“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”
— S. Kelley Harrell
With certain obvious exceptions, this article is pointed at the everyday experiences of family trauma and how we heal them. Sexual and physical abuse is beyond the scope of this article. What is directly in view is the power struggle known to emotional abuse—which, in my view, can be traumatic to the point of producing conniptions where normally steady souls can become mentally compromised for a time.
Family, despite what we might believe, is often a great source of emotional trauma. When we have suffered how are we to heal what we have suffered?
The Destructiveness of Isolation
The opposite of empowerment, so far as family trauma is concerned, is isolation. The more we try to isolate or deny the issues, the more problematic they become.
Take an industrial pipeline, for instance. When pressure in pipelines builds beyond the design of the pipe-work, there needs to be a relief valve to allow the excess pressure to be relieved to protect the whole pipeline from bursting open. Likewise, anybody who insists on remaining in their isolation is condemning themselves to a potential implosion of soul; it’s a cesspool devoid of logic. The pressure will build and build, and anger threatens to spew over the edges into violence.
In so many ways the devil is engaged in pushing people further into their isolation. This enemy of God knows the destructive power of silence, where purging the pressure is truly the only way to go when it comes to emotional trauma.
The Problem Shared Is a Problem Halved
Issues propagating emotional trauma in the family system can be healed when we share them with trusted loved ones who have the emotional capacity to hold what we share, without getting angry.
The importance of having somebody who listens to us seems obvious. All we need do is reach out.
Because we find ourselves in situations where family sometimes hurts us, we need family or friends who can listen without judging too much. And as we share, we are encouraged to be ourselves, without denigrating or condemning ourselves. The trusted person who can listen wants us healed, and they will do whatever they can to support this.
Family, of all people, has the ability to hurt family. When we have been hurt or betrayed it is vital that we seek healing; that we resist isolating ourselves, and find a trusted loved one or friend who will listen to us. Our healing is founded in our sharing.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.