Psychologist Lise Bourbeau in one of her books (“The Five Wounds That Prevent You From Being Yourself”) describes five main emotional wounds that a person experiences in their life, which can lead not only to psycho-emotional suffering but also negatively affect physical health. Emotional wounds are the consequences of painful childhood impressions that affect a person’s life and largely determine their ability to overcome difficulties.
- Wounds that prevent living
- Wound “Rejected” – mask “Fugitive”
- The Rejected Wound (physique of a fugitive)
- Characteristics of the wound
- Wound “Abandoned” – mask “Dependent”
- Characteristics of the Trauma
- Wound “Humiliated” – mask “Masochist”
- The Humiliated Wound (physique of the Masochist)
- Characteristics of the Trauma
- Wound “Betrayed” – mask “Controlling”
- Betrayal Trauma (Controlling Physique)
- Characteristics of the Trauma
- Trauma “Unfairness” – Mask “Rigid (Stiff)”
- The Trauma of Unfairness (Physique of the Rigid)
- Characteristics of the Trauma
- Paths to Healing
Wounds that prevent living
Since these emotional wounds are acquired from early childhood, Lise Bourbeau considers them in chronological order:
- “Unjustly treated”
Along with explaining these wounds, the psychologist offers readers to familiarize themselves with the so-called masks that a person is forced to create to protect themselves from experienced emotional pain.
These masks are meant to cover the wounds throughout life, so each wound has its mask: “Rejected” – “Fugitive” mask, “Abandoned” – “Dependent,” “Humiliated” – “Masochist,” “Betrayed” – “Controller,” “Unjustly treated” – “Rigid.”
Let’s look at these wounds and masks in more detail, to “know them by face,” as they can be behind various psychosomatic ailments.
Wound “Rejected” – mask “Fugitive”
The Rejected Wound (physique of a fugitive)
According to Lise Bourbeau, this wound is profound, as it appears before the age of one. The rejected person feels this wound as a denial of their very essence, a negation of their right to exist.
Bright examples include situations like an unwanted child, a child of the undesired gender.
It should be noted that the psychologist distinguishes two different concepts: “Fugitive” – a person suffering from the complex of the rejected. “Fugitive mask” – the character of a person developing as a means of evasion from the suffering of the rejected. The mask is needed not to be oneself.
Characteristics of the wound
A child feeling rejected and creating a fugitive mask lives in their imaginary world. In this regard, according to Lise Bourbeau, they tend to be smart, prudent, quiet, and non-problematic. They feel good in their world, even inventing a comforting story that their parents are not real, that they were just mixed up in the hospital and took the wrong one. They typically want to run away from home for any reason (they have a strong desire to go to school, although they also feel rejected there).
On the other hand, the psychologist notes, the rejected child wants the parents to notice him (gets sick, receives serious injuries, hides in the closet and waits to be found, etc.)
Since such a child is usually physically smaller than average, parents may start to overprotect him, making him think that he is again not accepted as he is.
The rejected often ask themselves: what are they doing on this planet? They are attracted to everything related to spirit and intellect, and they look down on material things. This same position can explain difficulties in sexual life.
The fugitive as a personality does not believe in their value and puts no stock in themselves, so they strive to be perfect to gain this value. As Lise Bourbeau writes, typical words of such a person are “nobody,” “nothing,” “does not exist,” “disappear,” etc.
Such a person usually seeks solitude and isolation, fearing others because they do not know how to behave around them. They have few friends, both at school and at work, and they speak little. In turn, they are considered withdrawn and left alone, making them even more lonely.
Fugitives often have skin problems to avoid being touched: as the skin is a contact organ, its diseases become an unconscious way of protecting themselves from touch.
Lise Bourbeau asserts that the rejection trauma is experienced with the parent of the same sex. At the same time, it is not necessary for the parent to intend to reject the child. It’s a personal feeling of the child: for certain reasons (related to the life lessons that their soul came to go through), the child does not feel acceptance or goodwill from the parent of the same sex. They want to win the love of this parent, but at the same time, they are very sensitive to remarks from this parent and are always ready to decide that they are being rejected.
In such a situation, bitterness and resentment can develop in the child, often turning into hatred (as strong but disappointed love – so great is their suffering).
As Lise Bourbeau notes, the child easily panics and freezes from fear in the presence of the parent or other people of the same sex. The word “panic” often appears in their vocabulary. The fear of their own panic leads to the fugitive losing memory at a crucial moment.
