Please don’t lock your inner-child in the closet

8 min readJan 30, 2021

Having kids is like starting a romance with your children. It is also when the War of the Roses began with my unrequited inner-voices. Those vindictive, punitive thoughts simmered toward alcoholism with each jolt. The voice-box belonging to my inner-child successfully plotted to undermine my cold marriage bed and regain attention by starting a quiet riot in my dysfunctional, co-dependent family.

Every moment is magical at the beginning of a budding romance, even though you may have had only 3 hours of sleep whether from sex or nursing a newborn. It’s like that with most romances, especially if you practice pre-marital sex or unbridled joy with your kiddos. There is no shame in a child’s laugh; it’s infectious naturally unlike ethanol. The shame given to my inner-child is conservative as my parents. Both tell me to shut my trap & stay perfectly quiet in the closet of my perfidy. I’ve carried that missing peace called my inner-child, my Siamese twin unsevered for 2 scores.

My inner-child is as pale as a seedling grown in a box with a pin-prick of light. Those childish voices & Legion wait till the sun & moon appear in silhouette every 10–15 years. Usually, that’s when the magic ends and the itch begins on my bipolar mania cycling like Armstrong on the Tour d’France.

Eventually, all good & bad events end. Even grownups stop having sex after 7 years if you’re a man & less if the fairer sex. Usually, the itch doesn’t gender discriminate as Norma Jean knows with an Italian wife-beater. So too, eventually, your children lose their luster and grow pubes despite your protestation. They will tire of you when estrogen and androgen replace morning cuddles with a high school sweet-bun. Your butterscotch will be replaced by the aroma of gym socks or grandma panties.

I as a parent return to my inner-child’s baseline each time a dear John missive enters my box. Each time the vindictive voices tell me through that closet door that I am far from fatherhood. The arrested atavistic voices perspire through the wood to moisten real palms. I wipe my inner-child’s cries of injustice & abuse by those who took our freedom one good intention or one good grade at a time.

How do we keep all our relationships timeless like the moment when your beloved was crowning covered in blood like Jesus in Mary? How do we not trespass on our children & partner’s innocence and freedom while we trespass our undiscovered nature? Freedom is not given; it can only be taken away as all inmates & prisoners know whether guilty or innocent.

You shouldn’t let milkweeds grow in your life cuz every life is precious. Get your mental lawnmower out to behead dandelions. To cherish the moment understand how to hunt game. Trim the apathy spreading like a weed. Let the sunshine in down to the roots. Tear open a hole in the roof of the box to give your inner-child a suntan, but remember to bring the SPF.

How do I cherish my children, my former-wife & my battered inner child? Two are real & just as deadly as exposing our lies to the discriminating light. The most important part of keeping any Romance fresh as a daisy is a humility without shame or guilt. You can ask Jesus about your other vices & hubris. The best kind of humility is the beat-down kind like my X, parents, friends, strangers, dogs & earthquakes. Your inner-voice has a lie detector better than yours. Your missing piece will know if you are fibbing.

The more we treat our inner-child as some welfare parents do squeezing dollars & cents & sense from children. Closets for your inner-voices only serve to amplify the fear, panic, and violence so fondly displayed in the dark. How far gone will your inner-child retreat from the abusive marriage to yourself? Because he’s imaginary, your inner-child can retreat back to the Big Bang. Or she could drag you so far into your dystopian future that you could hardly recall your innocence.

Don’t believe me? Walk into a liquor store with your voracious inner-child thirsty for wine. Walk into Target with your tot and see if you make out without your bruised credit card. Then ask yourself what the inner-child will do with your over-indulgent parenting skills compensating for your parents’ lack of parenting skills. While you are debating, your inner-child has already started the ignition and drunk half the whine. While your real child has tuned out on social media or tunes playing behind their closet doors. It’s the cycle of disingenuous disunion without a break.

Your inner-child is real, especially if you are bi-cultural or bi-lingual. I wouldn’t know what mono-cultural brains are like. Here’s a secret, every immigrant is bi-polar cuz theyz got both the White & Colored brain duking it out like the Sundance Kid & Whet Backs on both hemispheres including the cerebellum for balance.

Whoever the victor is, you are the loser because both black & white remain divorced. If Americans can’t get along & Global Warming is an irreversible deal, I don’t have much hope for you or humans too much like viruses on Earth’s epithelial cells than a homo sapien. Do you have faith reunion happens and the opposite of order is entropy & distrust?

