Super Member (250+ posts)
Posted - 01/04/2010 : 20:30:39
It's been a while since I've posted here; I hope you'll all forgive me for my absence.
Let me get to the heart of the matter. I've had 2 serious boyfriends who treated me well and with whom I considered marriage-material. Within give-or-take a year each, the relationships ended. I pounded on God's door to see what was up. The question was thrown back at me. Did I really want a boyfriend or a therapist?
Oh wow! That was amazingly astute for my situation. All this time, I had been using the men in my life as therapists. What I found as a deficit to really relating, I depended on my boyfriends to heal and help me out. Not the least they were both overwhelmed and emotionally-drained from my existential angst. When it got close to some sort of commitment, I would then break off, only to reconnect again like I couldn't give them up. I just didn't know what I'd do with a husband. I didn't want a husband. I didn't want them either. Yet I couldn't stand the separation.
Years have passed, and I am wiser. I talk often with volunteers on the crisis line because of my angst. Although they nearly always refer me back to a professional at the close of the conversation, some of them could reassure me that they have come across cases like this before, only I have diagnosed myself this time (or God did). Most of them don't talk about the parental theories or childhood trauma theories because of my history with psychiatric illness. (The parental and childhood trauma theories are outdated now.) However, I do think something in my past has either created or triggered this mysterious angst. I don't know where I got it otherwise. There are certainly emotional deficits.
Now I know that unless God heals my emotional side, I'll never be able to have a romantic or even a platonic and altruistic relationship. I think I see the beauty of each, and in the past have pretended to be that kind of person that could do it, but I was a fraud. No more. Now I am merely a shrinking violet whose bloom is about to expire. I am an emotional shut-in.
I find writing helps. Keeping a journal helps. With so much of the media in our lives that thrusts their politics into our hearts and minds, we are often afraid to voice our true thoughts. I even went as far as to be afraid of thinking my own thoughts because in the back of my mind there was this ugly monster of a man in my life laughing at everything I said. I've gotten over that now. I've gotten braver. I've gotten stronger.
Though being stout doesn't make one loving, it is the first step. If I can't be unapologetic about myself, I cannot move on to the next level, whatever that might be. And I had to shed some unhealthy relationships. You can't have toxic, unsafe people in your life and expect to come out unscathed. If anything, you need to find your therapy in your walk with Christ, not with a person. That's what I found. My woundedness draws me to Jesus. He is my best and only therapist. I have spent 26 years in some sort of therapy or another. Nothing works--not even religious counselling. My romantic relationships only brought comfort--not healing. I have my sins too. And for all that it's worth, I wish that I had never known a man. The odd thing is, God lets us go through that detour, though the consequences await us.
I like what Dr. Long posted about the checklist for nervous/emotional maturity. (ie. have I been patient and kind today?) only I'd add that one could never do it by oneself. It is setting oneself up for failure. By God's transformation through Christ, we can breathe in this new life of love, and find opportunities to use it to help others. I hope I get out of my woundedness soon and can walk in love for others through Him who loves us.
"To comprehend the nectar
Requires sorest need."