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Concept definition: The wounded reality is “a little self” also called “the inner child” that is created during past traumatic experiences which we were not able to resolve during the moments they occurred. All these experiences are recorded, and can remain as diffuse memories without connection to deep feelings, and can also remain in the subconscious – which while very difficult to recover, with conscious effort we may eventually have access to this material. In whichever the form this material is stored, it is always manifested through sensations in the body.
Purpose: The purpose is to overcome these traumatic episodes. Many of these episodes occurred when we couldn’t do anything about them due to our immaturity and dependence on the environment. It is a basic defense mechanism that is predesigned in our biology.
Childhood: The creation of this wounded reality can begin from the very moment of our birth, and continues through the fusion phase that includes the whole gestation period until about 9 months of age, and then continues through the stage of individuation (approximately from 9 months to 7-12 years). Between 7 and 12 years of age, depending on the individual, our wounded reality is “configured”, which means that the quality of the stored material will not vary much. From this moment what happens is that the traumatic material is added to the existing material according to their typology and similarity with experiences already stored, thus reinforcing the depth of the trauma. During this stage we are loosing increasingly our innate ability to be with our feelings in the present moment when they occur.
Adulthood: Generally from adulthood we have lost a good part of our connection to our wounded reality and we do not want to know anything about it nor do understand how to access it. This happens around the same time as when we settle in our personal subjective reality. Eventually the objective reality will bring us events that will detonate our wounded reality in such a way that our personal subjective reality can no longer compensate for the discomfort or awakened pain and we are forced to face our wounded reality. At this point it is possible that we can’t face it because we do not know how or because of the lack of support, which can cause us to become ill or end up so medicated that we become disconnected from our physiology.
When the objective reality brings a situation that is similar to some episodes experienced as traumatic in the past, this situation has the potential to produce an echo of the original wound of our interior. It is at this moment that our wounded reality is triggered.
Description: We can distinguish three great typologies of wounds which configure this reality.
WOUNDS OF FAILURE or ABANDONMENT. Basically when we needed something from our surroundings and did not receive it. This can be subdivided into the following wounds:
Abandonment: Physical failure of a parent or both, for an unlimited period of time, successive periods of time, or punctually. As human beings we need to feel the presence of our parents from whom we have inherited the genetic material. The people that can best replace these parents are the 4 grandparents (bearers of the same genetic material).
Deprivation: Lack of emotional presence of our caregivers (mother, father, figures of authority, etc …), and we did not have our own space to be able to share our feelings in a natural way.
Insecurity: Lack of clear messages about dangers, lack of positive reflections from our environment.
Distrust: Lack of coherence between what an adult said and what they did.
WOUNDS OF INVASION. Basically when we did not need anything from our environment and we received it. The following invasions can be typified:
Physical abuse: Aggression to the child’s physical integrity, any action that generates pain, however slight, in the child’s body. They can be explicit: lashes, blows, slapping, pinching, grabbing hard, pulling hair or ear, etc. They can also be implicit: any order that forces the boy or girl to go against their physiology or beyond their physical possibilities. For example: punishments by staying in a certain position, forcing to use the right hand when left-handed, excessive training in any discipline, etc.
Sexual abuse: Use of the child by an adult or pre-adult on a sexual level. It can be explicit: when there is a direct physical component, for example touching, penetration, oral sex, etc. It can also be implicit: viewing of sexual scenes, sexual intercourse, sexual energy directed towards the boy or the girl either in a conscious or unconscious way on the part of the adult. Exploration games between same age and maturity children, as they live them naturally among them.
Verbal abuses: When the adult expresses themself in a disrespectful way towards the child, either by the content or by the tone of voice with which he expresses himself: shouts, insults, etc.
Psychological Abuses: Any message, action or behavior that is not included in the abuses described above and that does not respect the child’s own living space as a human being. For example: overprotection, pressure, expectations, manipulation, blackmail, mixed messages, intimidation, threats, etc.
WOUNDS OF SHAME: When we feel that we are not welcomed or is unwanted, either explicitly (because they tell us) or implicitly. In these situations we generate a sense of guilt and responsibility, and we believe that we are inadequate, this is the basis of the wound of shame. There are so many experiences which can generate embarrassment and they are not specific it is impossible to summarize them here.
