Let’s Talk About Parental Wounds

I feel this subject is one we can all relate to, as all of us have parents/primary caregivers. Today I will focus on that mark, that imprint our parents or primary caregivers leave on us–ideas, conditionings, dogmas, limiting thoughts, which without realizing, subconsciously we absorb as children. Please know this article is not to judge all parents as bad, or that all parents or primary caregivers have a toxic motivation–not at all, most parents have simply grown up with the same conditionings, gifts and limitations they try to teach us; most parents do the best they can with what they were handed down psychologically. In no way would I ever label the wounds parents indirectly leave on their children as monstrous, for they are not the same as the wounds imposed consciously by parents who are outright abusive. Pain is pain; it is important to recognize this; but the depth and repercussions of the pain varies according to the situation.

Children are in many ways mirrors to their parents; they reflect the good and bad–often but not always, boys reflect the father and girls reflect the mother. As such, when a child is denied love, is mistreated, abused–specially by the same sex parent– the wound tends to leave a deep imprint on the psyche, body (cellular memory level) and soul.

Parents who don’t want to look at areas of their lives they have not yet healed, do their children a great disfavor, for rather than loving from a genuine place, they show love from their false ego. When raising from false ego, it becomes very important for them to escape their wounds by raising “proper” children. Children whom they will try to push to be overachievers; causing unnecessary stress on the mind of a child, who although young, subconsciously understands that the love he or she is being given is conditional, and it will only last for as long as one is willing to give up self. Their unique being is sacrificed in exchange for feeding the false ego of their parents–which can only mean, love cannot be trusted…a sad lesson to learn.

Of course there is a balance to take into consideration; one which should come as the child ages. We cannot treat a toddler the way a 8 year old is treated, nor treat an 8 year old the way a teenager is treated, nor treat a teenager the way an adult child needs to be treated. As a child grows, he or she develops more complex thinking patterns and gets better at understanding action and reaction….every action has a consequence–that is a healthy lesson; so long as it is applied intelligently and not through abuse.

Life has taught me that having children should be a conscious choice, not out of a desire to create the “perfect” family, duty, to escape our own loneliness, to prevent our relationship from dissolving or because one is getting older. To choose to have a child is a decision which should not be taken lightly, and one which is best to bring to fruition once we are feeling complete on our own. However, many of us have children for the reasons first presented; this doesn’t make us bad, it is immaturity, wounds or hope. Perhaps the motivation may be right but the readiness for such a responsibility may not be there. Regardless, most parents will fall in love with their child and try to do the best they can.

Our parents are our roots; as such, we try to get as close to them as possible. They are our center, and we as children become their magickal clay. If the parents are eager to deny their own trauma, then that clay may not be molded to its full capacity–the capacity is always there, it is whether or not the hands that mold it, can help guide it to take shape. I say magickal clay, because regular clay needs to be molded to the desire of the one doing the molding. On the other hand, magickal divine clay needs to only be guided and allowed to express itself, to take its own shape–for within it lies its unique pattern; it knows what it is and what it will become, it does not need to take the same shape as the one holding the mold.

Many parents when they fall in love with their child, they consciously or subconsciously tell themselves that they will do the good things they learned from their primary caregivers and will not repeat any of the bad things–that right there is the wrong motivation, and a sure sign we have not looked in or have not finished our process of healing. The more compassionate and more realistic attitude is recognizing that try as we may, we will fuck up one way or another–there are lessons that life will bring forth for us and our children, situations in which we are just part of a bigger development.

The other reality lies with our children; once grown, no matter how much they may think they will do things perfectly, they too will fuck up–and if they are willing to look at their own shortcomings, they will understand that their parents (most parents) did do the best they could–for everything in this life goes in cycles and what we give in, we will get back.

Our children will not be children forever; at some point they too will want their independence. If we raise them hating those we feel hurt us, chances are they will do the same thing to us because that is what they were taught. With this said, there are times in which you may have had to severed some or all of your roots due to abuse (not mistakes, no difference of opinions…but physical and psychological abuse)…it is best then to be open with your child, without demonizing those responsible. You may still wrestle with the trauma, you may still hurt deeply–that is yours, it is not your child’s to carry--loving your child means teaching them about boundaries without putting on them more than they can handle. Be open and honest with them but never teach them hate or a false sense of forgiveness; never burden them with things their minds aren’t ready to handle–hence I mentioned that choosing to have a child should be a conscious choice.

