I want to be healed more than anything I could ever ask for in my life now. I’m tired of going along with my life and, without warning, have tears come to my eyes. My heart is usually in knots at that point and I ache to be free of the memories and the pain. After almost 6.5 years, this has happened twice in the past couple weeks.
The first time it happened was while my counselor was reading my last post. I began to read the titles of the books on her shelf. One book seemed to pop out at me. I had read the titles many times before, but I don’t recall ever seeing this book. I’m sure it had been there, but I had either avoided it or I didn’t put it to memory. The book was called “After the Affair”. I stared at the book for a moment, in somewhat disbelief, and these two words came to my mind – comes death – after the affair comes death.
The words hit me like a punch in the chest. When I told her about what had happened, I couldn’t even get through the couple of sentences to describe the scene before the tears came to my eyes. My stomach tightened up and I felt like bawling. I was overwhelmed by the emotions assaulting me, but I couldn’t allow myself to feel the pain.
It happened again when I was at a writing luncheon. It was mentioned a couple times that the next event for the group would be held in Ft. Wayne. The tears came to my eyes again. Just the mention of the city where the one I loved’s longtime girlfriend lived brings such sadness. I figured out that they had an ongoing relationship for at least seven years.
The pain is overwhelming when I think that my husband slept with a number of other women during our marriage and before. But when I thought about this one woman, the pain was harder, cut more deeply and ripped away at any hope that I meant anything to him. To have a longtime girlfriend requires much more consideration – involvement, time, emotions, money and so on.
Thinking about this affair alone actually confirms in my mind that all the comments said throughout my life about my being worthless, ugly, stupid, etc. were true. I have worked hard at pushing back these feelings for the most part. Unfortunately, pushing back feelings does nothing to heal from them. This is why the tears and dreams come without my ability to stop them. The hurts are still controlling my life in many ways.
I Want To Be Healed
I know I need to figure out a way to feel the emotions to actually work through them. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. However, in this case, my spirit isn’t even really willing. I want to be healed, but, the truth is…the work is too hard. I have done some of the work before and I remember that once I started to let the emotions come out, I rarely felt in control. I don’t know how to feel rough feelings without pushing them back.
Stepping into the work of healing from abuse or trauma is an all-encompassing job. It is taking down every wall and coping mechanism that helped you maneuver life in the midst of the abuse and that you carry into life after the abuse. I read the best description of this type of healing in Dee Henderson’s novel, “Taken”:
In it she says, “…It will be the ability to see the world around you as it exists, both good and bad. It will be having a life that isn’t being steered by the past, where it doesn’t feel like the past is a daily anchor weighing on your thoughts, or on your impressions of places and people. Healing will be the capacity and the ability to love family and care about friends. It will be about having dreams for yourself and the confidence to work toward them. Healing, in part, is being able to feel you are free of the past.”
In the same novel, one of Dee’s characters states that living while pushing back your feelings is “…a learned pattern.” She then goes on to describe what healing will do for you: “Freedom is going to shift your emotions to something that’s more…expansive is maybe the word I want. You’ll feel things with larger and wider emotional swings again, because now you have the freedom to experience those normal emotions…”
“…I’m hoping, praying, your emotions will come down. That there will be more of you appearing. Wider emotional swings both up and down. More energy. Dreams for your life. Things you want. Desires of the heart. And, yes, also a deeper sadness. Grief. All of it. That’s life, and the more of it you are feeling, the closer you are to being whole again.”
I know this is true and I want to be healed to this point. However, it is very difficult to learn to manipulate the world in a state of emotions that I don’t know how to control. I know I can’t fully experience the positive emotions without healing either. I have no idea how to let these walls down, but I do know that hope is in the stepping forward.
Have any of you walked this healing journey?
~ Joanna Lynn