It can harm, and it can heal. Sometimes we can’t feel the difference right away, because it hurts both ways. But over time, we begin to see that cut that was so painful was actually removing harm from us, healing us, making us stronger, healthier, better able to weather the storms that are coming our way.
Maybe the moment when our child says, “Go ahead and cry, I don’t give a f**,” and we realize that our child is an emotional monster to us, and we wake up and wonder why we are giving them such control over our lives, and we begin to guard our own well-being and take away their power to control us, is not only the beginning of our healing and recovery but quite possibly might be the beginning of theirs. It might be the moment when we realize that love, and completely giving of ourselves, does not mean we allow our emotions to be squashed like a bug on a constant basis, that we withhold some tiny parts of ourselves for times, without guilt, without feeling like a horrible parent, because loving and giving, unless you are Jesus, does not have to mean getting flogged and hung on a cross.
Allow yourself the grace to protect yourself emotionally, mentally, physically, and give yourself the “ok” to do so without guilt. You are a human being. Just because you are a mom or dad of a traumatized or troubled child does not mean you lose that humanity and right to it.
Sometimes we hope, and then it comes crashing down around is, and it hurts so, so bad. But maybe that’s what makes us stronger, more able to handle what comes next, stronger for our children, stronger for ourselves. Just maybe we can use it to build up ourselves.
Hang in there.