I experienced trauma from a young age.
We simply have no control over some things that happen to us, like how other people’s actions confiscate our joy, sense of identity and freedom. I was robbed of a lot even before I could make decisions about what I want in life. The wounds of this phase in my life carried on for many years but I learned to live with it, I didn’t know life to be any different. That was my narrative and it influenced how I carried myself, I was timid and unable to make decisions about my own life. For the longest time, I hoped that someone out there would save me and make decisions for me on how to live life. When I eventually matured, I realized that I often made the worst decisions that were detrimental to myself and others, decisions that were based on how I viewed myself- as a nobody.
My childhood experiences took my voice away and I was too terrified to even try and fight back. So, I hid myself. In this big world, I chose to hide myself and avoided anything that would make me visible and noticed. I was quite happy in that place because I was not accountable to people and no one would ever really get to know the real me.
Prior to these unforeseen events, I was a lively and happy child.
But life happened and I became a fearful and very quiet child. I have always had opinions, ideas and answers that remained stored away -never to be voiced out. This went on throughout my primary, high school and tertiary years. I would sometimes want to voice out my opinions and feelings, but I couldn’t, mostly because I didn’t think what I wanted or thought mattered. As an adult I adopted the same attitude. I didn’t realize that it affected my relationships and sometimes pushed people away, but when they decided to leave, it was also okay because I preferred my circle very small. As you can imagine, this led to further rejection, bitterness, discouragement and an unforgiving heart. I piled up a lot of things internally and hardly ever spoke about my emotions and how much I was suffering.
In University, I consulted with a psychologist and I was very excited and looked forward to the session, hoping it would be the solution to all my emotional baggage. I was a psychology student and felt it was the right and sensible thing to do, although I didn’t really know where to start. I went to the first session but never completed the duration of counselling, because I felt that first session was so ineffective. Now that I know better, continuing with the sessions would have probably helped, perhaps I would have learned to release the issues over time, but such is life, what’s done is done.
Being emotionally burdened is like a sickness that you have limited control over, the remedies bring minimum relief and you must just live with it. You never know the things that trigger extreme despair. You learn ways of dealing with these cycles and for a brief moment things may seem to change but when you’ve experienced depression or discouragement for years, at the back of your mind you know that it never really goes away and soon you’ll be sipping coffee with it again, or so I thought.
I got tired, extremely exhausted with the empty void that I couldn’t even explain to myself. I knew something had to change, these are the kind of things that make people commit suicide, I thought to myself. Did I consider taking my own life? Many times! The only reason I never did it was because I was too fearful of hell, or a “suicide gone wrong” like having to end up in a wheelchair or something like that. Life really looked blurry and I wasn’t certain that there was anything in it for me, but I knew that I desired change, I wanted to know joy and peace.
Fast forward, many years later, I now have a glimpse of what joy, peace and fulfilment look and feel like. My relationship with God has allowed me to walk differently, I am able to see His hand through little and big events in my life. He gives peace that surpasses all understanding. Reaching this place took a long journey which I continue to walk even to this day. It took seeking God for my emotional healing and allowing Him to speak on the things I had to change and let go of. One of the key burdens was unforgiveness. I also had to separate myself from a lot of things and people to quieten my spirit and emotions. This included quitting drinking alcohol and changing the things I listened to and watched. Like any other change, it was difficult, and it took commitment and partnering with God to see results. As you walk closer with God, you get to understand His character better. He is such a big God but allows us to see a part of who He is through the experiences we go through. I have come to learn and understand that God is the best Doctor in town, who can repair our emotional wounds and change our lives around.
Emotional healing requires that we play our part by acknowledging how broken we are and choosing to partner with God, He has a customized prescription for our wounds. There is no specified time for healing, it’s really between God and an individual, fortunately for us, we serve a patient God who doesn’t get tired or irritated when we are slow to action, instead He woos us and carries us until we are ready to change. Through healing, I found my voice again. Although I’ve never really understood why we hurt each other as human beings, I will continue to forgive and heal so that my life doesn’t remain stagnant. I trust sharing my story empowers anyone who is still experiencing extreme discouragement, brokenness, trauma, rejection, loneliness or pain. I pray this has ministered healing to your soul and helps you understand that transformation is available.
Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds says the LORD…”
You are blessed, with love