It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, how much you make, what you do for a living, what religious denomination you serve, you will, at some point in life, experience pain. Physical or emotional/mental, you’re going to feel it.
By the grace of God, I haven’t experienced any broken bones, but the day my brain “broke” was one that I’ll always equate to giving birth to my son as he is today – 6 feet tall, 220 lbs. It hurt just that badly. I was on bedrest for six months. There wasn’t really a true period of rest because there were days when the recovery was just as painful as the actual incident. Regaining my peripheral vision is something I don’t even like thinking about. I wanted to cry every time I attempted to look out of the corner of my eye. The doctors still can’t explain why, by my hearing became so acutely attuned that I couldn’t handle the cat walking across the carpeted bedroom floor. I was unable to attend my son’s basketball games after missing an entire football season because I couldn’t tolerate the noise. Healing was painful but eventually, it became a reality.
The abuse on a mental/emotional level can be just as hard to overcome. Once your heart and spirit have been trampled on for so long, you begin to die on the inside. Day-by-day, little pieces of your inner self dies off. You lose your desire to go on. You just don’t care. I reached that point. I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, because the end result was reached gradually. All my life, I was prissy. I made a point of doing my hair and my makeup was always immaculate. That stopped. I rarely wore makeup and my hair was always in a ponytail. I wore sweats all the time. All the time. There was a time when I didn’t buy any new article of clothing for five years. Five whole years. I just didn’t care. I’m not saying that wearing makeup and fixing you do’ is what you should do if it’s not your style, but it was for me and I let it slip away.
Before I knew I would be getting divorced, I started going to counseling at my church, and made certain that my son went. Those sessions were pivotal to my climb out of the pit. The one thing the counselor emphasized was that almost all our talk was of “him”. “He” said this. “He” said that. “He” did this. “He” got mad about that. He stressed the importance of turning the focus around on what “we” wanted. He stressed that it was time to return to the things that made us who we were as individuals. It was then that we started to heal. My son refocused on football. I refocused on my business and began to take a greater interest in my appearance.
Pain, in and of itself, destroys. It can leave you bitter, angry, disappointed, and broken. By all accounts, most people agree that I, more than most people, should be all those things. I refuse to be. If I relent to those things, in essence, I am allowing another person’s character to dictate mine. That’s not happening. I’ve always been a happy, humorous person. I’m more so now. I survived those years for a purpose and there is no way I can help others if I’m trapped in anger and bitterness. I allowed another person to dictate nearly every part of my being for nearly 20 years. I won’t say that it was stupid because had it not happened exactly the way it did, I wouldn’t have a story to tell. I survived to share my testimony. That’s what I’m going to do.