Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fight for my Honor

I use to always sing my own version of the Karate Kid theme song. "I need a man who will fight for my honor. I need the hero I been dreaming of. We'll live forever knowing together that we did all for the glory of love." Oddly I had no idea at the time why I would always sing this song this way, but I did. This did not ever bother anyone before I was married. After marriage, my husband did not necessarily like that I would sing this all of the time.

As most people in my life know, generally speaking, I will jump in and "handle" problems, most of the time without fore thought. Where this use to make me feel better, as I have matured it has burdened me. People would say I was over reacting or making a fool of myself. These comments would only make me angry at them. It took me facing this for myself to see the results of my actions then for me to feel guilty enough to notice where it might not be working out in my best interest. 

My family, friends, and later my husband and I had many conversations about this. They would tell me to calm down you are overreacting. I remember my mom on many occasions saying, you have to learn to think before you talk. I would complain that no one else was handling issues in my life so I had to jump in and handle them myself before I got hurt any more. As one could imagine, I was in constant trouble for this behavior. For a long time I would argue with my mother about this. I frequently saw her in volatile relationships, I was under the impression that this was an appropriate way to handle problems.

As an adult I began to draw off of the experiences I had seen in other households as a child. I was able to see that there were better ways to handle conflict it did not always have to resort to abuse or end a relationship. 

I have a theory about a huge issue this mindset causes. I have not done any academic research on this theory this is all based on the experience of myself and others. I think that in situations where a child is abused they adopt a mindset that there is no one to protect them so they have to protect themselves. Thus jumping in and fighting when it may not actually be necessary.  This mindset is even further provoked when a person asks for help and they are blown off.  I am going to give some examples to help defend my thought.

I have been blessed to know a young lady who is very similar to me in many ways.  This young lady did not experience the amount of abuse I did but she was hurt by someone very close to her as a young teen.  A few months later she had another very traumatic event occur in her life. We will call her Tracy.  Where Tracy was very much like me in personality, she was somewhat more tempered in her approach.  She hit the ground running and faced ever challenge with football pads on ready to find healing.

I truly believe most parents do the best with what they are given. For example, I know my mom did not necessarily do a good job at protecting me but she did the best she could in the circumstances and with her knowledge base.  Could she have changed the circumstances, yes, but she didn't so within them she did all she could do. Just like this, Tracy's parents and family did all they could do within their power to protect her from any harm.

Tracy's first bad experience happened when an uncle violated her. She was actually in a room full of people when this occurred, a sleepover setting.  Not in a million years would her parents have dreamed that her uncle would touch her but especially not with 7 other kids in the same room. The other traumatic event that happened in her life no one could have possibly controlled but it happened.
When situations like either of these occur we begin to ask questions. Why did God let this happen? Why didn't He stop it? Some of the questions we ask can become irrational and sometimes subconscious.  Where was my dad, why didn't he help me?  We ask these questions even though there is no possible way anyone could foresee what was going to happen.

It is my belief when situations like this occur a child builds a distrust of people. Not only the people who violated them but also the people that should have protected them. At birth we begin to acknowledge who will be there to protect us. Who answers are cries for food and fresh clothing.  I also think the child will build a distrust or a skewed understanding of God. If they are raised in a home where they are taught God is always with them, then they blame God for not protecting them from the extreme pains of life. The child begins to feel like no one is there to protect them, not even God cares or he wouldn't allow this pain to occur.   Along with this or because of this the person begins to get a general distrust of everyone and everything.

When this occurs the mindset of the person changes. I believe once a situation like this builds up non trust for anyone protecting the child they begin to believe they have to protect themselves. This is an irrational belief for the most part. But nevertheless, it is a real belief in the mind of the person. In light of this belief system the child will attempt to fight all of their own battles. Why would they ask for help when everyone that "should have" protected them didn't? As they age they are taught that there is no possible way you can survive fighting for your life all on your own. This lifestyle becomes dangerous. With constant love and guidance they may learn to build trust again over time. There is still the nugget of thought in the back of their mind that says, "If this doesn't get handled quickly, I will jump in and protect myself. I will not be hurt again. If I get hurt in the fight, at least I tried." This is obviously a thought process error for the way life is suppose to go.

We would like for these kiddos to go back to the trusting naive kids they use to be. This is impossible. The pain is ingrained in their minds.
When they do learn to trust and ask for help it is very unlikely it will be a full trust. The child may not like the way the situations is handled. This is because it will not be handled in the way they would do it. This has been a frequent constant battle for me.  I work through this on a daily basis.  I know now it is not reality for me to  handle all life's battles. 
I have been really digging deep, praying, fasting etc.  I feel like last week God made a clearing for me to see the truth. 

There were some events that occurred within my extended family. I knew I could not handle the situation alone nor was it even my place to step in.  I would have really liked to fix it all.  God stepped in to fix the situation, of course not how I would have done it.
God stepped in in a way that was a bit ironic. He spoke to me through the same song that I remember from the Karate Kid Movie all those years ago.

As I the song began playing through my head I began to cry.  He very clearly said to me, "I am the Man who will fight for your honor. I'll be the hero you've been dreaming of. You will live forever knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love." Thank You Lord Jesus for being our Protector and Comforter.

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