I am a Grown Up Wounded Child under Recovery

Grown Up Wounded Child

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I am a Grown Up Wounded Child under Recovery – Could you be too?

I lived my life, fought my battles, experienced my joys and pains without really wondering who I was or why I was doing things.

The first warning came in 2006, I was married and my first child was 4, I had an exciting job and made good money but I fell apart nevertheless. Anxiety and depression swamped me and I did a burnout. I took my medication, my shrink helped me a lot and I got back quite fast on my feet and started again my endless run for success and love. Then the second warning came, faster this time, when in 2013 I started again feeling the overwhelming anxiety and the first signs of depression coming back.

This time I decided to stop running and start looking a bit deeper at who I am and what I want. Late last year I stopped my job and put my company on hold and started reconnecting with something I really loved doing when I was 20 years old: Insight Meditation. I also started looking around a bit broader into both the spiritual and the psychological body of knowledge. I found Peter Gerlach’s website about Break the Circle that opened my eyes about a largely unexplored part of myself: I’m a Grown Up Wounded Child. Like many of us I had loving parents who were themselves grown up wounded children and despite giving me all the love and attention they could they left me with some traumas that I never worked out of my system and that drive a lot of my behaviour.

A child has fundamental needs that, if not met, will prevent a coherent and consistent self to develop. If, like me, you experience or experienced excessive shame, excessive guilt, excessive fear, reality distortion or trust issues culminating maybe in intimacy issues then you didn’t potentially have as much of a normal childhood as you think.

These symptoms can often be the expression of three main types of childhood traumas: abuse, neglect or abandonment. I will dedicate a blog post to those individually but let me summarise them here:

Abuse

Abuse is when an adult or responsible figure makes use of a child in order to fulfil his own needs to the expense of the needs of the child. There are many potential examples of this from the obvious sexual abuse to much more subtle ones like driving the behaviour of the child to have recognition from the community or shaming the child to please one own’s parent’s views.

Neglect

Neglect is when the adult doesn’t provide for the fundamental needs for love, tenderness, food or other fundamental physical or emotional needs of the child.

Abandonment

Abandonment is when the adult doesn’t provide the needed time and presence for the child to feel safe, protected and cared for either trough physical or psychological absence.

I’m building this website and connecting with people around this topic and the associated one of loving-kindness and compassion based spirituality because I share Peter Gerlach’s view that it’s time to Break the Circle and help Grown Up Wounded Children to heal so their children have a better start in life than we had. Even more importantly I start realising that my quest for making the world a better place needs to start with myself and this website is part of the catharsis I need to achieve that.

I will be publishing and referencing material both from BCT, Peter Gerlach’s work and from Buddhist psychology because those are the three I know something about and applied to myself. Remember though that the essential way or healing your wounds is to spend quite and honest time with yourself so pick your method and stick to it until it does the work for you but please, for the sake of yourself and the world, join me in trying to heal yourself.

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Walter

Founder at healing.ly
Spent years in the business world, now looking a bit more at myself and why I'm here and where I want to go. This blog shares my experience.

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Comments

    1. Walter

      Linda, thanks for your feedback. Do you suffer from the results as well? Excessive shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion and trust as well as intimacy issues?

      Reply
  1. David

    Wow, this really hit close to home. I’ve identified myself with all of those results and have taken it out on those closest to me who although I know I loved, I could not let in and done so much damage to.

    I am accessing this via my iPhone, is there anything else that I need to do to continue seeing your updates and posts? A subscribe button? I’m afraid I’m out of touch with social media!

    Reply
    1. Walter

      Hey David. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. You can subscribe to my Facebook page here: https://m.facebook.com/healingly/ and contact me via email at walter @ healing.ly I’m working on the mailing list now but it’s not yet done. Take care and have a look at Peter Gerlach’s breaking the circle website which is a goldmine for self-help for childhood trauma.

      Reply
  2. Drolma

    You are a rockstar, you know that? So open about very sensitive personal subjects! This is very courageous. I thank you, dear Waltika! 😉 The loss of your beloved mother is heart-wrenching. I felt almost sick, stopped reading and had to reassemble myself. A nine year-old losing mum like that. Pfff unbelievable.
    The wounds are relatable. I’m on my way to Breaking the Cycle.
    This is very helpful. Much luck to you and everyone who is healing! Xx

    Reply
    1. healingly

      Thanks so much for the kind feedback. What I’m trying to do with this blog and show that whatever bad things happen in life we need to face them and help others face them because when we run away from the pain we just stack up more pain for the future. Happy you are on your own healing path. Big hug.

      Reply
  3. Heiress Bunduki

    Well, I’m still young and developing myself… and by young, I mean in my early 20s. There’s still a lot that I nee yo learn and experience on my own. I grew up in a very secluded family. Although, I must say that I felt every word you wrote here as if I was the one experiencing.

    Reply
    1. healingly

      Don’t waste time living your family’s dreams for you or dwelling in self-criticism. Realize you are where you are and you can’t be anywhere else. Because of that reason it’s ok to be where you are. Now open your eyes and look at what’s coming your way. Take what feels good (even if you are scared of it), reject what feels bad (even if it’s very tempting). Build the discipline of your mind to sort out what your feelings tell you and act or not on them in a conscious way but don’t entertain destructive inner conversations with yourself. That would be my advice towards my 20 year old self that I remember from my 43 year old current self. Hugs.

      Reply
          1. Heiress Bunduki

            When you put it that way, you’re absolutely right. I needed this. Thank you so much. I have a feeling that I will look back at this one day and be utterly grateful.

I'm always curious about your views, please comment!