the girl in tangles

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 11 Comments »

I have someone really close to me who has been through some hell in her life. Her childhood nearly killed her and she became an adult with a severe inner limp. Nobody can see her wounds, though. She seems bubbly and silly, but I can see inside. It’s so deep and so intense that it makes me ache to the point of having to push it away. But tonight, I’m taking a bath in it. I want to dig that little girl out and protect her. I want to take away all the stuff that happened to her.

I would go back in time and take her place if I could. I’m crying as I write this because even though you don’t have a clue what I’m saying, I do. I know what happened to her. And I can’t believe that people are expected to survive after that. If I’m being honest with myself, I think I can only say I would take her place since I know that it’s impossible. Maybe I’m a coward. But, I don’t know. I love her like she’s mine…

Back to her survival… She’s buried herself. She hides behind a lifestyle, she hides behind her jokes, and she hides behind her weight. I wish they made shovels for those kinds of barriers. I wish you could make people forget. I wish there was a pill for getting rid of physical reminders of childhood trauma.

I wish I had a gun and a time machine.

I can’t convince her that she’s not dirty. She doesn’t believe that God wants to rescue the little girl inside her because that little girl grew up to be someone who is tainted. In burying herself, she got tangled and can’t get out. Believing in grace is the only thing that can give her a chance and I can’t make her believe.

The only thing I can do is witness her. I cry for her and she comforts me. This dance of feeling is my role and denial is hers. I wish she would cry. I wish she would scream and cuss and spit. But that requires unearthing the little girl and she doesn’t know how. I think she’s afraid that she would be consumed by her like the dead feasting on what’s left of the living.

I’ve written my whole life. It’s only since my big fall that I started letting the public read what I write. Sometimes I write for you and sometimes I write for me. My friend showed me a poem I wrote for her in 2003. This was when my writing was still private. It was my way of telling her that I can see her. I forgot about this poem and it means a lot that she has kept it this whole time.

I wanted to share it with you. I think I just want someone out there, someone like my friend, to know that you’re not alone and that the little girl inside you will not go away because she wants to be free. She wants to be untangled. She wants to be rescued.

Little girl
your shiny curls
and sprinkles of freckles

your laugh rolls
it rolls and it bubbles

but your windows
                   your eyes
they show the glare of your pain

no matter how deep you smile
no matter how long you laugh

your eyes
                 your windows
they give you away.

“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. … He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. …

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”– excerpts from Psalm 18:4-19

These are the times when we need an angry God.



11 Comments on “the girl in tangles”

  1. 1 exegete77 said at 9:47 am on May 22nd, 2012:

    Thank you, Serena, for the sensitive glimpse into a world that few of us want to see. As Christians we can only weep when we read. But not only weep…then we can love, even if the person feels unlovable. And grace is for sinners, and grace is sufficient.


  2. 2 serenawoods said at 12:24 pm on May 22nd, 2012:

    This type of thing reveals how powerful our experiences are as children. It shows how they mold us into the adults we become. While we learn from the experiences of others, we can turn to the children in our own circle and make sure they know that they are a treasure. I use that as something to refocus my attention when the other starts to dig in too deep.

  3. 3 @Weakandloved said at 11:58 am on May 22nd, 2012:

    Sometimes I write for you, and sometimes I write for me.
    Me too.
    I'm glad you shared this one with us.
    I am praying with you for that grown up little girl who is on your heart today.
    Keep on loving her, even though it hurts.

    Emily (new follower, fellow writer and sister in Christ…)
    My recent post Interview your child at the end of the school year

  4. 4 serenawoods said at 12:27 pm on May 22nd, 2012:

    Thanks for stopping by, Emily. 🙂

    Good luck on your new writing venture and be unique. Uniques are my favorite. 😉

  5. 5 MarisaShepherd said at 1:05 pm on May 22nd, 2012:

    …the little girl inside you will not go away because she wants to be free. She wants to be untangled. She wants to be rescued.

    How true this is for everyone. My childhood was not as traumatic as other people's, so I always thought it would be silly for me to need healing from my past.

    However, as an adult, I couldn't figure out why I still felt stuck at age 12 mentally (even though outwardly I acted wise and serene).

