Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Learning To Carry

Many people who are suffering dream of the day their suffering stops. In the case of a physical illness, their dream will come true. The suffering will stop either because they get better or they die.

With the other kind of suffering, soul pain, it is not quite the same. No amount of support or therapy or praying or drugs or drink or food or cleaning or any other coping mechanism will make you as if you didn't get abused, or raped, or have a loved one die. Nothing will alter your past. Nothing. You can only alter today. Your past will always be your past. You will always be who you are today because of your past. You cannot alter that. There will come a time when you will glad that you cannot.

Good loving support will enable you to live with your past and your pain. It will not remove it. Therapy will not 'cure' you.

Instead, you will grow in strength and understanding and thus your burden becomes something that you can carry and live well with instead of this this monstrous thing that crushes you. Everyone has their cross to carry. EVERYONE. We don't get to put it down.

We do however get to live. If we choose to and if we get the right help. We can be joyous and free despite what we carry with us. We grow in strength and we do not ache and crumble under it's weight.

As we grow in strength, we grow in wisdom and compassion and tolerance. We give to others what we are receivng ourselves. We let go of old ways of thinking. We become willing to change. This in itself can be very painful. Letting go of long held beliefs is not easy. Viewing the world through a different mind is not easy. Hence nervous breakdowns, when our world view comes crashing down around us because we can no longer hold it together because we see it is flawed. This is a good thing and maybe should be called a nervous breakthrough! It gives us the chance to build anew, to ditch old, harmful thinking.

The most painful changes we make will involve ditching much of what we were taught to think. One of the ways in which abusive people work, is by teaching lies to their victims. Most especially children. They do it because it works! They know that what you teach a child, they are likely to stick with. Hence religious fundamentalists are very much into converting children-their own or others. It is abuse, pure and simple. It takes tremendous courage and work to break free from it. As a result, many do not break free and they continue the cycle.

The same principle applies to siblings in an abusive home. One sibling may break free and be branded sick or wicked or deranged etc by the other siblings who do not have the courage to face the truth. They would rather live with the lie and the fantasy that they are loved than face the terrible truth. It is why we so often blame ourselves for our abuse.

Don't allow fear to stop you living. Don't imagine that your pain will be removed, that your past will be obliterated. It won't be.

Do know that your life can be truly free and wonderful, despite all that has transpired and that in itself is not just a miracle but the best possible vengeance you could wish for.


Angie said...

You have the effect of making me feel a winner sometimes .I am here and happy with my family ,I still have bad times but you are so right I must not let the past detroy me.

Gillian said...

Thankyou Colin. I'm going to save this and read it again and again whenever I need to. Gillian

Anonymous said...

Just went right through your blog again Colin, just so good, enjoyed every word, not to mention the superb knitting. Loved your new sleeve. I have a Brother 970 and never like the armhole fit when I put my own pattern info into its brain, never seems to fit together well. Will try your schematics

Anonymous said...

Colin, I stopped by to look at your beautiful camel sweater. Wow!

But I kept going, and just wanted to say "Hear, hear!" to your comments about "Learning to Carry". My sister was murdered 18 years ago today, and it still amazes me how differently all four siblings reacted / acted / continue to act.

I believe people have things given to them exactly when they need them. Thanks for giving me your thoughts today, when I wasn't looking for them.

Anon from the knittingmachines list

Anonymous said...

I was having a really depressing day then read your blog about learning to carry.

You are sooo right. It is hard to ditch the old way of thinking but it is worth it in the end. I was getting down cause it is so hard to change but I am not giving up.
I wasn't abused but had a nervous breakdown.
I am learning to think differently now and am breaking out of the old way of life. It does take a long time but is so much better

Thanks - very thought provoking

Terri said...

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

thank you Colin for your insightful words..... I am in an emotionally abusive marriage and see my kids suffering every day, and also taking on some of their father's sick attitudes. Since I cannot change him, I am trying to gather strenght to get out of this for me and my kids.... It will take alot, but your words have helped. ---Anon from the knittingmachines list.