The First Part of the Critic
Today we are discussing another part in the series: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. It took me a while on this healing journey that I have been on to realize that there is what is called an inner critic of trauma. The first part of the inner critic aspect of trauma is the critic that is someone else’s voice. This someone else may have been a parent, a friend, a relative, stranger, or someone else who said something in your childhood that rocked you to the core of your being. Their comments of criticism and negativity caused you to internalize what they said, and then live out what they said as if it was the truth coming from the bible. As a child, I was abandoned by my father, and because of this abandonment, I felt rejected. In a child’s mind, there has to be some reason for this, and oftentimes fault themselves for the situation. In my mind, since my father was no longer with my mom, and I felt rejected, then I concluded that my mom had rejected me as well. This set the stage. I was standing outside of my childhood church, when I overheard a comment said by one teenager to another: “Oh, her mom is so beautiful. I wonder what happened to her?” This became the first part of my ruling critic. It “sealed the deal” on my already low self-worth and insecurities about my appearance. The second “other voice” of my inner critic was that of my ex-husband in his brokenness, who used my low self-worth to keep me under his thumb. He would purposefully say and do things that would reinforce my low self-worth and insecurities. I had to begin the process of deprogramming my brain from everything that was said and done, and look to the truth of who God says that I am in order to regain my identity and self-worth in him. This process is one that is tedious, because you have to keep asking, “Are these words really reflecting who I am as a person, or is the “Other person inner critic”, and then telling yourself, ” I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
The Second Part of the Critic
The second part of the inner critic is yourself. Yes, yourself. This is a hard pill to swallow. After being able to distinguish whether the critic voices are true to your sense of self or not, then comes the hard part of dealing with the lies that you have formed about yourself that the enemy convinced you of from day one. There are no fingers to point at this stage because the mirror is only reflecting us. These lies force us to deal with things by using coping mechanisms to get through life. The coping mechanisms are byproducts of trauma. Mine is perfectionism. This perfectionism starting off as overachievement in school, but by the time my brokenness met up with my ex-husband’s it went into every area of my life. However, there gets to a point on life, when God says, ” Enough! I freed you, and I want you to walk in it.” Our coping mechanisms only work so long before we are faced with walking the path of freedom from them, or having them to stunt our growth in certain areas. When we get rid of anything, it has to be replaced with something else. I have found that if I am not striving/perfecting/overachieving/then I need to be resting in God. I am not sure what your coping mechanisms are, but God can handle them all, one day at a time.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalms 139:14