Male Childhood Abuse, Mother Wounds and Healing

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Rick Belden is a trauma survivor with physical, sexual and emotional wounds sustained at the hands of his own family as a young boy, leaving psychological lacerations into adulthood.  Through his own work and growth via poetry, essays and art, Rick is using his experience to help guide others on their healing journey.

When I came across Rick’s work over 10 years ago, he was a fairly lone voice on these difficult topics for men, shedding light on male abuse at the hands of the people they should have been able to trust the most.  His book of poetry, Iron Man Family Outing: Poems about Transition into a More Conscious Manhood, chronicling in excruciating detail his personal story, was shocking and difficult to read.  It’s not as if this had never happened to a man but most were not speaking of it because of the intense shame around admitting this vulnerability, opposing society’s messages around how men are “supposed” to be.  I was deeply moved by his bravery.

Many years later now and partially thanks to Rick, the topic of male abuse and recovery has less stigma and there are others like him offering education and support to wounded men.

One of the topics Rick explores in depth is the “mother wound.”

“The Mother Wound is an injury to the psyche of a child, resulting from significant dysfunction or disruption of a relationship with the mother. In some cases, it is the result of a mother’s absence, or unavailability due to death, illness, adoption or other circumstances that dramatically separate a child from the mother. But more typically, a Mother Wound is a complex set of injuries the child’s psyche received over many years, often as a result of the mother acting unconsciously or out of her own woundedness.”  – Rick Belden

How do you know if you are carrying these types of wounds?  Ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. Is it acceptable for you feel angry with or critical of your mother?
  2. Do you feel like it’s okay to tell your mother “no” when she wants something, including your time and attention?
  3. How do you feel after you’ve interacted with her? How do you feel the next day?

Rick Belden recently talked about “Healing the Mother Wound in Men” with Ka’Bu Ma’at Kheru on her show “Running African” on IRIE FM in Jamaica.

Rick is a life coach ( with a focus on masculine psychology, abuse recovery and other men’s issues.  Though he is not a trained therapist, his life experience and journey in recovery provide a unique benefit in understanding for those who have been there.  He is also a frequent guest on radio and podcast shows, speaking about mother wounds, father wounds, men and grief, healing childhood abuse and more.


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