Oksana Zhelisko Broken

What’s Your Core Wound?

by Norma Hope  ~

Each one of us have these four core wounds in some stage or another:

  • Abandonment/Inundation
  • Rejection
  • Betrayal
  • Lack of Self Worth/Self Love

These wounds originally get programmed into us through our experiences in childhood and unfortunately “run” us as adults. These are also our “emotional triggers.” These wounds are formed in this lifetime from zero to age six. It is like they are embedded into us. The good news is they are all healable.

We are here to heal ourself, our wounds. These wounds tend to be the basis of how we respond or react to everyone and everything in our life. They need to heal so you may know who you really are underneath your wounded reactions. You are NOT your wounds!

These wounds are a large part of the stories that live inside of us. They can have power over us or we can heal them. It is a choice. To heal means becoming the person you are meant to be in this lifetime.

As adults we can handle just about anything. Our emotional response (to things happening in our life) is mostly calm, maybe a 1-2 at most on a scale of 1–10. When we have emotional responses that are a 3+ reaction on a scale of 1–10, then one or more of our core issues has been triggered. This is a childlike response, not an adult response.

When we feel a BIG emotional reaction as an adult, it is because we have just been “triggered” to a time and space when we first felt that emotion in a similar situation. And childhood, from age zero to six, is where the original wound lives that keeps getting triggered.

When our triggered response is big (3+ on a scale of 1–10), it’s because we were so little when that first emotional wounding happened. It is not the present situation happening to us that is the wound, or a similar adult event, but instead it is the “child event” that originally set up the wound/trigger inside us. We were once so little, so of course it felt BIG then, but not now unless triggered.

Our response can be a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual reaction or a combination of them. It is not just a memory. There is a tightening in the body somewhere every time we have a wound triggered. There is also emotional memory also, etc.

Some people (when triggered) get physically sick, like diarrhea or migraines. Even chronic constipation is a recurring, emotional tightening inside the gut and the colon, due to abandonment or inundation wounds being triggered from childhood. And chronic, low back pain or hip pain is directly related to feelings of feeling unsupported or a lack of support.

Broken Wings © Oksana Zhelisko

To not suffer from these wounds, there must be a healthy bond with a parent from birth to six years old that includes healthy attachment, then detachment –  plus an empathetic attunement, but also enough breathing space so the child can develop a secure sense of self. Parenting is, without a doubt, the most challenging of jobs as the parents’ personal, unhealed wounds from their childhood or past lives, get tangled up with their child’s needs.

ABANDONMENT/INUNDATION: Most of us have both of these wounds, not just abandonment or inundation, so I put them as one core wound. For abandonment wounds we are always seeking connection with another as we can’t fully connect to ourself, as the bond with a parent wasn’t fully formed in a healthy way so we didn’t get a secure sense of self.

Abandonment anxiety shows up as constantly “pestering” the bond, be it with a partner, friends, parents, etc.  That inner child is still constantly seeking that connection, wanting that bond that was not fully achieved in childhood. This is where “not being seen and heard” comes from.  

Inundation anxiety involves the bonding, but in a slightly different way. It is a lack of breathing space. Every child needs enough breathing space to make decisions, to make mistakes, to feel out who they really are. A lot of our parents raised us to be “little mom and dad” figures without allowing us the space to be who we were meant to be. These are parents who were primarily controlling or deemed you to be a “golden child” who could do no wrong. Oldest siblings have more inundation typically than abandonment, but they will have both in different measures.

In relationships, abandonment and inundation constantly play in and out. You need connection but you need breathing space too, so it’s constantly a “come here; go away” dynamic in a lot of relationships as there wasn’t enough of the needed attunement when you were a child. Do you ever wonder why you lose it sometimes?  This is why. You got triggered to a childlike place so you acted like a child. Not being seen and heard is one of the biggest issues in this wound.  It is because you don’t know how to truly hear yourself – it is not your partner’s job to heal those childhood wounds.

In healing my own abandonment/inundation wounds, I made a promise to my inner child, the little girl I used to be, that when my husband and I split up I would not date or go out with anyone for five years.  All my prior mate relationships involved me becoming emotionally dependent sooner or later and I just decided ENOUGH already. I hated acknowledging that I was emotionally dependent as I have always thought of myself as a very independent woman (I left home at 17, always worked, successful, etc.).  I needed to heal myself and my childhood wounds (to heal into who I really was) before getting into another relationship. Especially as a therapist, this was essential for me. So, I’m not asking you to go it alone but to consider how much time you give to yourself, to nurture yourself, in a way you may never have before?  It is easier for us to focus on others than our own stuff but that is not healing.

