Moving blog contents to another website is like relocating to another country; just sayin'.
WendyRedroad.com has moved--with a new name to boot!
I spent time this past weekend with someone who is baffled and heart broken over her recent behavior. She's up to her chin in the journey to healing and so ready to see a new reflection of herself in the mirror.
All humans are faced with moments when we want to do better. Act better. Be better. This brings to mind a profound scene in the novel THE WILD THINGS, adapted from the illustrated children's book WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; recently made into a movie.
Copyright 2009 Dave Eggers
Max (the boy in the wolf suit), struggles to understand why he continues to "ruin everything." He approaches Alexander, a friend he'd hurt when he lost control of his temper.
"You want me to move?' Alexander whispered.
"No," Max said. He looked closely at Alexander, realizing at last that they were more alike than different. Their size, their fur--they were versions of the same undersized and over-trying creatures. He thought about putting his hand on Alexander's back, but when he raised his arm, Alexander flinched. There was a raw wound there, the fur missing and the skin red and bruised.
"Did I do that? Max said.
Max stared at the wound for a moment, then knelt down next to Alexander.
"Does it hurt?" Max asked, hoping the answer was no.
"A little, yeah." Alexander said, wincing.
Max took the tail of his wolf suit in his hand and licked it, using it to clean the wound.
Alexander smiled. "That's better. Thanks."
"I have to leave and go somewhere else now."
"Where?" Alexander asked.
"Anywhere. I ruin every place I go. I ruined this place, too. I... I didn't want Douglas's arm to . . . to get..."
Max couldn't say it.
"You didn't rip it off," Alexander said. "Carol did."
"But I wanted a fort. And I told Carol the sun would die. And I wanted secret doors . . ."
Alexander looked at Max like he was mad. "You really think you wrecked this island? You think you're that powerful? That you're the reason that everyone is happy or sad?
Max wanted to say No, but this is exactly what he was thinking. "But I hit you. I hit you a hundred times."
"Well, you did do that. No doubt about it."
Max finished cleaning the wound and dropped his tail. "That's why I need to leave. I don't want to ever do anything like that again."
"But you still might." Alexander said.
"But I don't want to."
"But you still might. Wherever you go."
Max wasn't sure if he was making himself clear.
"But I don't want to," he said.
Alexander barely paused. Instead, he smiled, as if Max was being particularly dense.
"But you still might."
They sat in the silence for a while, watching the rest of the beasts sleeping. In their slumber, the giant creatures were infant-like, almost cute, and at the same time pathetic, tragic, burdened by all they carried with them, far more than Max or Alexander could know. [end of excerpt]
I read this book with Zach, my eleven-year-old son. Neither of us wanted the story to end. Right here, on the pages of a book written for children, is an illustration of love, acceptance of a painful truth, and forgiveness. The creatures in the story are no doubt dysfunctional, but they are . . . family.
What about this excerpt moved you or made you feel uncomfortable? Can you think of something about yourself you want to change, to no avail? Perhaps a loved one has relapsed into an addiction a hundred times.
"God in heaven, let, I pray, Your strength manifest in our weaknesses. Only you have the power to change us from the inside out. Direct our steps and grant us the courage to move out of destructive patterns." In Jeus' name, Amen
*Disclaimer to any women who is in an abusive relationshiop: This story is not meant to imply that fresh resolve and apologies are enough. If you are in danger, it's important to get to a safe place. There are many programs available. I know personally, a family who has healed from domestic violence, and are together to this day. Regardless of our circumstances, human beings do not have the power to rob one another of the redeeming love of God.
Published on Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 4:55 PM CDT
Forget that it's June. In Part 1, I challenged you to take an honest inventory of the people you "mother" to the detriment of cultivating healthy relationships.
As a result of child abuse, I'd developed a controlling and critical attitude--my way of coping with the sense of powerlessness that continued into adulthood. Healing required me to recognize it, confess it, and adopt a new mind-set.
Simple, but not easy. You have to want it badly. You have to continue in that trajectory when you feel like giving up. It takes time. I had to be willing to consider my reactions to the people around me--my reactions were broken.
But there's two sides to this coin of reaction to abuse. A friend comments:
"Been down this road. Have the scars and the smiles to prove it. Dysfunction finds its own. The first ten years of my marriage were the WORST. The last nearly ten have gradually improved for us both. God is so good!
Learning to hold my tongue was the opposite of my problem. My husband was the belittler and quick to point out real or perceived slights. I had to trust God for the courage to speak up in honesty, and not back down about the abuse in my marriage.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, but gradually I got better at it. God honored the honesty without rancor. My husband is a different man, in large part because I opened my mouth.
I realize I'm different from most women in this respect. I see it all the time, passive anger, the criticism in public. It's so painful. My problem was no less deadly to my marriage, though."
Healing required me to close my mouth. My friend's healing required her to open her mouth. We both had to recoginize it, confess it, and adopt a new mind-set. God acted on our behalf.
No matter the side of the coin you're on, you can heal. Let God heal you on the inside and you'll be amazed at what will change on the outside.
*Special note: If you are currently in an abusive relationship, if you or your children are in physical danger, this blog is not a call to "stay put and pray." Get to a safe place as quickly as possible.
The National Hotline for Domestic Violence:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or www.thehotline.org
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-4-A-CHILD or www.childhelp.org
Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 @ 10:51 AM CDT