donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Emotional void

So many people grow up in families where there is abuse or emotional negligence. The typical pattern consists of high demands being made, requiring us to be almost perfect and yet a minimum of emotional reward and affirmation is given. In some families children grow up hearing only criticism and rarely ever do they get praised, affirmed, cuddled and shown genuine unconditional affection.
When such children grow older they seek to fill this void. Sometimes it is by means of substance abuse, sexual addiction in the form of pornography or promiscuity or any other obsession. They may seek to emotionally attach themselves to people in such a way that become engulfed, overwhelmed and loose their freedom and even part of their idenity. It really is a desperate effort to heal their fragmented selves through self-validation and approval seeking. It may appear to be love but really it is a search for inner healing and wholeness. Such people can feel like emotional leeches sucking the life and energy out of us. We must not blame or condemn them, it really isn’t their fault. It is an 'environmental' disease resulting from living in an imperfect world where we grow up with imperfect parents and get hurt by imperfect people. It is up to us to set boundaries and protect ourselves from being swallowed up by their emotional need. The need to be helped to see that the road to wholeness is not to self-medicate with substance abuse or to adapt the behavior of their 'abuser' and begin (ab)using other people. We must help them find wholeness by allowing God to heal their fragmented identity by attaching ourselves to His unconditional love. This is not easy because all of us are contineously exposed to abuse even in society. This may trigger memories of past abuse and cause emotional turmoil. Even our governments often behave like an abusive 'authoritarian parents' who make many demands but when it comes to really taking care of you and your needs you find you are being ignored. They may sometimes give you a few things you act overly grateful for in the hope to get more, but if due to neglect you end up suffering it kicks you and blames you, and until you say "Yes, it was my fault." You can't fight back because the system is too powerful, so you either conform or you will suffer. The danger is that we make others weaker than us scapegoats for our frustration because we cannot fight the real perpetrator. Unfortunately, even our aid organizations and churches at times are abusive environments where we continue to hurt, use and abuse rather them being safe havens, sanctuaries of healing and peace.

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