A baby cries.
A mother wakes,
and takes the baby in her arms.
She coos,
she sings,
she sways.
And soon
the baby,
sleeps again.

soothing mum 1









A child falls.
A mother stoops,
and takes the child in her arms.
She talks.
She tickles,
She wipes tears.
And soon,
the child,
plays again.

Mother Tickling Son Outdoors








A child that is soothed by a parent when growing up knows how to self-soothe as an adult.
A child whose experience has been indifference, neglect, or outright abuse; a child who has not been soothed, will not know how to self-soothe as an adult.

It is a “hole-within” that a child carries into adulthood.
And many, otherwise self-sufficient adults, will find that when troubles come it is a hole into which they fall.
In the darkness and the loneliness of it they find they lack the resources to light a candle and be reassured.
They lack the vocabulary to form words that soothe and encourage and lead them into daylight.









And even those of us who were soothed as children can be robbed of the ability to self-soothe as adults.
A “hole within” can open up if we find ourselves in an abusive relationship.
This is because the abuse, be it emotional, mental, or physical, will, in time, erode our self-esteem and replace sound judgement with self-doubt.

Everyone of us is different.
Each one of us reacts differently to such a hole.
But in one thing we are all the same –
We will have to fill it with something.


The list is endless.

I found myself co-dependent.
My identity, sense of worth, became utterly subsumed.
Unless my husband was pleased with me –
I was nothing
and afraid.

After I had left him I remember clearly realising
that never again
would he tell me
“Its ok.”
That from now on I had to learn to
Feel it was “OK” for myself.
I had to learn again how to

It took me years.
It wasn’t easy.
But I did it.
Don’t despair.
You can too.

learning to soothe yourself

learning to soothe yourself












We’ll talk about it some more in my next post.

Please remember you are not alone.
It is not your fault.
There are many of us.
You can be whole again.


6 Responses to “SOOTHE”

  1. This is awesome… so true!

  2. Beautifully said and such an important message to others

    • thank you – was that your experience too? Ive talked with clients and others who have experienced it as a result of child abuse but I havent had much dialogue with survivors of adult relationship abuse on this issue. Id be interested to hear your experience BUT only if you want to.

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