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  • Writer's pictureHolly-Marie St. Pierre

Stuck in a Series of Toxic Relationships? Maybe you're neglecting some very old wounds.

Why do so many of us tend to think about mental health differently than our physical health? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you recognize the importance of mental wellbeing. Maybe you support friends or family members that have worked with a mental health therapist or maybe you have sought help from a counselor yourself. But let me ask you this—Do you believe you should “be over” negative experiences from many years ago—even from your childhood?

                “I’m an adult now, that shouldn’t matter anymore.” “It seems childish or petty to let that still bother me.” Have you said or thought these things? If so, you may classify mental health differently than your physical health.

                Because just like a bodily injury, emotional injuries do not necessarily repair on their own as we age. While you know that if you break your leg and you don’t receive proper medical treatment, the leg might be impaired. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may never attain its full function again. It is the same with emotional wounds. Without treatment that painful thing that happened to you in childhood or while you were in high school, no matter how long ago that was for you, will continue to manifest and hold you back in some way today.

                I have clients in their thirties, forties, fifties and even sixties that are amazed and sometimes shocked when the work we do reveals how much a childhood or adolescent stressor or trauma is still impacting their overall wellbeing and relationships today. Like many people, they think they should have “moved on.” Especially problematic are the attachment injuries, or those emotional wounds they experienced while in their primary caregiver’s or parents’ household as this can predispose one to choosing a series of unsatisfying and/or abusive relationship partners as adults. Dr. Gabor Maté writes in his book, Scattered Minds  (Maté, 1999) “…our choice of relationship partners is patterned on our interactions with our parental caregivers.” While being stuck in one bad relationship after another can be demoralizing and depressing, thankfully, it’s not something we must be doomed to repeat.

                With some dedicated time to reflection and processing of those past painful memories, awareness and healing will occur. This will increase your ability to be in right relationship to yourself and you will be equipped to make healthier choices about  who you invest in relationally. This is the time of year when many are thinking about the quality of their interactions with others and they might vow to make changes as New Year intentions can feel inspirational.

                Often people focus on improving their physical appearance with dieting and exercise believing this alone will attract what they want. But a more holistic approach, one that includes attention to your mental and emotional health, will provide more balanced and fulfilling rewards.

If you’ve been struggling with a toxic partner or feeling the sting of loneliness and would like to break through the pain to more loving relationships, I have immediate openings to help. I specialize in empowering women to break out of cycles of abuse and low self-esteem. I understand the power of unresolved pain and how it gets in the way of what we want for ourselves.

You can find more information about me on my website, Soul Archaeology Counseling or you can contact me directly at 360-524-7699 or to schedule a complimentary telehealth consultation.

Wishing you a truly joyful, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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