Chapter 2: Discovering Your Wounds
“A wound can be described as the button that gets pushed, the trigger, the reaction, the gut feeling that catapults me back into an old feeling or pattern of action. It is the “same damn thing” feeling, an automatic response, a knee jerk reaction that triggers the patterns or ruts we find ourselves in.” These wounds are a common reason for distress in couple relationships, parenting difficulties, as well as struggles with anxiety and depression. As the common wisdom states, acknowledging your wound is the first step to healing and beginning new patterns. To learn more, read the chapter below. Below is a summary of Chapter 2:
Chapter 2: My Wounds, as Best as I know them Now
We each have a wound or two because that is the nature of being human; it’s life. It isn’t our fault! There are no perfect parents. In concert with major psychological developmental theories, like cognitive behavioural therapy, or attachment theory, these wounds are developed within us by the time we are 2-5 years of age. Aspects of these wounds will be firm characteristics and enduring qualities. Wounds might be lifelong depression or anxiety. When each of us left home, we packed these wounds along with our clothes. The wounds travel with us, even if we moved thousands of miles away from home to “get away from” dysfunctional families of origin. This can be named unfinished business of the developmental stages or unresolved issues of the road to interdependence or skewed attachment patterns. These are the “holes in the sidewalk” of our relationships that we can tend to fall into from time to time, a repetition of old habits. This period of relationship development stretches anywhere from age 15 to 25, and often this can stretch until the age of 45. For the most part, we do not see these wounds until later in life or when we are immersed in a mid-life crisis. Maybe we need couple therapy or marriage counselling to notice these wounds. On this road to relationship development, there are no mistakes, only lessons, until we come to see and accept ourselves as we really are. A mature sense of self is in place when we can look in the mirror and accept and love ourselves as we are. These are my wounds, as best as I know them at this stage.
Wounds are not big deep psychological problems that need psychiatrists to heal them. I am not talking about mental disorders like post traumatic stress disorder. Wounds can overtake us like a mood, a persona, a feeling, an automatic reaction. Wounds are like old tapes; blueprints of our past; road maps that have guided us, nay, staggered and muddled us, to this moment. Wounds are our unmanageability, or an addiction. To change our blueprints is a very daring and creative act. A wound can be described as the button that gets pushed, the trigger, the reaction, the gut feeling that catapults me back into an old feeling or pattern of action. It is the “same damn thing” feeling, an automatic response, a knee jerk reaction. Wounds are hidden in the character defects we have: some are concealed, others are just ignored, but our baggage always catches up with us and, eventually, we are forced to unpack the suitcase and take another look, up close and personal, at the baggage we brought with us from home. Counselling services or psychotherapy can help as we unpack our wounds.