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Hurt People hurt Other People

Have you ever experienced hurt by another person?

Of course you have.

Ever wonder why or what to do about it?


I invite you to read on as I discuss the concept of “hurt people hurt other people” as an insightful exploration potentially of the source of your pain (including why there may be addiction in your life), understanding the people behind your hurt, and what you can to do about.



Every human being has experienced a level of hurt. It can range from being spoken to in a belittling way, being betrayed by a friend to…divorce, adultery, sexual/emotional/sexual abuse, loss, a car accident, trauma.

It could of been your father. It may be your mother. Maybe it was a boss, a brother, a sister, a uncle. Maybe it was your best friend. Or a stranger.

But who is the real enemy?  In the case of abuse towards women or children, it can be easy to point an angry finger to men. Or in the case of a broken family, it can be easy to point to the mother that cheated on her husband. Maybe it’s that abuser…

Above that, what’s most curious is…why the sick cycle repeats again-- Why does someone who grew up being controlled and verbally/emotionally abused, act controlling towards others and their own children? Why do the sexually abused abuse others? Why do children of divorce divorce themselves? Why do children of violent alcoholics inflict angry violence towards their own children? Why are people addicted to porn, drugs, sex, dsyfunctional relationships…?

You would think that those that experience hurt, especially on such a deep level, would not want to inflict the same type of hurt to others.

It doesn’t seem to make sense…

…Oh, but at the same time, it totally does make sense… 



Hurt People hurt Other People

As I encounter and counsel people from all walks of life– those from abusive backgrounds, drug addicts, ex-felons…all the way up to the young professional that seems to have it all together….When I research and read about the evils of sex trafficking and child pornography, such wickedness…I wonder…who’s the real enemy?

I see a pattern. I see patterns of hurt like stencil patterns imprinted on each fragile human life narrative…

Time and time again, what I see reinforces what I have known to be true: Hurt people hurt other people.

Here are 5 factors in this equation:

1. Unprocessed emotions = festering open wounds

When someone hurts you, it’s so easy to point the finger and see the other person as all bad.

Sometimes in the hatred and bitterness, we get lost in our anger towards the other, that we forget that we have to do something with the hurt that was created in us from what happened.

For example, if you were in a relationship with someone and that person cheated on you…yes, you were cheated on, yes, it was their fault. But what are you going to do about it?

In that case, you have 3 options–

Option A: Become hateful/bitter

Option B: Become ‘better’ –by stuffing it and distracting yourself with other things to make yourself feel better (perhaps with a new love interest)

Option C: You can validate your feelings (let yourself feel!), properly grieve the hurt, let out the anger in a healthy way, forgive and…take your time to heal and regain confidence and balanced perspective.

This little illustration is to show you that when you get hurt– no matter what it is— proper validation and processing of your emotions is key to not becoming a hurt person who hurts others. Unprocessed emotions are not only the breeding ground of addiction but they are festering open wounds that leave you vulnerable to hurting others yourself!

This should give us compassion on those that hurt you too! Think: They were hurt by someone else too and…most likely never processed it in a healthy way.

(Read more about this: Learning to Feel AgainThe Breeding Ground of Addiction, Toxic Anger: Part I, Toxic Anger: Part II)


2. Unforgiveness, a luxury you aren’t afford

Along with that notion of processing emotions, in the example above, Option A would be to be bitter.

Again, it is so easy to get busy only pointing the finger at the other person and worsening the oppression resulting from that original hurt by choosing to remain in unforgiveness and bitterness.

In my blog article, When you need a ‘Heart Transplant and Healing Father Wounds Part I, I write:

“Spiritually, Matthews 6:14-15 (Amplified) says “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [theirreckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.”

Did God just say He won’t forgive you if you don’t forgive others? Yes…

Not only is forgiveness not optional for rightstanding with God, forgiveness is imperative for the freed life. Unless you plan on being in bondage all your life, plan on forgiving!

Choose your way into a feeling, Don’t feel your way into a choice.

But you will never feel like forgiving. It just won’t come up out of the ‘goodness of your heart.’ It’s a supernatural change in your heart that only God can do. (don’t worry, you don’t have to change yourself) But, it will require you to make the choice.

You make the choice, God will make the change.

