I experienced a genuine breakthrough at my latest counseling session. I have been struggling to understand the various personas who live inside me, not really understanding my fractured state. Please understand that I do not “lose” portions of time or have multiple personalities that take over my life, but, in my case, different personas live inside me, safeguarding some of my emotions. In particular, the little girl who lives in me is especially withdrawn and emotionally closed down. She is the one who took the memory of my sexual trauma away from me, along with the feelings associated with that abuse. In effect, she has been protecting me for over 50 years by blocking those memories.
However, I have been able to reconcile some of my other splintered pieces and gather them back to myself. I have even learned not to fear those other personas but rather to love them for the roles that they have played in keeping me safe and sane through the years. Now that I acknowledge and recognize them, they have appeared to me during periods of fear or anxiety and helped me through those difficult times. But I have a different sort of relationship with the little girl.
I have not been able to allow her to come forward, because I have been deathly afraid of what she will reveal to me. If what happened to me as a child was so horrible that I completely blocked it out of my memory and consequently my personality fractured, then how am I going to handle the memory today? To be honest, I have been horribly afraid to learn the truth of what happened to me as a child. During the past year, bits and pieces of that devastating experience have risen to the surface of my consciousness, and they have been extremely difficult to handle.
I am amazed at how the body remembers things from the past so vividly that it is as if you are actually reliving and feeling them again. When this has happened to me during a counseling session, I have unintentionally—or maybe intentionally—put a stop to it and refused to go any further. I did not want to relive the pain and horror of the past. I was perfectly content for the little girl to go back into hiding and she was perfectly content to retreat behind that closed door.
Unfortunately, the negative consequence of my refusal to face the little girl was that, when she went away, she took some of my feelings away with her. For years I have struggled with feeling numb inside, but now I am just tired of feeling that way. I have worked on my marriage, using exercises designed to improve my relationship with my husband, but the numbness remained. I yearned to be different from how I was, and finally came to the conclusion that the only way to be truly whole again was to let the little girl step forward during counseling. I had to meet her face-to-face.
So I went into counseling the next time with a new mindset. I made up my mind not to be afraid. I would let the little girl say everything that needed to be said. Joshua 1:9 admonishes us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (NAS).” I had trembled before, but not today! I would be strong and courageous because I knew that God would be with me and help me face anything that the little girl shared. So I allowed her to share, and she did. As a result, more healing came into my heart and mind. And, though it was hard and worthwhile, it was not terrifying or horrible.
Is there something in your life that you are afraid to face? Is it something that would bring healing and move you toward wholeness? Know and believe this Truth: God is with us wherever we go. No matter how hard or how terrifying you think it will be, God is with you. Stop trembling. Do not be dismayed. Do whatever it is that you need to do to bring healing to those hurting places.
Blessings – Lisa