I’m sitting alone, drinking coffee looking far into distance when a memory raced up through my mind making me wince bringing tears to my eyes. I was recalling a story a young man I was counseling told me. He told me about his father tying him to a coconut tree with a chain in the wooded area behind their house and beat him up with a leather belt. He was left tied to the tree until the next morning. Feeling no pain. He said, “I think I just went far away where I didn’t have to feel anything.” His father came in the morning, untied him so he could get ready for school. I asked about his mother. He said she kept to herself and did as she was expected or she’ll get slapped on the face. He was 8 years old when the abuse began. Just a wee little boy. He was in his thirties when he came to see me. He’s doing well at 40. . He texted me saying, “Accepting that all things come to help me grow” had changed my perspective. And continue to forgive my father and mother when I remember something that hurts.
Another week has come and gone. Thanksgiving is here. It seems like everything is moving too fast these days. The weather is flipping from freakin’ hot to mid-night pouring rain, then comes the morning sun beating the earth to a simmering pot. It’s hot and humid. Can we really predict the weather here in the tropics? Not really. Just as we can’t really predict how traumas and complex traumas and their affects come to shake you in your boots unannounced.
Traumas and complex traumas can do so much damage to our brain where mind and emotions reside. You’re doing well then a trigger or triggers hit you and you can either Fight or run away (Flight) or numb out (Freeze)…or have fun just to survive. Another survival mechanics is dissociation. That eight year old boy who was beaten and left alone in the woods all night didn’t remember the abuse. He did recall when he was older and stronger emotionally enough to face the pain without losing his mind. As he talked he recalled more horrific experiences that made me see truly that God is really good. Naming the wound freed him from walking on eggshells, so to speak.
I’ve been visiting my healing journey from years ago, reflecting on how far I’ve come to free my soul so I can give thanks to God, the teachers, mentors, writers, and authors, friends and even those who pretend to love me but in truth they hate(d) me. I don’t remember how it was from day to day. I am just grateful that maturity will continue to be a social process. I read my journals to remind myself that so many people affected my growing process. It takes a community to help us grow. Yes, maturity is a social process.
God is so good to allow our brain to shut down when it’s overloaded. Its all about Jesus Christ. Forgiving our abusers as Christ did takes us further into our hearts journey to freedom with peace that passes all understanding.