A special ‘Thank You’ to my guest blogger and friend Dr. Mark Jones for allowing me to share this much needed and crucial insight during this critical time. For more information about Dr. Jones and his vital work, visit the links provided at the bottom of this article – Matthew Mattera
The Cascade Effects
Since the implementation of the numerous COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and quarantine measures, couples and families are having increased stress and more conflicts. Before COVID-19, families could avoid each other by going to work and staying busy. Now due to this global pandemic, we’ve been forced into near-constant interaction and confined in very close proximity to one another over an extended period. During this season of close quarters quarantine, many people have seen suppressed hurts and resentments being activated subconsciously and then openly exposed in the form of anger, hostility, and aggression.
With this exposure of hidden wounds and hurt, basic human behavioral reactions begin to take over, often resulting in family members, who, due to pandemic induced quarantine and confinement, often transfer their previously concealed state of woundedness – an amalgamation of what is called Past-tense Woundings – onto each other. The irony is that these people don’t necessarily have to be cognitively aware that they have suppressed anger for it to be nested inside their subconscious mind. Alongside the deep-seated and long-concealed anger are the accompaniment of other toxic feelings that have also been buried for a long time; resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, frustrations, hate, fears, and other negative emotions.
Past Trauma – Present Struggle
When triggered, these emotions will almost always manifest in some form of aggressive behavior – both active and passive. This is why now, more than ever before, during this season of confinement and quarantine, family violence, domestic disputes, and child abuse are dramatically on the rise. When a person is pressurized with these ongoing and recurring stressful scenarios, their Past-tense Woundings and history of traumas, which through the years been encoded in their memories, become activated. These will then co-mingle with their present tense negative emotions, resulting in both the magnification and amplification of whatever they’re feeling and experiencing in the present.
When the past and present tense emotions co-mingle and are felt in the present, they will exceed a level five intensity on a 1 to 10 scale. At that point, the brain’s reasoning center, known as the cortex, begins to shut down and the amygdala takes over. The amygdala records and stores, in exact detail, the intimate fingerprints of every chemical and sensory nuance caused by both our past and present tense emotions – including the raw and irrational ones. When the brain’s logical/reasoning part starts shutting down due to heightened stress induced by quarantine and confinement, it sets the stage for these irrational emotions to take over, resulting in a showcase of extreme aggression and hostility.
In the turmoil and stress caused by the global pandemic, some people will shut down and detach while others will lash out and attack. Adding yet another layer to this already complicated problem set are those individuals who have struggled with a history of very low self-worth and dark feelings of worthlessness. Many times they begin to wonder if anyone would care if they were no longer alive. Additionally, those people pre-suffering from pre-existing chemical imbalances will often get worse. When the imbalance increases, the loop of negative internal messages will become louder, resulting in the mind becoming overwhelmed and confused.
In conjunction with present tense negative thoughts and emotions, the behaviors created from these wounds and traumas are collectively called Wound Behaviors. This is why, based upon many years of private practice, I wrote the book titled: “Walking Wounded.” Throughout my profession, I’ve even seen some people start having both delusions and severe mood swings. If a person is self-medicating to numb the pain, it will frequently lead to psychotic episodes, often to the point of having self-destructive thoughts and suicidal ideations.
What I have just explained is from a psychological and emotional, and behavioral perspective. However, from a spiritual or supernatural perspective, the kingdom of darkness also increases its pressure on these areas of brokenness – especially those who continue to stay in climate of wounds over a long time. The chronic state of being wounded eventually creates a sense of relentlessness, invokes persistent feelings of oppression and torment, and produces overwhelming feelings of impending doom or imminent danger. Suppose a person suffering from the issues I previously described lacks knowledge about this type of supernatural pressure. In that case, a ‘looming fear’ of the unknown will increase, often leading to a vicious cycle of fear-based “what if scenario” and “worst-case scenario” thinking. The presence of these looming fears will have a corrosive effect on their mind and slowly break the person down, eventually leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
This will frequently cascade into the onset of depression or lead to pre-existing depression worsening. When this happens, a dangerous combination of depression and panic attacks will profoundly deplete the person’s physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Instead of thriving, the person withdraws into a survival mode to ‘cope’ and somehow get through each day. Sadly, too many people become trapped in this self-destructive cycle, leading to exhaustion and desperately searching for a way to stop the pain and pressure. I’ve just described the downward spiral that many people have experienced during this unprecedented and challenging year – far more than ever before.
Instead of becoming hopeless, I encourage you to intentionally go through a healing process where your life can improve, as opposed to worsening. An essential step in that restorative journey will involve identifying what hidden wounds are inside of you and begin to intentionally triage and treat them so that you can eventually heal. If you would like help resolving your wounds and traumas and would like to know more on how to begin the restoration of your mental health, please reach out so that you can experience more peace during these stressful times.
About my guest
Dr. Jones has been counseling individuals, married couples, families, and groups in his private practice since 1992 and is also a certified and Approved Continuing Education Provider, offering CEU’s to other professionals so they can fulfill their requirements to maintain their license. He provides personal development and an array of professional services in the private, corporate, and government contracting sectors.
Dr. Mark Jones is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Antonio, TX. His practice, South Texas Liberty Alliance Group was founded in1992 along with Mark Jones Ministries.
Dr. Mark Jones was moved to begin Mark Jones Ministries after overcoming a challenging childhood. At four years old, his father left him, his mother and older brother at a bus stop in Houston, TX. HIs mother had no experience, except to play a a church organ. A pastor had compassion on the family of three and gave his mother a part-time job at the church, play8ing the organ. He also transformed the church shed into a one bedroom apartment where Dr. Mark Jones and his mother and brother lived for years, surviving on oatmeal (a nickel at the time) and faith in God.
At the time, Dr. Jones and his brother Dub Jones (who is now a counselor in Dr. Jones’ practice) would ride the bus from Houston to San Antonio, by themselves, to visit their father. As they arrived in San Antonio, Dr. Jones would search for the familiar face of his father surrounded by a crowd of strangers. Panic attacks were a normal occurrence in his life as doubt and fear would engulf him.
In Houston, Dr. Jones’ mother would put him and his brother on stage to sing to the congregation. Even though Dr. Jones suffered from panic and fear, and bein g on stage made him face these horrific feelings, singing gave them both purpose. They were for forced to conquer these feeling ad build value and self esteem. The family of three eventually moved to San Antonio to be close to their father and his new family. It was there, in middle school, that the boys had to encounter the challenges of being bullied.
Through these situations, and many more, Dr. Jones, spent many years developing himself by Resolving his past, Restoring his health and Retraining his mind.
His breakthrough book Walking Wounded explains how emotional and other wounds manifest themselves in people’s behavior, which are called “wound behaviors”. In order for a person to be healed and whole, the wound must be identified, dealt with and resolved intentionally.
In Walking Wounded, Dr. Jones teaches step by step how to resolve your past, restore your health, and retrain your mind so that you can maximize your potential.
Dr. Jones has been married to his lovely wife, Theresa since 1981 and they have 4 adult children and grandchildren. Dr. Jones’ second passion is singing; you may have heard him singing at Cornerstone Church, GETV world-wide broadcast, singing the National Anthem at various community events including the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo or the Texas Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.
For more information about this critical topic or set up an appointment to speak to one of the professional mental and behavioral health caregivers at the South Texas Liberty Alliance Group, go to https://libertyalliancegroup.com
To reach someone at the Liberty Alliance Group by phone, call 210-495-2797 or to send an email, go to email@example.com
Read or listen to Dr. Jones’ book “Walking Wounded” by clicking the links below: