Growing up in a home with a lot of unpredictable outbursts & unhealthy behavior popping up on a consistent basis, I became really good at watching patterns. I obsessively studied those around me to become an expert on every trigger, in order to try to keep the waters calm.
While this is something that has actually served me well in the business world, it has destroyed any intimacy in my life. Because what I felt was a way to protect myself is actually a way that I am trying to control all that is around me. And the reality is, while I can analyze numbers and business practices, I cannot control people.
And this is a really hard thing for me to embrace.
I recently finished therapy after 4 long, hard years of digging through all of the mud to pull out all of the stones that have hit me at some point in my life. And one of the things I learned was that I have a problem with fearing that I can’t hold it all together.
After my mom passed away, I went into complete survival mode. I cried 1 day, then went back to work the following day. I shut off all emotions & kept pushing forward. In therapy, I discovered that I have been carrying the anger & weight of her dying with me for 11 years. I never allowed myself to go there out of guilt for the feelings I had over something she could not control. But it had suddenly become too heavy of a load for me to carry anymore & I was ready to put it down. So I put in the excruciatingly hard work to unpack the suitcase, one feeling at a time. All of the guilt over the emotions I had towards her for leaving me suddenly faded, and I felt like I could breathe for the first time in a very long time.
Recently a really close girlfriend of mine made an observation that I speak a lot about who I was. And asked if I have put down that load & accepted that I am no longer that person & really embraced who I am today. A week later, my dad made the same exact comment to me. So I’ve spent some time really sorting through to find the root of all of this.
Four years ago, I was in a very traumatic & abusive relationship. I remember spending a lot of time wondering how I got there. I was SO good at observing patterns & watching for triggers—I deemed myself as a very smart woman who would never be dumb enough to fall in that trap. And yet, here I was. Another woman who was just another statistic.
Looking back, this has caused me to stop trusting myself. It has made me second guess every move I make, and look at every guy I’ve dated since through an extremely close microscope. I have spent countless hours running through every detail in my head to make sure I have not missed any minor detail that could be a sign of the explosion that is to come.
But the reality is, I have a choice to make. Do I let 1 person offset the course of the rest of my life or do I choose to believe that people are good?
And most importantly, where does this leave my faith?
When I look back through my childhood now, I see God’s hand of grace through all of it. I am so focused on the beautiful story God has written in my life from so many hours of darkness. He yanked me out of that relationship before it destroyed me. He has never abandoned me & has always been more faithful than I could ever deserve.
And I want that same freedom when it comes to relationships. So it’s time to start unpacking the load that God never intended for me to carry. The first step is to allow myself to feel the pain from the wounds, and trust God to slowly heal them. It takes hard work & it is painful.
But it is nothing compared to the exhaustion & pain that comes from a wound that keeps getting re-opened.
And it will be so worth it to finally be able to breathe.
And feel completely free.