I’ve had a couple of rough conversations with a couple of people lately, people that I care about, but these were the kind of conversation where somehow the idea of being well-meaning gets twisted into the kind of soul-stealing episodes that leave you questioning yourself in ways you should never feel you have to, the kind that take several hours to right one’s world again, even when you were aware all along of what was happening and did your best to maintain calm boundaries with varying degrees of success. The kind where somehow hurt you are trying to resolve, hurt that has been done to you, is thrown back in your face as though it is your fault, like there’s something wrong with you.
And it’s hard to recover from the deep wounding of one’s soul that occurs in these kinds of conversations. I’ve discovered that inside each of us as adults is the wounded and scared child from our past, the child who was wounded by things in childhood, whether by parents or other authority figures, by bullies or by people who were supposed to be our friends. Conversations like this simply bring the wounded child to the surface, the child who simultaneously rails against the wounding while feeling as though she is simply pounding her tiny fists against the large and immovable object that is the person inflicting the pain and wondering if, deep down, she somehow deserves it because there is something wrong with her.
It takes me a while sometimes to get my happy confident creative adult self back into the front after my poor wounded child-self has been dragged out and trampled like that.
I write this because, well, frankly, it helps me to write, writing is therapeutic for me, but also because I strongly suspect that there are those out there who have the same thing happen to them over and over again, and even after righting one’s word view again, have that tiny suspicion in the back of their mind that it’s all them, and I hope my musings here might bring something to light for you as well.
I think the only way out besides talking about it to people we trust not to hurt us is to embrace that wounded child-self as a part of us. As long as we stuff him or her back down inside, ashamed that such feelings are even a part of us, we perpetuate the abuse on ourselves and we will never fully heal.
So I’m writing this in public to embrace both the wounded child-self, and the impostor self that would play into the vicious cycle by trying to stuff it all back inside. Until next time that is, and then it happens all over again.
Of course, this is only part of the solution, boundaries have to be drawn and maintained by us, without seeking to change the person responsible, nor expecting change except within ourselves.
That of course, could be a book (oh, wait, it is!), and so I’ll end this partial reflection with a line from Mumford and Sons:
And so, I’ll be found, with my stake stuck in this ground, marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul.