Hurt People Really Do Hurt People
The relationship begins, one man and one woman, both professing their undying love for each other. Neither does so with the intent of hurting the other. However, often, one or both exhibit destructive behaviors that cause emotional pain for the other person. Because of the behavior(s), one of three things happens: they choose to work through the issue, they mutually decide to part ways or one decides they don’t want to work the problem out and the relationship ends. Unfortunately, when one of the latter two is the choice, both people enter into another relationship and the cycle repeats.
We come into this world with an egocentric view of the world. Infants learn that if they cry, mom and dad will come to either feed or pick us up. That Aunt Suzy will give them candy if they throw a tantrum. We learn that everything is about us. However, with maturity comes the understanding that we can’t have everything we want when we want it. It is also learned that everything we do, positive or negative, has consequences that affects others.
We’ve all heard that age old adage that hurt people hurt people and it is true! The truth is more meaningful when those doing the hurting admit that they are hurting and the reason(s) why. Yet, that egocentric part of their psyche does not allow them to stop, reflect and act on the reasons they are hurting.
I’ve talked to countless people who are dragging around the pains of their past relationships. These people have been hurt deeply by those who, at one time, professed to love them. Many are walking around with scabbed over war wounds caused by love, or a misplacement of love, that seeps of hurt and pain. Some are aware of this wound, but aren’t quite sure how to go about healing it and so, they choose to ignore it. Others want the pain to stop and go down many different avenues to mask it. They try to drink it away, use drugs to temporarily escape that gnawing at their soul or try sexing it away. The last, according to psychologist Erik Fromm, releases a chemical similar to that found in many drugs. Once the euphoria of the act wears off, often after a few days, they repeat the cycle. Some seek counseling because society has led them to believe that if the issue is talked out, the pain will go away. However, talking it out is only part of the healing process…
To get to the root cause of those deeply set emotional wounds, men and women must be willing to look at themselves on the rawest level. THAT process is painful because it requires a visit to the deepest recesses of their soul. Once there, it is necessary to acknowledge where the most painful times occurred in life. That crusted over sore will heal if there is a commitment to do the work and blatant honesty with themselves. It might crack open a time or two during the process, but it will heal.
The question, once committed to the journey of healing, becomes, “Where do I begin?” Research shows that the relationship problems experienced as adults began somewhere in childhood. The relationship had with the primary caregiver(s) is very telling about how romantic relationships unfold as adults. Was there an absent parent? Was either caregiver too domineering? Both scenarios affect romantic relationships. If the primary caregiver(s) abused,
neglected or abandoned us, the result is avoiding attachment in adult romantic relationships. Many adults avoid attachment as a way to protect themselves from being abused, abandoned or neglected by their partner. Yet, such caution actually makes the individual more vulnerable for one or all three to happen.
When issues arise in the relationship, the fight or flight survival instinct is triggered. This naturally occurring response causes the individual to run far away from the issue/circumstance/situation. The problem in that approach is that nothing changes. No, instead an aftermath of hurt people are left in our path to sift through their pain.
When the trigger is identified it is necessary to look at it from every angle, admit what the feelings had and why, then forgive the person or persons who inflicted the hurt early in life. When I did that, they were difficult discussions to have, however, the release of the weight that bogged me down for so long was lifted. I was finally able to move past it. The next step was reassuring myself, through daily affirmations, that I was lovable, my life has purpose, the hurt I’d been carrying around for so long didn’t define me and was not really my issue.
Not going through the process hinders your growth as a person and every relationship will suffer because you’re not fully present in it. Men and women can’t be vulnerable and transparent with another person if they cannot be vulnerable and transparent with themselves. They cannot wholly love another until some time is spent loving on and healing their emotional self. The process is worth it in the end. Looking back on it not only gives a sense of accomplishment, but also an opportunity to share with someone else going through the same thing. Finally, every experience, positive or negative, adds a level of wisdom, understanding and growth for our life and future relationships. Choosing to discard our emotional baggage allows joy, happiness and peace to flow through us. Become that person who loves instead of hurts.
Editor La Femme Magazine