For most parents, seeing their children happy is a priority. They want what is best for them and be part of their lives as much as possible.
A separation can of course challenge this because, not only will parents feel guilty, but also with children sharing their times with both their parents may leave some parents feeling like they are missing out or that their children are actually missing out on spending more time with them.
The need to control someone else’s happiness comes from lacking the ability to make oneself happy.
We obviously all have past and present wounds to deal with. Some bigger than others. Our wounds though are not measured by the depth of the wound itself, but by the ability of the individual to overcome the state of the wound.
While many have learned to overcome past traumas, being physical, psychological or emotional, for the parents who lack the ability to do so, their whole life will remain a struggle with stress and riddled with anxiety. Those parents will more likely be absent parents, not necessarily because they are not there physically, but absent in their ignorance to be good parents. They cannot be properly present when their life is a continued response to their own wounds and remain the victims to those wounds.
Wounded Parents have little or no self-esteem; a deep, penetrating sadness and problems bonding with others.
The wounded parent is not a bad parent, but s/he is a parent who needs to heal. They mean well. They know better but struggle to be properly responsible adults.
The wounded parent, therefor, needs to learn to recognise when they respond to their wounds and learn how to calm themselves down and get the “Adult” back in charge. In this process they must learn how to manage their past wounds by:
- Recognising and acknowledging their wound
- Take it seriously. Yes. Whatever caused them to be a wounded adult was serious and the wound is serious too.
- Accept the painful past. What was done cannot be undone.
- Confront their un-met needs. Today they have the opportunity to claim what it is that they need and want
- Own their current responsibility as a parent, now and in the future.