The Truth Is Not Delicate
Something that has become very important to me is my level of awareness. Lately, the area I would like to have more awareness revolves around how my past has affected me and as a consequence has influenced those around me. Recently I prayed that God would help me become more aware of things I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child. With my words, actions, and even my private thoughts, what did I teach my girls about loving themselves and loving others? About how we allow others to treat us? And about how to communicate? Regardless of whether I taught them consciously or unconsciously, I know they learned from me. I don’t know for sure what they may have learned from me and my relationship with their dad. I do know there were many unhealthy thoughts and behaviors I learned as a child of abuse that I carried into my marriage and into motherhood.
Now that my children are adults, I must admit I was afraid of what God would reveal to me if I prayed that prayer. What came from my prayer was a list of 25+ unhealthy things I believe I may have taught my girls during their childhood.
The Truth Doesn’t Change
I am currently in a place of being on my knees before God asking Him to reveal these areas of false teaching. I really want to know! Why? So I can learn better ways of loving and communicating. So I can become a healthier mom. I am now remarried for nearly seven years and I want to be a healthier, loving wife too. I admit that this is a scary list for me to put out there. I don’t have all the answers pertaining to each of the items on my list, such as the details of why these unhealthy things were in my home. Only having a single, simplistic one sentence sound bite of what was not ok for me to teach my girls may create confusion around the why. However, I believe the opportunity for me to ponder what the items on my list might mean in the context of my own life may be valuable. Therefore, I am going to give you the list.
Speaking the Truth
However, since my list is long, I have decided that I will gradually share what is on this list in several blogs over the coming year. The very first thing that came to my mind when I prayed for God to show me what was modeled for my girls was this. The Silent Treatment is not okay. Whether their dad modeled it and I tried to figure out how to respond, or if I was silent in areas of our relationship when I should not have been, I am pondering the broadness of the idea of being silent around someone with whom I want to relate. The silent treatment does not foster intimacy or honesty. The silent treatment can create conflict and anger, resentment and rejection. The silent treatment manipulates, controls, and creates fear. I want to share with my daughters that whatever part I played in teaching or participating in the silent treatment, I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but for all my relationships.
I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.