Emotional wounds can cause just as much (and sometimes more) pain than physical wounds. Wounds can keep you from a positive, accurate sense of self, which may further lead to a downward pattern of low self-esteem. Unlike memories, traumas do not fade with time. When a wounded warrior focuses on a past emotional wound, he/she will experience the pain of the wound with the same intensity as when it first happened. The following are some categories of emotional wounds. Your wounds may not clearly fit one category but may be a combination of some of these categories.
These self-inflicted emotional wounds are the result of selfish, foolish or impulsive decisions that lead to painful consequences. What makes these wounds even more painful are that we have nobody but ourselves to blame for them.
Words of discouragement, rejection or ridicule can inflict wounds that are as painful as physical wounds. These words can inflict emotional wounds that steal our confidence and stand in the way of our dreams.
Most people like to feel that they are respected. When someone is excluded, humiliated or attacked by other people it usually results in painful emotional wounds. As much as the person may try to act tough and tell themselves that they should not care, the pain experienced is real. Hurtful treatment by other people takes its toll on us whether we are willing to admit it or not.
To be rejected, disrespected or injured by family members can be especially painful. Most of us expect our parents, spouses and children to be supportive. When they turn against us the emotional pain experienced is intense.
At times, people feel let down or mistreated by their church, clergy, fellow believers or God Himself. Spiritual wounds can lead to an overwhelming sense of spiritual loneliness and depression. It is natural to feel that if someone hurts us they must be against us, and who can stand against God? People with spiritual wounds often feel as if they are living under a curse.
Financial wounds are particularly severe for men. In many cultures, the ability to provide for one’s family’s basic needs is an important part of what it means to be a man. Going through financial crises and having to rely on others for financial assistance can make a man feel as though he has not met one of life’s central obligations. This could lead to intense feelings of guilt, humiliation, and self-reproach.
People often get their identity from the work that they do. Wounds cut deep when a person is fired or laid off from their job. Occupational wounds can also occur because a person feels as though they are stuck in a dead-end job or just do not like the work they are doing. A person’s sense of identity also takes a hit when they feel harassed, ignored, marginalized, abused or powerless at work.
Your emotional wounds may not always be obvious to you because they are often buried deep beneath your feelings. You may only be aware of a deep, overwhelming, anonymous ache with a cloud of emotions surrounding it. These emotions can often confuse the thinking and blur the judgment of the wounded warrior. If you think that you may be a wounded warrior and your wounds are stopping you from reaching your potential, seek help immediately from a trustworthy counselor, pastor or psychologist.
The Wounded Warrior: A Survival Guide for When You’re Beat Up, Burned Out, or Battle Weary by Dr Steve Stephens