Part II The Root of Your Emotional Pain:
The Inner Child Wounds of Betrayal, Humiliation & Injustice
How do you know if you have an Inner Child wound? In my experience of having worked with hundreds of clients so far, inner child wounds show up through feeling disconnected from our self, often having co-dependent relationships, irrational fears, resentment, grief, addictions, not feeling good enough, and traumas that never seem to heal or go away.
Previously I discussed the first two wounds of abandonment and rejection.
The third inner child wound of betrayal has some similarities to the first two wounds mentioned above because they are all about separation, loss, and broken trust. However, each one has a distinct energy about it and of course we can be carrying more than one of these wounds at a time.
The wound of betrayal stems from feeling betrayed as a child usually from a parent or someone very important to them where their trust was violated.
Some examples include parents or caregivers not following through with commitments/promises; being talked to with cruelty; abuse; parents not taking responsibility, parents or caregivers may have pried into your journal or private things or shared information about you with someone else or used against you something you shared with them privately. A parent may have left you in the care of someone who harmed you physically, emotionally, or sexually.
As a result, this child grows up feeling emotionally unsafe, blaming themselves, being overwhelmed with guilt and shame, and/or engaging in self destructive impulses including binge eating, substance abuse or overuse, self-harm and compulsive behaviours.
At a deep level, people carrying the betrayal wound are afraid that someone they have trusted may let them down or turn on them.
What steps can you take?
The Fourth Inner Child Wound of Humiliation
Humiliation is an uncomfortable emotion to discuss and rarely talked about; but its impact is devastating to one’s soul.
Humiliation is defined as the emotion you feel when your status is lowered in front of others. It is born out of a perceived unjustified shaming and causes intense hate. We know from research that humiliation plays a central role in victimization and therefore it’s important to explore it further as a core inner child wound.
We associate humiliation with powerlessness, loss of dignity, helplessness, weakness, and torment.
This wound can be caused by a childhood history of ridicule, oppression, criticism, blame, judgment, being compared to others, being bullied and/or witnessing someone you love being humiliated.
The wound of humiliation can prevent you from achieving success and enjoying life.
Consider the following reflective questions: Are you ashamed of your body, your appearance, or the way you behave? Do you choose partners who humiliate or belittle you? Do you feel you may never achieve anything?
Do you feel guilty for allowing yourself certain pleasures or not doing enough for others? Do you find yourself giving too much to others, even setting aside your own wants and needs in the hopes that they recognize and appreciate your work, but this never happens?
Were you as a child, made to feel guilty or ashamed for asking for things and feeling that you are not deserving? Do you try to over-give to be “good”? Do you struggle to set emotional boundaries with people close to you and accept disrespect from your partner or family members or peers? Do you feel unworthy? Do you struggle to fit in and be understood?
If a few of the above resonate with you, you’re possibly suffering from a humiliation wound.
This emotional wound activates shame, guilt, people pleasing, and rage.
Humiliation dehumanises people often to the point that they lose themselves, and they lose any sense of pleasure, or the ability to feel happiness.
At the heart of this wound, the person fears being seen as weak, holds a lot of rage and hatred – but underlying these emotions is a deep sadness. This person may feel small and invisible or may be on the other end of the spectrum where he or she exploits the so-called weaknesses of others and cruelly bullies them to feel better.
As its quite complex, it is the most difficult wound to recognize in ourselves and therefore it’s important to explore the aforementioned questions with a skilled practitioner.
This wound can be healed if you, as an adult, become aware of it and the defense mechanisms you developed to compensate for it – either being small-invisible or humiliating others to feel better.
Begin to listen and attend to your own needs, stop excessively worrying about others, and adopt a positive internal dialogue in which you don’t compare or humiliate yourself. Allow yourself to simple be yourself. Release any guilt that your inner child is holding on to. Work on setting healthy boundaries. Adopt a mindset that you are worthy of being loved and become aware of your value.
The Fifth Inner Child Wound of Injustice
That’s a big one that many of us can relate to.
I want to highlight that it is essential in our extreme unequal world, that we inform us about social justice issues because we all have a responsibility to be aware and to take aligned action in our own small way to make our better a more beautiful and compassionate place.
But often our drive for justice and human rights comes from a place of suffering within us that then clouds our perception and actions. As a result, we end up fuelling more fear and judgment in the world rather than elevating consciousness and spreading love.
For example, my passionate commitment to social justice and economic, racial, gender, disability and sexual equity was driven by the fact that I am a Palestinian woman whose parents were dispossessed of their lands and whose people have been brutally oppressed.
But as long as I did not address my own passed down suffering from my parents, my efforts were always tainted with suffering, victimization, fear, closed heartedness and a sense of powerlessness. When I started to do ancestral healing through EFT and Matrix Reimprinting, the new energy I brought to these causes was much lighter, more compassionate, creative and came from my love for humanity. That’s why I urge people to work on their core wounds because they hide our light and disconnect us from our true selves and our humanity.
Coming back to the wound of injustice…while it could occur at any age, it marks us more deeply when it occurs in our childhood where we start to form our belief system about ourselves and the world and that is what I will be focusing on below.
The wound of injustice stems from childhood because of perceived immorality (what we think is bad and evil), unfairness, abuse, or generally unfair treatment whether in the home or in the surrounding environment whether it’s at school or related to the political oppressive situation of the country.
It is never the objective event or situation that impacts us but how we subjectively interpret and experience those situations that then mark us.
The Injustice wound arises from the following behaviours (I am emphasizing family or social settings, but it can apply to political situations too where there are human rights abuses):
As a result, someone carrying the wound of injustice will strongly fear any of the following:
This wound often shows up as one struggling with power or control issues in relationships with others and/or distrust of institutions that symbolise power and authority such as the legal system, the police, the state, healthcare professionals, etc.
They may care deeply about specific injustice issues or feel very affected when there is a perceived injustice. They may also feel they are defective and weak, and that people will always target them.
Steps to start to heal this wound:
Love & Peace to All,