This article does not include or address any physical or intentional emotional abuse—because there’s no excuse or acceptable reason for that, ever.
Unfortunately, there’s a pretty predictable path a child takes after experiencing emotional wounding from a parent.
Not discussing the “HORRIBLE” stuff
Today, I’m talking about the other stuff no one wants to talk about, the emotional words that sting, the labels that ridicule, and the assumptions that prevent growth that wounded you as a child. Holly Harcourt stated this in an Instagram post.
“Unhealed childhood trauma manifests itself as fixing others, codependency, people pleasing, external validation needed, living on high alert, fear of abandonment, deprioritizing your own needs, need to prove yourself, tolerate abusive behavior, attracts narcissistic partners, difficulty setting boundaries.”
We’d all love to ignore the damaging triggers and wounds of childhood.
We all wish ignoring the wounds would dissolve our pain into nothingness so it could fade away.
Even at my age, (which my great-nephew says is older than dirt,) I still carry bits and bunches from that list; we all do. And we all have to release our pain to move past it.
No parent sets out to plant a trigger or create a life-long wound inside their child’s psyche.
No child wants to feel the pain that arrives when a parent’s stinging words label their basic nature.
Nobody wants that pain; it taints how we see our entire world.
On some level, we all want to blame our parents for our pain.
However, the person who gifted you with your wounds, labels, and triggers was also wounded. The words they unconsciously used that wounded you came from the wounds they received as a child.
When people aren’t guided through the steps and skills needed to address their “big feels”
at an early age, they receive no repeated practice with the life skills required to be in relationships with others. Instead, when they have kids, they tend to repeat what was done to them because they have nothing to replace it with.
And there you have it, another generation impacted by pain that comes from the wounds of a previous generation. No parent wants that to continue into their child’s generation.
None of us can see clearly or find the right words when triggered by an emotional event.
Most of us find it difficult to say and do the appropriate thing when immersed in the pain from our childhood wounds.
Many believe their parenting will automatically differ from their parent’s because they’re from a different generation. As a result, it rarely occurs to them that their wounds will surface once they become triggered by correcting their child’s behavior.
Why am I talking about this today?
Because the job of parenting itself has a role to play in your emotional growth, parenting has the uncanny ability to be a tripwire for your wounds so you can see them from another point of view, the parental point of view.
That new point of view increases the possibility of forgiving our parents. —Keep reading before you decide I’m nuts.
I never wanted to forgive my parents for my wounds until the day when someone asked me, “How would you feel if your kids never forgave you for the mistakes you made while parenting them?” I began tearing up as I realized we all make mistakes that stem from our wounds, and errors are there for us to learn from!
I know it’s hard to accept that the loved ones who labeled you, shamed you, and blamed you were wounded too. It’s wonderfully horrible, as my dear friend says.
Can I fix your wounds for you?
Nope. Your wounds are yours and yours to release, and I can promise you that you’ll experience a deep sense of freedom once you release the pain you’ve been carrying with you for years.
What I can do is support you and your kids by providing ways to bridge the gap between being triggered and responding mindfully without compromising your line in the sand. I get it and have been where you are.
That was a big one! And, is all I wanted to share today.
Happy post-Thanksgiving. Now, go hug your kids.