of ourselves, and we were totally dependent on our caregivers for safety and survival.

Since we looked up to them for guidance and survival, we might have believed that everything they did was right, even if it was mean or unkind. If they didn’t show us love or care, we might have thought it was our fault because we weren’t good enough.*et9czc*_ga*MTkxNjcxMDU2NC4xNjg1MDA1MjYw*_ga_6LJN6D94N6*MTY5ODczNDU3OC4yMjQuMC4xNjk4NzM0NTc4LjAuMC4w

So, if you were raised in an environment where you were neglected or abused by those people you were dependent on, then your childhood needs were not fully met. It was their responsibility to take care of you and to create that safe and loving environment for you. Some parents and guardians either refuse to take on this responsibility, are not aware of it, or do not have the ability to fulfill it. As a result, they ended up hurting you, and that internalized hurt is what developed inner child wounds.

Let’s talk about the four main categories of inner child wounds and how they affect most of our relationships and choices in present life.

4 Inner Child Wounds

1. Abandonment Wounds

When someone has abandonment wounds, they may feel excluded and left out, even when they are invited to social situations. This can cause them to develop a fear of being alone and not being part of the group. They might agree to do anything to avoid being left out but still feel excluded when they attend events. You may say yes to your friends or family, not because you enjoy the event but because you don’t want to be left out.*et9czc*_ga*MTkxNjcxMDU2NC4xNjg1MDA1MjYw*_ga_6LJN6D94N6*MTY5ODczNDU3OC4yMjQuMC4xNjk4NzM0NTc4LjAuMC4w

This may result in codependent behaviors where you depend on others for validation and recognition. Additionally, you may attract partners who are emotionally unavailable. You may also have a deep inherent fear of being alone, and they would rather stick to unhealthy relationships than be alone.

2. Trust Wounds

You develop these wounds when the adults in your life failed to protect you from danger when you were young. They may have abused you or betrayed your trust through their actions. This results in deep distrust of other human beings and relationships. You feel that people are there to hurt you, and you may constantly feel insecure and doubt yourself and your intentions. You look so much to the history of bad decisions you’ve made, you water down your good decisions because you can’t trust yourself. You just feel you cannot keep your word.

You may also be afraid of being vulnerable and struggle to open up in relationships, constantly seeking external validation or assurance from your partner. You feel like you always have to be on guard and protect yourself, making it difficult to connect with others.

You may also struggle with anxiety and fear of being betrayed or hurt. With trust wounds, you unconsciously attract untrustworthy people. You may also tend to reject yourself before someone else can reject you.

3. Guilt Wounds

You develop feelings of guilt if you were constantly made to feel guilty or bad for what you did as a child. In your adult life, you may end up excessively apologizing and feeling remorseful for things, even when it’s not necessary. You may also feel bad for setting and upholding personal boundaries because you believe you’re hurting others in the process.

You may engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, such as lowering your boundaries or sticking to an unhealthy relationship so as not to inconvenience others. You may even sacrifice yourself to make sure that others are not upset by your actions. You may also use guilt to manipulate others to do things for you, since this is what helped you survive as a child. When you leave a toxic relationship or practice “no contact”, you feel bad for doing it even if you know it was toxic.

4. Neglect Wounds

The neglected wound can result from feeling ignored or unimportant in your childhood. With this wound, you may struggle with self-care and often prioritize others’ needs before your own. You may feel like you don’t matter, and this can lead to low self-esteem, self-doubt, and the belief that you don’t deserve good things in life. You have difficulty letting things go. Your emotional needs were not met, and you feel that they don’t even matter.

You end up repressing or numbing those emotions, which ends up manifesting through explosive anger in your present life. You may get angry at your kids or at something which doesn’t necessitate that much anger.

You are boiling with rage in traffic or when something doesn’t go your way because that repressed anger is getting a chance to show itself. You may also tend to withdraw from situations because you feel that your voice doesn’t matter, and you shouldn’t even bother others with your problems. You’d rather keep quiet than speak up, after all, you learned that from your caregivers.


Your inner child wounds will have the greatest impact on most of your relationships presently. Those wounds and experiences have created a split between who you are and who you think you are. They have fed you with unconscious beliefs such as “you’re unlovable”, “you’re not good enough”, “people are not to be trusted”, “you’re unworthy of healthy relationships”, “your feelings don’t matter”, or just various negative beliefs that you absorbed depending on your upbringing. When you live life without dealing with these wounds, the wounded inner child will be running the show behind the scenes, steering your life through a distorted filter.

So, inner child work is more about bringing those subconscious thoughts to your conscious awareness. You are creating a safe environment for that inner child to process and release those trapped emotions. It’s like telling that inner child, “Hey, I am safe now, and we can let go of what happened in the past or of the emotions you didn’t process in the past.” It’s a process of acknowledging and nurturing the part of ourselves that may have experienced trauma or neglect in our childhood.

Through this work, we can heal old wounds, release negative patterns and beliefs, and learn to show compassion and love to ourselves. It’s about creating a safe space within ourselves where our inner child can feel seen, heard, and valued. Ultimately, inner child work allows us to live more fully in the present and create a more fulfilling future for ourselves.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.







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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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