Healing the Wounds of Discrimination

As the LGBT community celebrated the passing into law the Marriage Equality Act of New York last week, I was reminded of my clients whose experiences of discrimination have caused deep and damaging wounds in their psyche and spirit.

What is really the effect of discrimination on humans, whether it is due to race, gender, or sexual preference?

It is safe to presume that the effect varies from one person to another – depending on the intensity of the discrimination, the ego strength of the person to handle the incident, and the availability of personal support that cushions the impact of the discriminatory experiences. Kids in school are most vulnerable because belonging is a primary need of children and to be discriminated against can cause a blow on the self-esteem.

The wounds of discrimination can be psychological, emotional and physical. Psychology damage is usually self-doubt, loss of self-esteem, and even lack of personal identity. Emotional wounds are the pains, shame, guilt and anger that the person accumulates through years of being discriminated. Physical injury, which is a common result of bullying, can be fatal even, as can be attested by the incidents of hate crimes in the country and all over the world.

The social cost of discrimination has been thorough studied in the past. But the human, personal cost can only be addressed if the person is willing to go through a process that allows him or her to explore these wounds and undergo a healing process.

Wise Words

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Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most
George R. Kirkpatrick

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Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

-Tad Williams

“When you were born, you were crying and everyone around “When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.”


I thought growing up was something that happened automatically as you got older. But it turns out it’s something you have to choose to do. – TV show Scrubs

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