“To be honest with you, I can’t do this anymore,
I have pushed this so much, but you just won’t trust me.
Its been three years now, I won’t hurt you, Funke, I am not your father.”
“How dare you? How dare you go there?
I know you are not my father, I never said you were.”
“THEN WHY DON’T YOU TRUST ME?
Oh my God, I am sorry. Don’t be scared, I am just offended. I am never going to lay my hands on you.
[Feeling exasperated] You see, this is the problem. I can’t even express a little anger around you!” [door slams]
Vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. I always hated being vulnerable, allowing someone to see into my heart to the extent that they see my nakedness and filth.
“I am, [sobs] I am sorry.
I am trying…[sobs]…I really am.
When I was a little child…”
“I know what happened to you as a child Funke, when would you stop nursing that?
When would you let yourself heal from that?”
“Don’t be insensitive Ife.
I am working on it, really”
“You know what? You are like a child that stepped on a shard of glass but the fear of the pain you will experience hasn’t let you pull it out. You will never heal if you continue like this.
And before you call my full name, because I can see that look on your face already. I know that my name means God’s patient love, Ifeoluwatonisuru. But there’s something called tough love. If you can’t visit your childhood with a clear head, I mean actually think and see that pain can be remoulded, you are only being held captive by your mind, Olufunke, you are your own jailer.
When you are going through pain from trauma, you need to be vulnerable to yourself first. You need to let yourself visit the source of that hurt and in the midst of the crazy pain, stop and think clearly. Look at the one inflicting the pain on you, really look. Why are they hurting you? Is it because they were hurt too? Remember, we are being clear-headed, to understand why exactly you were hurt. It’s not just because someone wanted to be malicious to you, they were most likely reacting to something. Now look at you, what got you in that situation? What do you need to learn? At this point, with a clear head, you have pulled out the glass shard from your feet. Now, begin cleaning your injury.
“Father was a woman beater, but before that, he was a loving father. He was a low-level banker, still we were happy. Mum was a teacher, food was on the table. The bank had a bad investment year I think, I never paid attention to those things, but dad lost his job.
Daddy was not so smart actually, mum was the smart one. He was only promoted twice after working for ten years. He was almost forty and no one was going to employ someone that old with nothing to show for his years of work. Mum, on the other hand, became a lecturer and she earned five times more than he ever earned.
He started drinking, he lost hope, he just became a…[sob]. Mum came back home that day tired, dad asked for his food, she asked him to give her some time to rest. He was so drunk, he slapped her. That was the first day.”
When you decide to revisit your trauma, take your time. it’s advisable to have a counselor present with you. Take your time, go at a comfortable pace, and be gentle on yourself.
“He apologized, he wept like a baby that day. But it was all a lie, he was never sorry, he beat us constantly after that day. He hated us, he…”[breathing hard]
[Ife places his hand on hers lightly, and pulls her into an embrace]
“Funke, pause and think clearly, remember how it happened.”
“I never knew why he always cried, it always pissed me off.
Well, I think he felt shame. He looked useless in his eyes, he couldn’t provide for his family, he kept bad friends and they poisoned his mind. His self-esteem became non-existent, he looked for solace in a bottle but found only turmoil. Mum’s mouth didn’t help though. Not that it gave him any right, but violence that was his means of escape. The day I decided to hate him for life, was the day he killed her [sniff] with his stinking bottle, he smashed her head. [sobs]
He served only ten years, I guess the judge was a shameless man like himself. [hiss]
Okay let me think clearly, they said he was mentally unstable. To be honest, he still is. I last saw him last five years ago when, I went to check if was actually going to be released.
Apparently, I exiled myself to prison too, but I never even knew this. I can’t forgive him, don’t ask me to please”
“That’s fine, take your time. I pray you will forgive him though. But right now, let’s get it out of your system”
“I became afraid that I would be stupid like my mum and let a man beat me for years in the name of love. I am twenty-nine now, never had a serious relationship. I couldn’t let a guy in like that. But I know there are good men I have seen some, I am in a relationship with one. I thank God for giving me you.
I will live with a clear head and think clearly from now, I will see your heart from now on and when we fight I will try not to blackmail you emotionally. Instead I will connect to you emotionally, I will let myself cry when it hurts and laugh when it’s funny”
“Funke, thank you for being vulnerable with me, I will be gentle with you through your healing period, I will be more understanding, so I don’t bruise you more in this raw state. But I won’t be the one to make you strong and healed.
That is really between you and God. I would not interfere with the healing He is working in you. I pray you forgive your father soon. I pray you drop the burden of unforgiveness. I love you and will stand by you.”
Something important to note is that Ife understands that it’s God that does the healing, he actually not trying to be modest. When you are healing from trauma, ensure you don’t draw strength from man, you could tear the person up in the process. 2 Corinthians 2:9, His grace is sufficient for the hurting person.