Well, I said a few posts back that I was going to try to be open about this season I’m in. I don’t like it. At all. It’s one of those times when God has decided that I’ve lived long enough in a certain way that isn’t quite healthy, and He begins to hound me for something I was fine with. Right now, He seems to be focusing in on issues of trust – or lack thereof, with people. I think I’ve come a pretty long way in learning to trust Him with my heart. People, not so much.
I grew up completely alone in this world. There was no one safe. So many people who should have protected me actually participated in my exploitation, including my parents, family friends, a few teachers, pastors, and even law enforcement people. As I grew up, I knew better than to ever trust anyone. There were people along the way that I thought I might want to trust, but I just never could do it. I learned to walk alone.
And I am good at it.
In fact, in my opinion, life has gone pretty well for the last few years. I have been pretty satisfied with living my life and loving God and caring for those around me…..without really letting anybody into my life too deeply. I know this might make me sound like I am a hermit, who lives alone and never leaves her house. Actually nothing could be further from the truth. I look just like the person sitting next to you in the conference room. I look like your neighbor, carpooling a pile of kids around. I look like your friend from church who is in your Ladies’ Bible study group. I look like your child’s Kindergarten teacher. Or like the founder of the non-profit you volunteer for.
It’s just that I’ve noticed that most people that I meet and get to know (like for years) never even ask about the family you came from, or anything about your past, other than maybe where you are from (which I hate to admit – I usually lie about. There is still so much fear wrapped up in being “found,” even though the people I fear most already know where I am). All of this has made it extremely easy for me to hide happily from any true intimacy.
Even my closest friendships came about through things we had in common that have nothing to do with my past, so it has just happened that the subject has rarely come up. It just seems awkward to be discussing potty training and then somehow wind that conversation around to, “And by the way, I was trafficked.” And for a long time, I didn’t even have the word “trafficked” to describe what had happened to me, so that made it even more awkward to talk about. When a question does somehow pop up about my family of origin or my past, I skillfully avoid divulging anything I am not comfortable talking about, which is any of it.
But while I can sit here and argue with God that I am fine just the way I am, I know it isn’t really true. From what I hear, we were created to live in authentic relationship with other people. Instead, it’s this weird dichotomy I live with. There’s this whole story to my life, but I live just like I never knew that person, and in that way, I am never fully known by those around me. Sometimes I think it would even be nice to be honest with someone about the things I am really struggling with, and I wonder what it would be like for the people I am close to to really know my whole story.
Most of all, I want my story to be about giving God the glory for the healing He has done in my life. And it’s tricky trying to do that if you never tell anyone where you came from.
The problem is – I have no idea how. Plus, I am afraid.
And I hate that.