I spent a lot of my childhood and adulthood angry and defensive. I learnt to externalise my pain rather than internalise it. This meant instead of being angry with self I would get angry with others, much to my own detriment.
People who I describe as wounded healers helped me find a better way of dealing with my pain and anger.
M & M is a prime example of a wounded teacher, his songs talk about his battle with ‘self’ & ‘Self’, the ‘I’ and the ‘me’. He is then able to put this battle in verse which not only helps him, but helps others relate to these themes of anger, depression and pain as well. This can give others the ability to recognise their own behaviours and hopefully encourage them to change or seek help.
Other singers I respect for this is Dave a UK rapper who talks about his mental health, his experiences of being black and growing up on a council estate, he deals with social and political frustrations of poverty and racism. I use examples of singers because I believe music is one of the most potent and accessible forms of art that crosses all boundaries and can cater to all tastes. This allows people to personalise their pain and to feel as well as understand their emotions and wounds that may be causing negative behaviours.
There are other artists such as 2 PAC, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Lauren Hill’s album ’This Miss Education of Lauren Hill’ are earlier examples of artists but M&M was the first artist who I could relate to on a personal level of anger and self destructive, non politically correct thoughts that he would express through music. While I acknowledge that the way these singers sometime express themselves can be offensive to some, I don’t have a problem with things that may offend as hopefully it can encourage people to think.
Not being someone who reads a lot, or considers them self an academic, I found other ways to educate myself when it comes to personal experience, I found people who I could relate to.
Don’t get me wrong education is important but a lot of books are written from theory and not personal knowledge or experience. An example of this would be a scientist writing their theory on drug addiction compared to someone who has personal experiences of the highs and lows of drug addiction.
I like to describe traumas in terms of wounds and scars, as like a wound you have to care for it to help it to heal and like any extensive wound it leaves a scar. Scars are the physical reminder of the damage caused, because although it heals it never goes away. The damage can also cause imbalance in the body, just like an emotional or mental scar and may need redressing later as some injuries can flare up every now and then but with care you can address the issue to relieve the pain and suffering and keep it from debilitating your life.
The bigger the injury the harder the work for rehabilitation, but as we’ve seen with people who use that healing process to help others heal (as in artists previously mentioned), they can appreciate their scars and injuries after healing as wounds that have made them stronger.
What it can also do is make you more aware or hyper sensitive to the behaviours that caused the pain and fear in the first place and observe it in others. Scars can also lead people to develop a victim or abusive mentality, but it can also encourage individuals to become a fighter of causes or healer of wounds.
Those who are ashamed of their scars try and hide them from the world which can cause internal conflict and shame and lead them to repeating the same negative behaviours, we see this in people for example who have been brought up in an abusive household and then go on to being in abusive relationships themselves.
For some they get angry every time they see their wound or have their scars pointed out to them and tend to hit out at the people who reflect or reveal their wounds. This type of individual can be in constant defence mode and feels the need to protect their wounds. This is done in one or two ways, abusing others or abusing self.
Wounded healers are needed because people and society can be unsupportive and judgemental and willing to condemn rather than understand and help change, I don’t believe anyone is born evil.
I brake it down into two groups, first being those trying to empathise and understand others, second, judging others without looking at the causes of someones behaviour. This doesn’t mean allowing or accepting abusive behaviours but having understanding and awareness of those behaviours so they can begin to be solved in individuals and overcome in society.
Sexually abusive behaviours and domestic violence which continue to flourish in the world are good examples of this. Societies as well as some individuals tend to blame the victims instead of properly discussing the abusers and why abusers of these crimes still perpetuate them today. Proper discussions or reasons for why these behaviours still exist are not properly dealt with in our societies, media, homes or laws.