My bank account was debited for my annual WordPress subscription this month reminding me that I have not been using my money’s worth on a regular basis. I seriously need to get better at blogging more regularly.
Now that the toddler can keep himself entertained in the living room while I type at the dining room table, my posts will be more frequent.
Recently, I was having a conversation with someone from college and we were talking being part of a group that we didn’t realize had really unhealthy group dynamics. This was a church group, so we thought it was legit. Many are, but some aren’t.
I longed to be part of something.
I longed to be accepted and loved.
I longed to make a difference.
This group gave me the promise of all of that. This group promised that if I did the right things, said the right things, acted in a certain way, God would truly accept me – not just merely die to redeem my soul – but count me as one of the good kids. Doing things His way means that His sacrifice for me was not in vain. I believed saying and doing the right things within the group would land me one of the cute Christian college boys that I had my eye on. Because I wanted to get married. I wanted that deep connection with someone. I was taught that for women, marriage was what we were made for, so I would not be complete until I was married.
I wanted to feel complete because I had a giant hole in me for my whole life.
The hole of being abandoned as an infant.
The hole from insufficient emotional care I received in an institutional orphanage.
The hole of unresolved trauma as I grew up.
This group could fill it so I didn’t think anything bad about it.
I am not part of that group, but not because I was mad at them. I left to pursue a career change. I only saw the negative influences of the group once I had some distance.
That got me thinking about how else can holes left by loss and trauma be filled? Can they be filled with entertainment, by success, by a spouse, by children? These things can’t fill us completely, and in some cases, if we use a person to fill that hole, our need takes away from the other person.
Only when we are truly on the path to being healed can we find a group, a spouse, a person that we can truly healthily love. Only when we are on that path to being healed can we recognize what is true love and what is harmful.