Every single one of us has had a deep hurt within at some time in our life. For some, this involved the loss of a loved one. For others, abuse, bullying or neglect may have occurred. We may have been innocent victims or active participants in the difficult circumstances, Nevertheless, the pain continues, and we may feel like prisoners of the past events and the negative emotions that remain.
How we respond to the hurts is a very individual choice. Some people:
1. Lash out and rebel – They may try to protect themselves by hurting others before they can be hurt again. Using violence or emotional and mental abuse might be their way of trying to control the world around them.
2. Re-enact the trauma – They swear that they will never do to others what was done to them but then are horrified when they realize they are doing it. History can repeat itself.
3. Blame – Some identify targets and then assign responsibility for their situation – even when it isn’t justified.
4. Withdraw – Sometimes pushing down the emotions and refusing to talk about the past seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, the pain is still there and can fester so that the individual doesn’t find resolution or healing.
5. Hold onto negative emotions – Guilt is when you think you made a mistake. Shame is when you think you are a mistake. Fostering these will lead to health and identity issues.
6. Escape – Using alcohol, drugs or process addictions can be a way of numbing out the hurt. In time, however, they lead to additional problems.
7. Get stuck- Many assume a victim role where they are unable to let go of the past or move forward in a healthy manner.
8. Re-create the memories – They ignore or completely forget the difficult events and pretend that life was more positive than the reality of what they experienced.
9. Become crusaders – Rather than focus on their personal and family responsibilities, many are passionate about reforming the world and protecting others from becoming hurt.
10. Heal – Those who adopt self-care practices, develop positive relationships and learn how to deal with the hurts will not only enjoy life more but also be inspiration for others.
Sometimes, when we are physically hurt, a band-aid is all we need. More serious injuries may require hospitalization, surgeries or rehabilitation programs. Emotional and mental problems also need to be acknowledged and treated. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean that they aren’t there or will disappear if we ignore them.
Recently Prince Harry of England disclosed the fact that he tried to ignore his mental health issues for twenty years. When he finally admitted that he was having problems because of this and began working with a psychologist, he was able to move forward in a healthier way.
Psychologists are trained and experienced in helping people deal with hurt and pain. Having a safe and confidential place to share is an important part of the healing process.
You do not need to feel that you are alone in your struggles. You are only one phone call away from starting on a new path towards peace.