Other aspects of wounded reality:
Shock: Although it is not a wound in itself, it can be another consequence of a traumatic episode. One of the biological answers to stimulus which overwhelms us (abuse, abandonment at an early age, aggressive environment, etc.) is to enter into shock. Shock is the ability of our nervous system (sympathetic) to disconnect our consciousness from our body. This way it protects us from feeling all the pain the situation generates. The difficulty is that often the “danger” situation extends over time, which means that our state of shock can be maintained for very long periods of time and in the long run we are no longer aware of when we are in shock and when we do not. However being in a state of shock is not normal, and it keeps us in a trance without access to our true feelings as it disconnects us from our feelings. Possible consequences of this happening could be doing or not doing, saying or not saying things that are adequate and essential for our well-being.
Fear: Fear is the emotion that is born when there is a dangerous situation that may threaten our identity or our life. This makes us distinctly different from animals, since our sense of identity is often projected onto things, which in reality have nothing to do with us and are purely contextual of our objective reality (for example, identifying with a sports team). When we experience a situation that threatens our life this also generates fear and according to our internal structure and circumstances this may cause trauma.
Manifestation: Our wounded reality can manifest itself in two different ways. One way is when we live through the wounded child, meaning that we completely identify with him or her. The other way is the opposite, where we are totally disconnected from our wounded reality, acting with denying it (or so we believe). Both cases are the results of failure of awareness, and above all the failure of the adult to take responsibility for his / her wounded reality.
On a physiological plane: Our physiology remembers each of the wounds that could not be healed at the time. It is a physical memory that is expressed through physical sensations in the present moment.
On a mental level: We may or may not have access to the factual memories of the things that happened. Often due to the impossibility of remembering we create a mystification of what we lived (we minimize, modify, exaggerate, idealize our childhood, etc …).
On an emotional level: We can be connected in a healthy way with certain aspects of our emotions and in other aspects of our emotionality be totally disconnected. In most cases, the ability to have a connection with our emotions is a sign of responsibility.
What can we do with our wounded reality?
To leave things as they are is to walk around in a circle, and nothing will really change in our life. While we may perceive some improvement when we can change something to be in our favor, this change does not usually stay for long and we quickly revert to the same problems, disappointments, frustration, etc. because all actions which do not take into account our wounded reality will be in vain, as it is the root of personal subjective reality, as we saw in class 1 and 2.
The access to our inner child, our wounded reality, can be reached if several factors all come together at the same time:
Know our real history as far back as possible, without falling into the obsession of wanting to remember everything. It is more important to lift any veil of mystification, modification or exaggeration over the accessible memories than to try to remember by all means.
Be committed to staying open to feeling.
Not having goals or putting pressure to feel “right away”, it is a process of sensitization that takes time and for each individual is different.
Do not judge / criticize ourselves. If we do this, acknowledge it and see the effects that it has on our wounded reality.
Not wanting to change our inner child. He or she had no choice and could not have done any differently, therefore has no responsibility for what happened whatever it may be.
Understand that the one who has to take responsibility is the adult, not our inner child.
To become the father and mother of our inner child, they have nothing to do with our real father and our real mother.
We are the only ones who may know how our “little self” felt through the different experiences that happened, so it is only up to ourselves to restore our integrity (cease to be splitted in to pieces by living hidden behind our wounded reality).
Our wounded reality is the door to our depth, our sensitivity, our empathy and the ability to build intimate, deep and sincere relationships. It is vital to recover our real history. Once we welcome, integrate, and reconnect with our wounded reality we no longer need all the ruses of personal subjective reality to avoid the pains of the wounded reality. We then can finally begin to open ourselves to objective reality and start a new way of living. It is essential to reconnect with this reality in order to feel complete, alive, and FREE.
Guided meditations in audio: (coming soon)
1. Guided meditation for those who deny or isolate from their wounded reality. Meditation for those who merge and identify with their vulnerability.
2. Meditation for those who merge and identify with their vulnerability.
This post is also available on: Español