Then during year six (of not dating or going out with anyone except friends) I met a totally different type of partner than I ever attracted before! And yes, we have been together a long time now. And yes, I was tempted/tested during those six years. The Universe “tests” us along our journey to see how serious we are about our decisions and growth.  It’s although it says:  “Okay, let’s see what she has learned… Let’s see what she will do with this?”  The same type of man I had always been attracted to came into my orbit a few times during those six years, but I stayed strong for myself, and especially for that little girl in me that didn’t feel like she was good enough on many levels. I taught myself how to be loving first. If you don’t love yourself how can a partner know how to love you?

REJECTION & BETRAYAL are exactly what they are.  We feel hurt when rejected, or hurt or angry when betrayed but these feelings are also childlike when they are a 3+ on a scale of 1–10. Remember, we are adults now and adults can pretty much handle anything but when our childhood wounds are triggered it feels so big because we were so little at the time of the original wound. And please keep allowing yourself to feel, but be more aware when it feels big.

Melancholy © Oksana Zhelisko

Stop next time you feel an emotion that is a 3+ on that scale of 1–10. Ask yourself the following questions.  It is not about the present situation at all when the feeling is that big.

  • What does it remind you of?
  • Are you feeling a childlike desperation?
  • Where are you tightening in your body?
  • Who were you with when you first felt like this?

LACK OF SELF-WORTH & SELF LOVE are the core root wounds of all the above. A real sense of your own self-worth and self-love comes from deep inside your core being. It all comes back to the original bond with your parent(s). If we experience a healthy bond in childhood, including empathetic attunement and breathing space, then we have a sense of ourself.  We have the ability to “hear and see ourself” so we don’t demand or “pester” the bonds in a relationship. We can enjoy shared experiences without losing ourself to them so we can enjoy communion not just communication. Communion is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, without losing yourself or projecting your feelings or beliefs onto someone else.

The abandonment/inundation wounds lock out any sense of your own worth or any deep love for yourself, so it must come first in the healing process. Healing them allows a new window to open to new found, real feelings of self-worth/self love. We were taught to love and look after others and ignore our own feelings which creates co-dependency instead of our own autonomy.

Here is a mantra I used for years when doing inner child work: “I am not bad.  I haven’t done anything wrong. I am worthy of love.” I did trip over that last sentence a lot as do some clients initially. I couldn’t believe or really feel worthy of love until my own abandonment/inundation wounds were healed. This mantra was for the little girl inside me that did not enjoy a healthy, attuned bond with a parent.

These wounds, abandonment/inundation, rejection, betrayal, lack of self-worth/self-love make us live in a wounded way and not live who we authentically  are. They promote living in a place of co-dependency (agency) or ego (character style) which is exhausting.  Are you tired of being tired?  Tired of trying so hard to please? Are you fed up with attracting the same wounded people in your life with similar limiting beliefs?

Why keep repeating yourself? Why keep living or believing your parents limiting beliefs or life? Choose YOU!

Healing is a choice. It is so worth it. I am a totally different person than I once was and I really love myself in such a great way. And I must say it is an honor and a privilege to serve and to help others heal.

Blessings and much love,

Norma Hope founded “Life Synergy Inc – Cleanse Works” in early 1999 after she started cleansing with Colon Hydrotherapy and found that it dramatically changed her life. This led her to become certified in all the healing modalities that she found improved her life the most: Certified Biofeedback Specialist, Spiritual Healer + Energy Medicine Facilitator, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist, Certified Lymph Therapist, Certified Thought Field Therapist, Certified Microcurrent Therapist, Certified Raw Vegan Chef and more… Visit www.lifesynergyinc.ca or phone:  780-477-1100.


ARTIST Classically trained in Eastern Europe, Oksana Zhelisko began her  career as an artist in L’viv, Ukraine. At the Ivan Trush College of Decorative Arts (1996) she studied all aspects of art and decided to make painting her specialty. For the past 17 years, Edmonton is her home. In one of her new series entitled “State of Mind” she tells the story of one as an artist, a woman and a wondering soul.  www.zheliskoart.com/

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