I think most of us who have experienced abuse have met at least one person who, upon sharing our story, invalidated us & caused a great deal of pain. The person who says you’re suffering because you haven’t prayed enough, you don’t have enough faith, let it go- that’s in the past, I don’t know why you insist on hanging onto this when all you need to do is forgive & forget…
Unfortunately it isn’t just people who haven’t been abused who say such things. Sometimes it is people who have been through trauma, yet refuse to deal with it. They honestly think they are healed from the damage when in fact, all they have done is sweep the entire incident & aftermath under the rug.
Healing isn’t pretty, & sometimes we all need some help getting through. When someone comes to you for help, how do you respond? Do you tell her to pray more or do you cry with her?
While certainly prayer is wonderful & a vital ingredient to healing, sometimes people need more than you saying you’ll pray for or with them. They need someone to hug them, to hold them while they cry or even get angry for them. They need someone who won’t judge them even if they cussing like a drunken sailor or wishing their abuser was dead. They need understanding, compassion & validation!
How do you treat people who come to you with problems? Do you simply say you’ll pray with them or are you willing to get into the trenches with them?
Getting more involved can be a tricky thing for someone who’s been abused, as hearing another person’s story may trigger your own issues. It also can be extremely emotionally & physically draining. If you do opt to help another, then build yourself up as much as possible. Pray & ask God for whatever you need. Journal if it helps you. Be good to yourself- eat healthy, get plenty of rest, relax..whatever helps you to feel good.
And remember, it is incredibly rewarding helping other people, even when it is hard! Recently, I wasn’t feeling particularly well when a friend called me. Someone she knew was having emotional problems & the more she told me, the more I realized it was due to being raised by a narcissist. By the time we hung up, I felt so much better. Being able to provide information that helped her, helped me.
Truly helping other people, above praying with & for them, can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. You are blessing not only the other person, but yourself as well.