    When I got too tired to keep up being strong and mature, all that I had been pretending to be fell away, and I became that 12 year old girl again. She really never went away.

    When I crashed, Jesus parted the heavens and came down just like in the psalms you quoted. I lost all sense of self-sufficiency, and finally allowed Jesus to walk with me to the places in my heart where I was still a real girl, waiting, hurting, and needing my Daddy to rescue me.

    Since being "untangled" from the weeds strangling my heart, I feel like I'm finally starting grow up.

  6. 6 serenawoods said at 9:23 pm on May 23rd, 2012:

    Wow. That's really powerful. 🙂

  7. 7 Jason Wert said at 3:10 pm on May 22nd, 2012:

    I want to walk up to your friend, give her an huge hug and tell her how much she's loved by God and those around her.

    My heart is breaking heavily for someone I don't even know.
    My recent post Video blog with a very special guest

  8. 8 serenawoods said at 9:24 pm on May 23rd, 2012:

    Thanks makes me smile for her.
    She has so much waiting for her. I can't wait to see her live it.

  9. 9 You Know Who said at 7:05 pm on May 23rd, 2012:

    Oh… I have that little girl inside me. I have hidden behind laughter, and smiles… jokes, extreme sarcasm, and weight. I was abused as a child. I was loved as a child… I grew up with mixed messages of love, and abuse. Of what Christianity is… and not believing I could truly trust it. I was molested as a teen, by a deacon of the church… I hid behind smiles, and laughter…I was EVERYONE's rock. I was the person friends turned to when they needed someone to talk to. I was told I had wisdom and that I was easy to talk to… As I grew up, I became a vicious flirt. Men were not safe with me. I flirted because it was where my self worth was tied. As soon as they "took the bait", I walked away. I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it. Obviously, I felt I was good for one thing and one thing only. My weight continued to climb. I didn't care. Several times in my life I wished myself dead. I have cried myself to sleep at night praying that God would come back and dreading He would. When I finally went into counseling I discovered some things about myself, My weight was my way of protecting myself. Society tells us, men don't want fat girls, or women… If I'm fat, I'm safe. I used (and still do) jokes, laughter and sarcasm to hide pain that I couldn't deal with. I believed that if anyone SAW me as I was underneath it all, they would run screaming in another direction. I am learning that isn't true… and slowly but surely I am losing weight. I have people who stand with me, with the knowledge of my past hurts and they love me anyway… I have cried, and I have cursed the darkness that threatened to consume me. I have walked into my hell, and have started to carry that little girl out. The flames are hot, and satan whispers in my ear almost all the time that I will never be free of it all… and each time he does that I close my eyes, hold that little girl tighter, and keep moving.
    I grieve for your friend Serena. I know where she is and I know the fear of letting go of the things she uses to protect herself. Until I finally took that first step, I couldn't see that Jesus was already beginning to free me, but because I had been chained so long it was "safer" to stay bound up. Its what I knew. I understood bondage. I didn't know what freedom would look like for me. I remember telling my counselor that the knowledge of that was almost enough to do me in. I felt sickened and twisted by it. Here I was, being freed… and I preferred to stay chained. "Better the devil you know…" I am ever thankful for a counselor who continues to face my 'demons' with me, my friends who stand with me praying for me when I can't muster the strength to pray for myself. I am also thankful that there are now places where I can begin to share what I am learning and maybe, I can help someone else.

  10. 10 serenawoods said at 9:33 pm on May 23rd, 2012:

    It rips my heart out to know that abused children struggle to believe they are lovable. But, children are smart. They know that you don't abuse something you value. Abuse makes children believe they have no value. Then they become adults.

    The child needs to hear something that the adult she became knows. That it wasn't her fault.

  11. 11 You Know Who said at 9:40 pm on May 23rd, 2012:

    so very true. I accepted the blame for so much of my past… more so for what happened when I was teen… I knew I wasn't responsible for what happened before I was old enough to "know better"… but I believed I was the reason I was molested as a teen… I believed I had "asked for it"… and satan sold me a bill of goods that I bought into because I was so confused as to my worth and my identity, One of the hardest things for me to let go of was my sense of guilt. My misplaced blame of myself. Its a hurdle I still struggle with from time to time.

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