Core wounds form in childhood and persist throughout adulthood when left untended.
During our formative years, the 'self' as separate from others develops. This is a vulnerable period where we are highly impressionable and dependent on others for adequate safety, meeting of our needs and nurture to grow. Developmentally, children often lack the cognitive resources to speak of their wounding experience, nor can they heal from the experiences that wound them on their own.
Adequate help is required to recover and grow just as assistance remains necessary for adults engaging with their core wounds. For doing do so involves returning to the child self. To be alone with one's wounds as an adult would only repeat the child been alone with their wounds. It is important to have another person present to hold the space and bearing witness to the original wound, pain and how it has infected life and prevented one from entirely moving forward. It also mirrors back to the person that their adult self is now with their child self able to hold and process the wounding experience. For what was unbearable to the child self is something that the adult self can bare.
Another reason that another person's presence is necessary is that a different experience is given. Originally, the child been left alone with their traumatic experience could only deduce that they should have been able to cope alone. This may have been the origin of a core belief that had them living as though they have to do everything alone. Having another present as they address their children need to be helped and receiving it. That being unable to work through their experience was beyond their developmental capacity at that point and in no way a fault or a failing.
When children have been left alone with experience that is too much for them to cope with they typically see the failure to be on their part. Their psychology at this stage of life is set up to survive and to make sense of situations and others in ways that avoid them feeling as powerless as they are, or negatively towards primary caretakers who are essential to their survival. In fact, their dependency on their guardians makes it less threatening and distressing for a child to be angry at, hate and blame themselves. Children will preserve the loved, revered and godlike regard for their guardian who is depended upon for their basic survival.
If a child's emotions have not been mirrored back to them or acknowledged a child will grow as though they feel isn't important. In fact, they may not even be aware of their emotional life. They will continue to ignore and disregard the hurt aspect of who they are as unworthy of respect, value or compassion.
They cannot help, know or love the vulnerable aspects of himself because this was not modelled to them as children. Unless we do the work, we automatically treat ourselves the way we were treated as children.
In instances of abuse, children may go on believe they aren't good enough to be protected, defended and have appropriate action taken to stop what legally shouldn't happen from continuing. This is likely to continue throughout adulthood. A child knows nothing about the law. If they are abused as children, then this is the reality they know and believe they deserve as adults at a core level. It is not enough to logically know that this is illegal, we need to go back to the core wound and engage with the child self and offer a different experience and understanding of self, and perspective.
The child self must be able to express itself and have its story known. It must be soothed, valued and integrated into the adult self.
Adults' with a wounded inner child continue to need the help they required as children. This unresolved inner child part of who they are is stuck in limbo and can't grow beyond the wound until the necessary work effectively takes place. The guilt and shame intensify the burden of the wound that keeps bleeding over their lives. It shows up in multiple ways through attempts to avoid and hide the hurt, damage and vulnerability only to create more pain.
It can be hard for adults to be open to assistance until it's no longer needed. Especially when if the adult believes that at their age their issue should not be an issue. Another challenge is that it'snot necessarily easy to identify who and what can help with something buried so deep and for so long. To a time when you had not developed words for it and still feel stuck for words on it. To feel worthy of assistance is not always easy and why many don't seek it until crisis demands them to.
Being ready to accept help in engaging with core wounds is in many ways having completed the first part of the journey in this self-transforming process.