Emotional healing… what’s it like?


I’ve had a tough but good weekend. Tough in that I’ve been feeling very lonely, sad, challenged, trialled… and… I’ve probably grown a lot too!

Let me explain some stuff about me. I have symptoms that are like attachment disorder. That means that the bond between me and my mother probably didn’t form correctly. So I’ve always struggled to connect to people. Kinda makes sense that if you don’t connect as a baby, then you can’t connect as a teen or adult right?

Loneliness and confusion

If you can’t connect emotionally as a teen, just imagine the loneliness and confusion on a day to day basis. This is the normal situation for anyone who has attachment disorder. The person can marry but might not be able to connect to their partner. They can have a lovely home, clean and neat… but still not perform a father or mother role properly, because they can’t connect to their partner or their kids… simply because they don’t know how to connect.Life is very confusing when you don’t have access to your own emotions and you can’t understand the emotions of the person you’re talking to, dating or married to!

People generally have no idea of the struggle, so they react badly if you stare, or if you are too slow in responding (because you were trying to figure out what the heck is going on!). A girl can flirt with you and you’ll miss it entirely. It gets worse when you think she is flirting, but she wasn’t! heheheh.

So for a long long time I struggled to connect to people – but praise God it’s 99% better than it’s every been in my whole life.

Emotional upgrades

Healing the emotions is like regularly getting a faster connection to the internet. Check it out:

  1. 15 years ago we used to have 2k modems. Back then we used to only have text, we switched website images off. Every website displayed slooooowly. Ugh.
  2. Then we upgraded to 19.9k modems. We began to surf faster, we turned the images turned on!
  3. Then up to 56.k modems and we all enjoyed the animated images.
  4. Pretty soon we figured out how to have TWO 56k modems and java and flash applets became all the rage.
  5. Then we got broadband. WOW! We could listen to voice and download very short movies!!
  6. After that came ADSL and stuff like skype and really great animations became normal. We begin to watch short movies online (but we’re still downloading the really big ones overnight).
  7. Then comes ADSL 2 and suddenly we are watching HD movies online and uploading OUR OWN videos to youtube.com

Healing the emotions is just like that. Every now and then, just when you thought you knew what the world is like, you get an upgrade in your heart… and you find out that people are deeper and more complex and kinder and more angry and more EMOTIONAL than you ever thought possible.

I got an upgrade this weekend

I honestly thought I was running at the highest upgrade possible – until this weekend. I got another upgrade.

I should have seen it coming. I had been “sensing” new experiences for a few weeks. Just flashes of insight that I had never had before. It’s like smelling a new flower as you walk past a garden bed. You stop and wonder what that lovely smell was. But you can’t smell it any more and you can’t find it either.

That’s what it’s like for a few weeks before an upgrade of my emotions. A sniff here. A smell there. And BAM. The upgrade.

Now I’m saddled with a bunch of emotions and feelings and deeper memories that I didn’t have before.

I can re-read books and bits that I just couldn’t understand before are now totally transparent to me. The lyrics of songs become “hearable” to me and I wonder how I never heard them before. I am able to re-think about very old memories and re-process them again, but with my new ability to understand… and so I am able to figure out what happened to me at a deeper level.

Out with the old, in with the new

So you can probably see why I don’t adjust to change well. If I’ve managed to attach to something, I don’t want to let it go… even if it’s unhealthy for me. And if I’ve let something go, I struggle terribly to accept new good things in my life… because I struggle to attach!

So… that was a lot of information huh? Anyway, as I said… I’m still moving into my new home. For several days I have been giving away old stuff. Cleaning out. Very painful to let go, but God definitely wants me to.

But I’m also refusing to buy new stuff – even though I know that God has provided for me to do it. This is a mistake. I have to attach to my life. I must make my life into something I enjoy. I must enjoy my home, bedroom and environment.

A few days ago I went to the store to buy new stuff. I saw lots of things I like, but then I’d find a reason not to buy it and put it back. In the end I left with nothing. I used to do this as a teenager. I’d go into a store to buy records (before CDs) and I’d come out with nothing.

Did Jesus have unbalanced/unhealthy teaching?

At home I dwelled on the verses where Jesus says “pay no attention to what you wear” etc. I’ve attended a church in the past which actually did teach that we should not buy clothes because it’s not important. To pay no attention to those needs… as if they are not real needs. Needless to say, that short sighted teaching fed right into my attachment disorder.

Was Jesus teaching that clothing was not important? That we should not acquire stuff? No! He then pointed to the lillies and said they are beautifully clothed. Jesus was saying that if God provides those beautiful clothes for the lillies then how much more will He provide beautiful clothes for us? MUCH MORE. Our heart must be set on Him AND He will assist us to have beautiful clothes.

In fact right before this He had just been saying that a person should not think that storing up immense riches will be their salvation. Luke 12:16-21

Jesus wasn’t anti nice things. He was teaching us to trust God! He said this to discourage us from JUST have beautiful clothing.

Remember: the lillies had beautiful clothing. It’s ok to have beautiful clothing… even if one day He might ask us to leave everything and follow Him. But even then, He will provide abundantly for your needs. So chill out… enjoy.

