I’ve had this post in mind for two days now but it was on forgiveness, a comment yesterday changed my trajectory.
The observation was that I love books but people?… not so much.
At first I agreed with that assessment. It’s true I do have deep trust issues and live a solitary life on a day to day basis.
This morning I woke up feeling an overwhelming love for people. This is not uncommon. I’ve experienced this most of my life.
This last while, I’ve been troubled, not able to identify how both could be true, trust and distrust. Especially when it came to men. My dad was abusive. I have two brothers, they were abused. I hated my dad but loved my brothers? Is that what’s behind it? It doesn’t seem to fit but if not that, then what?
Take for example, my neighbor: I’ve shared with her some of my story. She has first hand knowledge of my struggle with trust issues and triggers. I’ve accepted her event invitations and cancelled at the last minute because I knew men would be there and I couldn’t make myself go. And yet… if we were standing in her drive way with her husband and he cracked a joke I was relaxed enough to laugh. I could tell by her body language that she was not happy and was now doubting my story. Which is true? The uptight or the relaxed?
So, how can I love and not love at the same time?
This morning I’m reminded, a survival tool for the severally abused is compartmentalization.
When I’m conscious of me and what I’m feeling, and people get too close – triggers happen, I’m reacting and not liking it.
When I forget about me entirely and my focus is completely on the other person, I feel empathy and love. I’m open and relaxed.
Where does all of this come from?
This morning I’m recognizing, it’s coming from my inner circle, the place where only three humans have ever been, or should have been. It would be truer to say they should have been there but all three chose to live outside of it, emotionally unavailable to me. One of them chose to visit the inner circle occasionally but only physically and in an abusive way.
Now, when I struggle with relating to people as the focus is directed toward me, I’m realizing it’s the result of the trauma inflicted on me by three. That’s one compartment.
There is another compartment where God shows up in the inner circle. This was my place of refuge in traumatic times. God was always there and has continued to be there, emotionally available to me my whole life.
This is how I can love and not love at the same time.
Wherever possible, I choose to love with the love I’ve experienced with God in the second compartment.
The original thought for this post was – How could I be forgiving?
That’s a big question and I still want to share my story. Soon, maybe.