I grew up with what is called the maternal wound; when your mother rejects you and her abuse is masqueraded as discipline. It took me years to understand many things, and I still wrestle with the pain. However; as chaotic as I can feel and be at times, maturity is knowing that she wasn’t born that way, she became that way based on her own wounds…wounds which she and her own family rather hide than face–that which we deny controls us, and will expressed itself in more twisted ways.

I don’t hate my mother, but I had to choose to cut all ties with her because the behavior still there, and that is not something I can work with nor something I want my children close to. I also try to apply something my grandfather raised me with; no matter what, the people you are to be honest with at all times are your family. Only you can CHOOSE who is part of your family (family isn’t based on family ties) –once chosen, you don’t ever hide your true nature from them–this builds trust. No matter how much you may screw up, if you have trust with your loved ones, you have gold. My girls know to the best of their capacity (again, you don’t want to burden kids with more than they can handle) why I have no contact with many of the old roots, but they don’t carry hate; that to me is very important.

As parents we need to keep working on ourselves, with gentleness. We will screw up, so next time we try to do better. Learn not to hide when you screw up as a parent, explain it and move on. Parents who pretend to be perfect, expect perfection from their children….guess what? those children will screw up… it is natural, it is human.

Some parents out of guilt over a mistake will let their children do anything; that isn’t love….that is your guilt and your own unresolved wounds. Being open does not mean a parent lets a child take the reins of the relationship; you may think you are being good in doing this, but in reality you are taking the anchor away. Children are not mentally mature to take the reins of their own life; the roles cannot be inversed–this is why being compassionate with yourself is very important, it helps you maintain the reins of the relationship.

Giving most, if not all control to children, usually ends up in teaching the child to punish, to manipulate and to resent…for no child wants to be the parent–no matter what modern paradigms are trying to implement. There is a very vast difference between guiding; which gives room for self expression vs. taking the seat of the passive parent, who allows the child to grow without the solid anchor he needs to feel secure–an anchor which can only come from primary caregivers. Just like disciplining a child, doesn’t mean abuse your child or create “perfect” little robots; loving your child and giving room for self expression, doesn’t and should not equate to letting your child rule the “nest”.

Another thing we need to learn is to be congruent with our kids. This is much easier when we allow them to see that we too are human…when we are compassionate with ourselves. It is harder to be congruent if we raise from false ego; in other words masks. No wonder then, when we screw up, we hide it…thinking this will solve everything. The reality is that children are smarter than we give them credit for and they don’t learn from what we say, they learn from what we do. You can raise your child with all the nicest of words and dogmas, but if your actions show only hate, then guess what??? that child will become an adult who at his or her best will be passive aggressive– at his or her worst, will hate.

Anger is a powerful energy, which can be used for our development or our own destruction; it can serve you or you can serve it. I was raised with the belief that anger when properly channeled can do wonders for us. When we feel anger, or sadness, or any of the so called negative emotions, is when we are being provided the best opportunity to teach our children how to handle it….don’t bury it, don’t pretend it isn’t there. You may think you are doing your child a favor, but let me ask you something: that child will one day become an adult, when that adult gets hurt, or gets angry, or sad, or rejected or God knows what, do you really want them to hide???? Do you want them to suppress??? Did doing so felt good for you? Why then teach your child such a thing?….aren’t we human? Do we not have good and bad days? Will we not fail at times and make mistakes? Should our children hide and self punish? Wouldn’t it be better for them to learn; from watching us; to be compassionate with themselves?…learning that each day, each moment, is another opportunity to do it better.

I don’t know about you, but as imperfect and flawed as I am, I rather have my girls know its okay to hurt. I rather have the peace of mind that when I ask if they are ok….they will tell me the truth; not hide out of a desire to remain perfect for me. I am not perfect, I don’t expect perfect…I expect human, and to be human is to be imperfect. I believe it is in owning those imperfections where our beauty resides. I believe it is then that we give the divine energy within us the best channel to express itself….reuniting human and divine.

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By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!

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