What my inner child wants: Let me out!

betty ming liu Health, Relationships 12 Comments

Eighteen months ago, I wrote a letter to my inner child. Come into my life more, I said. Well, she took up the invitation. Now, she wants to take over. She says it’s time to heal the early years and fully rebirth myself. <Gulp.> Anyways, here she is. See what what you think.    

Hey Betty,

Congrats on the life changes. You’re safe and happy now. So that has me wondering: Why am I still scrunched up like a knot in your belly? What’s the point of holding this old fear pose? I’m sick of being that sick feeling in your stomach.

I just want to be the Little Betty you once were, before life got in the way.


What my inner child wants

Listen to me. We must play. Really play. So stop taking classes to learn how to paint, draw and dance. Let’s just do it!

Oh, how  wish we could act silly. Imagine us running around in the sunshine, jumping and hollering. (If that’s too much freedom, I’d settle for rolling on the carpet with the dog.)

Or, what if we got cozy on the couch with a book? Not a book for work, or, for your book club, or, self-help books. Just a fun book.

Of course, I’m asking a lot. Mommy and Daddy trained us to keep quiet, work after school, help the family, go to church and learn Chinese from a tutor.

Back then, living inside of you felt like suffocating in a scary, dark cave. I froze whenever they yelled at you for doing bad in math, science and piano lessons.

And I’m so sorry they didn’t care about your writing. At least, I liked it! When you scribbled random stories in your notebook, I got to float around, smiling. It was very enjoyable. At least, until Mommy scolded you for wasting paper, when you should have been doing homework.

After that, I’ve been stuck in the cave.

Over the last 18 months, visiting you made me happy. You’re fun when you’re not moody, which triggers your self-doubt. When you get like that, I hate it because I plunge back into the cave.

3 trimesters in a woman’s life

But we can change the whole metaphor. For instance, what if I’m in your womb waiting for rebirth, instead of hiding in a cave?

You know what I’m talking about. Surely, with all your research, you’ve heard that women pass through three life stages that are like three trimesters.

In the first trimester, we’re young, right through our 20s. Then, we devote our middle years to mothering and nurturing. (Even if we’re single with no kids, we’re usually taking care of somebody, right?)

By the third trimester, we’re done with menopause. We’re also rich and beautiful with maturity based on life experience. We’ve transformed into a gift to the universe — the gift of the wise woman.

You’re ready to be That Woman. You found your wisdom when you finally loved our parents. You understood that they did their best. That Mommy believed hitting you would beat out the rebellion. That Daddy forced you into right-handedness to help you fit in.

You get it. As immigrants who suffered hunger and the horrors of war, they were all about survival. They dreaded raising you in the racist U.S. of the ’60s and ’70s. They feared the culture would destroy their precious, American-born Betty. After all, you were just a nobody girl with a yellow face. In their own way, they tried to protect you.

I know you’re embarrassed to say you ended up traumatized. But what would you call it when you’ve spent 10 years(!) on this blog, ranting about Asian parents, obsessing about single motherhood and regretting relationships with the wrong men? A sane person would not carry on like that.

Hey. It’s okay. Your blog documents your traumas and your triumphs. I’m proud of you for sharing your story.

And now, my girl, it’s finally time to let go. Time to sing a new song.

What my inner child wants: a new song

Let go of the constant effort to either meet or fight your parents’ standards. My goodness, Daddy’s been dead 39 years, and Mommy, since 2010. You can be your own woman now.

Stop forcing yourself to ignore yourself. Instead of negative efforting, embrace your third trimester. Turn my stinking cave into a warm womb that nurtures us both for our next life.

Thanks to your hard work, we’re almost there. You’ve learned how to give and get unconditional love. You’ve created a family of choice filled with a quarter century of therapy, friends and support group goodness.

Your home life is available to us, too. An empty-nesting mommy like you is ready to focus on yourself. You paid off the mortgage on the house, which erased a huge money pressure. Plus, you’re in great health.

You’ve even detoxed from man dependency. The past 18 months of celibacy  liberated you from Mommy’s mantra. Btw, I’m still shaking my head (SMH). How could she tell you that “having a man is a prestige?” LOL.

Girl, you only need me. I’m your other half, not some man. Together, we make one whole Betty. I complete you.

You are the outer Betty, who wrestles with the world in search of new adventures, while keeping us safe.

I’m the inner Betty, the core. I am your creativity, light source, higher intelligence, emotional center and spiritual truth.

If you let me out 24/7, this could be the prime time of your life. I’m ready to play. Are you?


Little Betty

Okay readers, your turn

So….this is what I’m getting from Little Betty. If you have questions or comments for either of us, we’re here. If you and your inner child want to share your thoughts, we’re all ears.

We’re here to give and get support because all of us deal with old, early wounds. They run deep and ripple through many layers.

And guys, this post and discussion is also for you — you might have rebirthing hopes and dreams, too.  

