Healing Emotional Wounds ~ New and Old

Healing fallacy quote
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Healing is a process. And along that process we must face our wounds. New wounds. Old wounds. You know, “leave no stone unturned”.

I’m not saying you must attack every hurt and every painful memory at one time. But, when a wound, or a deep emotional response presents itself, we must dig into it and uncover its dark secrets. Try to figure out where the pain is coming from.

Ultimately, it depends upon how we handle those things that will dictate the personal peace we carry forward. It also will impact the power our memories hold. It’s what happens in the “here and now” that will dictate how well our “healing” lasts, as well as how we view our past.

Recurring Themes

For me it seems as if this theme of forgiveness and healing keeps recurring in my life lately. For example, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about family feuds. As a part of a good healing journey we must forgive others as I discussed in that post.

Then last weekend, as I was discussing an injury I sustained in my preschool years involving a dog and my face, someone asked if I had forgiven the adults that were responsible for me at the time of the incident. Well, as I had dealt with the aforementioned incident in-depth previously, I felt my answer was a confident “yes”. Only, as I opened my mouth the say the word, it spilled out on a sob.

Yikes! I kid you not! My jagged and emotional response rocked my world! My chest bloomed with emotional pain, and tears immediately covered my cheeks. I had absolutely no idea I had such deep emotional pain toward those who “should” have kept me safe. Mentally, I knew it was an accident and no human around, except me, caused that dog’s actions. And, ultimately, the dog was just responding as a dog would. But, wow.

(My dog injuries involved stitches that were visible to anyone who looked. Also, the fact that they were referred to as “ugly” and “grotesque”. Which, in turn, caused me to become shy and quiet.)

We discussed more aspects of that injury. We prayed; and we laughed. And my life went on. For the moment. After that meeting, I did call one party to forgive then personally, even though it was over the phone. We laughed. We cried. And healing began anew. (Unfortunately, I have no idea how to contact the other party personally. So, an audible forgiveness was still offered into the ether, so to speak.)

Round Two

While speaking with this person on the phone about forgiveness over the dog incident, they reminded me of a second incident that had happened just a few months afterwards. I had no idea that the two things had happened so close together.

The second thing that occurred was that my best friend died in a car accident. We were both four; our birthdays just a couple of months apart. To be honest here, I don’t really remember much about her other than the few stories I remember hearing over the years and about the car accident that took her life in an instant. (They say she was killed on impact.) Although, I was only four. So, its not surprising that I don’t remember much.

Anyway, later that evening I got to thinking about what kind of impact the death of my best friend would have had on me emotionally. Especially, in light of the injuries from the dog incident.

First, I’m injured and stitched up. Then… My best friend can no longer “come out to play”. My adult mind goes there; “is it possible that I internalized that as a rejection or a betrayal from my friend”? And, with that very thought, my eyes leak and my heart hurts. Man! Did that hurt!

Oh, my goodness! I instantly want to find her. I want to acknowledge to her personally that I know she didn’t really abandon me or our friendship all those years ago. Then I want to tell her I forgive her that I ever thought otherwise. Only I can’t. Not really.

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

Then I realize there is a way. I can locate her final resting place. I can go “visit” her there. Only I can’t recall her name. And neither can my mom. Sigh. So, I hit the Google. I research and call in some help. In less than twenty-four hours, per the few details I have of her life and how she died, I’ve found her.

On Monday, I spent a few hours walking the cemetery where she’s buried. It felt a bit like playing the old “hide and seek” game one more time. Lol! Then, I finally located her headstone. I gave her some fresh flowers and talked a bit. It was good. And I did fine. Well, until I bawled my eyes out as I slowly drove away.

But, I’ll be back. I believe there’s still a bit of healing to be had. Besides, I know where she is. And I know she did not abandon me. And that alone is such a wonderful healing thought.


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