As an empath, we are naturally more sensitive to our own feelings & what's happening around us. It doesn't mean we are weak or overly sensitive but as kids, we naturally just feel things more deeply and read into the experiences we have & what other people are doing, more intensely.
Sometimes we get it right and we sense the things not spoken.
And sometimes we get it wrong because after all, we were kids.
But nonetheless, when we as empaths go through traumatic, stressful or painful experiences, the impact can weigh differently on us because we are so emotionally tuned into our experiences. Because we are so tuned in, we can also carry the weight of our Childhood Wounds in different ways, creating coping mechanisms, beliefs about the world & holding onto the emotional pain because we can't seem to understand WHY they happened.
So, I want to share with you the 4 major Childhood Wounds and how they specifically can impact you as an empath and what you can do to start unwinding those experiences.
(as a side note... just because an experience may not be as "bad" as someone else's or didn't impact another in the way it impacted you, doesn't mean it wasn't traumatic for you. Trauma is just anything that puts you in a state of distress & takes you away from your own sense of safety and self)
This is the wound that happens when our caretakers or family is not present either emotionally, physically or mentally. As an empath, we thrive on connection and even more so as kids because we are constantly tuning into our parents and family to make sure they are ok and present because when they are, we feel like we are ok & safe.
But when you have a caretaker who leaves, dies or doesn't show up for you and your needs, you can feel abandoned. Even if a caretaker leaves and comes back... you can still carry that wound. As an empath, it starts to make you question WHY they abandoned you and if something is wrong with you... "Was I not lovable? Not good enough? What's wrong with me that they wouldn't stay?"
And then you create coping mechanisms to deal with the heartbreak you feel as a child by...
*Building up a wall of not needing people and become hyper-responsible for your own needs... if you don't need anyone, then no one can leave you
*You don't get too close to people and will abandon people or find reasons to end relationships being the one that abandons first
*You become a people pleaser or co-dependent because you feel like if you don't cause problems and make others happy, they won't leave
*But most painful of all... you abandon yourself because that old story of Abandonment taught you that you were deserving of being abandoned and it stopped you from learning how to ask the world and others for what you needed... it stopped YOU from being a priority
Empaths who grow up with this wound learn how to either not need anyone or to tune in so deeply to other's feelings that they neglect their own needs, but either way, you end up feeling unsupported and lonely because the Wound of Abandonment disrupts your ability to form meaningful and balanced connections with others.
The key here is to practice asking for what you need. It's learning to listen again to what you need from life and the support or connection you truly want from other people and then ASKING for it. It's learning how to make yourself a priority and advocate for your own needs and remembering that there are people in your life or who will come into your life that WANT to stay and want to support you, even if others in the past were not capable.
This is truly the wound of being Betrayed. It happens when as a child, your caretaker or someone you feel deeply connected to, betrays your trust by not following through on a promise or fail to take care of a need you have.
When this happens as an empath, you can begin to question the safety and trustworthiness of people around you and you may even begin to question yourself. Being an empath means that you intuitively know you should be able to trust your own gut instinct and when you are betrayed by someone you had faith in, you can turn that doubt inward, questioning yourself even and how you "missed" the signs.
The coping mechanisms that come from this wound are....
*Deciding to trust no one, sometimes even including yourself and requiring "proof" in order to take anything at face value
*Betraying others or choosing people who will betray you
*A deep sense of self doubt or low self esteem because you don't even trust yourself
*Difficulty in letting people in and trusting they will do what they say they are going to do & can be trusted at face value
*Wanting control of situations so you can't get hurt
*Constant questioning of yourself & the need for outside validation from others that you are ok, loved or worthy
Empaths who grow up with this wound can find it hard to move forward in life because you are constantly questioning yourself, other people & your own intuition. The key here is to start stretching yourself and putting yourself out there in safe ways. It also requires you to start listening to your intuition, no matter how small that starts and then FOLLOWING it. Trust is rebuilt through practice and felt in the body, heart & mind... so be patient with yourself but begin putting yourself out there, knowing that even if someone lets you down... you will be ok.
This wound happens when you have caretakers who didn't prioritize your needs. This could be physical needs like clothing, safety, food, school etc or your emotional needs like listening to you, comforting you and helping you understand your feelings.
When we grow up in this type of home, we learn that our needs are not important and that other people's needs should come before our own. We also tend to develop the belief that unless something is absolutely unbearable or broken... we can make do. Essentially, we are made to believe or feel like getting the bare minimum is enough. We can even build an entire identity around struggle and pushing through physically, mentally or emotionally.