Comments 12

  1. So, that’s what we have in common. We both were trained to be right handers (my dad was left handed and I had a left handed first husband and we had a left handed daughter who remained a lefty).

    I can’t do anything to my left and am totally right. My grandmother trained me I am sure since she was a “school marm” and one of those die hard Christians back then that thought lefthanders were the devil’s work.

    Also, I use to live at the bottom of a well but now I have found my way out and don’t wish to return even if it makes me feel safer. My wall that I had for years has been torn down and remade into a key shaped pathway with the stones lining the sides. I’m on my third husband so if this one fails, then I too am hanging up the husband leash and getting a dog to roll around with on the floor!

    I was wondering about your blog so I scrolled through my dozens of junk mail and sure enough there you were. This is the first one I’ve been able to read in a long time. Glad I found it in time for the free writing class.

    I want to publish. That’s my main goal for this year and next especially when I asked our CPA if I had to get an Excise License to account for earnings if I were to be published. She laughed and told me to get back to her when I published something, lol, lol, lol!!!!! I’ll show her!

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      Sandy, how interesting that we have the lefty thing in common! What we went through is definitely worth a blog post some day. Meantime, glad to hear that you’ve climbed out of your emotional well and are out in the sunshine on the path made from your deconstructed emotional wall. That’s all huge. Good luck with your husband, too. :)

      As for me being buried in your junk mail, if you add my email address in your address book, you’ll find me in your regular mail from now on. Btw, this is actually my first post since February. Everything I tried to write felt off somehow. But then, the inner child popped out and suddenly, I feel inspired to blog again. So I think you’ll be seeing more of me soon!

      Thanks, too, for mentioning the free, 5-week email course for writers and anyone who wants to improve their writing skills. This is only available to subscribers to my blog. If you’re reading this right now and would like to subscribe, just sign up in the little box in the sidebar on the right side of your screen. Once you do that, you’ll get the course. I’ll send out a new module every Wednesday during the month of May.

      P.S. — You now have me wondering if my dad might’ve been an indoctrinated lefty, too. Of course, I’ll never know because he left this world decades ago. But it’s an interesting thought.

  2. Wow. my child wants to come out too.
    I am afraid I can’t handle it (yet) and my surounding family and friends neither. Nah… the last one is only pretending. I know they’d love me still.

    Just I am really afraid to let my child out. Maybe I haven’t even listened to what it wants.
    Maybe I could listen to it and then decide to what degree I’d be OK with it.
    Some of my friends said, my happyness is contagious. I rarely – very rarely – find that I am particular positive. that’S just natural. May it be, that this energy is already part of my inner child getting out?

    What if there is in fact no separation of my inner child and me, and I am just not aware of it? What if talking / thinking and sensing my inner child is the degree to which I am up in my head and not deep within my body?

    if this doesn’t make sense, never mind. Maybe it doesn’t even make sense for me.
    Have a great day,
    I really enjoy your writing course.

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      Liane, you’re making TOTAL sense to me. Just keep on talking to yourself. It’s called intrapersonal communication. When I teach speech communication classes, intrapersonal communication becomes everyone’s favorite new concept. How we talk to ourselves impacts how we talk to everyone else (aka interpersonal communication). Thank you for sharing. And I’m so happy to hear that you and your inner child are enjoying the writing course for subscribers!

      1. Hi Betty! I just discovered your blog and have really enjoyed your entries. I hope you have been enjoying quality time being with your inner child, and that this New Year brings you joy. Thanks so much for sharing yourself and wisdom!

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          Nat, thank you so much for stopping by. Wishing you a Happy New Year, too! By the way, I’m in the process of redesigning my blog into a website. If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, I can let you know when it’s up. :)

  3. Dear Betty,

    I just reread your post and all the comments. I feel like getting in touch with you again…

    I feel like letting my inner child / my inner voice decide on all aspects of my future. Let’s say I aim for 90% of the time that I am consciously awake.

    I am wondering how your journey with your inner child continued through the last years and how both of you are doing during these crazy corona-times.

    Love and hugs,

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      Liane, so good to hear from you. My journey continues and all is well. At some point, I will blog again (hopefully soon). And how exciting — sounds like you and your inner child are ready to get what every kid needs. Unconditional love. Safety. Play. Let the fun begin! xo

  4. Betty, I am so impressed and inspired by the breadth, charm, and wealth of personal insight in your years of blogging. Happy to have plenty still to read. That is one very gifted inner child you got there, so glad she is leading the way…

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  5. Hi Betty. I just happened to find this blog on my search of a cross country trip. Then, I got lost in reading your past blogs. It’s so relatable! Your last blog was over two years ago, but I noticed you’re still replying to comments. Are you taking a break from blogging? I subscribed in case you have a new entry, I don’t want to miss it!

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      Gloria, I’m glad you stayed to visit a while! After 10 years of blogging, I decided to take a little break. That break has now lasted two years! But I miss my blog and my readers and think about both every day. Thank you for subscribing — I look forward to dropping everyone a newsletter update soon. :)

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