I grew up in a black Baptist Church on the corner of two financially neglected streets in Baltimore’s Inner City. My home pastor was like my father and while I would love to say that I paid attention to everything that he ever preached, I didn’t (sorry Pastor!) But there was one particular sermon that will always stick out in my mind. In this sermon- from at least a decade ago- he said that “Hurt People, hurt people.” Wow, pastor. Just wow!
Like most things, it took many years for me to hear and comprehend what he had said. By the time I understood, I had already fallen victim to the words’ meaning- I had hurt a lot of people.
Not physically, of course. As I probably couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight. But I hurt a lot of people emotionally.
I had met him online (there, I said it!) and we decided to meet in public one Thursday in July. He didn’t look exactly like his picture but he was handsome and he was nice. Tall (…er than me), chocolate, and stocky- just what I liked. We were completely different. I was older and had done a lot more than he had ever thought of. On some level, I knew immediately that we were not meant to be together but I continued to walk down this path because it was comfortable and he was interested in me.
As we dated, I began to tell him all about me and my past. To my surprise, he accepted it all and still decided to stay with me. Our relationship moved way too fast. Entirely too fast. A few months after we started dating, I convinced him to move in with me and my family. That was the exact moment when things went south in our relationship. It was as if God had had enough and was ready for me to wake up and listen to Him. But of course, I ignored.
I had never fully bought into the idea that couples should not live together until they are married. If you don’t live together, how will you know if you can live together? And by this time everyone knew about my “beau” and it just felt comfortable to be with him.
All the while I continued to sink deeper and deeper into my depression….unknowingly, of course.
I was hurting….
All this time I had thought that I had come to grips with the rape and my own insecurities. Turns out, I was just masking up old hurt with with a fresh coat of paint (otherwise known as a new relationship). Each guy that I dated only existed for my desire to cover up my past relationship/situtationship. Did I love them? Of course, I love all of God’s children. Was I truly in love? No; unfortunately not. I knew GD and I were not supposed to be together but I stayed with him because it was easier…for me. I never considered the fact that I was hurting him.
He was (and is) a good person. Just a little rough around the edges, but nothing that a few trips to different places couldn’t smooth out. Despite how good he was, I found fault with everything and I called him out on everything.
You didn’t wash the dishes.
Can you please pick up your sock?
Why are you coming home so late?
What’s her name?
I literally began to blame him for everything that every guy before him had done to me. Was he perfect? No; but he didn’t deserve my treatment.
Every man in my past had hurt me…
My dad had left when I was about 4yrs old.
My brother raped me.
My exes cheated on me.
Men used me, [emotionally] abused me, and then left me.
I. Was. Broken.
But yet I stayed with GD.
I could see how our relationship was changing him and stressing him out to the point of no return but I stayed with him because…. I was happy? No, I stayed because my pride wouldn’t let me leave.
Everything that those men in the past did to me, I took out on GD. Every hurt, every pain, every tear- I blamed on GD.
And then one day he finally left…
At first I was so upset with him but then I realized that he needed to break free. He needed to be free from my treatment of him.
It was at that moment that I realized just how badly I had hurt him. He didn’t show his emotions ever but it was in that breakup moment that I finally saw the bruises that I had left on him.
I was hurt AND I had hurt him.
One of the many reasons that I am thankful for this journey that God has me on is because it is causing me to accept my role in my life. I am finally seeing that even though I was hurting, I hurt people along the way. I am taking responsibility for my mistakes and my actions. I even wrote GD an email, apologizing for my treatment of him.
The first step in healing is admitting that you have a problem. We have to admit that we are broken but that God is able to heal us- COMPLETELY. That is one of the things that I love about God. He doesn’t half or partially do anything. Everything that He is does is whole and complete. He is such an awesome God.
As you travel on this healing journey with me, please pray daily for God to help you find the true root of your brokenness. Once He reveals it, ask Him to fill you and mend those broken pieces. Do not allow yourself to enter into another relationship or situation while still holding onto the hurt of your past. Do yourself a favor- heal.