EMOTIONAL WOUND THESAURUS

A CHILD DYING ON ONE’S WATCH



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Emotional wounds will steer a character's behavior, corrupt his worldview, and cause negative traits to form. To understand exactly how this occurs, please read our tutorial for the Wound Thesaurus.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect.
NOTES:
In most cases of a child dying in one’s care—one’s own offspring or another person’s son or daughter—those in charge blame themselves regardless of whether they were at fault or not. For information on losing a son or daughter due to factors completely out of one’s control, see THE DEATH OF ONE’S CHILD. But in cases where the caregiver was even accidentally to blame, the weight of responsibility and regret can be crippling. To explore this kind of wound further, this entry will focus on cases where the caregiver may have unintentionally contributed to a child’s death but isn’t legally liable, such as in the examples listed below.

EXAMPLES:
A child being given food that contained a known allergen
Them ingesting poison or medicine that wasn’t put away properly
A cord or paper bag causing strangulation
The child being shot accidentally while playing with a parent’s gun
A car backing over the child
A child dying due to a maintenance hazard one hadn’t gotten around to fixing (a broken railing, a window that wouldn't lock, etc.)
A house fire that started with one’s lit cigarette or a space heater that was left on
Death occurring in a car accident where one was at fault
One denying a diagnosis of a communicable disease (like pneumonia) and accidentally infecting the child with it
The child drowning while playing with friends in one’s pool

WOUND CATEGORY:
Failures and Mistakes, Traumatic Events

BASIC NEEDS OFTEN COMPROMISED BY THIS WOUND:
love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

LIES THAT MAY DEVELOP FOR CHARACTERS WITH THIS WOUND:
They can’t be responsible for the life of another
They're untrustworthy and irresponsible
They're a terrible parent
This wouldn’t have happened on someone else’s watch
They don’t deserve forgiveness
They can’t keep their loved ones safe
They're a danger to everyone; people are better off without them in their lives

THE CHARACTER MAY FEAR:
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POSSIBLE RESPONSES AND RESULTS:
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POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES THAT MAY RESULT:
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NEGATIVE TRAITS THAT MAY RESULT:
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TRIGGERS THAT MIGHT AGGRAVATE THIS WOUND:
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STEPS TOWARD HEALING:
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OPPORTUNITIES TO FACE OR OVERCOME THIS WOUND:
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