Tuesday, October 1, 2013
What happens when someone has psychological wounds that they don't realize or are in denial of? For one, they may live a less joyful, fulfilled life and struggle with emotions and relationships. Secondly, they pass their "wounds" down to the next generation. These inherited wounds are then often again passed down and so on.
According to Peter K. Gerlach, MSW, once GWCs (Grown Wounded Children) are aware of their traumas and wounds, they can reduce them and stop the cycle of propagating dysfunction. He estimates that 80 to 85% of families currently suffer from dysfunction as a result of having one or more addicted or dysfunctional parents.
Gerlach defines these wounds as "feeling shame and guilt, excessive fears, reality distortions, chronic trust problems, difficulty bonding, empathizing and loving." The characteristics manifest themselves as low self esteem, narcisism, anxiety, cynicism, sarcasm, black and white thinking, trust and intimacy issues. Other symptoms include controlling and manipulative behaviors, clinginess and experiencing sexual dysfunction.
Gerlach has created a non profit website (http://sfhelp.org/) and has posted several videos to help Adult Children Of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families. The ultimate goal is to create a "high nurturance" family and live a life free of toxic wounds and the ignorance that keeps them from healing.
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children