Past Trauma's Affect on New Friendships
Life seems to hand me friendships or relationships that, most of the time, are too heavy and awkward for me to carry. As I carry them, I imagine that they are like glass vases that sit in the entryway of rich people’s houses. These vases seem heavy to me because of past trauma in my life. The trauma of my past causes me to believe that every new friendship will end badly. I am not strong enough for these heavy vases. I’m afraid that I’ll drop this new friendship, just like I dropped the last one, and it will shatter into a million pieces. And sure, enough it happened again. I have broken another friendship beyond repair, even before I realized that my grip was failing. And now, I’m left with all the broken pieces…
Broke a Precious Friendship Again
As the pieces lay there on the ground, I start to panic. I’ve done it again. I broke a precious friendship that I was given. Will they be mad at me? Because I am mad at me. There goes another friendship that I adored. Another friendship that I loved. One where I felt loved and valued. I get on my knees to try to pick up the sharp glass-like pieces. But as I pick up the pieces, not only do the pieces crumble, but they cut my hands and make them bleed. Even though it hurts deeply, I ignore the pain because this friendship is too special. Way too important.
Trying to put the shards back together, my eyes are filled with tears. I wonder if I will ever be able to fix it. Ever be able to have a normal conversation with anyone again. No matter what I do, I can’t fix it. I realize no glue or tape can repair what I broke. But after trying so hard, and for so long, my hands finally can’t stand it anymore. I’m left sitting there, staring at the blood-stained pieces as if they were a puzzle with no solution.
Why Can't I Hold a Friendship?
I start to feel sharp pain in my hands as I collapse to my knees. I start to call myself a failure. I start to bully myself. “Why can’t you just hold a friendship? Why is it so hard for you to just be friends with somebody?” My body begins to shiver as I sit there on my knees, sobbing. I’m all alone again. I blame my father who left me and took my childhood. I blame the ones who kicked me while I was down. I blame the people who left me after I shared my heart and fears with them. The ones who forced themselves away because of my struggles. But deep down, the one I really blame is me.
I'm Not Alone in My Struggles
But through all this struggle, what I don’t see is the wonderful Father of Heaven who has been watching me this whole time. He saw me struggle on my own. He was there as my grip slipped and He gasped when the friendship broke. He was there as I fell to the floor. When He offered His help, I put my bloody hand out, saying “I got it. I got it!” Most importantly, He sees me hurting. He sees me bleeding. As as I whisper, “Daddy?” He is running to me in the blink of an eye.
In the midst of my pain, He comes, grabs me and holds me while I’m sitting on the floor. My voice shakes as I explain (in full detail) about this friend and the hurt that I feel. As I spill the betrayal, heartache, emptiness, loneliness, and hopelessness that I feel He kisses me on the forehead. My blood and tears stain His shirt, but He doesn’t care. I’m more important.
When His Children Hurt, He Hurts
He grabs my hands and takes a longing look at them. I hadn’t noticed until now, but there is a tear falling down His cheek, for when His children hurt, He hurts.
He takes out his Pliers of Patience and tells me that there will be serious scars because I tried to hold the vase of friendship with my own strength. I bow my head in shame and start to feel so selfish for trying to fix something that wasn’t mine to fix in the first place. I watch him start to reach for my hand, but I pull away. I wonder why he would do this for someone so stupid to break what was given to me. He simply smiles and reaches out His hand. I reluctantly give Him my hand and He start to pull the shards of another broken friendship out of my skin. The process hurts, but I know He knows what He’s doing.
My Wounds Will Heal
Finally, He pulls the last shard out. There is a little relief, but it still hurts. He tells me that it is normal and that I’ll be content in the end. That one day, when the wounds heal, that I’ll be ok.
I then take a look at the mess I made all over the floor. I’m embarrassed because the mess is quite substantial. God and I just stand there, and out of nowhere, He points to the middle of the pile. “See that?” I look at Him confused. He walks into the mess and bends down. He pulls out a piece of paper that I had not seen till just then.
The piece of paper holds the lesson that He is planning to teach me through this disappointment. He reaches out his hand for mine and asks me to follow Him. In the next room over, on the wall to my left, are lots of picture frames. As I skim the wall, I realize that frames contain pieces of paper, just like the one that the Lord just pulled out of the rubble of the friendship that I just broke. One says PATIENCE. Another says SELF ACCEPTANCE.
Self-Acceptance and Trust
God hands me a picture frame that has the paper he just pulled from the friendship that I broke. The word TRUST is written in red uppercase letters. I hang the frame on the wall and turn around to find that I’m alone in the room. But being alone in the room, I’m able to see the other wall. Full of shelves that are full of complete, whole glass vases.
God walks up behind me with another glass vase. My heart drops. Not another one. I question Him, “Lord! I just broke one! You’re giving me another one? I don’t think I can carry it.”
Hand Over Your Trauma and Pain
He smiles. “No child. You aren’t carrying this one. See the reason you have dropped all the other ones is because you are trying to carry them by yourself instead of letting me carry them for you. I may give them to you, but they aren’t yours to carry. They are for you to put in an entryway. Display them as gifts that I have given you. Yes, dust them to keep them clean, refill them with decorations and admire their beauty, but don’t take them with you. Trust me that as you leave the house, I am protecting them. I am watching over them. I will defend them from robbers that may try to come and steal them. Will you trust me daughter? It’s your choice.”
Has past trauma made you hate your life and yourself? Do you feel drained, frustrated and hopeless? Here are Five Ways To Stop Hating You.
About the Author... Nichole Isaacs: Hello! My name is Nichole, and I am 23 years old. I am currently attending nursing school and am planning on graduating in December. I have been a Christian since I was 10 years old but recommitted my life to Christ when I was 20. I am very driven to shine a light on mental illness and their effects that these illnesses have on Christians and the general population.