As He said, let’s find the balance – where we meet our needs:

And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs. – Luke 12:15

Handling messages of low self-worth

Anyway… so… today I went to the store DETERMINED to buy my new stuff, the stuff I need for my house… but inside me is this hidden message that I’m not worth it, or that I shouldn’t want things.

As I walked about trying to buy things, I had to speak strongly to myself, comforting myself, encouraging myself… reminding myself that I’m worth it, that it’s ok to want things, that I can do this… and so on. And I came home with a lovely arty thing for my wall and stacks of Christmas lights!!! Lights for here and there. Dreams and visions of things.

I have discovered that when someone doesn’t want anything, the best thing to do is to simply start with something that they DO want. I like Christmas lights. hehehe. So I’ll build out from there. Bit by bit growing more and more ownership of my own life until I’m expressing myself everywhere, throughout my life.

The value of sharing

I know, I know… this is weird to almost everyone, but it’s the real result of extensive damage in my life. I’m sharing it here because I see that many people are reading this blog (for example: What to do when you’re feeling empty inside) because they are hurt and struggling to make sense of it all. When a Christian blogger shares, then the reader doesn’t feel so alone, the reader gains hope that God can and does REALLY heal. It’s not just a vague hope but a reality.

The value of self-love

So I’m pushing through, taking greater and greater care of myself, learning to love and be loved and of course, getting to know God more and more. As I come into a love relationship with myself, it’s amazing how much more I have to offer people around me… and how much more I can actually see God’s love for me and His provision!

Oh and by the way… I’m totally enjoying my new church, loving the people and their kindness, really really enjoying being in the worship team… and more! It’s another form of love and it’s very healing.

Christian integrity

Life is a challenge. Being an honest Christian is a challenge too. The whole thing with Ted Haggard has renewed my determination to stay out of leadership until I am clean and clear inside myself. His letter to his church is here, it’s quite honest I think.

But the last thing the world needs is yet another “wounded healer” driven by “faith”. Ugh. No. Let’s just look after ourselves FIRST. It’s not a “lack of faith” to say NO to leadership, because you want to have integrity in your life, because you want to get healing first!

I once was given a word for ALL the church leaders of the city I live in. I checked it with some prophets I know. They gave the thumbs up. I checked it with my mentors. Thumbs up. Gave it to my leadership. Thumbs up. I even happened to find that someone had a list of ALL the church leaders. The way seemed wide open to spread this word. This was my big break! Woooo! The big time!

But I declined to give this word to the leaders of the churches. I just couldn’t.

Why? Because I have unresolved issues in my life and I believe very strongly that it would be a complete lack of integrity to point at someone else (let alone at so many leaders) when I’m still dealing with my own stuff. It’s just not consistent with His character to ignore my issues while I’m pointing out someone else’s stuff.

Without a doubt, like Ted, someone would tear down the facade in my life and the outcome would have caused people to look less favorably on God. It’s a situation I won’t be involved in.

Honesty

As I have mentioned, I recently moved churches. I’ve been wondering how to tell my pastors what I’m struggling with in my life. I wondered how they would take it. I don’t think they read my blog… so how would I explain the long term pain that I’ve faced in my life? Would they understand that when a person has pain, that person obviously has to seek a way to quieten that internal pain? That way might be drugs, sex, music, food, excessive sports, rave dancing or whatever else. Anything to alter the chemistry and silence the pain.

Would they judge me or support me? I wondered how it would happen. I wondered what to do. Twice I sat down and prepared to write a note to them, but I felt like God stopped me. Tonight the topic came up very naturally and comfortably and I spoke freely and openly about where I am at in my life. I love God and worship Him with ALL of me… but I’m still imperfect, still broken on the inside, still struggling.

Did they reject? No. Did they accept? For sure! And best of all they offered to help me get healing. I feel accepted, respected even. I am even more encouraged that I am in a church which is loving, kind and healing.

Getting to the heart of the matter

Someone asked me why we have to go through the pain of our old wounds to get free. While praying for healing for my stuff, He showed me this bible verse:

But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him]. – Matt 15:18-20

Clearly the problems I am struggling with comes out from my heart – and it defiles me. Therefore my heart needs healing. So it’s no surprise that as I ask for deliverance from my stuff, He delves deeper into my heart and reveals more of what hurt me and heals more of what’s inside me.

I am very thankful to You Lord God.

Keep on reading

Some Christians want God to snap His fingers and heal them and they refuse to get help. Is this the right approach? Maybe take a moment to read my post: Should Christians get counselling for healing?

For further reading maybe try this post Emotional healing… what’s it like? or read some of my other posts on healing. I have written a companion post that you might benefit from reading: How to fill up the lonely hurt inside.  Get into the discussion. Share your experiences. Help someone. Receive help from someone too perhaps.

Forgiveness…

These posts might also help you:

and also try

Or try some other posts that I wrote:

These are posts about growing and forming deeper relationships that let us feel connected and warm inside:

God loves you!

