Wishing I was 5

Teddie

Learning
I wish I was a child again.

I know that it’s not the right way to be thinking. I know I can’t undo the past, I couldn’t stop what happened, I can only move forward and continue with my recovery. I feel like I’ve made so much progress and I will continue to keep working on myself.

But right now I just want to indulge in how I feel even if I know it’s immature or wrong. I just wish I could be 5 or 6 or 7. The trauma all started when I was 8 so I know why I’m fixated on reliving before then.

I feel like I have already regressed mentally without allowing myself to. I already feel my understanding of language restricting and my thought process degrading to a simpler one. I’m forcing myself to articulate but it isn’t coming naturally when I feel this way. When I feel this way my heart feels so tight and shaky and I imagine a pair of hands inside my chest that wrap a blanket around it to keep it warm.

My room is bright pink and all of my belongings are bright pink. I wear children’s clothing. I have all my favourite childhood shows on DVD and I like to dress up and colour and play with toys. I dress immature for my age. I speak immature for my age. All of my friends are younger than me. Being childish is a part of who I am and my general naive nature is a lot to do with being autistic rather than traumatised. I’m an adult and people still mistake me for a preteen. I don’t know if I would be this deeply childish if it weren’t for the trauma, though.

I imagine being a newborn and crying a lot but a figure will always be there to hold me and feed me. I imagine being 1 and not talking or moving a lot but still being loved. I imagine being 5 and playing or exploring and feeling safe. I imagine being 6 and having a tantrum but being shown how to handle those feelings and still being loved. I imagine never being hurt and never being scared of the figure that looks after me.

What makes it so frustrating is that I am loved! I am so loved! I am surrounded by love! I am safe! I have built my life from scratch with no help as a young homeless person and I have a successful career as a young adult. My colleagues genuinely care to see me at work and I have a close friendship with many of them, I have so many friends I can’t count them all, I have two best friends who I have known for years and are dear to me, I am extremely blessed to have the most amazing father in the world, I have more than enough money, I have goals and aspirations and I engage with self-care and I do genuinely love myself and want to be better.
I want it so bad but right now I just need to wallow in my longing and hide in a made up world where I’m 5. I’d give anything to be unaware and innocent to violence.

I will get over this pretty quickly. I always bounce back and sort myself out. I just want to feel and fantasise again even for a little bit before I put my head back on straight.
 
I miss my pacifier. it needs to be said.

I kept it until I was 7, and even then it was difficult to get rid of it

I also miss my baby mobile and my rattle

Drinking spaghetti from a baby bottle

Yeah. I wanna be a kid again too. I have failed in this life
 
I miss my pacifier. it needs to be said.

I kept it until I was 7, and even then it was difficult to get rid of it

I also miss my baby mobile and my rattle

Drinking spaghetti from a baby bottle

Yeah. I wanna be a kid again too. I have failed in this life
Those memories sound so lovely and warm and safe. To be fed and protected. Soft music and simple toys - the world is much less scary. I miss my favourite blankets and my teething hoops.

You have not failed. Failure is when you don’t accept your losses and internalise it.
You fail when you choose to let it eat at you and there is no such thing as failing at life itself! Life is a series of failure and success. One doesn’t exist without the other so you have succeeded time and time again. Don’t let yourself fail when you don’t have to.
 
Those memories sound so lovely and warm and safe. To be fed and protected. Soft music and simple toys - the world is much less scary. I miss my favourite blankets and my teething hoops.

You have not failed. Failure is when you don’t accept your losses and internalise it.
You fail when you choose to let it eat at you and there is no such thing as failing at life itself! Life is a series of failure and success. One doesn’t exist without the other so you have succeeded time and time again. Don’t let yourself fail when you don’t have to.
I suppose there is nothing wrong in pretending to be a kid again, right?

I mean I still love cuddling stuffies, for example

I have a lovely bunny rabbit who I like to hold close to me. awwww
 
I feel like I have already regressed mentally without allowing myself to. I already feel my understanding of language restricting and my thought process degrading to a simpler one. I’m forcing myself to articulate but it isn’t coming naturally when I feel this way. When I feel this way my heart feels so tight and shaky and I imagine a pair of hands inside my chest that wrap a blanket around it to keep it warm.
in my own case, as the 5th of 11 siblings, the abusive family dynamics were well in play by the time i was born. i have no "before" image to regress to, but the regressions keep happening, even when they **only** thrust me into full-sensory replays of trauma from that long gone domestic war zone. my iron will seems powerless over this phenom, by whatever name.

when i resist the urge to repress and willingly go with the flow of the regression, it becomes possible for me to learn from it. when i ply the theories of parenting my inner child, it becomes possible for me to insert small comforts like the one you describe here. within the psychotherapy guidance which accompanied my inner child work, my pros called this, "creating your safe space" where i can mentally retreat when in the grips of a psychotic episode. it works when i work it.
 
It must have been very isolating to be in a dysfunctional family of so many. Even if a caregiver wanted to give all the children equal attention, it would be difficult to achieve. I can picture it now - must have been so chaotic.
Do you have psychosis, too? Do you feel that your childlike desires are linked to your psychosis?

I find psychosis so overwhelming and terrifying to deal with. I worry a lot about losing control of myself and being unable to communicate or connect with others anymore. I worry about hurting someone else emotionally or physically. These feelings are so big, so overwhelming that my go-to coping mechanism is to break down my thoughts to a childlike level. I can’t hurt anyone if I’m incapable of thinking of such things.
 
I find psychosis so overwhelming and terrifying to deal with
ditto. i have experienced dissociative catatonia. it was tough to come back from and i never wanna go ^there^ again.

a va nurse practitioner helped me lay this whelming fear to rest with her "psychic flu" theories. according to this theory, the racing pulse, etc., you experience when you encounter an unexpected presence in a dark hallway is a case of psychic flu, aka psychosis. recovery needed. psychic flu is more common than covid viruses, plural intended. there are many common, ever evolving coronaviruses.

by destigmatizing the word "psychosis," i was far better able to skip the agonizing fear and head straight to a more common sense approach. "lots of self-care, soft foods and fluids. don't rush the convalescence. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process."

for what it's worth
a side effect of this approach has been a touch of ocd over the question, "why do psych, psycho, psychic, psychosis, psychology, etc. have such radically different meanings?" grammatically, they only differ by a suffix.
 
We seem to suffer from the same demons. I also struggle with catatonic episodes. It’s like the thoughts are so powerful and so repetitive in my head that all my energy is focused on trying to calm down inside my head even the slightest amount.

Haha, I think visualising psychosis as a flu is a good way to see it. I often panic that my psychosis is a permanent, unmovable condition. What if I could think of it as a fleeting moment?
 
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