The other day I had a good cry about everything and nothing. It was about time. Often I get too busy to feel – or I keep busy to keep from feeling (sometimes I wonder). But once I make the time, it starts with the immediate troubles on my mind and then some leprechaun in my head dredges up old stuff, stuff that I thought I’d gotten over.
A couple of days later, I got a link to this article in my inbox: http://www.alifeoverseas.com/wounds/
I can think of two things, two relationships that cut crazy deep and took me years to get over. That’s not a bad ratio, really – one deep wound for every fourteen years of life. I can’t complain.
Both cases involved Christian men I was not in a romantic relationship with. It was the second instance that I somehow got to remembering and hurting about again.
After between six months and a year I got to a stage where I was able to think about the whole thing without tears coming. I thought that meant I had “healed”, that I’d “let go”. The other night made me question that.
I’ve let go of my offence at being wounded. I’ve remembered why I was in that relationship in the first place. I’ve sought counsel. I’ve confessed my own sin in the situation. I’ve let go of any desire for justification.
What else do I need to do?
At this point I’m staring at the computer, not sure whether to keep writing. Because I’m not sure I have an answer to all of this. Is it even a valid question?
What I mean is I think when bad stuff happens it’s always going to be bad – in the present and in the future. Even with silver linings. Even with all the lessons you learned. It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel sad about it every now and then. I think healing is like that.
Since this is what I deal with at work, day in day out, I got to thinking about whether you can say the same of healing from sexual abuse. It’s on my mind because the last fortnight or so I’ve been working on a project making videos of a few of our clients at IJM.
The two I’ve met and filmed so far have finished therapy with us. In both cases, there’s no doubt we’ve helped them and their families – but in their minds we’re also forever intimately connected to the abuse. Going to visit them reminds them of the suffering they endured. It’s very much a bittersweet situation.
That’s work at IJM in a nutshell: bittersweet.
The bitter part is very bitter. The sweet part is sweet – but not sweet enough to overpower or make you forget the bitterness.
For me, the thing that unites or creates a balance between the two is hope. After a certain point, the paths of these children and their families are out of our hands – but we have hope for their complete restoration in the future. Being a part of that process is a beautiful thing.