Monday, October 5, 2015

Relationships and Healing [day 5]

Nothing has impacted my healing as much as relationships with other people. 

Last night I was reminded of this all over again.

My husband and I were at our small group dinner. There were fewer of us than usual, with several of our members out of town. We sat around eating soup, chips, avocado, and watermelon, and talking about church and life. After dessert (a pumpkin bundt cake -- I'll share the recipe later!), we moved into the sitting room to continue talking.

I'm not sure how it happened, but people began sharing a bit of their histories and life stories. I listened as people told about their children and then the stories would segue to family of origin. One thing led to another and I was sharing my history. Not all the gory details but more than my standard quick and dirty version. I was crocheting as I talked and I never looked up from my work (a typical avoidance technique I use). There were a few comments, but mostly what I felt was stunned silence. 

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the host's daughter, so I never really found out what anyone thought or felt about my revelations. The group dispersed and I found myself walking to the car in a daze, knotting my hands in my purse strap. Sitting in the car, my husband expressed concern that I would begin to doubt myself. We talked a bit about what had just happened. I tried to quell the rising anxiety that always comes with revealing my past to new people. 

Other people had shared difficult pasts as well, and I knew I felt no differently about them. I knew I was glad that our group had moved into a deeper level of knowing one another, but it was difficult to quiet the old tapes in my head -- the ones that tell me I won't be believed; that I'll be shunned; that the world will come crashing down.

At home, I moved into my standard coping and relaxing mechanisms, worrying than I wouldn't be able to sleep. But sleep came fairly easily with only 1 or 2 bad dreams. 

Healing is a constant, on-going process. Building and maintaining relationships are part of the path. 

I guess I placed another stone last night.



This is day 5 in Write 31 Days

11 comments:

  1. I love this and I am so thankful that you have a small group and are finding brave to share your story! (and that you were able to sleep well afterwards, too!)

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    1. Thanks! The sleeping well was a true gift.

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  2. Healing is indeed a constant on-going process. Thankful you are learning to find brave and share your story.

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    1. I still worry people will get tired of hearing about it. Thanks for reading.

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  3. Sorry to hear that the response wasn't exactly warm and friendly. I can see how the enemy would use that to attack you. Good for you for being so brave and sharing on here too! I pray that you won't let that experience and doubt deter you from forming bonds and going deeper with people in the future.

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    1. My intention wasn't to criticize my small group. I think the circumstances just kept people from responding more to it. I am glad to have it out there, as it makes it easier to build more meaningful relationships.

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  4. Melanie please remove would be writer from your profile. Girl, you WRITE and you MOVE people and you are BRAVE. I have a very similar story to yours and am not nearly as courageous in sharing it. <3

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    1. Thank you! Your opening line scared me. I'm so paranoid I assumed you were going to tell me how out of line my post was! Sad, but true.

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  5. So true - we are hurt in community and we heal in community. So glad you have a community that will be part of that process. So glad I have a community that does the same.

    Maybe the silence wasn't all stunned; maybe some of it was processing. And maybe some were good listeners who wanted you to share without hearing their answers, take on it, etc. I am praying that at least of couple will reach out to you and let you KNOW that you are brave, awesome, etc for sharing and that you are accepted.

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  6. Just reading this welled tears up in my eyes because I know what this anxiety feels like to me. It is like the feeling of being caught doing something wrong mixed with that same feeling you get when you dream you are naked in a public place. Shame, embarrassment, fear, and guilt all rolled into one.

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