Saturday, October 19, 2019

Betrayal has a way of causing a hardening of the heart. In medicine, if we give too much calcium we can end up with a condition we call stone heart. Due to electrical imbalance, the heart just freezes up and won't beat.

The heart of a child needs the right stuff too. Love, discipline, attention and affection. I only mention this because I've realized that my emotional heart is a bit erratic. Sometimes it's overly excited. Sometimes it's unresponsive when it really needs to respond.

The other day my wife was feeling really down. I wanted to comfort her, needed to comfort her, but all I could do was listen silently. My thoughts were all about how her angst was making me feel. So I said nothing and she finally stopped talking and fell asleep.

I don't know how to handle people who are upset, especially when they are upset with me. I either go silent or defensive. I either freeze, run, or fight back. It's all about me. But it's always been all about me. I had no one to turn to, no safe place to go. I withdrew into myself and stayed there. I hardened my heart. I will not be hurt anymore. I will not feel the pain.

The problem I've discovered is this. When you turn your heart to stone so the pain can reach you, the love can't reach you either. I need to learn to soften up, let the walls down. I'll feel the pain, but I can feel the love also. It's scary, it's not easy, and I'm sometimes very afraid of what might happen.

I'm a grown man now though. I'm not a frightened lonely needy little boy anymore. I can learn and maybe I can really connect emotionally even in uncomfortable situations. I'm not alone anymore and that's a big difference. I need to remember that.

Just my thoughts.

Friday, October 11, 2019


I heard someone speak about boundaries in a context I hadn’t thought about.  In the area of sexual abuse, many times before anything really sexual happens there are boundaries that are crossed. They may seem harmless inadvertent actions or comments. An innuendo, off-color joke or comment of a sexual nature. Sometimes even a suggestive leer. A kind of testing of the waters to see if one might take things further. Some have insisted that this constitutes a mild form of sexual abuse. These days we'd categorize it as sexual harassment if it happened in the workplace.

I know as a young boy I was occasionally taunted by older boys about not having a knowledge of sex that they had or not being interested or even embarrassed when the subjects would come up. I felt shame that I wasn't privy to certain knowledge that my peers thought I should be.  I saw it as an attempt to destroy my innocence. If they only knew, but I played dumb and let them make fun of me because I had secrets that I didn't want anyone to know about. They might want to know how I learned what I know.

I’ve had older boys try to cross those boundaries with me with the idea of seeing if I'd be curious enough to allow them to guide the conversation with a point of grooming me for something more.

My boundaries were crossed during the wee hours of the morning on I don’t know how many countless times before I was old enough to become aware. I was slowly conditioned to respond in a compliant manner so that the more serious abuse could escalate.

Boundaries are important but much more so for the young who cannot understand why they are important.  Once crossed successfully, the course of one’s life can be derailed onto very harmful tracks.

Those who should've protected me the best failed the worst. Thank God I’m being put back on good solid tracks.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Change takes courage.

Which sometimes I don't have a lot of. But I remember when I finally got desperate enough to reach out for help in spite of my fears, change began to happen. Fear is the killer. Fear kept me in denial and confusion for much of my life.

But sometimes life gets you to a place where it's either stay in pain, anger and confusion and spiral down, or start looking for help. Sometimes help is hard to find. I think that's what kept me blocked for so long. I knew what I was doing was not working. For me, it was making things worse as far as relationships with family and friends, some of whom understood, some didn't and I lost them.

I didn't realize how valuable an objective look at my struggle and my woundedness would be. There were things I would never have noticed before without help. And it was seeing those things that helped me to effect the changes and move on.

I've come to agree with the books I've read that insist you can't do this alone. And not just for those insights but it really helped so much to talk to someone who "got it" and could reassure me I was not crazy.

There are some great books out there on this subject of recovery from abuse. Journaling did help me focus and articulate the hurt. But nothing beats a listening ear. To be believed was a huge thing with me. I think that's true with a lot of us too.

We were not meant to struggle alone. It was not our fault. I'm not the only one. Those truths were my Seeds of Hope and I'm here to pass those seeds on.