Regarding the parent of the opposite sex, as the psychologist writes, the fugitive is afraid to reject them and restrains themselves in their actions and statements towards them.
If the fugitive experiences the feeling of being rejected by the parent of the opposite sex, they blame themselves and reject themselves.
Lise Bourbeau has found that the trauma also affects eating habits. Thus, the fugitive prefers small portions, and when they experience bouts of fear, they often lose their appetite. They are sometimes prone to anorexia, as they believe they are too big and well-fed, although this is not the case (recall the physique of the rejected).
According to Lise Bourbeau, fugitives have a weakness for sweets, and they may also be attracted to alcoholic beverages or drugs.
The psychologist then lists some typical ailments for fugitives:
- Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces),
- Hypoglycemia or diabetes,
Also, such a person may develop a depressive or manic-depressive state, which can lead to thoughts of suicide. Sometimes, due to adoration of their idol, psychosis can develop.
Wound “Abandoned” – mask “Dependent”
The Abandoned Wound (physique of the Dependent) To abandon means to leave a person, to move away temporarily or permanently. If the rejected experiences their trauma at the level of “being,” then the abandoned experiences their trauma at the level of “having” and “doing.” Usually, this trauma occurs between the ages of one and three. The feeling of being abandoned can develop in situations like:
- The mother’s preoccupation with the arrival of a new baby;
- Constant parental busyness at work, resulting in limited time spent with the child;
- Hospitalization of one child, without parents (the child cannot understand why the parents are not with them);
- Leaving the child with grandparents during vacation;
- The child is left to themselves (mother is ill, father works), experiencing a lack of emotional and physical nourishment, etc.
As Lise Bourbeau writes, the physique of the dependent is characterized by a lack of tone in the body: long, thin, sagging torso, underdeveloped and sluggish muscle system, big sad eyes, weak legs, and long arms, sometimes a curved back, some body parts positioned lower than normal, some body parts also appear drooping (shoulders, cheeks, stomach, etc.).
Characteristics of the Trauma
According to Lise Bourbeau’s observations, the trauma of the abandoned is inflicted by the parent of the opposite sex. She also found that often the trauma of the abandoned is combined with the trauma of the rejected. A person with the trauma of abandonment constantly experiences emotional hunger.
Trying to hide their trauma from themselves, the person creates a mask of dependency. The dependent is convinced that they are incapable of achieving anything on their own and that they need support. Such a person tends to become a victim, and there is a high likelihood that their parent (or both parents) were also victims.
Here, the psychologist explains that the victim, in this case, means a person who always tends to create problems for themselves to attract attention, mainly health problems. This is related to the needs of the dependent, as they feel that they receive too little attention.
Such a person overly dramatizes everything, creating many problems for themselves, as playing the role of a victim allows them to get the much-needed attention.
Studying this mask, Lise Bourbeau discovered that the dependent often willingly plays the role of a savior – a subtle way to attract attention. But this role negatively affects their back health, as they take on others’ responsibilities.
The dependent alternates between periods of highs and lows (feeling happy alternates with feeling unhappy). They experience a sharp need for support from other people, struggle to accept a refusal to their request for help, and dislike acting alone.
The greatest fear of the dependent is related to loneliness, so they cling to others.
According to the psychologist, such a person has the most powerful ability not to see problems in their partner, as they do not want to be abandoned. Hence, they dislike the word “leave.”
The strongest emotion that the dependent experiences is sadness. To not feel it, the dependent seeks the company of other people. In crisis moments, such a personality can think of suicide and tell everyone about it. Although the first attempt will be unsuccessful, in the absence of sympathy, they might really do it.
At the same time, the dependent thinks that they are unworthy of another person’s attention. They fear all bosses and authoritative people, as they seem cold and indifferent to them.
According to Lise Bourbeau’s observations, the dependent personality is prone to bulimia: they can eat a lot without gaining weight. This is related to their internal setting that they always and everything lack.
Dependents often fall ill, especially in childhood, they are weak and frail-bodied. Among the frequent ailments of such people, the psychologist highlights asthma, diseases of the bronchi, pancreas, and adrenal glands, myopia, hysteria, depression, migraines, as well as rare and incurable diseases.
Wound “Humiliated” – mask “Masochist”
The Humiliated Wound (physique of the Masochist)
Humiliation is an insult, an affront to a person’s dignity, which is felt as oppression, shame, and disgrace.
This trauma, according to Lise Bourbeau, is awakened between the ages of one and three, during the child’s realization of the functions of their physical body: the child learns to eat independently, use the toilet, speak and listen to what adults tell them, etc.
The moment of awakening the trauma are situations where the child feels that the parent is ashamed of them because of something the child did or spoiled, often in front of others (got dirty, wet themselves, etc.).
The trauma of the humiliated is most often experienced with the mother.
As Lise Bourbeau believes, the humiliated creates a mask of a masochist – a person who experiences satisfaction, pleasure from suffering, and unconsciously seeks humiliations.
The humiliated has a large and thick body, which reflects their beliefs about themselves as low, unclean.
They have a barrel-shaped body due to excess fat. If the trauma is not deep, only certain body parts will be rounded (stomach, buttocks, breasts). The physique of the masochist also features a short waist, a thick spread neck, a round face with wide-open innocent eyes.
Characteristics of the Trauma
The masochist strives to prove their reliability and diligence, so they take on a lot of work and responsibilities. As Lise Bourbeau writes, such a person has a gift for getting involved in situations where they must take care of someone, help someone, look after someone, gradually forgetting about themselves. The more they take on, the more their weight increases.
The weight and size of the masochist’s body grow and occupy more space as they themselves want to take up space in life. Therefore, by interfering in the lives of loved ones, doing everything for them, they do not realize that they thereby humiliate them.
Lise Bourbeau asserts that it is difficult for a masochist to express their true needs and feelings because from early childhood they fear to speak, as they fear experiencing shame (or causing others to experience shame). Typically, such a person is hypersensitive, and any trifle can hurt them. At the same time, they are ready to amuse others by making themselves the object of ridicule.
The masochist perceives criticism with a sense of humiliation and their own worthlessness. But they also consider themselves much more worthless and insignificant than they actually are (hence, favorite words “a little bit,” “small”).
Therefore, they like small houses, cars, objects, etc.
Such a personality tends to punish themselves. As confirmation, they even like to take the blame for others and apologize.
The greatest fear for such a person is freedom, so they always unconsciously arrange not to be free.
Among the main ailments of the masochist, Lise Bourbeau lists back pain, a feeling of heaviness on the shoulders, respiratory diseases, leg and foot problems (varicose veins, strain, fracture), liver problems, throat pain, tonsillitis and laryngitis, thyroid diseases, skin itching and scabies, pancreatic diseases, heart diseases. Likewise, surgical intervention should be considered a consequence of their conviction in the inevitability of suffering.
Wound “Betrayed” – mask “Controlling”
Betrayal Trauma (Controlling Physique)
To betray means to cease being faithful. Betrayal is linked to the inability to trust and rely on others.
According to Lise Bourbeau, this trauma awakens between the ages of two and four years, during the development of sexual energy and the emergence of the so-called Oedipus complex (when a child unconsciously or consciously feels attracted to the parent of the opposite sex).
Hence, the trauma is experienced only with the parent (or another person acting in the role of this parent) of the opposite sex. The psychologist identified that those suffering from the trauma of betrayal have not resolved the Oedipus complex in childhood: their attachment to the parent of the opposite sex remained too strong, affecting their adult relationships with the opposite sex. Such individuals constantly compare their partners with their parent and expect from them what this parent could not provide.
The betrayed child tends to feel needed, especially wanting the parent of the opposite sex to be well.
Lise Bourbeau lists situations that awaken the trauma of betrayal: if the parent of the opposite sex breaks a promise or abuses the child’s trust, the child feels betrayed by this parent. The sense of betrayal in a child also arises when the parent of the same sex is betrayed by the parent of the opposite sex, and in situations where a father distances himself from his little daughter because a new child – a boy – is born.
A child experiencing such trauma creates a “controlling” mask to ensure the fulfillment of tasks undertaken, to maintain loyalty, justify responsibility, or demands all this from others.
According to Lise Bourbeau, the controlling person creates a body that is strong and powerful, as if saying: “I am responsible for everything, you can trust me.” Thus, a controlling man is characterized by beautiful broad shoulders, while a controlling woman – by width and “volume” in the area of the abdomen, buttocks, hips.
