Often in counseling a therapist will ask you to write a letter to someone for the soul purpose of you writing it, not mailing it. The process brings a form of resolution. We are hesitant to write a letter for fear something so simple, yet hard, would not be enough to reconcile the pain and hurt. This is a misguided thought. The letter is not the magic wand. Your obedience and willingness to unveil the hurt begins a journey towards healing.
Trauma informed care recognizes that trauma exists, it’s real, and has a profound impact on your daily life. Although you may never reconcile with others in your story, you can be reconciled within yourself. It’s not easy. The journey has mountain top experiences of conquering, and valley experiences of feeling like you are back to square one.
How much power do you give others to validate your life story? How much permission do you give others to control your self-concept? Can one word spoken drive your soul to the pit of hell? Can a trigger cause an interruption that takes you down physically and emotionally?
I’ve often described times like these as “out-of-body experiences” and lately have turned this phenomenon to the positive. A dear friend and coworker of mine, who was my supervisor for my LCSW, Teresa Reynolds, shared this with me:
“I believe the key to healing from these painful past experiences is something like having an out-of-body experience. Of course that’s just a figure of speech . What I mean is when you are born again you really need to see the past as another person in different life. For two reasons. One, to forgive others by remembering sinners are spiritually sick and do sick things. And of course secondly to forgive yourself. The only way I can do what I do now in light of all the awful things I experienced in my youth is to realize, and believe, I’m a different person now. Every day I’m born again and the old Doug dies daily. “Forgetting those things are behind…” Philippians 3:13 Doug Batchelor
I don’t know Doug Batchelor, but find it interesting that he, too, described “out-of-body experiences” in similar fashion. Perfect timing. An amazing God moment. Memories are laden with emotion and often take camp in the forefront of our brains. It’s the lens in which we see the world, love, dream, build relationships, and view ourselves.
“I have a reputation I can never get rid of,” Audrie wrote at the depth of her despair.
We have all been abused by the devil but Jesus makes it possible for us to be born again as new creatures! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Doug Batchelor)
How does healing come?
Acknowledging the truth and talking about it with a trusted Christian counselor. Aibileen from the movie, The Help, shared healing and change did not come until the truth was told. After watching that movie, nothing seemed harder than a strong black woman, from Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s, standing up for human rights through the power of love, forgiveness, and resolve.
Being willing to work through your story with Jesus and be patient with yourself. Rome was not built in a day!
Allowing Jesus to heal and reconcile, not man’s validation in your life.
From the work of Dr. Brene’ Brown–embrace vulnerability and courage, not shame or perfection! Awesome social worker–worthy of checking her out: http://www.brenebrown.com/
She is also on TED talks.