healing the pain, closing the wound

When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain, you know it is healed.
– Lyanla Vanzant

I love this quote. Plain and simple, I love this quote. It speaks volumes in so few words. When you ask ‘how can I heal from this terrible tragedy that has befallen me?’ the answer is to talk about it.

My own story still brings up pain for me. But because I have spent my entire adult life telling the story in different ways the pain is much less than when I first started talking about it. Telling your story doesn’t have to mean standing on a stage, or on a street corner, or accosting a close friend or neighbor with your horror. You can also tell your story through writing and through all the many mediums of art or even through gardening or crafting and whatnot.

The point is to be active – to get it up and out of the depths of your soul, consciously channeling the pain through woodworking or embroidery or digging holes for spring bulbs and summer vegetables. You have to make a conscious decision to heal from your wounds and then trust yourself to find the right outlet.

A rape victim may heal herself by taking self defense or boxing classes. With every hit or punch she takes back a piece of herself – even if she never says a word aloud. A teen-aged boy may heal himself by drawing or writing or creating music that reflects the depth his pain. A veteran may find healing from war by helping rescue abandoned and abused animals.

The point of the action is to heal and to make a conscious effort toward that end. Of course a person may do all these things and never be healed but maybe they never recognized the need of healing.

If you are wounded in any way, ask yourself the best way for you to seek healing. Trust in your choices, go forth in prayer, and the Light of Love will work with you and through you and over time, you will be healed.

Here are some of the many ways of working toward healing. Click on the image for the link.

I Love Art Therapy

u is for under c

inside my head

Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.
-Jim Bishop

Time is ticking away. Even as I write this, it ticks endlessly onward, forward marching, until the end of my days. Each day I am given a choice, each moment I am given a choice. A choice to live in the now or to live in the past or the future.

For me, living in the now has always been the struggle. I don’t live in or for the future. I don’t save for retirement (except what my employer or the government forces me to save). I rarely think beyond today (like saving for something, or making plans for anything). My past churns beneath my subconscious silently, sometimes screaming, but I rarely think about it, at least not willingly or consciously.

No, it is the now I struggle with. Because of the need to find a way to survive at the hands of a monsterous father I developed a very active and realistic fantasy life. There were times during my teen and early adult years I lived two lives alongside each other. The real, painful one in the physical world and the safe, happy one inside my head. (I can’t say the ‘real’ world because the world in my head was as real as the physical one.)

When life was going well for me physically, the world inside my head was moving in concert. If life was moving along okay then the physical me and the inside-my-head me were doing and saying the same things. But if the physical me was going through something bad or scary then the inside-my-head me would become stronger and more vivid and I would retreat to her world. The things that were happening to me didn’t even register in my brain because I was somewhere else.

Maybe that is why I don’t have many childhood memories. The inside-my-head me was busy creating a safe environment for me to survive and the physical me was simply enduring.

A very distinct memory of this happening was of me sitting in an airport with my family. My father was very angry at me for some reason – I was going to say I don’t remember why, but I do – I made a smart-ass remark to him (I was in my early twenties) – and he started yelling at me. It was the kind of yelling that in this day and age would bring on the police. He was standing in front of me, or rather, over me (I was sitting) pointing his finger in my face, screaming bloody murder.

To this day I have absolutely no memory of what he said. All I saw was his mouth moving up and down and the finger practically hitting me in the eye. I heard nothing. Pure silence. Because, after a long period of dormancy, the inside-my-head me woke up and took me someplace else for safety. The only feeling I had was prickling in my lips. I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t anything. But I was safe. (This was the beginning of the long ending of my association with him.)

When the inside-my-head me was in charge time was suspended. I had no concept of time passing. Just like in the airport that day, time had stopped while I was safe. Once she went back to sleep, time moved on as normal. I am grateful that she was there, taking care of my fragile brain, keeping my sanity safe. But I am also grateful I no longer need her assistance.

In time, I moved on from living in fear. It is that fear, though, that rules me still. If I look back, I am afraid I will wake her up. So I continue to work on living in the now. Without her, but with Him – with God. God created in me – in all of mankind – a marvelous brain whose inner workings are a mystery. He gave me a way out of terror, and a way through the madness. He gives me now the means of finally putting to rest those old ghosts and terrors. If I am willing to do the work.

 

(image source click here)

down but not out

You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
-Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

So who knew the very day after I wrote yesterday’s blog I would be confronted by the emotional eating dragon and fail? The answer is obvious of course. Anyway, one of my furbabies had been under the weather for 2 days and finally I had had enough of him not eating or moving from my bed. I called the vet, made a late appointment and while waiting for the time to leave I consumed more calories in the space of 2 hours than I had in two days. (Maybe that is an exaggeration, maybe not – who cares?) About half way through my binge eating I realized the dragon was breathing on my neck with his stinky breath all in my face. But I ignored him and kept eating. Right up until it was time to take my furbaby to the vet.

Poor baby, after 3 subcutaneous fluid shots, 2 different antibiotic shots, 1 steroid shot and a blood draw from his neck for tests he fell asleep in my arms when we got home so thankfully I didn’t have to deal with that dragon again. My baby is okay for now and the dragon has left me alone; but he will be back soon enough. Time for me to make a plan of action, don’t you think?

Perhaps the first step is recognizing his presence, or rather, recognizing when I am bingeing while I am doing it. Then comes the hard part – stopping mid-binge. Pulling myself up out of the binge, stopping the stuffing of my emotions down my throat (literally) and doing something else instead.

But maybe I won’t want to confront those emotions? Maybe eating is easier? Maybe I want to sit and stew in my own fat ignoring what I am feeling. After all that is what I learned as a child and continued as an adult. Even the previous years of therapy didn’t solve this problem – what makes me think I can solve it now?

Fear makes me think I cannot solve it. Fear makes me afraid of the dragon. Fear makes me feel alone and unworthy of notice even by God to solve this problem. Fear that God won’t help.

Faith tells me that God is my only hope. Faith tells me I am able to conquer this dragon if, and only if, I allow God to work on my behalf. Faith tells me fear is not of God. Faith tells me God will help. Faith tells me that regardless of what I think and what I feel, God is and always will be with me in any situation. Faith tells me God will not abandon me even if I abandon myself.

So I will choose to rely on faith and not fear. I will choose God over fear of the dragon. I choose to trust He will show me the way to stop giving into the dragon because it is easier than fighting him. I choose to fight the dragon one battle at a time. And if I lose one, then the next maybe I will win. If not, then I will choose to hold on to God again and live to fight another day.

 

my furbaby is feeling much better now
my furbaby is feeling much better now