For those that know me, emotional wholeness is something I am extremely passionate about. It’s what led me to study counselling, and something that I could discuss ad nauseum – even at 11pm when exhausted from a long day. Just ask Caleb. He loves it. One would think that I would for sure have blogged about it by now…but I haven’t. It may seem surprising, but it’s a topic so dear to my heart that I couldn’t do it justice in one pithy blog, and no-one wants to read an 11-page diatribe on the subject, so I’ve demurred until now. I’ve decided to write a wee mini-series about the subject. I want to share a bit of my story, in the hopes that may be of some help or encouragement to some of you.
In the Beginning
By most standards, I had a pretty good childhood. There was no significant trauma, my parents loved us and each other, there was always a roof over our head and healthy food (read, not nearly enough treats), I had a good education, friends, and a church family. But I was always plagued by what I guess I can only describe as a feeling of unease; ‘the dread’. It’s like there was this cavern deep within me that sent unsettling and frightening echoes into the atmosphere of my life from time to time; a small, very scared, dark voice. From a really young age I can remember thinking, “I want to be free”. I just didn’t know what from.
‘The dread’ impacted more than I realised at the time. Probably the most obvious impact, was that I found it intolerable to experience solitude. I loved my alone time, but I always had to be reading, listening to music, watching something, playing a computer game or sleeping. I slept a lot. If I allowed myself to be undistracted, ‘the dread’ would start to beg for my attention, and it was way too freaky to focus on, so I had to stay busy. I remember my dad once saying that I was too future driven. I now know that it was because the present was too painful, and my constant hope was that the next conference, camp, holiday, project, outing, opportunity or potential relationship might hold the key to freedom.
I say ‘potential’ relationship, because ‘the dread’ impacted that area of my life too. I always had a crush on some poor probably not-so unsuspecting guy. I cringe now to think about how intense I was with those crushes, my wee heart was right out there on my sleeve, and deep down I was looking for something to soothe the disquiet within. The cruel irony, is that the odd time that someone began to return the interest in any way, I ran for the hills, freaked out of my tree. ‘The dread’ badly wanted attention and affection, but it couldn’t handle either.
My life was far from a social failure, but even though I had what many would consider an enviable circle of genuinely amazing friends, I was plagued by the feeling that I was never really ‘in’. On top of this, I would experience these super unfortunate bouts of blushing. Not the rosy, sweet, feminine, pinch-your-cheeks sort of glow. Oh no. This was the ugly sort of mottled scarlet that started somewhere at the base of the neck and spread with horrifying rapidness to my whole head. The sort of fire-engine red that has people asking if you’re okay and getting ready to seek medical attention on your behalf. I hated it. So. Much. I knew deep-down that I was a confident person, and it killed me that I had to leave conversations, or stop speaking out loud in class when I felt it happening.
I really wasn’t sure how to get free from this stuff. I just knew that my life was not peaceful, and that somewhere in the recesses of my soul, was a small, caged girl. She felt powerless, unlovely, alone and invisible. She was trying to get my attention, but it was too unbearable to listen, so I ignored her, until she got so distressed that I could no longer avoid it.
I’ll continue the story soon.
11 thoughts on “A Journey of Freedom – Part I; The Beginning”
Lying in the bath Deb going “Oawh. No don’t stop there ❤️ loving this snapshot and looking fwd to understanding….being blessed by more of your lovely authenticity…Takes me straight to our teenagers at school today xxxRae “Thankyou for this breath of honesty tonight Special Lady…Precious Mama ” xxxx
Love you Raewyn 😘
Hi Deb, I thanks for taking us on this intensely private journey, so brave! I too felt uneasy most of my childhood and have struggled for many years to feel like I “fit in” to everyday life. I’m finally getting to a place of self acceptance and just when I feel like I’m getting it “right”…..God lovingly puts His finger on a pretty large incident in my teenage years that I’ve conveniently put in its box! Don’t ya just love how God works lol. Back to counselling I go 😆
So brave Wendy!! Working through that stuff is so icky, but man, look at where you are now!!
I feel very privileged to share in this journey and hear your story and look forward to the next blog- you speak out what we are all feeling but are to afraid to admit so thank you so very much
Sophia from NZ
Oh so lovely to hear from you Soph!! It’s my privilege to share it. Miss you 😘
I feel like that, too many times a week. Sometimes it doesnt bother me and sometimes I feel like I am facing and fighting my perosnal weak point in very highly conscious ways.
That’s really difficult Molly, I’m sorry. I hope and pray that you find something/someone to find some peace and healing xx
Thank you, maybe it is difficult but I guess trying to ignore it would be even worse
Absolutely! My old counselor used to say, “The only way through the pain is through the pain.”
I just keep going I guess
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