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The Wounded Child, Authenticity and the Lie of the False Self

By Caroline Tobin

True healing happens when we allow, witness and then release the programming that has been installed covertly within us. Most of these programmes were installed into the unconscious aspects of ourselves before the age of 8 by our parents, schools, church and communities.

Mostly they were installed against the child’s free will by someone who had authority over the child. They received the unconscious message that the caregiver will withdraw their love if they are not a good girl or boy and adhere to the will of the caregiver who wants them to be a certain way and as they deem fit.

The fear and existential crisis experienced at the thought of being left all alone in the world without love, is so traumatising to a child, that they will comply with just about anything to keep receiving that love and approval.

As a result they push down their feelings and the most authentic and individual parts of themselves and learn instead to adopt a fake persona (mask) that is acceptable to the parent, school, church or community just to get that love, acceptance and belonging from their ‘tribe’.

Unfortunately as that child experiences life as an adult, they may find that they have acquired a completely distorted perception of who they truly are. They believe in a fantasy version of themselves and others and perhaps have become inherently someone that they are not. They have sadly identified and become one with the false mask.

As a result of this self gaslighting, we may unconsciously adopt coping strategies to protect ourselves, covertly get our needs met and/or compensate for the loss of self. These strategies will often influence us to have either non existent, poor or rigid boundaries.

Perhaps it shows up when you invite someone into the deepest parts of you but with no real discrimination or discernment. Oversharing, over giving and over trusting without checking who the person really is before you let them in.

This is where your inner wounded child totally drives the show in its desperate search for love and approval; the door is wide open to everyone and everything that will just give that love and attention you so desperately crave.

Anyone who notices you, is welcome, as long as they help stave off feelings of invisibility, insignificance and help squash the unbearable emptiness inside. If they do, then come on in, no questions asked here. It is in this place that we become magnets for and attract toxic people who use and/or abuse us, betray or even abandon us over and over again and never deliver on any of the promises they make. This is a life of continuous, repetitive and painful suffering of grief and disappointment in everyone thing and everyone. A place where your dreams and aspirations never come to fruition but instead a place where they come to die and lay shattered on the floor around you.

This pattern is called co-dependency, and I have been there, wore that T-Shirt many times and know it’s a painful place to be stuck in. Predators love people stuck in this pattern of non existent or weak boundaries as they are able to extract as much food as possible from you, in the way of your energy and you keep coming back for more. You are in fact an open buffet to them with many delicious things on the menu.

Alternatively, we may instead tip the other end of the scale and find that we have erected rigid boundaries around ourselves, where nobody is coming into our inner sanctum. We don’t trust anyone to connect with the very deepest part of us and will hide who we are at a truly core level. In fact nobody actually really gets to know or truly love you because they are having a relationship with your false persona and not the true you.

As a result we keep everyone out, just so we can guard our hearts and feel safe. Been here too and wore this t-shirt many times in my life. This place can be the loneliest place in the world where we always want control just in case someone gets close and hurts that soft vulnerable child within us.

However, one thing I have observed by repeating these patterns over and over in my life, is the suffocating stranglehold of control and constriction these programmes have over us. Your soul is meant to grow during its incarnations by interacting with others, especially with those you have a soul contract with. We are meant to grow through these relationships, the good, the bad and the ugly. It sucks, I know but its true. Life is not meant to be lived in the slow lane and safe, it is meant to be sometimes bumpy and sometimes smooth but always lived fully so we can gain wisdom through experience.

If you don't let anyone in, how are you going to learn about love, connection and authenticity?

How will you learn the lessons of discernment and knowing who is in alignment with you and who is not?

You are meant to participate fully in life, true wisdom is only achieved by allowing yourself to:

  • Make mistakes

  • Forgive yourself for getting it wrong sometimes

  • Take responsibility for your part in the experience

  • Choose to learn from this so that next time your actions are more aligned to your soul’s blueprint and the authentic you.

This is Free Will in action, we are never at the mercy of outside forces…..ever, only the programming dupes us to believe that we are.

No one has authority over us, only the unhealed child aspect of us believes that to be true.

True freedom and sovereignty is achieved when we work instead on pulling out the weeds of this programming that was installed against our will as children.

It is here, beyond the weeds that obscure our view that we discover our true divine nature. A place which is full of authenticity, wholeness and most importantly of all Love and Connection.

The process of weeding that which is not you, must be done with utmost kindness and gentleness to self. In doing so, you will really see the hateful and harsh way the programming really talks to you and lies to you about who you are and how the world operates.

Your job on the pathway to reclaiming your true self, is to be that soft and loving presence to your inner child, be the one who tells it:

“You know what, it’s ok to be you.

You are unique, you are beautiful and

you don't need to be anything

but yourself to receive my love.”

This is ideally, how your caregivers should have spoken to you and reflected back to you as a child, but probably didn’t. I would put a bet on it that they were also operating from the perspective of a wounded inner child and just didn’t know how. So your job right now is to learn instead how to do that for yourself.

When we finally get to a space where we can be ourselves, both inside and out, no matter who is around us, whether they approve or disapprove of us, where we no longer give to get, then we have achieved a state of true authenticity.

It is in this place that we finally understand the truth about boundaries; we know when to let in those that can have loving and symbiotic relationships; we also discern who to keep at arms length, those who are not ready for us in this moment in time for whatever reason.

You always have had the power to have authority over your life, you just had to remember who you were first and then learn the truth of that statement. You were born to connect and bond with others, it’s part of the human experience and if you have the ears to listen and the eyes to see, you will notice it teaches you how to:

1. To become even more authentic in your relationships to others and with yourself. Even when everyone tells you that you are wrong and you should be a different way according to their narrative, that you are able to choose how you show up in YOUR LIFE. You get to be the person you truly are, even if that means you stand alone and away from the crowd.

2. To find the subtly of discrimination without judgement. Knowing it is here that you will learn to keep an open and loving but WISE heart filled with courage as you tread the pathway of ‘The Hero’s Journey’, with your fellow man/or woman.

"As Above - So Below

So Within - So Without"

-The Hermetic Principle of Correspondence

You will know when the gifts of the child has been alchemised and the gifts released. It is when you notice the magic and the innocence of your soul has returned once again but in a different way. This time around you have obtained the earned qualities of authenticity and discernment and you definitely no longer need to ask for permission or approval to be your big beautiful badass self.

If you would like to know more about the child archetype or how to alchemise it, then please do not hesitate to reach out to me at for information about my transformational coaching packages.

Much love to you on your journey to authenticity Caroline xox

© 2024 Caroline Tobin - All rights reserved

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