How does slavery continue to destroy secure childhood attachment today?

Chattel slavery kept mothers and babies in bondage for centuries, so it’s important to explore how it still impacts our community today. Frederick Douglass was an iconic African American abolitionist, writer, speaker, and statesman. Born into slavery in Talbot County,  Maryland around 1818, he escaped in 1838 and became one of the leading voices in the fight against slavery and injustice. In his book, ‘Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave.’ he speaks on enslaved mothers.

‘My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant, before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom in the part of Maryland to part children from their mothers at a very early age. Frequently before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care of an old woman, too old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child’s affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child.’

Enslaved mothers were also forbidden to breastfeed their own children in order to wet nurse the enslavers children. This plantation pattern may contribute to the research which shows black women in the UK and the US breastfeed less than other groups today. These early broken attachments along with the constant threat of being abused, sold or killed during enslavement kept both parents and their children traumatised and therefore unable to form healthy attachments.

Without support, the attachment wounds will continue to play out intergenerationally until someone in the family steps up to do the inner work to end the cycle of attachment pain in their own relationships and parenting. Are you ready to do the deeper inner work?

Changing patterns?

The things that kept us soothed and safe as children in dysfunctional families can block us from what we need as adults. Journaling can help us identify any recurring patterns, beliefs, and behaviours that no longer serve us. Exploring these experiences compassionately can give us clarity on how the past continues to bleed into the present and reveal what healing support we need for the future.


This week’s heartwork: Reflect on the coping mechanisms you developed as a child to navigate difficult emotions, situations and/or family dynamics. Are there any patterns or behaviours from childhood that you still find yourself repeating as an adult?


If you found this heartwork valuable and would like to explore deeper healing, there are additional journal prompts available free in the Sista Sanctuary.  Click here to join the sistahood today.

What exactly does justice for your inner child mean?

One of the most powerful aspects of my work is holding space for a client’s inner child to emerge. It can take a while before this younger part of ourselves feels safe enough to come out from where they’ve been hiding. Sometimes I’ll need to slow them down from intellectualising and using words to cover their pain.

When I sense her little one coming, we pause. We breathe…… and silence becomes a tender invitation. 

Often in this moment the words are replaced with tears. And we just sit…. 

I’ll gently reassure but the space is hers, at her pace to reveal to me and the client’s adult self what she needs….. 

This is just a small example of what inner child justice looks like in session. I hear so many stories from clients holding painful family secrets, lies, and betrayal that hold them hostage and unable to stand in their greatness. 

Justice for your inner girl means finding reparative spaces and allowing yourself to receive the love, care and support you didn’t get growing up. Building a family or choice with pseudo aunties, siblings and big sista’s who can hold you through the vulnerabilities of doing this work and beyond is crucial. You deserve to flourish, thrive and be free from the burdens of your past. 

Are you ready to create space for your inner girl? 


Shut Your Inner Critic Up!

Journaling is a powerful tool to unpack, explore and change the relationship with your inner critic which is often in our unconscious chattin’ sh*t. Understanding the intersections of racism, oppression and gender within your family of origin or wider society is an important starting point to explore how we internalise the negative messages at a young age to become our inner critic. 


The goal is not to hate that part of yourself, but to build a relationship with it so it no longer dominates your thinking or sabotages your future choices. 


This week’s heartwork: Tune into the voices of your inner critic. What messages do you hear from this critical voice, and where/who do you think they originated from in your childhood? Does your inner critic treat your inner child the way your parents treated you?

If you found this heartwork valuable and would like to explore deeper healing, there are additional journal prompts available for free in the Sista Sanctuary.

Click here to join the sistahood today.


If you’re hysterical, it’s historical! 5 Inner child wounds you need to heal.

If you’re hysterical, it’s historical! I first heard this phrase in recovery and it helped me explore how my past was leaking into my present.  

If you were hurt as a child without having a safe adult to support and soothe you, you may have buried these layers of pain to cope. If you struggle to love yourself or be in healthy relationships and friendships, it may be your buried childhood wounds being activated. The healing process means educating ourselves with not just what happened to us, but the impact it has on our adult lives so today, I want to share five types of inner child wounds.

1.Abandonment: When a child feels neglected, or unloved by caregivers, this leads to feelings of insecurity, rejection, and fear of abandonment in adulthood.

2.Betrayal: When a child’s trust is violated by caregivers or significant others through deception, dishonesty, or broken promises, this leads to adult, relational mistrust.

3.Humiliation: When a child is shamed, belittled, or ridiculed by caregivers or authority figures it sets up feelings of worthlessness and a fear of being judged or criticised as an adult.

4.Rejection: When a child is invalidated, dismissed, or not accepted by caregivers or peers, this feeds feelings of inadequacy, shame and fear of rejection.

5.Injustice: When a child experiences unfair treatment, injustice, or victimization by caregivers, peers, or societal systems, this  can lead to self hatred, anger and a sense of powerlessness as an adult. 

Racism, anti-blackness, patriarchy and other oppressive systems, are the abusive, toxic ‘social parents’ that add additional wounding to each of these layers. Healing involves acknowledging, decolonising and processing these early experiences to reframe the relationship with ourselves, others and our culture.

What does inner child work mean for black women? 

If you’re ready to start doing your inner child work, click here to join the Sista Sanctuary where this month’s theme is Justice for Your Inner Child.