As a little girl I was excellent at bearing a grudge. My mother could be temperamental and, at times, cruel. She had a very shrill tone of voice when she was angry. Most days she was angry.
I learned at a very young age that she had no self awareness of how she hurt others. When she would make me cry, she put the blame on me. “You are just too defensive,” she would say.
So, I soon learned to hide my tears, pretending her words didn’t hurt. If my mother would be mean, I would tuck her insensitivity away in the closet of my mind, until I went to bed. I cried myself to sleep many nights as a little girl because of my mother. As a little girl, I was teaching myself to be a little mouse who wouldn’t squeak when stepped on, but boy could I bear a grudge.
Some kids are shy, I was timid.
A few examples of my timidity are as follows:
- My brother had a friend who used to tease me and tell me I had “big ears and big feet.” I was terrified of him. I remember hiding from him when I was staying at my Grandmother’s house. Funny thing, when I was a teenager I dated this young man a couple of times. I think he actually had a bit of a crush on me, even when I was a little girl.
- The most popular boy in my class was throwing spit wads behind the teachers back in second grade. I laughed at him. I was the one that the teacher punished by putting me out in the hallway, giving me the only D I ever had in grade school. My mother asked why I got such a bad grade and I feigned complete confusion as to why my teacher would have done that.
- There was another boy in the class ahead of me in grade school. He was I was “ugly.” For the record, I wasn’t, but I was horrified that I may have to sit next to him at lunch. I prayed every night that would not happen.
I wonder how much my timidity fed my grudge bearing.
Hiding your hurt is never a healthy step in healing. Yet, that is what I have learned to do.
That is why I have a tendency to attract men who are rage addicts. I am a professional at walking on eggshells.
In my novel, the mother of Suzie hid grief. That grief burrowed into her heart and exploded in an episode of horrific child abuse of Suzie when she was a little girl.
This year I took a personality test.
If you are interested in analyzing your personality please click on the following link. https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test I thought it was a bunch of hogwash until I read the results. I was astounded at the accuracy. The test said I was a Mediator. It even said I would most likely become an author. Which is right on the money with the release of my first novel. The Shattered Vase.
If you are interested in reading that story, click on the following link.https://www.theshatteredvase.com/index.php/product/buy-the-shattered-vase/
My personality type fits well with my primary spiritual strength which is that of mercy. Essentially I am a non confrontational person who is full of mercy.
Bearing a grudge should literally be impossible for me. Right? WRONG!
As a little girl I taught myself well how to hold grudges. If my mother would offend me I would hide those words in my heart until I was under the cover of darkness. Then I would replay the horrific memory again and again while shedding tears.
One summer my mother’s words did not hurt me. It was the summer after my Sophomore year in high school. I memorized a lot of Bible verses that summer, building up my armor. That summer was amazing! The next year I aced everything I did at school. It was a wonderful experience. I learned through that summer how to shield myself from verbal abuse by using the weapon of God’s word.
I was under the impression that I didn’t hold grudges until I saw a thread on Facebook where a lady wrote letters of forgiveness to people who had never said they were sorry. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I realized I had held many a grudge. Upon seeing this, I confessed my sin and tried very hard to let go of bitterness that I had harbored.
I have healed from the unintended emotional pain that I suffered from my mother.
I do not believe she meant to hurt me. As an adult I do not continue a conversation with her if it is becoming hurtful. I merely hang up. Sometimes it takes me awhile to call back, forgiveness is a process.
I know she loves me dearly. She has told me many times how much she loves me. I believe she does, I think when she is angry she may not have the self awareness to know how she hurts others.
She is ninety years old now. I live in Texas, she lives in the midwest. I try to call her often and she is so excited when I call. My children call her also. She is thrilled when they call and tells me often what lovely children I have.
When she says things which are unkind, I try to forget instead of remember. For remembering and revisiting the hurtful comments only makes the wound on my heart fester and become bitterness. I don’t believe my mother would want that to happen and I know I certainly don’t.
Have you been hurt by others? If so, have you discovered a way to release that hurt?
Leave a comment and let me know how you have been hurt by someone close. If you have struggled with bitterness and have come to a point of healing, please leave your comment as to what has helped you.