Send me a Facebook friend request, I would like to be your friend and maybe connect you with other people who are also walking this path with you.

Please leave a comment on this page if you’d like? Use a pretend name if you’re not sure you want to reveal your actual name.

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14 responses to “Emotional healing… what’s it like?

  1. Dear Author, thank you for your honesty & the beautifully worded expression of your inner findings & discovery of Gods healing. I had been having stomach issues, now hormonal issues . After letting the Holy Spirit indwell in me & getting baptized in water at my YWAM DTS , ive let Jesus take me through this journey of blessing & healing my female parts & stomach issues bc God is restoring my peace of mind & He is truley becoming the anchor to my soul & showing me that its Part of my package as a child of God to claim the spirit of self control & sound mind! God wants me whole & loves me enough to surface that distorted thinking chrsitians get when they hear truth without understanding or only partial truth. When I was born my mom had a seizure that triggered premature labor pains & I was born 2 weeks before due date along with the ambilical chord wrapped around my neck three times. They thought I was born with a learning disaibility, which could be why I have always thought something was wrong with me & he traumatic birth could be attributed to my detattchment issues like you have discribed as well, in that context I could relate to you 100%. The symptoms you discussed about confusion & lonliness& the disability to read others missing social que’s . I such I have hung my head low about my past experiences in crushes & stuff which in erred in the stigma of I’m an ugly duckling bc no one likes me. I have known my mind was special& unique but I’m learning that now & how it has affected me. Ive had a heard for the disabled autistic kids& the lonely people & maybe this discovery for my self is helping explain ehy:)You spoke of books & songs coming to life with ability to connect, feel, engage with the emotions of others/ charaters has also been an experience. The whole part about the hesitancy to buy things, right on. Literally the smells & other things you’ve experienced I too have specifically experienced in my body. It’s great to know what i personally have been describing to others as a cry for understanding,is found out by someone else& has been worded in a way that says agh that’s me to! Here is the explanation. God heals before being put into leadership as my dts leader said having a wounded warrior only brings down the team & leaves them a target for the enemy. I am thanking the lord for this process even though it’s painful at times with random outbursts bc specific words trigger something & am so greatful to have ” stumbled” upon this. Keep obtaining the maintenance of your spirit & soul bc it’s benefitting others.
    Grace & peace be to you!

  2. Can you please email me I need advice. I thnk I have that attachment disorde. Never knew here was a name for it. I also have other issues and would like marriage advice. I tried adding u to Facebook too thanks 🙂

  3. Thank you so much!!! God is using your blog to touch other people. I’ve been single all my life and now I have a boyfriend that loves me wholeheartedly like a complete gentleman and is will to work with me. I lived in a broken home all my life (my parents lived together but didn’t really love each other. They Just got divorce after 20 something years of marriage). I got my heart broken by a guy and now I’m trying to love like God but it is difficult then I’m use to being alone and I get scared of relationships.

  4. What if your situation is the exact opposite? I, for example was as normal and happy as be when I was little, but when I began to grow up, something changed. I know I am the same person, but I don’t feel anything, or don’t really recognize my emotions. As I began to understand the world I lost my emotions. I still may express them, but I don’t feel them.

    • Hi Yuumei. Thanks for leaving your comment. Please search my blog for the post “what to do when you are feeling empty” and read that. At the bottom of that post are many links to more of my articles. Read those and put them into action. You will see an improvement in your life, I am sure 🙂 And most important, keep praying to Jesus Christ. Love, Mark.

  5. As much as it hurts to read, I need to tahkn you for your blog. I’m going through a lot of the healing you talk about, and I’m afraid that for my marriage it may be too late, but I need the healing anyway.

    God bless you in your healing.

  6. What a refreshing blessing to come over here and catch a glimpse of your life as a follower of Jesus. I know you are a blessing and I am encouraged by your faith…
    blessings-
    Shar

  7. Dear friend Mark,

    Your open and sincere heart is an absolute marvel to me.

    Speaking as one who has been pastoring the flock of God for more than one half of my life, I can tell you that your candor is refreshing.

    However, speaking as a fellow-pilgrim that has slogged through some similar circumstances, you might want to be careful not to share too much too quickly. Not that you want to hold anything back; but, because your pastor may not have the storage capacity for everything all at once.

    You see, sometimes pastors need upgrades too. Pray for your pastors, that God will give them the capacity hear and hold all of your story.

    You remain in my prayers, dear brother. May God continue to give you the strength and wisdom to grow through your pain and experience more of the healing you both need and desire.

    Grace and peace,
    -bill

  8. That’s so cool Diana!

    I’m very glad you’re having a great time with God. You chose Him over the other idols, I think He is coming closer to you.

    Bless you!
    Mark.

  9. How do you do that? Some of the scripture you quoted in this post was stuff I was fretting about TODAY. lol. I’m having a lovely day, God is so awesome to us and he’s so close… still sometimes I find troubling questions, and God likes me a lot so he answers them. Thanks Lord Jesus 🙂 emotional healing the Biblical way is the best.

    I am also very thankful to you Lord God.
    Bless us all
    Diana

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