Posted by: cmittermeier | January 17, 2012

Healing Childhood’s Wounds

Pain.  No one gets through childhood without some scars, we all have them.  There are events that quite likely we all have had to endure.  The effect on us will vary, depending on who we are, the severity of the incident, the frequency that our parents acted that way and what we all did after the event.  Here’s two examples so you know what I’m talking about.

  • abandonment –  when I needed them they weren’t there, they left me hanging, they forgot to pick me up, they dropped me off an never came back
  • not good enough – no matter how high the mark “if you got that much right why did you miss this one, didn’t you check?”, “how could you be so stupid”, “Your sibling did better”, “You’re the oldest, what kind of example are you…”

I could go on and on with examples, but this article isn’t about specifics its about healing a past hurt.  In particular, its about my own healing in the hopes that my tears may help someone else.   Because this is personal, I have to start out by saying that I love both my parents dearly, that I hold treasured memories of them both.  I play over in my head the time my Mom taught me how to whistle while we waited for a tow truck; I love revisiting the image of my father sitting in his car as my games ended and he continued his taxi runs picking us all up.  But, my parents were human (I think that’s why Jesus never had kids, but that’s far too tangential!).  Do you realize Mary and Joseph didn’t keep track of Jesus all the time?  Can you imagine what the child protective services would have to say about them when they ‘lost’ Jesus after visiting Jerusalem? And if not making sure he was with the caravan wasn’t enough, they blamed Jesus when they found him ‘Did you not know what you’ve done to us?”  My parents, like Mary and Joseph, were human.  The failings of my parents are nothing worth publicizing, at least I do hope they are not juicy enough to make it into print even for a single run much less to be retold for thousands of years, but they exist.

I have been slowly healing, as I like to avoid pain it is taking decades.  Thankfully God is patient and has never pushed me.  That is the first point I want to make.  Healing takes time.  If your parents actions (or lack thereof) has caused you harm, do not expect it to be undone overnight.

Life is often like a merry-go-round.  How many times have we had that sense of deja-vu when dealing with our hurt pasts?  Can any of us say that we were hurt and never been reminded of it?  I doubt many of us.  For me at least, life has been a serious of weird coincidences that put me back to the scene of the crime, but at different angles.  Healing happens by revisiting the past from different viewpoints.  I have said the same words that hurt me, I have watched others say those words, I have been just about every role.  Realizing this has helped me be proactive – I can break the cycle by using my God Given Imagination and seeing those viewpoints without putting others in the roles.  I can also break the cycle of looking at all the roles by looking at the world around me.  I am not the only one who has been hurt, I can learn about different viewpoints by reading others stories and by listening to my friends deal with their pain.

One aspect that is a real challenge for most of us is seeing the role we played as a child.  Though there is likely someone out there who played absolutely no role in their pain, I can’t be the only one who provoked their parent.   As I have said over and over to my boys when one provokes the other – reactions are never justified but you have to learn that your actions have effects on other people.  This point-counterpoint of relationships shows our limits: few parents act in a premeditated way but cross their own boundaries from time to time.  As adults, few of our fights with others will be one sided and though I don’t like the method, we learn it in part from provoking others (including our parents) as children.  Part of my healing has been realizing that my actions played a part but was not the wholeThis does not make other peoples reactions acceptable, but it increases my own understanding.

Humans are not logical.  This is important to realize because all too often we cut off the possibility of a relationship because we use logic when logic cannot be applied.  If I loved my child, I would never harm my child.  It is a logical statement.  If you stick with logic, when our parents fail us we must (to satisfy logic) say they do not love us.  This is not the case.  I love my children.  I have hurt my children.  If I’m going to let myself heal, I have to let go of the idea that my parents would act logically.

As both my parents are deceased, I must add that healing doesn’t need to take place in their lifetime, but mine.

The last thing I want to say in this post is that there is a point to tears. I routinely hide my tears, I have conditioned myself to keep the waterworks off.  I get very bad headaches when I cry, and I think it is in part because as I cry I am trying to not cry.  Tears, however, are necessary.  Tears wash us.  Tears heal us.  In small enough doses, even I can handle them.  They are very important.

To all those out there struggling with me, may the peace that goes beyond understanding bring you to where you need to be.

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Responses

  1. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include almost all important infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .


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