I lie awake in pain. I write through pain. I’m tolerant and found complacency in pain.
The dictionary describes pain as “… unpleasant physical discomfort experienced by somebody who is violently struck, injured or ill.” There’s 2 types of pain. Acute can be severe, but is short in duration. My pain is chronic, which means recurring and often constant.
I taught myself to be aware and to feel pain because it doesn’t come natural to me. Some of the complacency comes from being a woman who is caregiver to all around her, just not herself.
My abuser trained me to ignore pain of all sources, brainwashed if you will. A typical scenario would be that she’d ask how I injured myself, after being beat by her hands into the fetal position. She denied my hurt and pain as well as her own involvement. I learned to discount and deny pains’ existence. The need arose to teach myself to validate and feel pain.
You may ask ‘why would you want to hurt if you don’t have to?’ The answer is simple. Physicians need specific information to diagnose illness. When you go for your annual appointment and tell them everything is fine, that’s all they have to go on. They’ll give you a clean bill of health. In reality that’s not be accurate. I’ll get real now, speak truth and be more specific.
In the mid 80’s my employer told me I didn’t look good and asked how I was feeling. I replied fine and went about my duties. He followed me saying no Karen, I don’t think you’re fine. You’re pale, losing your balance and your speech is impaired. I think you need to go to your doctor NOW. Being persistent and providing validation there was something wrong, I admitted then I had a headache.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with resolving viral encephalitis which caused swelling from the base of my spine all the way into my brain. I have limited memory of the first ten days of hospitalization. Reality is there were many symptoms which I virtually blocked out of my mind. My abuser taught me well.
It’s common for adult survivors of abuse to block pain. It’s vital to train your brain to experience discomfort as it occurs. We as women need to take care of ourselves, first and foremost. Just as scripture says you are of more value than many sparrows, it also says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NIV) do you not know that your bodies are temples to the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
I gave you one instance of many experiences where I didn’t feel pain and suffered severe consequences because of it. It’s another case for breaking the cycle of abuse. YOU ARE WORTH IT! Personally I’ve grown and developed beyond being taught I wasn’t good and have no value. I credit faith in my Creator and His word for that change.
Yes I do lie awake in pain; my insomnia is used as a reminder of how much I’ve grown spiritually. It’s a time of meditation and thankfulness for my healing. I do write through pain, that’s when the Holy Spirit weaves words for me that I myself cannot conceive.
I own my pain and accept it so yes, I’m tolerant of it. Because of broken bones that were never set, there are side effects that I’ll live with for the rest of my life. I tolerate because my abuse doesn’t define me as broken, but a SURVIVOR!
Complacent with pain may sound odd - I’m satisfied though because my pain has paved my path with God. He has guided me through my ministry to share my life’s journey of love, healing and forgiveness.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others …
Reflections of Hope Ministry