A True Story
We sat at the round table listening to the student’s mother speak. The school’s Student Study Team was intent on helping this mother with her teenage son. A standard question about his history, including his birth, was asked. He’d been a premie taken to a city eighty miles from where she lived. She’d not visited him much during his first six months of life. As she talked I thought of the lack of bonding between her and him from the get-go.
I’d had him as a student in my first grade reading class. He would refuse to cooperate at times and would stand at a rigid, soldier-like stance and would not sit down when I asked him. I’d seen that pose before in children where their life is unsure and even dangerous. They are expecting to be punished. His quiet defiance was almost like an honor to himself, owning his right to defy me. When this would happen, I never forced him and never called the principal. I just let him stand and then went on with the reading lesson. He made no noise, just stood there. Then he would sit down within a few minutes.
The boy wore ill fitting clothing, and I’d wondered about him. His nose was snotty most of the time, like nasty nasal congestion, and his face was unclean. I kept up my sights for signs of abuse. Teachers are mandatory reporters to Child Protective Services. Now, word had it that he was being courted by a local gang. One of the faculty had reached out to him and his sibling but the deficits were too many. The siblings didn’t respond to the help they were offered. I feared for his future.
A few of you were like that student. It was you against the world. For the rest of us, we have our own stuff that trips us up and causes holes in our hearts. Most of us carry baggage of some kind. Unmet needs are usually not obvious on the outside, but they are there on the inside. It may be an unhealed hurt caused by injurious words or ridicule of some sort, maybe by a public scolding or someone’s rude label. These leave lasting impressions on the psyche and inner being. Another source comes in the form of unresolved issues. Problems that won’t go away, like the person who refuses to acknowledge us no matter how many pleas and sorrys. Family rifts can be devastating and a source of lasting pain for decades.
Soul wounding is caused by word curses, rejection, physical abuse, and other unkind and mean ways people treat us. “You’ll never amount to anything” will either cause injury and defeat or it will cause anger and defiance and may activate the will to defy the curse and prove it wrong. My phenomenal music teacher in high school was told by a teacher he wouldn’t amount to anything (his family was from Mexico). He decided he was going to prove her wrong. He ended up being an amazing, award winning, composer and conductor.
The wounds that trouble us the most are those that injure our inner self. That is why PTSD is a very real part of the traumatized person. The mind remembers, nerves are sensitized, anger is internalized, and panic inflames when a trigger event takes us there. Even the smallest word, sound, view, or smell can bring back the pain, the moment of fear and the hurtful memory.
Wounding of the Emotions
Emotional wounds rarely heal on their own. Instead, they simmer, hide, morph, and are denied. Some are covered up through alcohol use, drug use, sexual escapes, violent acts or other. A person can forgive and let go, but they cannot completely remove the pain. Hurt remains and colors all their movements though they may not realize its effects. When your innocence is violated, the body remembers, even in the very young. Triggers take you back to that moment. There it is relived and then, with a great deal of effort, it is pushed from view.
To be free of its hold and to be healed of its effects will require an act of God, and you being willing to go there with him. This happens when you are ready to take it on, to embrace your own healing, to partner with God and own the pain (acknowledge it). The thing in you that shouts out in pain against the wounding is the very area you must tap into with God’s help. This is in order to give voice to the wrong that was done to you and the unfairness and deep wounding it caused to you.. Healing is from Father God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They minister together to your deep-seated, emotional pain and suffering.
What if you’re angry at God? That’s a good question. God can help you have a new perspective; you can go from blaming him, to trusting him. God will come along side and renew you. I’m unable to explain how he does that, at the risk of sounding preachy, for I don’t know your situation, but I do know he heals that part of us when we are willing to risk it. God replaces the hurt with a form of release and then his word of truth. Tears of truth, your truth, are replaced with healing and hope directly from God. See Life Journey 1. Theophostic Ministry explains this concept well and better than I can.
I know healing is possible. My release from internalized pain came about because I asked God for it. I was weary of carrying sorrow and suffering in me. It was asked for by me and then it was given to me by God. The burden lifted and the sadness was removed. I felt different, and I was different. God gave me love in the internal place where there had been silent suffering. God healed me in my emotions thereby releasing its hold (in my soul).
My friend, Whatever your wounding there is an answer, a solution to its pain. The thing may be hid from your memory, which is often the case when the body absorbs the blow and finds it too jarring to keep in the memory bank. You can know it is there because of the dead, robotic way you feel deep within you–and the way your emotions tug at you during others’ suffering. There may be a cruel streak in you that comes by way of cruelty done to you. You push people away more than you realize. You may have the desire to run when life seems too much. Your soul wounding was bad, wrong, injurious, and unjust, but it need not ruin your future.
Speak the words, ‘Father God, I need your help. I can’t do this. Heal my hurts, remove my pain, repair my emotions and set me free. I accept your love and your gift of grace. Help me, dear God. I need you so much. Amen’
- Write down what God gives you
- Stay with it until the release comes.
- Allow the tears to flow, the anger to be voiced (hurt from when he/she did that to you).
- Reach out to God. He will reach out to you.
- Praise and thank God when the victory is yours.
May you be free indeed.
I’m sorry I cannot report what happened to that boy for I do not know. I’ve lost track of him.