Characteristics of the Trauma
The gaze of the controlling person is intense, so they grasp situations very quickly. Their gaze keeps adversaries at a distance, and probes and intimidates the weak. But this is just a way to hide their weakness and vulnerability.
According to Lise Bourbeau, controlling people do everything within their power to be strong, responsible, special, and significant individuals. In this way, they satisfy their ego, which does not want to see how many times it betrays itself or others.
A controlling person has the highest expectations, as they love to foresee and control everything, to check whether others are doing what they should and whether they can be relied upon.
The psychologist describes the controlling personality as strong. Such a person actively asserts what they believe and expects others to fully accept their beliefs. They are firmly convinced of their own rightness and express their opinions in a categorical tone.
At the same time, the controlling person avoids conflict situations due to fear of losing control. They fear commitment because of the fear of renouncing commitments (since renouncing their own commitments is considered betrayal, which they experienced in childhood from their parent of the opposite sex, who did not fulfill their responsibilities according to their expectations).
They often have mood swings. They are impatient with slow people, as they love speed and quick actions (including eating quickly). Such a person does not like to be late, does not like to entrust others with tasks, as this can lead to loss of control. They are more demanding of others than of themselves. Reputation is everything to them, even more important than their children’s happiness.
The controlling person dislikes being controlled or corrected after them, as they like to do everything their own way.
This personality tends to “futurize”: they are constantly busy planning the near future, thus practically unaware of the present.
It is very important for the controlling person to show others their strength and courage, but they find it difficult to trust others due to fear that their information may be used against them. They are very sensitive, but it is almost impossible to notice. The greatest fear of the controlling person is related to disintegration, separation, breakup (divorce), and denial (perceived as betrayal).
Such a person has particular difficulties with choice, as they feel that due to the wrong choice, they may lose control.
Lise Bourbeau highlights typical diseases for the controlling person: agoraphobia, joint diseases (especially knees), bleeding, diarrhea, sexual impotence, digestive system problems (especially with the liver and stomach), diseases ending in –itis, oral herpes, paralysis, etc.
Trauma “Unfairness” – Mask “Rigid (Stiff)”
The Trauma of Unfairness (Physique of the Rigid)
Unfairness, as explained by Lise Bourbeau, is the absence of justice and honesty. A person feels the sense of unfairness when they do not see recognition of their dignity, when it seems to them that they are not getting what they deserve.
According to the psychologist, this trauma awakens between the ages of three and five years, during the child’s development of individuality, when they realize that they are a human being, a separate, whole entity with their own characteristics. The child perceives as unfairness the fact that they cannot be complete and inviolable, cannot express themselves and be themselves.
The trauma of unfairness is usually experienced with the parent of the same sex: the child suffers from their (as it seems to the child) coldness, authority, strictness, and constant remarks.
Lise Bourbeau asserts that a child with such trauma creates a mask of rigidity to shield themselves from the experienced emotions, thereby protecting themselves. But the fact that they cut themselves off from emotions does not mean they do not feel anything. On the contrary, such a person is very sensitive, but they develop the ability not to feel their sensitivity and not show it to others. Therefore, a rigid person appears cold and insensitive.
The psychologist characterizes such a person as having a straight, rigid, and often, perfect body. The physique is proportional, shoulders are straight and equal in width to the hips. Rigid people, more than others, fear weight gain. They are characterized by dynamic, but not very flexible movements, clenched jaws, proudly straightened neck, clear skin, and a clear gaze.
Rigid women are typically short in stature. Such personalities like tight belts and waist-highlighting clothing. This is because by constricting their waist (the area of the solar plexus), they will feel less.
Characteristics of the Trauma
According to Lise Bourbeau, even in childhood, the rigid person notices (or thinks so) that they are valued for what they do, not for who they are. Therefore, they become hardworking, obedient, accustomed to independently getting out of difficult situations. A characteristic gesture inherent in rigid personalities is crossing arms over the chest as a symbol of blocking the solar plexus area (to not feel). For the same purpose, such personalities like to wear black clothing.
As Lise Bourbeau writes, the rigid person strives for correctness and fairness at any cost, also aiming to be perfect in everything and just. They are most prone to envy, especially towards those who, in their opinion, deserve less but receive more.
The psychologist notes that to earn, according to merit, according to worth – are key concepts for the rigid, as they love to achieve fairness. And it is very important for them to make sure that what they receive, they have earned (otherwise, they may refuse the reward). In connection with this, the rigid do not like to accept gifts.
