“90% of the present pain you feel is linked to unresolved pain from the past.”

When I heard about this principle, I was like, are you’re kidding me? You mean to tell me the crazy-ass emotional insanity that shows up unexpected and uninvited in my life periodically is linked to my childhood?

Crap. I’m screwed.

Yes, so “experts” claim that only 10% of the pain we feel today actually comes from issues we are facing today. The other 90% stems from repressed emotions from our dysfunctional childhood.

You know, Mom and Dad fighting and throwing things at each other, alcoholism, neglect, abuse, Uncle Frank’s demented sense of humor, divorce, mean siblings, and well, so much more.

Codependency Found Me

As much as this principle pisses me off, let me tell you in my head it made A LOT of sense because I’ve experienced several years where my emotions ran rampant and as much as I wanted (and tried) to blame it on hormones and carry on, the intensity was overwhelming. I could not get a handle on them.

As much as I don’t like to admit it, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father and clinically depressed mother. I grew up the “good, sweet, thoughtful” child and wanted to please everyone. I was very loving and forgiving no matter what anyone did or said to me. (well, on the surface because inside I was getting pissed.) I learned at a young age to repress my emotions and disassociate from reality. Who wants to claim dysfunctional family life as “real”?

Then there I was bopping along my adult life when a rather difficult transition unleashed a mighty river of emotions that had been nicely holding behind a dam all my life.

The dam broke….and wow, a lot gushed out.

The really challenging part was that for once in my life I could not put the happy face on. I couldn’t just stuff it and pretend all was fine.

I was not fine.

Clearly, I could have (and thought about) taking a trip to the shrink to get a “wonder pill” that would alter my state, or at least “talk” about things, but I was sure: “I got this!” So I did what many women (and some men) do:

Drive their lover’s insane.

Anger, guilt, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, shame became my friends.


Finally, after I’d had enough of the emotional pain; when the pain was so great and nothing could numb it anymore,

I surrendered.

I took the action steps needed to deal with my childhood. I began sharing my story. I went to 12 Step support meetings. I received help from the “experts”.

Wounds began to heal.

The 90:10 ratio was changing.

What about you?

The nagging pain you feel today: where is it coming from? What is your ratio? How are you doing emotionally? Are you struggling with codependency?

When we take responsibility for our emotions, life simply gets better. (and our lovers like us more)

Take some time to think about your childhood. Do you have open wounds that need healing? Do you carry resentment, anger, fear, etc.? If so, do something about it. Educate yourself on inner child healing and/or see a professional for help. Check out a 12 Step support group meeting like Codependents Anonymous. Find freedom. Don’t wait one more day.

Emotional healing and stability.

You deserve it.

You are worth it.

I think you’re beautiful.

Discover you at your awesome core.

Author's Bio: 

Dominica Applegate, MA, is an author, writer, and poet dedicated to helping those who are depressed, anxious, codependent, and struggling with alcoholism or addiction. She is the author of several eCourses, including Codependency Freedom and When Your Loved One is An Alcoholic/Addict. Find out more at https://www.dominicaapplegate.com/.