Saturday, January 28, 2012

Those Deep and Private Hurts

I originally started another post for today, but have reverted it to draft. I just spent over an hour with someone on the telephone, and when I went to get a fresh cup of stale coffee after the conversation ended, this phrase kept echoing through my mind.

Those deep and private hurts.

We all carry them. Deep and private hurts can result in various ways.

When we are young, things happen that we do not yet have the intellectual or emotional maturity to process. We feel the hurt, pain, humiliation, confusion, bewilderment but do not really understand why. 

Humans are definitely complicated creatures. We operate from points of motivation and compulsion we often do not acknowledge or recognize. 

In our current society, we reward the strong, the stoic, those who are driven and persevere.

We are independent and fiercely protective of our individuality, we do not want to have to answer to anyone for our actions.

We confuse want with need, weakness with sensitivity, courage with aggression.

These behavioral patterns are developed over time, sometimes out of necessity or desperation, and grow so ingrained that they become a part of who we are as adults. We do not question. It is just the way we are.

We affect one another as a result, often totally oblivious.

An personal anecdote to illustrate:

The year was 1992. I arrived home from a meeting on a Saturday afternoon to find the closed in back porch in disarray and my husband perturbed with me. There were light-bulbs scattered about - on the floor, in plastic bags, on the top of the clothes dryer. He looked at me in total bewilderment and queried, "Is it possible that we have just one 60 watt bulb that is not burnt out I can put in the bathroom so I can see to shave?" 
I silently walked over to a wooden box, retrieved said bulb, and handed it to him. After he had replaced the bulb in the bathroom, he asked why I had so many burnt out bulbs.
I explained that as a child, we were told not to put  burnt out light bulbs in the trash, and I did not know what else to do with them so I had squirreled them away. I had been doing this for nine years, and had brought 6 years worth of burnt out light bulbs with us when we moved from Florida to North Carolina.
We were able to trace backwards in my life and determine that as a child, because my father would burn the trash, he had instructed us at a young age to not put the spent light-bulbs in the trash can so he would not be injured by exploding glass. As a result, I had developed an ingrained habit of not disposing of the burnt out light-bulbs. Ever.
We need to learn to recognize these deep and private hurts we all carry, and try to be sure we are not instilling negative behaviors and habits into our relationships as a result of them. 

I really think it would be beneficial. Cathartic even.

1 comment:

  1. My parents taught fear instead of caution as a child. In a way, you could say I was taught helplessness. It's really evident when I have to use knives, the oven, or any type of power tool. It's not hopeless though, I'm learning.