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 FAMILY MEMBER’S SUICIDE

A HOME INVASION

A HOUSE FIRE

A PARENT’S ABANDONMENT OR REJECTION

A SIBLING’S BETRAYAL

BECOMING A CAREGIVER AT AN EARLY AGE

BEING BULLIED

BEING DISAPPOINTED BY A ROLE MODEL

BEING FIRED OR LAID OFF

BEING HELD CAPTIVE

BEING INCARCERATED FOR A LEGITIMATE CRIME

BEING MENTALLY ILL

BEING PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED

BEING PHYSICALLY DISFIGURED

BEING PUBLICLY HUMILIATED

BEING RAISED BY NEGLECTFUL PARENTS

BEING RAISED BY OVERLY CRITICAL OR STRICT PARENTS

BEING RAISED BY OVERPROTECTIVE 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

DISCOVERING ONE’S PARENT IS A MONSTER

DISCOVERING ONE’S SIBLING WAS ABUSED

EXPERIENCING A MISCARRIAGE OR STILLBIRTH

EXPERIENCING PREJUDICE OR DISCRIMINATION

EXPERIENCING THE DEATH OF A PARENT AT AN EARLY AGE

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 A DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOOD

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 LEARNING DISABILITY

HAVING A SPEECH IMPEDIMENT

HAVING ONE'S IDENTITY STOLEN

HAVING PARENTS WHO FAVORED ONE CHILD OVER ANOTHER

HAVING TO DECLARE BANKRUPTCY

INFERTILITY

INFIDELITY

LOSING A LIMB

LOSING A LOVED ONE TO A RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE

MAKING A VERY PUBLIC MISTAKE

TELLING THE TRUTH BUT NOT BEING BELIEVED

WATCHING A LOVED ONE DIE

WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT

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