How were you cared for as a child? How well were your needs met? What were your early experiences in your relationships with your parents and your family? And how did this affect your personality, identity, and life going forward?
Relational wounds are more damaging when we’re younger, they come from a beloved and trusted parent, or they’re very painful.
In the Bible Jesus says, “Bring the little children to me.” He wants to embrace you in God’s love. Do you know how to trust God with the child part of you? Have you asked for, trusted, and metabolized God’s grace for the child in you? The vulnerable, sensitive, emotional, or needy child in you?
Identifying your emotional injuries and deficits is a first step to healing. Then you can find someone who is safe and capable of helping you and ask for empathy as you share your memories and emotions. Also you can look to develop relationships with people who love you well in the areas you were previously hurt.
Each of the statements below represent personal wounds that some people experience from a parent when they were children. Some statements will be mostly true, others somewhat true, and others not true at all.
For each statement indicate if it is true of your relationship with any of your parents by marking an “M” for mother, “F” for father, “SM” for step-mother, and “SD” for step-father.
When you’ve responded to each statement go back and underline the ones that have been especially damaging for you.
Notice notice which parent(s) you felt hurt by and in what ways.
The Inventory: A Survey of Possible Mother Wounds and Father Wounds
1. I did not receive enough holding, hugs, and loving touches.
2. I was rarely or never told, “I love you.”
3. I did not receive patient listening and empathy.
4. I was told or treated as though as I was too sensitive, too emotional, or too needy.
5. When I was sick I did not receive special care.
6. I was not joyfully celebrated on my birthday.
7. I was judged harshly.
8. I had to perform well in school or activities in order to be accepted.
9. I had to be good in order to be accepted.
10. My parent never or rarely played with me.
11. My parent never or rarely prayed with me.
12. My parent did not encourage me to develop a personal relationship with God.
13. I was abused physically, sexually, verbally, or emotionally by a parent.
14. My parents divorced when I was a child.
15. My parent died when I was a child.
16. My parent had an addiction.
17. My parent had an anger problem.
18. My parent became very depressed.
19. My parent had low self-esteem.
20. My parent was not glad to see me or be with me.
21. My parent was over-stressed or anxious.
22. My parent left the family or abandoned me.
23. My parent did not protect me.
24. I was abused, bullied, or mistreated by others and my parent did not help me with this.
25. When we had conflict my parent did not work to repair my hurt and resolve the issue.
26. If I got angry I was punished or rejected.
27. My gender identity and sexuality was affirmed and blessed.
28. My opposite gender parent did not show high respect for my same gender parent.
29. I did not respect and admire my parent.
30. I was not encouraged to use my gifts.
31. Even as I got older I was not trusted to make my own decisions.
32. I felt pressure to please my parent.
33. I felt overwhelmed by the emotions and needs of my parent.
34. I received a lot less attention and care than one or more of my siblings.
35. I often felt alone.
36. My family did not share in meals and other activities very often.
37. I did not enjoy being with my family.