healing hurts

IMG_0352Today I was required to talk.
With a counsellor I decided today was the day to talk about the stuff of my childhood, to revisit the pain of a pretty crap upbringing. An upbringing where the people that should have loved me never seemed to be able to have the capacity to do so. In fact this person did a very good job of telling my brother and myself what horrible, poor, evil individuals we were. Sadly, we were to alone as two little boys, then and others now, who grow/grew up believing that to be true.

So why do I share a little here?
As well s a cathartic exercise I simply hope it is of support to some.
Today I was heard but talking about actual stuff that happened was still incredibly painful. You would think that after so many years, 40 or there about, that the pain would be less and easier to cope with.
It isn’t.

Today was exhausting but helpful.
I shared and heard no comments and received just a listening ear. An ear that passed no judgement, a person that didn’t offer solutions …. because there are no words or solutions that can make any difference. My biggest wish as a child, and even now, was that I could have had parents who cared, who loved, who put me first … just once. That will never happen and no word can comfort that wish away. Friends and wider family members have tried to be helpful by explaining that God is the perfect parent … and yes that is true … but it isn’t the same, and it doesn’t help.
It really doesn’t.
Neither do scripture verses of hope and God working through all things for good purpose.

I guess I am sharing this now because today helped ….. for the first time in ages it helped … and I guess I was reminded that when talking or listening to people that carry stuff …. then when it is re-spoken of it can be helpful to acknowledge that the pain all comes rushing back, as if it is being done again, fresh, just like it was … not even ‘like it was yesterday’ … but very much today. It may be uncomfortable for us to sit without comment, and we may have an urge to help with words, but sometimes a response does  not help.

Healing hurts … but it can really help if we just have time to listen, to accept, and to sit with … without the need to share, or empathise, or solutionise (my new word!) … but just sit and rest with the person for a little while.

I am being healed … as the overwhelming majority of people are …. quite often slowly … and today I have been reminded that as we sit together, with each other, we can in some mysterious way sit with each others pain … passing no comment …. breaking through the awkwardness of the vacuous silence ,,,,, and that is alright …. very alright. It is truly divinely human

Throughout all of this I have found this from Malling Abbey to be a connection

In the stilled silence
mind heart and soul
wait upon God
reach out God
not thinking
not asking
not doing
just waiting
stilled upon

I have also been following the CMS #missionis 40 day retreat. The very first one spoke of mission being ‘the healing of everything’ Maybe one way some of us can all be involved in this aspect is by sharing and holding together … maybe.

Anyway … to those that have sat with me …. thank you … loads.

2 thoughts on “healing hurts

  1. Wow! There is something going on here Rob, as this is the second post in a week or so, that I have felt compelled to respond to your blogging.

    I too had a dreadful upbringing. I am one of 5 children, who lived in a home of extreme domestic violence, shown towards my mother, by my father, and occasionally towards the children. No love on my father’s part, bitterness towards my father from my mother, and a growing up amongst 5 children of uncertainty, of very little idea of what a family unit should be….love, laughter, tears, and hugs!

    I share this with you because I too have started to open up to others about my childhood. I have never hidden what went on, and have often mentioned that my childhood wasn’t great, but in recent years, I have found it ‘easier’, or perhaps necessary, to share what it was like. Not for pity, not for God, but for myself in the first instance. Because of this, God has responded. He has allowed me to encounter people who have lived through the same. People who are still carrying the pain. By sharing, through listening, we help ourselves, and we help others.

    I am the middle one of the five children, and I carried everyone’s hurt for years. It was me that was able to take on the pain and hurt of the others, and get on with my life. Within the 5 children, we have 8 marriages, 6 divorces, one suicide…all because, and I strongly believe today, due to the lack of understanding of what family means, of what respect means, of what love means.

    One of my older brothers Shaun, committed suicide 6 years ago, a man who had different issues, but up until the night before he took his own life, shared with me the pain he carried due to his upbringing. He had so many questions, so many regrets, so much pain.

    You are right that being able to share with others is cathartic, but the most important part in sharing, is supporting others. I am not a blogger, I do not believe I am literate enough to share this sort of stuff with others, as you do (very well), but because of where God has called me, conversations are opening up with those who carry the pain of their ‘pretty crap upbringing’. Conversations that allow me to share as much or as little as I choose, but showing empathy, showing God working through me, in that we can hope, we might not forget, but we can overcome the pain and trauma of what has gone before.

    *’Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’.*

    Perhaps by opening up with the counsellor is your time, as you have done in this blog, not to hide from this part of your past, but to share in your way. To allow others to see that they are not alone, there are others who have/continue to endure pain in these situations. But, I believe through that little piece of white plastic around our necks, we have the chance to be there for others, to let them know they are not alone. To let them know of the love of God that does not desert them!

    Perhaps this e-mail is a cathartic exercise on my part, but I was compelled to write as sometimes we cannot ‘solutionise’ (great new word by the way), but we can be a listening ear. We can just be….

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