I began seeing a therapist in the summer of 2014 and after about 18 months, I "graduated" this past spring. When I first began going, I thought the healing would center around the death of my brother when I was 15. While that definitely was a defining--and extremely difficult--time, the more I was stretched and the more I began to watch and listen to the Lord, the more it became apparent the true source of my current situation.
When I was a year old, my biological father walked out of my life. And when I first began the healing process, I kept thinking...how silly that something that happened SO LONG AGO could continue to affect me in adulthood. How annoyingly silly.
And yet, it wasn't. And I never knew anything was even wrong...until more life trial/trauma began to stack on top of a faulty foundation...leading to depression by the time I was in high school, adrenal fatigue that began shortly after my brother died, but really became debilitating after my firstborn's medical situation when she was a toddler, and even some post traumatic stress that occurred after an extremely trying time during my senior year of high school.*
I'm not saying that all those other things happened because of my early trauma, but I AM saying that it all piled onto a foundation that wasn't solid. And, we all know what happens to buildings when the foundation isn't solid. They eventually fall.
The Bible specifically addresses this in the story about the wise man who built his house on the rock, and the foolish man who built his house on the sand*. Rather than building my life on the WORD--on Christ--I built it on lies. And I didn't even know it.
When my real dad left, there was something primal that started growing in my brain. No matter how much I knew I should feel secure and happy--I have a wonderful forever-Dad who stepped into that void in my life, along with absolutely great siblings--there was always a part of my brain telling me I didn't belong, that I wasn't understood, that I was second-rate and that if I messed up enough, eventually I'd be left again. Sometimes I even doubted that I was loved and wanted. If my own dad didn't want me, why would anyone else?
And from there, trust issues developed along with a deepening negativity.
Let me tell you something...I now know who is the father of those lies. He is an enemy of mine. And he is ruthless. The enemy of the Cross comes to steal, kill, and destroy*. And what better way to go about that than victimize a child who doesn't know any better?
I think, as Christians, we want to give Satan a little credit. Surely he wouldn't attack a child caught in the middle of divorce. Surely he wouldn't attack the orphan. Surely he would let alone the child who is abused. Assaulted. Bullied. Harassed.
Surely he wouldn't be so awful to attack a child who is sexually violated or overpowered and manipulated. Surely he would leave a family alone to grieve after the death of a loved one. Surely he wouldn't think to add more hardship to the child experiencing intense medical testing.
But I am proof otherwise. My daughters are proof otherwise.
Satan is out to KILL. STEAL. DESTROY.
And if we're not adequately prepared, we're an easy target.
Children are an easy target--at least I was!
As a child, I didn't know any better but to believe the lies. As I grew, I nursed them. And as I did, those thoughts grew, turning into my perception of the truth.
I know it's easier to believe the old adage, children are resilient. It's easier not to believe how damaging early experiences can be.
I am only one voice, one experience. But as the pieces started falling into place, and as I started learning more, all of a sudden I was empowered to move from being a victim to being an advocate. Praise the Lord for that!
Are you in the ruins today? If so, don't give up! Christ died to set us free...and that means you! In the days to come, I will address significant components to healing, and I would love to have you join me right here for the rest of October. Be sure to also connect with me on Facebook...I'd love to walk with you on your journey to healing.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This is part of a series called deep to DEEP, a write 31 days challenge. For more posts in this series, click the image below: