Shame became my soul companion from childhood. It sat like a stone in my sad heart. I didn’t have words for it for years. It was like a bitter root on the tongue, making me numb, eating away at speech and causing me to hide away.
I sought refuge in many places: curling up small on chilly park benches, scrambling over precarious building sites, walking through woods, hiding in my bedroom and escaping into books.
Shame and fear get written on a child’s soul before they have the words to know what they are and how lifelong destructive they can be. I retreated into myself, chewed on my clothes, had an eating disorder and ate garden plants.
An inner longing rises up to be comforted and unconditionally loved, to have a home and family and experiences different to this. To be accepted just as we are. To not be hurt. To feel free to spread our wings.
We ache with the weight of unshed tears. We can remain silent and dry-eyed for years at things that touch others, who are bewildered because we don’t join in, and confused when a tiny spark makes us overreact to things.
“He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4 TLB
Because we’ve experienced painful events that jump out at us at unexpected moments. We’ve had our fragile hearts broken and we don’t know how to fix them again. We swallow back the pain, repress, suppress and refuse to entertain the memories, even as they throb and pulse through our veins.
We want to be held. Safely held. We want more than anything to be loved, accepted and understood. To know we are worthy and we belong. But we look in all the wrong places and we accept bad people and embraces because we don’t value ourselves at all.