Have you ever heard the term walking wounded?
It usually refers to soldiers who have come back from war who still have physical difficulties.
But a lesser-known meaning of the term refers to those who live with emotional scars – or wounds – that affect them every day.
When I think about the things I have left me walking wounded, what instantly comes to mind are a few things.
My mom passing away at age 70 from a long battle with multiple myeloma, a blood and bone marrow cancer.
My ex significant other suddenly leaving me, making up terrible lies about me in order to publicly justify leaving our relationship and then starting to date one of our mutual friends immediately after suddenly leaving me.
And finally a woman who I thought was a friend who was actually trying to discredit me with my friends for no apparent reason other than to cause drama. (There was also another “friend” who was actually never really a good friend to me or in my corner who turned into a vicious mean girl).
I’ve dealt with PTSD for a few years now because of some of the terrible things my ex did and said to me. There are things that he said to me that will never leave my head, which I think is quite satisfying for him since he is a narcissist.
Things like “you have seven days from today to get the rest of your stuff out of my apartment or I’m throwing it out.”
“You’re dead to me.”
That significant other wound up actually dating one of our mutual friends (so the whole falsely accusing me thing was a set up so that he could be with her and not look like the bad guy).
She moved into our home very quickly and it devastated me. I couldn’t believe how callous and insensitive they both were. How could the person I slept next to every night and promised me forever do this to me.
But here’s the thing, my significant other was controlling, emotionally abusive and like I said a narcissist. He was the wrong person for me from day one but I could not admit that I had made a mistake.
It was time to reset my life but the universe needed to help me because I wasn’t doing it myself.
I picked myself up and set out on the long road to rebuild my life. Along the way I got my voice back.
During that relationship I was constantly told that I was “disrespectful” and was walking on eggshells. I was criticized every single day for the way I dressed, what I said, what I posted on social media and where I went. I was exhausted.
With those “friends,” I was the victim of malicious gossip spread publicly about me.
They tried to tarnish my reputation with false accusations and statements. They attributed things to me that I never said, embellished other things and spread lies in order to damage my reputation and relationships.
These experiences taught me many things – such as to not be so trusting of others and to trust my intuition when it comes to certain people when I see red flags, which I had with them.
Women can be brutal to each other as I’ve written about quite often – and there is nothing more dangerous than a mean girl who turns into an adult bully. Many of us have frenemies around us that we don’t even realize.
Women can be each other’s greatest allies but also each other’s worst nightmares. These women were mine, and I didn’t see it coming.
I think about what happened to me often and it still affects me. But it also has made me into a much kinder, emotionally intelligent, resilient, cautious and stronger person.
What these people did to me pushed me to become a better version of myself and to find real happiness.
While many of us are walking around wounded, we don’t need to let it stop us from living.
If you think about the bad things that have happened to you as learning experiences, you will be able to move on and be more resilient and stronger.
So walk with me – together.