The ‘wounded child’ rails

Published 6:34 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

A president bent on wreaking havoc as he exits the stage is doing his best to bend people to his will.

I am reminded of an abandoned child, alone and terrified, as he tries to manage the feelings he is experiencing. The preferred method, at such a young age and without an ally, is to bury them. To a young child, abandonment feels like death, and experiencing that depth of despair and fear is intolerable. It also feels intolerable if one is experiencing those feelings as an adult in the service of healing the wound with many more resources and experiences to bring to bear in one’s own behalf.

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I am clear that the 45th president was nearly fatally emotionally wounded at a very young age. The behavior we are seeing now is connected to that wound and the lack of experience with appropriate boundaries and appropriate consequences for transgressions. Without limits a child tends to become tyrannical, and as any fan of “Nanny 911” will know, the way to address tyrannical children, for everyone’s best outcome, is to set those limits and hold fast.

As I ponder 3½ more weeks of “holding fast,” I wonder what additional damage can be done as a wounded child rails against “the perceived wrongs done to him.” Again, research suggests that giving into the demands only begets more demands, and an important part of helping a child grow successfully in their emotional being is to set and keep appropriate limits.

I wish the best for the president as he leaves office. My fear is that he will be unable to benefit from his first experience of people “holding fast” in the face of his acting out of his emotional experience rather than being able to deal with it in a more adult fashion.


Jo Weaver