At the same time, rigids tend to exaggerate. Thus, they like to use words like “never,” “always,” “very” (“you are always absent”).
To hide their sensitivity and emotions, rigids resort to laughter. For the same reason, when asked about their affairs, they always answer “Great!” (even if it is not so).
The biggest fear of rigids is the fear of making a mistake, as they are always concerned with perfection. Perhaps that is why they suffer from professional burnout more often than others. Another big fear is the fear of coldness.
The most torturous injustice, asserts Lise Bourbeau, rigids experience from themselves, as they often blame themselves (for buying something for themselves, for resting, etc.).
Rigids most often experience the emotion of anger (especially towards themselves). Among the main ailments of rigids, Lise Bourbeau highlights inflexibility and tension in the upper part of the back, in the neck, knees, elbows, and other flexible parts of the body. This list includes diseases ending in –itis, as well as nervous exhaustion, nervousness, insomnia, constipation, hemorrhoids, spasms, cramps, circulatory problems and varicose veins, skin problems (dryness, acne, psoriasis), liver disorders, vision impairments.
Paths to Healing
We previously wrote that the traumas discussed can negatively affect both a person’s mental and physical health. The key word here is “can,” meaning that under certain conditions, this can be avoided. What are these conditions? They correspond to the paths of healing from psychosomatic ailments.
- To begin the path of healing, a person needs to recognize their problem (in this case – trauma). This point is important because many people do not want to see or are so fused with their trauma that they indeed do not see it. Observing and analyzing events and people in your life will help you see the problem. Lise Bourbeau especially highlights the following pattern: the deeper a person’s trauma, the more strongly they attract circumstances in which they are rejected (betrayed, humiliated, etc.) or reject (betray, humiliate, etc.) themselves. And the more they do this to themselves, the stronger their fear of being rejected, betrayed, humiliated, etc. We criticize in others what we do not wish to see in ourselves. Therefore, a person attracts corresponding people or situations to see through them what is inside them.
- Realize and accept the trauma: understand its essence and agree that it is within you (many usually deny their trauma). According to Lise Bourbeau’s theory, no matter where a person with a psychological trauma goes, no matter where they try to hide from situations reminding them of their trauma – the suffering will only follow them for one simple reason – the trauma is within them, in their inner world, in their soul.
Healing will only begin when a person stops running away from themselves, from their emotional pain, when they understand that the people around them are not to blame, nor are they themselves. They just came to this Earth to go through this experience and, having healed, to be freed.
What is needed for successful healing? The answer lies in the reason for the traumas. As Lise Bourbeau points out, the main reason for any trauma is the inability to forgive oneself for the wound inflicted on oneself or others.
So, the first and most important thing is to forgive both yourself and others. In fact, it is simple if you know the essence of your trauma and accept that “Yes, it happened that I wanted to go through this experience, therefore I attracted the corresponding circumstances of my life (parents, close ones, events) to show me what is inside me.
Therefore, there is no one to blame, as all of them, including myself, played their roles in this play (called Life). I understand that all this was done not out of malice, but for the good of my soul, my development. Therefore, I easily forgive myself and others for the pain (as a signal that something is wrong), which was part of this experience and caused suffering to all who participated in this play. I thank myself and everyone for this experience, which made me wiser.”
I want to remind you of a parable about how souls agreed on the upcoming life lesson. One strong Soul wanted to know what forgiveness is and what it means to forgive.
Other Souls initially discouraged her, then out of love for her, agreed to help. One Soul said that only because of her great love for her would she incarnate as her parent and constantly belittle and scold her so that she understood what forgiveness is and what it means to forgive. Another Soul also agreed to help and said that she would incarnate as her husband and would beat, offend, and be unfaithful, so that she understood what forgiveness is and what it means to forgive. This Soul said she would do this only because she loves her very much. And other Souls flew up to her and said that only out of love for her were they ready to go to Earth as her future disobedient children, betraying friends, and other close ones bringing her suffering. Just for her. When they all incarnated on Earth, they forgot about the agreement. The Soul that wanted to experience forgiveness, for which all other Souls did as promised, came into her life and started helping her see the experience she had chosen, also forgot.
After that, can anyone be seriously blamed or hated?
I wish you to see your (chosen by you) experience and go through it with an understanding of its essence and gratitude to all actors (including yourself). Lada