How do we heal old wounds? I’m not talking about physical “scars,” but those internal scars that don’t seem to heal over time. Emotional scars that have existed over thirty, forty, even fifty or more years. The experts say that “Time heals all wounds,” but I have found that not necessarily true. Some wounds are embedded far within the surface for nearly the person’s lifetime. The wounds go incredibly deep and are so internalized, that they magnify when they reach the surface. A fragile and delicate soul is intertwined with a bleeding heart within. Yet, I have to wonder, is it old wounds of hurt, of regret, or of disappointment invading the person?
The answer goes back to the primary source of the emotional or mental pain itself. Is the conflict the person encountered actual self-denial strategies from the beginning, thinking the problem would go away by itself? By this, the person merely denies the problem. “If the problem isn’t discussed, it simply doesn’t exist” type attitude. Is it a continuing struggle with one ‘self’ in conquering the problem? Is it a more a sense of control? Is it fear of losing someone or something? Or could it be that the wounds remained dormant over time and manifested “festered” outwardly much later?
Life isn’t easy and no one said it was ever fair. Coping mechanisms with stresses of life can help when the person encounters more challenging times in today’s society. But do we really know when healing takes place? More so, do we know how to heal wholly and is there such a thing as healing completely internally? Nearly twenty years ago, I found myself in the middle of a divorce, after losing an adopted child a few years before and going through infertility issues several years in my marriage. I came away very bitter and angry. I was miserable inside and wanted the world to know it. I had also dealt with emotional trauma as a preteen, being molested by a relative by marriage. The bitterness and rage started then as a child of twelve or thirteen.
When I reached high school, I soon developed a mistrust of the opposite sex. My teen years (especially my late teens) were full of anxiety and uncertainty as I entertained dating and sexual relationships. That mistrust lead into my young adult years before I met my husband and married. The mistrust traveled into my marriage, where I had guilt issues with sex and physical intimacy.
It has taken me years to shake these “fears” and feelings of guilt by a person who was totally in control. He was the adult and I was the child. It has been nearly a lifetime to conceive I was not to blame for his actions. Even so, it hurt my marriage. It consumed me and my rage inside. It made me a bitter person and it left me in solitude. I was lonely and felt alone. I hated the world for it.
I find myself in grasp of this ‘idealistic’ perfect world. We do not live in a perfect world and never have. I never thought I would be facing a situation where two people I love immensely would be at odds with each other. Yet, I have been touched by such measures this week. One has to ask the age old question, “Is it worth the effort and time to get involved?” The answer is “Yes” for two people I dearly care for. I can not reach into their hearts and heal them. I can only hope they learn forgiveness and with that, they begin the healing process.
It will take time, but I am a great believer in hope and faith. I feel that after careful soul-searching and perhaps some counseling, they will resolve their issues with one another. Learning to forgive others as well as oneself can lead to helping find the solution. Also, loving and respecting oneself can help increase security. Dealing with the ‘insecurities’ itself is the start of the healing process. The “open” wound becomes smaller and smaller in time with individualized help, including prayer, counsel and discussion with a minister or a pastor.