As someone who has experienced my own set of hurt, I understand how much hurt can affect not only myself, but those closest to me as well. We think that because we are hurt and that we’ve experienced most of our lives being hurt by others that it is okay to allow our actions to hurt another person who is usually the closest to us. We may not mean to and it may not be our intentions, but the person on the receiving end of the hurt we express, may not understand that in the moment. What I’ve learned is that through hurt, there’s a secondary emotion that we usually tap into easier because it is the most accessible emotion to express and that’s ANGER.
Anger is not usually the primary emotion, but it seems to be the emotion that we are most comfortable operating out of because it takes us from being in a vulnerable state that most people hate being in to feeling a sense of power. No one wants to operate out of a hurt state just to risk being hurt again by someone who feeding off of our vulnerability, so our defense mechanism to avoid that would be acting out of anger.
I’ve worked in the mental health field for quite some time and I’ve encountered so many patients/clients, adults and children who come off as angry people until you hear their story. It is then, you realize that they really aren’t angry people, they have just experienced years of trauma and hurt at the hands of the closest people in their lives.
So, to avoid ever feeling weak, hurt, fearful, ran over or in a position where their vulnerable, they operate from a, “I’ll hurt you, before you hurt me” state of mind. They think that every encounter with another human being is a potential risk for someone to hurt them, so their anger is their shield against that. You can’t tell them nothing that would make them think otherwise because deep down their operating from a hurt mindset, which guides the way they interact and view the world. It is not until they heal and become mindful of this reality that their behaviors will change.
I don’t care how much you talk to a person or try to help them see that not everyone is trying to hurt them and that it isn’t okay for them to hurt other people, they have to heal on their own time. The reality is, people heal at different times and some people may never heal because no matter how uncomfortable the hurt feels, being angry gives them comfort.
Speaking from my own experience with hurt, stepping outside of that hurt state of mind can sometimes be scary because it’s all I know. Being hurt has helped me navigate life a little differently and it’s really the only way that I know how to operate from because it has provided me a guide on how to interact with others. Take that away from me and now I’m forced to adopt a new way of thinking and that can be scary, especially because of that risk of being hurt again, which is a reality I sometimes don’t want to face. We will experience hurt, no matter if we operate out of a unhealthy state of mind or a healthy mindset, but the outcome and level of pain could definitely be different, if we choose a healthy mindset.
I say all this to say, you never know how your hurt affects someone else, it’s a vicious cycle that one must learn to break. No one is telling you to not be cautious with your emotions, but be cautious of how you express them because your not the only one who has feelings and you’re not the only one who hurts. Try talking to someone about the hurt you've experienced, so that you can find ways to effectively cope and manage that anger because God forbids you go off on the wrong person. People want to be there for you, but how much hurt do you think a person is willing and should take, especially when they hurt too?
Verlisa is a writer who has a passion for encouraging others through her story.
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