The martyrs & saints taught me how to sit and listen to the instruction manual of my body chanting resistance & ohm. I’ve killed them and they re-incarnate like Jesus, Moses & Moe. But, the inner-voice is alive and well unless I get Alzheimer's dis-ease and my true self is over-run by scared & forgetful voices.

The secret to life is shutting your trap when the trap wants closure & opening when the closet needs ventilation. Stop whining in your head and banging on the closet door since you hold the skeleton key. Don’t lock children in a closet with a broken light bulb. Don’t belt it out on your inner-child lest you take the leather to your own. Alcohol comes in many forms like sugar, procrastination, nymphomania, etc… It’s all addiction and dopamine and oxytocin. Once your inner-child is let out, inevitably they will head to a liquor store or a bud bar. The hardcore children are on H and coke.

Great if you got enough hugs & kisses when you were a tot. Not so great if your parents emotionally starved you and threw your voice down the cellar with the lights out. To these people, they will be vampires or lycans or witches to dopamine & oxytocin. There is a reason why alcoholics are also co-dependent. They will get pets & emotionally imprisoning relationships just like the good old days. What is good for the inner-child is good for the door.

How do we prevent ourselves from becoming our parents when our neurons are hard-wired with their old-fashioned code? The odds are not good if you hate your inner-child or ignore your real children. Even if you love your inner-child and tot, how do you know that you are not over-compensating? Cruel to your parenting as your parents did to you whether as a reactionary or patriot?

That’s where shutting-up that colicky inner-child will come in handy. Ear-plugs only make the beast growl louder. Dispense with the pleasantries & your mastery over your genome. Please refer to dog behavior manuals rather than man’s psychology books because it is still a man’s world for a century more at least. You’ve still got time & the sun is high. Once you get over your hunger for dopamine & hugs, then the labor begins. You are giving birth to your inner-child. My pre-labor positive pains lasted for 2 scores until I realized they were not negative as everyone told me with their submissive missing peace(s).

Congrats, you are no longer in pre-labor. You are in spiritual gestation. But, this time, it will last longer than 9 months. Let’s hope your inner-child isn’t still-born or an alcoholic preemie. If your inner-child dies by fratricide or starvation, do you die as death-row inmates do endlessly, each day fresh as despair, fate & milkweeds?

When I act like Fred or Ginger Rogers to my immigrant inner-child instead of like Kim Il Sung’s shining grandson, then perhaps my inner-child won’t shoot up my veins seeking wine like a vampire or decimating 3 generations before & after. Depression is not a personal weakness, it is a societal weakness because of a broken contract unmended since the agricultural revolution.

Positive pain is a foreign concept in our upside-down, backward race. Isn’t that why the rich women get epidurals while Nigerian mothers do it behind the bushes without drugs other than life’s natural high? Because the rich believe the ads that “I am worth it” while South African women whine without getting drunk on themselves.

You are all in good company, most will opt to have a C-section for their inner child rather than experience God’s glory without being chemically drunk. Ask your nurse if you could hold your hungry darling for the first time sober or as an alcoholic like your underweight newborn.

After a half-century in the closet, I’ve made my inner-child a diabetic with ADHD and general cruelty as taught to me by my parents, my skool, my family, & my nation. It’s time to listen to my body united rather than as my parents, my siblings, my friends commanding me to step inside; still impressionable, still gullible, still wishy-washy.

It’s been fifty years of hiding behind the curtain, in front of the closet keyhole, waiting for someone to open the door. While I was eloping with Dopamine & Serotonin, my kingdom crumbled except for the throne I want to abdicate & the closet standing grandly above the rubble of my wasted years.

Let your inner-child out if you want to discover your voice, your eyes, and 7 senses. Let your inner-child out if you don’t want your children to lock themselves in their bedroom closets. Some are pushed in and some rush into safety not knowing it’s a one-way trip.

Make the most of your romance either with your partner or boogie with your pale child innie or outie. The ticket is for one belly dance, but your partners can be infinite. Magic & skeleton keys are not supplied & are often closer than they appear. Finally, no one else is going to twist it for you and make you authentically U.

Cannonball! Make a splash for yourself, your lovely children & your liberated inner-love in NICU taking their first breaths. Remember to breathe & rise to the surface. Keep your children away from rock bottom, deep waters, closets & booze. Keep them growing healthy & trusting despite the terror in romance & nostalgia.