The 3 Big Mistakes Your Wounded Inner Child Makes – without you even realising it!

Our wounded inner child can't heal and recover from their childhood trauma all by themselves - they need our help. Otherwise we will continue to make painful 'mistakes' that affect our adult lives, and the lives of those around us who are affected by our behaviours.

Like Comment

We were all once a child - who was affected by the environment we grew up in. This shaped how we now see and relate to ourselves and others.

When things weren't as good as they should have been we experience emotional wounding, and we store these memories in our mind and body for years to come.

Our wounded inner child can't heal and recover from their childhood trauma all by themselves - they need our help. Otherwise we will continue to make painful 'mistakes' that affect our adult lives, and the lives of those around us who are affected by our behaviours.

Without awareness and insight into the origin and extent of our early wounding and how it has shaped our perceptions and reactions, we aren't able to avoid making these three big mistakes:-

1. We don't heal our emotional wounds

Because we don't know how to - and instead we may deny or minimalise our past trauma. We still feel the aching pain, confusion, fear and anxiety deep inside, but we try to cover it over as best we can. We change our mood with alcohol, drugs, food, spending, gambling, workaholism, replaying familiar dramas in our relationships, sexual promiscuity, horror movies and online games.

Some will play out dutiful, distracting and time consuming roles each day which help them to feel better about themselves. They have a need to be needed - whilst perhaps wiping themselves out in the service of others, in order to gain more self-worth and value.

2. We don't take care of our own needs

Instead we desperately search for someone else to 'parent' us and to meet our physical and emotional needs. Someone to make the struggle and pain go away, and to make us feel better. Someone who will take care of our vulnerable and needy inner child - who is still waiting deep inside us for the care, attention and loving comfort we didn't get from our parents.

No-one else can ever fill that aching void but we keep searching and hoping – and getting angry and resentful when we don't find it. We have to endure that all too familiar feeling of being profoundly disappointed and let down - time and again.

3. We don't control ourselves

When we perceive any threat to our character, personality, integrity or our decisions about how we live our lives, we have split-second emotional reactions to defend our wounded ego and depleted sense of self.

We act in defensive, aggressive or anti-social ways, or we might instead collapse into victimhood. Our inner sub-personalities have free reign and can mess things up for us - like unsupervised school kids – in our work and in all of our relationships.

Our wounded inner child has split off into aspects that were created to reduce the impact of our trauma, and to contain it within these 'personae'... many of which hinder us in our adult interactions.

There is a lack of awareness or control of the way we are perceiving and filter things in the present day, and the meanings we give to these. We also fail to take control of our habitual ways of thinking, our emotional stability, the language we use, and the way we behave. Without self control and self responsibility we don't think things through and prefer instead to blame someone else when things inevitably go wrong.

Where do these mistakes show up?

In all of our relationships – especially the most important one we have, with ourselves.

These consequences of not doing what it takes to heal and repair our early trauma responses show themselves too in the workplace - with our colleagues and any authority figures - and in our romantic relationships and friendships, and in the type of parent we are to our children.

In all of these areas of our lives we can become too tight, rigid, fear and shame based, bossy, controlling and dominating. Or our inner pendulum swings the other way and we become too loose, complaint, easily manipulated, avoid conflict, challenge or responsibilities, weak willed and ineffectual. Perhaps we shift erratically between the two extremes and have an unstable personality and moods.

What impact does this behaviour have on us?

  • We deny ourselves genuine emotional intimacy, attachment, trust and any deeper sharing with other people – because we are keeping them at a distance to protect ourselves, as we hide inside our emotional bubble

  • Other people find us 'difficult' to be with, due to our needs, moods or inappropriate comments or behaviours, and may avoid connecting with us. We then feel lonely and unacceptable, guilty and ashamed – and we repeat our earlier feelings of emotional abandonment and isolation

  • This separateness and feeling 'different' and 'wrong' only heightens our internal pain

  • We feel a fake, a fraud, an imposter and a failure

  • We struggle to keep our 'mask' in place as we hide behind it, and we can become lost and further confused within the splits to our personality and unstable character

  • Without awareness of what is going on we keep on making these same mistakes, and escalate these behaviours in an attempt to ease our psychological and emotional pain – it becomes a vicious circle!

What to do...

We need some help and guidance to see the problem for what it is, and then decide to make the changes we need - to allow us to heal and recover from a troubled childhood, emotional trauma and inner child wounding.

When you S.E.L.E.C.T. Your Life (c) you make a choice to no longer continue to accept the life-script and patterns handed down to you. You create a new life that serves you better and allows you the freedom to enjoy mutually respectful and reciprocal relationships.

The acronym I have created for this process is:-


Education and understanding

Learning new skills

Emotional intelligence and balance

Control, clarity and choice


The 3 Big Mistakes are fixable – we only need to become aware that we are making them, and not to blame ourselves for having done so. We were reacting from a wounded place and now we have the choice to instead respond appropriately from a place of healing, recovery, self-compassion and self-forgiveness.

You can find out more about the ways I can help you to S.E.L.E.C.T Your Life (c) from my websites below.

Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR – where you will find lots of FREE resources to help you on your own path to healing and recovery from the affects of your childhood and parents. – I am a therapeutic self-development mentor for women who want to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours....helping them also to FEEL better, so they can BE, DO and HAVE better! – a selection of self-help online workshops to help you to help yourself to a more calm, balanced and happy life. – a unique process which changes the sub-conscious belief system – bringing profoundly life-changing results.

Maxine Harley

MIND HEALER & MENTOR - Psychotherapist (MSc), Author, Columnist & Blogger. Please see and, S.E.L.E.C.T. Your Life Company Ltd.

I help women to FEEL better - so they can BE, DO and HAVE better! As a MIND HEALER I specialise in helping women to recover from a troubled childhood and toxic parents, to heal and transcend their emotional wounds, re-parent their inner child, and make peace with their past. This enables and empowers them to become better parents, partners, professionals - and all round happier calmer people :-) As a MENTOR I offer different levels of therapeutic self development - including MINDING YOUR BUSINESS, MINDING THE GAP, and MIND MASTERY...please discover more at