The coping mechanisms that come from this wound are....
*Settling for scraps and/or living in a state of scarcity
*Pushing your body past it's limits and denying it normal comfort and care (because you were never taught how to)
*Neglecting yourself but making others a priority
*Fear of having needs
*Feeling "weak" or vulnerable to others because you have needs
*A sense of Unworthiness or Guilt for asking for help or support
*Anger or Frustration that builds over time as your needs are constantly denied and pushed down
*Being disconnected from your Intuition and own Inner Guidance
As an empath with this wound it's so important to realize that your empathy is your intuition, and your intuition TELLS you what you need all the time. So when you are taught to shut that down and override it as a child, you learn to distrust yourself and your intuition. This leads to feeling shut down, numbed out, stuck & unable to move forward later in life because you essentially don't know how to care for yourself or what you need until you begin to open that conversation back up again with your own intuition.
The wound of Guilt happens when you grow up in a home that is toxic, abusive or neglectful in a way that makes you feel bad about your behavior, your needs or who you inherently are. It can happen when you have parents that blame you for their troubles, take their own pain out on you or make us feel like something is inherently wrong with you as a person.
As empaths, we are so cautious to never hurt another, especially as a child, and when the people we love the most treat us as if WE are the problem, we internalize all of that, assuming they must be right.
It can then begin to eat away at your self confidence and self worth, making you think that everything that goes wrong in your life or those around you, must be your fault. Because this is so painful to experience, you can then take on the role of "fixer" or "people pleaser" in order to avoid the pain.
The coping mechanisms that come from this wound are....
*A deep sense of guilt (feeling bad about your behavior and needs)
*A deep sense of shame (feeling bad about who you are as a person)
*Feeling unworthy of good things in life, including... being treated kindly, being loved, abundant or taken care of by others
*Attracted to Narcissist or people who make you feel guilt or bad about who you are
*Using guilt or manipulation on others in an effort to project your own pain
*Allowing others to walk all over you or take advantage of your time, love, resources or energy
*Poor Energetic and Emotional Boundaries because you assume it must be your fault or that you are responsible for other's feelings
As an empath, it's important for you to realize what are YOUR emotions and what are other people's emotions. Chances are, you have been carrying the pain, guilt and shame of others since you were a child and if you haven't stopped to check in with your intuition and ask "what is mine and what is someone else's?" then you will keep carrying what isn't your, believing it is.
Healing these wounds requires us to tune back into that childhood part of ourselves that is hurting or in pain.
That means we have make time, get quiet & ask ourselves "how is my Inner Child feeling?"
And then we have to listen.
And we have to not judge what we feel or hear.
Healing the Inner Child is about allowing your childhood self to finally be seen & heard. It's creating a safe space for them to fully own and express their feelings and needs.
And once we've listened and heard what they need, we have to take action on that need, because if we don't, we are creating the same cycle of hurt to ourselves that originally created the wound.
EMPATHS HEAL THE CHILDHOOD WOUND BY HEALING THEIR EMOTIONAL BODY
This is where we carry our emotions and experiences from the past. It's what keeps us feeling unsafe, triggered and wounded... because those emotions are still held there and haven't been released.
Our Emotional Bodies are meant to be clear, not carrying the weight of the past. But when we have traumas or experiences that we don't know how to move on from or understand, we hold onto those emotions and experiences and we live in a state of wounding, until learn how to let go.
If you are curious about how I do this with Energy Work, you can check out the Inner Child Healing I do with my clients. It's a way to heal Mind (Identifying the Core Wound & the beliefs and feelings your Inner Child holds), Body (the experiences, trauma & feelings the body is holding) and Spirit (tuning into your chakras and energy centers to see how your Inner Child is holding you back.)
We then release in each session through Energy Healing, the emotions, beliefs & wounds your Inner Child has been holding, so you can more deeply heal and move forward in your life. When we can tune in Mind, Body & Spirit, your Inner Child has the chance to heal fully & let go of the burdens they've been carrying.
Or dive more into steps you can take on your own in this Blog Post "3 Simple Steps to Start Healing Your Childhood Wounds."
It takes time to unwind the wounds of your childhood but the beauty of healing is that you don't have to heal fully to feel relief & that my friends is why getting started, even with small steps can change your life in a moment.