I’ve been a bit surprised by the amount of interest in this series on the wounds of our past, but definitely not shocked. I think this is an area that many couples struggle with and can relate to—realizing it brings with it much messiness and misery in marriage.
The first step I want to take in this series is to share one of my triggers that I connect to hurtful situations I had with my (now deceased) parents in childhood, and I’ll share at least one more next week.
But before I go on, please know that not all triggers can be traced to childhood OR to our parents. Sometimes we experience wounding circumstances like abuse, trauma or deprivation in adulthood or at the hands of other significant persons in our childhoods as well.
Also, realize that …
[Tweet “Identifying wounds/triggers is not about placing blame on my parents or yours. “]
[Tweet “Identifying wounds/triggers is about acknowledging damage done so you and I can heal.”]
Remember you can’t heal an emotional wound that isn’t acknowledged any more than you can heal a gangrenous physical wound that you deny is infected.
In fact, if you ignore that gangrenous physical wound you run the risk of losing a limb or dying from it! Gulp! Identifying, cleansing and treating that physical wound should become your number one priority!
It’s no different for our emotional wounds. You may not have lost a limb, but perhaps seriously damaged a relationship or allowed the love in your marriage to die because of your unaddressed wounds.
One of my triggers …
This trigger is related more so to my mother, but also involves my father. There were many occasions in my young childhood years when I felt neglected and overlooked primarily by my parents.
I came along much later in their lives and they were often busy with other more obvious or pressing concerns—including ministry since my father was a workaholic pastor. My mother was also ill much of my young childhood years and could not care for me as much as was sometimes needed. These are not excuses for my parents, but add valuable and necessary insight for me as an adult.
A twisted perception developed …
All of this added to a perception that I, alone, created in my naïve and childlike mind …
I could not understand why my parents did not listen to or care for me like they did for others in their lives. I was a child without the capacity to reason logically or see the entire perspective like an adult would, so faulty reasoning developed and was carried, sadly and often unconsciously, into my adulthood.
So whenever someone in my life today, like my husband, does not listen attentively to me or care “about” (not necessarily care for) my needs, I feel like that wound is struck all over again.
If you’ve ever had a physical wound, you know that for quite a while afterwards it’s more tender and raw than normal. It’s the same way with emotional wounds, except that the rawness can continue on for decades or even lifetimes.
That means that whenever my spouse triggers my wound, my reaction is much stronger than he expects and that can often trigger his childhood wounds as well. We then get into that proverbial “Crazy Cycle” that must also be acknowledged in order to stop the downward spiral.
One final thought on wounds …
The best way to find healing is not only to acknowledge and cleanse the wound, but to bring your wound to the Great Physician and Healer, Christ. I’ll be sharing more about how to specifically bring your wounds to Christ later in this series. So I hope you’ll keep coming back!
Can you identify one trigger from your past that continues to crop up in your present?
How do you feel about identifying your wounds? Do you fear that you’re only blaming your parents?
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