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EMOTIONAL WOUNDS THESAURUS
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Emotional wounds from the past have the power to greatly impact our characters’ personalities and choices in the future. Get to know your characters intimately by choosing the right emotional wound; understanding its effects will enable you to write realistic, fully-formed characters that resonate with readers and make sense for your story.

ACCIDENTALLY KILLING SOMEONE

A CHILD DYING ON ONE’S WATCH

A HOME INVASION

A HOUSE FIRE

A LEARNING DISABILITY

A LOVED ONE'S SUICIDE

A MISCARRIAGE OR STILLBIRTH

A PARENT’S ABANDONMENT OR REJECTION

A PHYSICAL ASSAULT

A PHYSICAL DISFIGUREMENT

A SIBLING’S BETRAYAL

A SPEECH IMPEDIMENT

BATTLING A MENTAL DISORDER

BECOMING A CAREGIVER AT AN EARLY AGE

BEING BULLIED

BEING DISAPPOINTED BY A ROLE MODEL

BEING FIRED OR LAID OFF

BEING HELD CAPTIVE

BEING HUMILIATED BY OTHERS

BEING LEGITIMATELY INCARCERATED FOR A CRIME

BEING RAISED BY NEGLECTFUL PARENTS

BEING REJECTED BY ONE’S PEERS

BEING SO BEAUTIFUL IT’S ALL PEOPLE SEE

BEING STALKED

BEING THE VICTIM OF A VICIOUS RUMOR

BEING TRAPPED IN A COLLAPSED BUILDING

BEING UNFAIRLY BLAMED FOR SOMEONE'S DEATH

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE BY A KNOWN PERSON

CRACKING UNDER PRESSURE

DECLARING BANKRUPTCY

DISCOVERING A SIBLING'S ABUSE

EXPERIENCING THE DEATH OF A PARENT AS A CHILD OR YOUTH

FAILING AT SCHOOL

FAILING TO DO THE RIGHT THING

FINANCIAL RUIN DUE TO A SPOUSE’S IRRESPONSIBILITY

FINDING OUT ONE’S CHILD WAS ABUSED

FINDING OUT ONE WAS ADOPTED

GROWING UP IN A CULT

GROWING UP IN FOSTER CARE

GROWING UP IN THE PUBLIC EYE

GROWING UP IN THE SHADOW OF A SUCCESSFUL SIBLING

GROWING UP WITH A SIBLING'S DISABILITY OR CHRONIC ILLNESS

HAVING A CONTROLLING OR OVERLY STRICT PARENT

HAVING PARENTS WHO FAVORED ONE CHILD OVER ANOTHER

IDENTITY THEFT

INFERTILITY

INFIDELITY

LEARNING THAT ONE’S PARENT WAS A MONSTER

LIVING IN A DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOOD

LOSING A LIMB

LOSING A LOVED ONE TO A RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE

MAKING A VERY PUBLIC MISTAKE

PREJUDICE OR DISCRIMINATION

TELLING THE TRUTH BUT NOT BEING BELIEVED

WATCHING A LOVED ONE DIE

WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT

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