I am hesitant to post such raw things on this blog, but I am doing so for a couple of reasons:
1- Authenticity. I don’t want to ever present as someone that I am not. Also, it is normal to have feelings that are less than stellar. I have been so hesitant for so long to post anything that wasn’t positive, but let’s just be real here!–SOMETIMES LIFE JUST PLAIN SUCKS. I am doing myself and ultimately others a disservice by hiding my hurt and pain. Perhaps someone is like me: searching. Needing to know they aren’t the only one struggling. It is so easy to hide behind the screen and present a perfect life. I refuse.
2- Healing. I want this blog to literally document every battle that I have fought and ultimately will win. With God’s guidance and loving grace, I want this blog to be an inspiration to others and testimony to what God can do in a very broken person.
So, that leads me to this post:
I am wounded. Like many other people my wounds are deep. They have developed over many, many years and the coping mechanisms that I have adopted to mask the pain from these wounds has caused me more pain.
I’ve started my journey of self discovery. (At this point it’s more self preservation than it is anything.) This is week two of the rest of my life. I currently have a lifetime’s worth of patterns and coping mechanisms to examine and change. What I learned tonight in my second week of counseling is that I am basically stripping myself down to the very atoms of my being. Everything that has shaped WHO I am and WHAT I value about myself has to change.
I’ve spent a lot of years putting my value in fixing people, fixing situations, and caring for people. In general, these are all wonderful qualities about a person; however, I have done it to the point that I am unable to know what my own needs are. I only feel valued and loved when someone NEEDS me. I don’t really know what I want and making decisions is incredibly difficult because I worry so much about what others with think of me.
My Wound: Codependency.
This week, my life long battle has developed a name. My patterns of behavior have become a label.
My father abandoned me at a very young age. He physically, emotionally and spiritually left me without any way to have my needs met. He didn’t just leave me; he left my 3 sisters and my mom. As a result, my mother check out emotionally. I’ve been essentially abandoned by both of my parents. This abandonment has left me with serious trust issues. Because my needs were not being met, I learned to compensate. I had to be good. I had to be perfect or at least try really hard. Anything to please. Anything to get a compliment. Anything to feel validated and appreciated. Anything, Anything, Anything–to make her proud. To try and fill her void. If I am good enough, she will smile for just a little while. If I am funny enough, she will laugh and feel good. If I make dinner. If it tastes really good, that will make her happy. I had to fix it. I had to validate her. I had to try and create some sort of peace.
As I grew a little older, that’s how my relationships have formed. I’m a doer. I’m a fixer. I’m a caregiver. The love and affection I was missing from my father started to be filled with unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy boundaries. Anything to feel loved. Anything to feel attention. Anything to fill the void of a missing father. The abandonment is deep. The trust is shattered. The fear is real. The wound is bloody.
Abandonment: To leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert
The weight of that word is a lot heavier than I have ever processed before. This journey is going to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Even as I sit here tonight I am meeting needs in ways that I should not. I do feel the guilt, which is a start. 14 years of coping mechanisms don’t disappear overnight, but I’m in a battle for my soul. This isn’t just about this world. This is about my eternity.
I am reminded by the word forsake, in that definition, of when Jesus is hanging on the cross and he says “My God, My God. Why have you forsaken me.” God was Jesus’s father. There is literally no feeling, no pain, no suffering that Jesus hasn’t felt. Jesus EVEN felt the abandonment of his own father.
That is a powerful, powerful thing.
Maybe you stumbled across this post by accident and you are wounded. Maybe you’ve been abandoned and have overcompensated to the point of codependency. Maybe no one will ever read this besides me, but either way, I’ve not hidden behind my pain and suffering. I am sharing it and declaring that Jesus is my rock. My coping skills are all I have ever known. The way I’ve met my needs is the only way I’ve ever known. This journey is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I am not alone.
I am walking with a God who even understands the wound of abandonment.
So, here is to REAL life. Here is to REAL pain. And here is to a REAL God.
This is only the beginning.