I love the saying, “Choose your way into a feeling. Don’t feel your way into a choice,” because with the decision to step out and make the choice to forgive, the feelings will come! (Trust me, they do.) But you will never feel like forgiving first. You cannot feel like forgiving then choose to forgive.

Make the choice first.”

3. Generational curses aren’t a myth

Another major factor in considering why we get hurt and how those that hurt us may be hurting too is generational curses.

Now I’m talking in a Christian biblical perspective to those of faith but…even if you don’t believe in God, just take a look at the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders!) and you’ll see something called “prevalence” that gives evidence that…

Family history matters.

Why do alcoholics usually have alcoholics in their family line? Why do domestic violence victims usually have domestic violence in their family line? The list goes on….why?

It’s because there is spiritual laws of sin…

In my blog article, You are just like your father, I explain:

“Is there such thing as a generational curse?

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” -Exodus 20:5-6

Yes, when covanent is broken and passed on generation to generation, there are dysfunctional patterns that repeat and repeat…

Can you think of an addiction, a struggle or a bent towards something destructive (like drug addiction, sexual addiction, rage, etc) or even a particular sickness that you see occur in more than one place in your family line?

Maybe your grandfather had a horrible temper…you experienced that in your father, he was abusive…and now you see that same rage in yourself.

Replace the symptom and change up the players of who’s got what and you see this happen in every family...

if you understand this concept–that ‘generational curses’ are a reality not a myth– it will bring great clarity to why you are the way you are, why you struggle with what you struggle with, why certain family members are the way they are, etc.”

Sound familiar?

This is so key to understanding why the person that hurt you is the way he or she is and more importantly, how you can ensure that you don’t repeat the cycle. I encourage you to read more on this here.


4. Inner vows out of the wrong heart

One last thing to consider here is the vows you may of made in your hurt.

“I will never let someone hurt me like this again”

“I will _________ so that I never feel rejected and abandoned again”

“I will prove to ______ that I am desireable, worthy, valued”

No matter what flavor…we have all done this before. In our hurt, whether or not we knew it or not…maybe verbally, maybe silently…we’ve made what I call inner vows — things we promised ourselves we would do or be in order to get back at that person or to prove to ourselves our worth and value.

Now, there’s plenty of things that are great to do, that are healthy, such as – for example, exercising or losing weight. However, the key question is: what is your heart behind your drive? what is the heart behind your resolve?

If it’s to prove yourself or validate your own self then — I highly recommend that you reexamine your heart.

In our hurt and brokeness, we can make resolves in our heart that are self-will driven, bitterness- driven…fruitless and self-fish…godless and empty.

I write more about this in my blog journal, Healing Father Wounds: Part 3:

And with every hurtful action, every hurtful word, comes a reciprocal conclusion in our own hearts, a response, a reaction.

We either accept the lie (because that’s what it really is) or we reject it.

We either accept that we are not good enough, that we deserved to be rejected, we are going to be just like our fathers or we are too much, etc. or we reject it…

Based off the things those hurtful actions and words said about your self-worth, value and identity…what conclusions did you make?

Did you resolve to ‘never be fat again’? Did you resolve to prove your mom wrong? Did you resolve to not let anyone in your heart in fear that you’d get hurt again? Did you resolve to be so strong and independent to protect yourself?

Did you resolve to accomplish so much so that others would see it and praise your ability and validate your worth? Did you resolve that you would marry someone so opposite of your dad because of the hurt you experienced from him?…

It’s wonderful to have healthy determination to be a better person but if those ‘inner vows,’ those self-resolutions are derived from self-protectionism and a determination to gain our self-worth and identity from somewhere other than…God.  Those conclusions, resolutions, vows are ungodly, fruitless and empty.


Breaking the cycle

Hurt people hurt other people. My utmost prayer for you is that you understand clearer of why you have been hurt, why you turn to the thing you do, and what you can do about it to make sure you don’t repeat the same cycle!


Heart Check

1. What insights does this blog journal provide to you about the people who have hurt you? Be specific.

2. How have you processed your pain and hurt? Is there a way to process your pain and hurt in a healthier way that you have?

3. Do you see any generational curses playing out in the family history of the person who hurt you? How about in your own life?

4. Have you forgiven the person who has hurt you? If not, what are ways that you can “Choose your way into a feeling, Don’t feel your way into a choice” ?

5. What inner vows have you made in your own heart from the hurt? What are ways can you repent of trying to prove your value apart from God?

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