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  • Katie Martinez, RN, BSN, RM

The path of the wounded healer

Updated: Jun 14

When my friend Mary first said this phrase described me, I wasn't sure how to respond. I had seen the image of this path in Alex Gray's book Sacred Mirrors, and had been trying to put into words what it is like to experience trauma again and again.

She and I were working on an 8 week distance healing course about healing dark energy, and everything she had presented up to that time I had either experienced, or had a client or friend who had. When she asked me to count the traumas in my life, I needed more than two hands to add them up.

Basically this path is a difficult one for a soul to choose. I had often wondered why my soul would pick a path like this, complete with losses I couldn't prevent and situations I had no control over. I had traumas spanning from age 3 to age 40.

As we filled in the blanks, it was apparent that I needed to do some deep healing, if I was going to get past the turning point in my life. I was, true to form, having my midlife crisis early. I am clairvoyant four years in advance, and I could see what was coming.

She said that the more we work in our darkness, the lighter we become. We had discussed many times the path that lightworkers take through the dark night of the soul, a time when everything seems to go wrong. Many people try to push down and ignore the dark times in their lives, and unfortunately, they begin to add up, and prod you to pay attention to them.

At first I thought my soul might have chosen this path because it makes a person more compassionate. If you've gone through the ringer again and again, you can relate and care for others in a way that delivers genuine love. I have been able to see dark energy for a long time. Usually the energy is there for a reason, and sage, or other ways to get rid of it, hadn't worked for me, because the energy had a message.

The message was, "WAKE UP."

Now, coming from a deeply religious family, this seemed to be a bad joke. I considered myself awakened from age 5. I started praying for the whole world when I was five, because it was apparent to me that it wasn't just my family that needed help. I have seen and felt collective consciousness for a long time.

She said that perhaps I was having a shamanic awakening, because I was walking between worlds and having near death experiences. I had thought that I was having a Kundalini awakening, because I had felt that energy running through my body like a freight train. Maybe I was having a darkworker awakening, or an initation, or another religious awakening.

I didn't know. What I understood was that it was all happening at the same time, and the life lesson test I was getting I had to pass. When I turned 40, I knew I had hit a milestone and was turning a corner, because I felt good a lot of the time. The test was asking me to release the darkness that had a hold on me for such a long time.

I tried. I dropped my baggage all at once, and it came roaring back with a vengeance. I tried again, wanting to replace my memories with good and happy ones. I tried imagining what my life would have been like had I not had all of the negative experiences. I had experienced a spiritual breakdown every ten years since I was 9. That path was clearly not the right one, because erasing experience brought more karma.

39 was my chance to get it right. I realized that somehow I had taken on karma from all of my recent teachers, as well as people I work with. I was trying to heal everyone around me at once. The last thing I wanted people to experience was my father's death by his own hand. I refused to let it affect anyone around me, and I was stubbornly holding on to the way I was going, trying to erase it from my consciousness.

Then Mary said, "You have got to accept that this is your story. Until you do, the darkness will keep coming and will try to overtake your life." I didn't want to accept it, nor did I want it to be in my life story at all. At that moment I realized that not only had I taken on everyone's karma around me, I was trying to take on my father's karma.

I won't go into the karma from suicide, but I will say that I was happy to drop that one at the corner and run. It was his spiritual issue to deal with, not mine. My father's spirit had taken a chunk of my life and had asked me to help him heal in the afterlife. I had tried, but I wasn't up for the task, and the dark energies around me kept reminding me that his life was not mine, and it was not my job to fix his.

I asked my angels what to do, my guides, and the higher consciousness energies around me. They all agreed that it was time to drop his karma and go on with my life. As painful as it was to say no to a spirit who needed help, it was causing more pain in my life than I needed to deal with.

So I set a boundary and moved on. The space between us got bigger and bigger, until I could no longer feel his presence pulling at me. My life lesson became that I was allowed to feel good. I was allowed to be happy after experiencing tragedy over and over again.

There's a guru that I look up to, who I can go to with personal issues or problems with clients and we talk it out. Sometimes we argue, and in the heat of one argument, he called me a "professional victim". I hadn't seen myself this way before, and I realized that I had taken on the aspect of my father that I hated the most. I promised him that I would renounce that title and move on.

I looked back at my writing from the last 15 years. Most of it was negative, and framed in just that light. I value his input, because he never sugar coats it for me, and honesty feels good to me. I decided to start writing in the same light that I felt coming from within, and my life started to shift.

The darkness and negativity that had been around me for so long started to get lighter. I could feel the dark balancing the light and I could see in my clients what they were hiding or pushing down so that they didn't have to deal with their issues. We all have the choice whether to deal with darkness or leave it alone, and many of them had decided to leave it alone.

As a healer I honor everyone's choice on the path they choose to heal. I tell my students that it's imperative that they find their own path to health, while listening to the quiet whisper inside that tells us all how to feel better. I chose the light, and as Mary said, the more we dig into our dark, the lighter we become.

I'm living proof that balance is possible. If you're experiencing a dark night of the soul or looking for guidance on your soul's path, I can assist you with the next step. I don't take steps for clients and students, but I do hold your hand as you decide which way to go. I don't predict the future for clients, because I believe that every moment of our lives we have a choice.

Dark or light, it's up to you. Both ways yield your life lessons. Blessings on your journey.


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