If You're Afraid of Touching Your Wounds They Won't Heal

The fear of acknowledging your wounds and vulnerabilities can keep you stuck in a cycle of pain and dissatisfaction. What can you do to get out of this state?
If You're Afraid of Touching Your Wounds They Won't Heal
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Do you know anyone who avoids going to the doctor and getting tests or check-ups for fear of ‘discovering something’? Have you ever avoided going to the dentist or dermatologist for fear of having to undergo a painful procedure? When it comes to mental health, you often act in the same way. In fact, you turn a deaf ear to your own needs and convince yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you. However, in reality, you’re afraid of touching your wounds.

It’s important to remember that therapy isn’t just for those with serious mental disorders. In fact, it’s recommended for everyone. That’s because, to a greater or lesser degree, we all carry with us our past experiences, hurt, and unresolved emotions. Nevertheless, we do our best to sweep them under the rug.

It’s quite easy to continue with your life hiding or disguising your internal wounds but they won’t disappear just because you don’t look at them.

Woman thinking
Although sometimes we try to run away from our wounds, they remain with us in many ways.

Covering up your wounds

Sometimes, when we’re approached with the idea of going to therapy, our refusals can take many different forms. “I don’t need it”, “There’s nothing wrong with me”, “Therapy is nonsense, it doesn’t work”, “It’s better not to stir up the past”, “That’s why I already talk to my friends”… Do these statements sound familiar to you?

It’s possible that, in some of us, at least to a certain degree, these feelings arise from a real conviction that we don’t need professional help. Indeed, in a large number of cases, they’re just excuses for not facing the pain, its origin, and its consequences.

It’s never easy to look at yourself, recognize your defects or shortcomings, accept that you’ve been hurt, and allow yourself to feel vulnerable. It’s not desirable to remember certain events, ask yourself questions, dive into the depths of your soul, and hold yourself accountable. Often, however, the more you resist, the more you need to undertake this kind of introspection.

If you’re afraid that doing so will stir up your past, it’s because you haven’t yet managed to integrate it. If you’re afraid of your wound being touched, it’s because it’s still open or hasn’t yet healed properly. It’s normal to be scared of experiencing certain emotions, but doing so is the only way to be able to transcend them.

Start to heal

Human beings have a great capacity for adaptation. We can face stressful, negative, and painful events and are able to pick ourselves up and move on. However, it’s also true that our flexibility has a limit. Often, we restrict ourselves, barely managing to weather the storm but carrying on, trying not to remember, trying to be stronger, but often, in reality, we’re broken.

Contrary to what you might think, your injuries aren’t only caused by extraordinary events. They might be due to a certain paternal attitude during your childhood, rejection by peers, or the betrayal of a friend. A knockback that made you feel useless, a breakup that made you feel like a failure, or an unresolved argument.

Signs that you’re afraid of touching your wounds

Even if you think that everything is fine, here are some signs that may indicate you need to take a look at what you’ve been ignoring :

  • You have a bad relationship with a member of your nuclear family. You’d have liked everything to be different and you may even have tried, but reality has set in. This doesn’t imply that you should resume or try to solve the problems in the relationship, but you probably do need to manage a series of associated emotions.
  • Your emotions often hijack you. You have outbursts of anger that you later regret and that affect your relationship with your children, your partner, or your environment. Furthermore, you tend to feel sad and hopeless, or anxious and irritated, without quite knowing why.
  • You have a hard time setting boundaries as you tend to be a helpful person, always ready to assist others. On the other hand, maybe you’ve been accused of being selfish, even though you don’t recognize it yourself.
  • You tend to depend on those who are close to you. In fact, their actions, words, and attitudes condition your mood and your happiness. Or, perhaps you’re excessively independent and have a hard time letting your guard down and getting emotionally involved.
  • You repeat patterns in certain areas of your life. For example, maybe all your ex-partners are extremely similar, perhaps you never manage to keep a job over time, or you may have always felt like a victim of circumstance and bad luck.
  • There are certain people and events from your past that you avoid talking about. They’re forbidden subjects because they still carry an emotional burden that it’s difficult for you to tolerate.
Sad woman with low self esteem
Ignoring certain events and situations from the past is a sign that indicates the presence of a wound.

Stop being afraid of touching your wounds

These are just some indications that things aren’t really as good as you thought. Indeed, if you identified with any of the previous premises, remember that these realities aren’t due to chance, nor are they an inherent part of your personality. They’re the result of your history, the one you’ve lived, but perhaps haven’t yet healed. Consequently, it’s still continuing to direct you, even though you’re not conscious of it.

It’s quite acceptable to be afraid of touching your wounds. After all, healing can be painful. In fact, by doing so, part of what you thought you knew about yourself will be destroyed and you’ll have to open yourself up to what you didn’t want to recognize. It’ll change the way you see those around you. In effect, your idealization and guilt will end.

You must remember that you’re responsible for your own happiness. Once your wound is healed you’ll be able to clearly see its magnitude and its influence on your life. Therefore, have the courage to overcome your resistance and start making a change.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.