The Wounded Child Archetype
The Wounded Child archetype is one of several aspects of the Child archetype. The others include the Magical Child, The Nature Child, the Abandoned child, the Divine Child, the Invisible Child, and the Eternal Child. Everyone shares the Child archetype as well as its variations to some extent or another.
The Wounded Child is an archetype that contains negative emotional patterns children experienced. The wounds could have been abuse, neglect, or trauma, but they usually occur before the age of seven. There is permanent damage that is haunting to them.
The pain from their childhood wound will replay again and again in their adult life until the trauma or would is healed.
Anger is a pattern of behavior that manifests. The pattern remains with them and erupts as they grow older. There’s a continual eruption that plays out throughout their adult life. It’s destructive because the wounded child acts out the wounds of his childhood and feels justified doing that. That’s the child part—the temper tantrum.
One thing to remember when you are dealing with a Wounded Child, whether it’s someone else or yourself—it’s a pattern of behavior, and it’s not personal. When the Child archetype comes out, it is in the Shadow aspect. It is a time when the Wounded Child can feel misunderstood, such as reliving an event where they were accused or punished for something they didn’t do. Or perhaps they are reminded of a time when they were abandoned.
Whatever it is, the wound can only be healed by first recognizing the pattern of behavior and that it’s not personal. All Wounded Children erupt in anger; that’s just the pattern, it’s not personal. The Shadow aspect may manifest in self-pity, with a tendency to blame their parents for the reason why they are in their current position. It also blocks the path to forgiveness.
The painful experiences of the Wounded Child archetype, however, can often awaken a deep sense of compassion, where there is a call to being of service to help other Wounded Children. From this spiritual enlightenment, a path of forgiveness is opened.
Do you have the Wounded Child archetype?
If you have the Wounded Child archetype, you may relate to one of the following patterns of behavior.
The Wounded Child shows itself when:
- you don’t get what you want
- you need your wound to be validated
- your wound is more significant than anyone else’s
- you always look for someone to take responsibility for what happened to you
- you constantly need to be loved and valued
How does one move from the shadow to the light?
All variations of the Child archetype have a presence in the subconscious that is universal, as do the other three Survival Archetypes and it is crippling in their adverse effects. It is through becoming self-aware, recognizing and identifying repeated patterns of behavior throughout our lives that have had authority over our choices. You embark on the Journey of Life where you move from the caboose of your train—where life drags you—to the engine—where you have the power to direct it.
The Journey of Life is a process and not something that is done quickly. Learning why you do the things you do, will enable you to make better decisions and identify the actions you need to take to start down the path of personal evolution and transformation.