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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

It hurts good.

Yesterday I realized I feel a lot of shame for my inability to control shutting down emotionally in certain situations. I feel embarrassed and shameful for not having learned how to love and trust men by now. When I danced, I almost never danced socially or publicly because I would shut down emotionally to the point of sometimes not being able to communicate verbally at all. I am embarrassed and frustrated by my reactions to things and people I love dearly and want to love freely.

In my head I know someone who experienced what I experienced will have to allow God to heal them or they will continue to act the way I act. I know defense mechanisms are legitimate tools for survival, but I also know they become a burden when they are no longer needed. I know the shame and embarrassment I feel for my shame and embarrassment is keeping me stuck in shame and embarrassment.

It is so humbling for me right now as the walls come down. It is humbling because it is a public experience. My emotions have been raw. It is impossible to put up a professional, cold facade half the time while I heal the other half. This seems to be a process that takes the whole time. People around me are going to know I struggle. I used to hate being weak so badly. Now I have to be willing to be and look weak publicly if I want to heal.

Prior to today I was struggling to complete the step study questions. They are hard! But I knocked several of them out in quiet time this morning. One of the questions is: What are your fears as you begin your inventory? Why?

The questions on fear are always easy for me. There are so many, but in this list I included “I will become emotional”. I meant I will cry.

The next question was: What are some ways you can “wake up” your feelings?

I wanted to be super practical here, so I could implement it very easily. I did not quite succeed. I did list continuing to step out of denial and to “be vulnerable with safe people in safe situations.” I could also be nicer to my body physically. Remnant of sexual abuse: ignore signals of pain and discomfort from my body in order to punish it.

I thought it was interesting that if I followed through with my answers to the second question, I would have to face one of my fears in the first question. I will become emotional, and it probably will be public.

If I am going to learn to be truly vulnerable, I will need to learn to receive love. I have often noticed in recovery I experience pain before pleasure. When someone loves me or cares for me, I feel pain when I decide to receive it. When I allow someone to truly touch my heart instead of just having the conversation or receiving the love in my head, I cry because it hurts. It hurts good. It feels like what I have been waiting and longing for my whole life, yet carefully guarding against in case the giver notices my weakness and takes advantage of it.

I was thinking in another one of my answers that fear of the real thing (love, intimacy, trust) often comes from a bad experience with a counterfeit. I am scared of intimacy because my life was once shattered by what claimed to be intimacy.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. – Isaiah 61:1-3


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