From the perspective of the person suffering from paralyzing anxiety or depression, there are two separate worlds; the world and me. This understanding is true for nearly all of us, but the relationship between the world and me is particularly difficult when we experience extreme stress or depression. Yet as was pointed out in my earlier post, Curing Depression, extreme emotional states are a consequence of a perfect linkage between how we make sense of the external circumstances of our life and the core invalidation belief that is largely hidden, but possesses immense power.
We can think of this as a kind of iceberg, where the visible part of the situation represents a relatively small part of the thought cluster mass. Where the life circumstances are recent, the invalidation belief is ancient. In this post, we will focus on the internal mass. The source of our psychological problems is what is called the Wound in Liberation from the Lie.
The Wound is an unseen and underlying belief that possesses immense power. We can understand a lot more about how the Wound arises in our self center through cross-cultural analysis. This is a complex topic and requires some reading in the field of anthropology. I strongly recommend Morris Berman’s Wandering God. These findings are also summarized in my own book Liberation from the Lie.
The Wound is a legacy belief from intensive infantile trauma. It starts from the terrifying experience of separation we all experienced as children and was reified through repeated violations of our authentic being as children. Unlike families today, nomadic and simple agricultural societies tend to see children as perfect expressions of the spirit of creation. For these people, child-raising is not an exercise of molding children through discipline and punishment, but more an experience of partnering with the young child and watch as she or he unfolds into adulthood.
The child’s ‘journey’ is unique to that child. This is not the case in our world. Children need to be a certain way to earn the love of their parents and the admiration of their peers and authorities (teachers – bosses, etc.). In this way the original ‘voice’ of the child is lost. The process that undermines our authentic being is called the Wound. The wounding of our authentic being is an experience of great pain and as the child ages she or he needs to adapt to a world where love is earned. To escape the pain of the Wound and to obtain the love the child needs a Fear-Based Self develops. The purpose of this secondary self is to compensate for how the child understands the content of the Wound. In all cases, the message of the Wound is: I am inadequate or I am insufficient or I am worthless/unlovable. This is the Invalidation Triad. It assumes this form because the child assumes responsibility for her/his own infantile trauma. She can’t blame her parents because they need to be seen as good – perfect – essential. She interprets her trauma as her own fault. She is, therefore, the cause of her own bad feelings. This is not a simple subject and it is not my purpose for you to take these findings on faith. If you would like to investigate further, take a look at the parenting meta-analysis in Professor Berman’s book noted above or read the summary presented in Liberation from the Lie.
Everyone who has read the book has found it to be powerfully compelling. You can see a summary of read comments here. There have been, to date, no review of Liberation that has been less than outstanding.