“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,’ (John 8:32) is one of
my favorite Bible verses. Long after memorizing it as a child, I
learned I couldn’t know the truth until I’m willing to know myself and
vice versa. This may be a truth that you already know, but it evaded me
until taking a Life-Span Development class in graduate school.
The truth is, abuse and trauma can cause [unless you are a'resilient' personality type] a developmental lag.
I remember as a young mother going to a counselor, feeling like there was a ‘missing link’ in my life. I was 30-something and felt overwhelmed with parenting three children and the demands of running a home and being a wife. In truth I was a ‘rageaholic’ and a food addict. After the counselor summarized my life, including things like losing both my parents in a car accident when I was 15 years of age, I remember the counselor saying, “Adolescence is a critical time for something like that to happen.’ He likewise thought it was no small coincidence that my daughter was soon to turn 15 years old.
Years later in my undergrad work, I came to better understand delayed grief reactions, yet that day I thought, ‘Big deal, so what? What did that have to do with the fact that I am a mess?’ By this time in my life I had gotten quite good at anesthetizing myself with food, or raging until I felt better. My mind was incapable of seeing the connection of what I was feeling with what I was doing. I was far too split off to know what my counselor was talking about.
Today with my feet firmly planted in my middle years, I can see things my former blinded eyes had no knowledge or understanding. I do not write as someone who has mastered the way, but as someone who has been walking it, though often clumsily, for several decades of my life. I have seen darkness, but I have glimpsed a little light as well. I see a lot of people out in the world that are literally traumatized by things that have happened to them in their past and they are psychologically deficient. That is not an insult; it’s a fact. And yet they are trying to function in everyday life and cannot understand what is wrong or how to stop the madness.
The truth is sometimes you get hurt so bad, that you simply can no longer function.
That’s what it means to be traumatized, to have something so awful, so unbelievable, and so unspeakable happen to you that it literally throws you into a state of psychological damage. Trauma can cause you to be unable to function properly in relationships. That doesn’t mean you don’t function, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t out there in the world attempting to function. We see the results in people’s lives of Satan’s dirty work; only he could author the forms of abuse and trauma many have lived through.
To be continued . . . .The story doesn’t end there. Part One has been the bad news; the truth part. Where’s the freedom part of ‘the truth will set you free?’ Here’s a preview for next month: I write this today to encourage you that freedom is a reality; it’s the best part of my story. It’s the best part, the good news; the freedom part of knowing truth. God wants us to function normally. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who healed me. My life has changed. . . . .
If you have been a victim of abuse and are reading to make some healing choices, we would consider it our great honor to help you. Please join us at our next New Life Weekend.