“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
~ Cormac McCarthy
Here recently I’ve been struggling with flashbacks. Not the good kind with happy memories that follow but truly ugly ones I thought were dead and buried, never to resurface again; but here they are upon me in a tidal wave of emotion.
It all started a few weeks ago on my facebook family page. I was looking at friends of friends and WHAM it hit me; flashbacks. I’d see a familiar name and think, Hey, we were friends once, I wonder why she/he hasn’t friend requested me? Then I remembered, maybe we weren’t really friends we were acquaintances. Maybe I’ll friend request them, then I said to myself, no, they seriously didn’t like me – then all of the bad memories flowed.
No matter how much I’ve grown and changed in life my past is always there to remind of the evil little witch that I once was and I realize pretty vividly why no one likes me or would like to catch up with me and see how I’m doing now. You know what they say, ‘Once a witch, always a witch’ so they steer clear of me.
I have struggled all my life to put the past behind me, forgive the evil-doers, move on in a walk with Christ but like a worm, the past just slowly inches its way into my present when I least expect it and slaps me upside the head. Sure I shrug it off and look at the writing friends I have now and how they help me to see the change in me but my past is a part of who I am today.
“We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.”
~ Rick Warren
Sure I hear the whole spiel that people feed me. Look to the Lord -- Walk with God -- Read your Bible and quite honestly I’d like to slap THEM upside the head for not understanding one thing I’m going through.
Are they trying to tell me that if I walk with Christ, the past won’t resurface? Are they trying to tell me that if I focus on God, the past will disappear? Are they offering to me a safe haven in reading my bible and that the past will no longer be present in my mind? HOGWASH!
I have for many a year (not just a spur of the moment of caring about Christ) looked to Christ for my healing and yes, I have come a long way, some might even say I am a new person. Well I AM!!! BUT, and here’s the clincher, THAT does not change my past or make it miraculously disappear and make people from my past want to know me again.
I imagine that when people see on the sideboard of their facebook that little picture asking, “do you know Joni?” They look at it and shiver and tremble and say, “Yeah and I don’t want to know her again!” And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to know them either only because of the ugly past that I need to leave behind to burn, but it doesn’t hurt any less realizing I’m not that likable because of who I was back then.
Then my traumatized childhood rears its ugly head and I remember the not so nice life I had growing up in a neglectful household. I didn’t have parents who cared dearly for their children, I had parents who dragged their young child into bars while the older kids stayed home or ran the streets getting into their own sort of trouble. I have to hear now that I’m grown, from my mother, “Why don’t my kids love me?” And I cannot and will not give her the God’s honest truth, “Maybe because you didn’t love THEM enough.”
I love my mother and father dearly and have dealt with the neglect and the non-neglect of me; after all my brothers and sister see it as me being the baby getting EVERYthing while I see it as me getting the traumatic events that they didn’t receive.
As I continue my journey and heal I AM walking with Christ because I know that it is only through Him I can truly heal. Make the past disappear? Probably not because by looking back into my past I can see how far I have come and also see it as a blessing that I am still alive today.
While I lock the hard-to-deal-with-flashbacks in a secure trunk, I will send it up a river never to be seen from again. I WILL heal and continue to create positive memories that I’ll enjoy looking back on.
“It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.”
~ George Harrison
~ Nebraska ~