Feeding the Wound vs. Healing the Wound

By Brandon Alter:

Our unhealed wounds are either the catalyst to own our authenticity or they are the hungry monster that never gets satiated. Let me explain. This summer, when Mercury went Retrograde, I had a lot of old gunk from the deep past rise up to the surface. And it was shocking to me how it all centered around unresolved shame around my sexuality. Shocking because I am an out and proud 33-year-old gay man with a husband and a drag persona— so I was like, really? There’s still shame here? And my wound was like, "Yeah babe, there’s still shame here." So this got me thinking about all the choices I’ve made in my life so far. And how a lot of them were an unconscious compensation for being gay. The story running me was: If I’m rich and famous then no one can give me shit for being gay.

Basically I spent my last two decades trying to eclipse my sexuality with success. And that, my loves, is called feeding the wound.

Healing the wound is a very different process. I had to look at where all this shame came from. My father, goddess bless him, always wanted a butch son he could throw a ball around with, and as a young empath, I could literally feel his disappointment that I couldn’t fulfill those dreams. This is what began my unconscious narrative of: I have to make up for the fact of who I truly am.


Only in these past few weeks can I see that I don’t have to make up for anything. Because, now that I can see the shame clearly, I’ve realized that it isn’t mine. I am proud of being gay, of being gender queer, of being a two spirit, a weirdo, and a rebel. And I don’t have to overcompensate for anything. THAT is the difference between healing a wound and feeding it.


Our unresolved issues manipulate us into doing anything and everything we can NOT to feel the pain, the shame, the discomfort of trauma. But then we spend our whole lives walking on eggshells around our brokenness. If we can actually get to the root of our wounds, they no longer have power over us. They become the gateway to our FREEDOM!

Have the courage to embrace your wounds today and ask yourself: Have I been healing this or just feeding it?
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