By Gift Ekpobetebe In recent times, review has shown that many…
A trauma healing piece, please read alone, read together
He had a deadline to beat. So he came home late when his family was asleep. He went into the kitchen, warmed up his dinner that the wife had cooked, matoke with beef stew. In a few minutes he was done and went to sleep, exhausted.
In the morning, he and his wife got up. After the shower, wearing robes, it was time to prepare for the day.
“You think I am your house help? What is this? How many times must I tell you to never leave utensils unwashed? I wake up to an unwashed plate in the kitchen sink. Can’t you even wash after yourself? Must I always clean up after you? Are you a baby? And you used my favourite plate that I keep for visitors, can’t you even use the many other plates I bought? Arrgh… you’ve ruined my morning. I am so sick of being married to a man who can’t even follow simple instructions” his wife shouted at him.
“What is this all about?” He asked looking at her surprised.
“What is this all about?” She ridiculed him. “Stop acting like you don’t know. This is about the mess you left in the kitchen last night”
“Is this really about the dishes? Are you seriously talking to your husband like this because of a plate?” He asked shocked.
Their six year old child walked in on them in the kitchen.
His wife looked at the child then sneered at him and said, “We’re getting late. The kids are getting late for school”
He gently grabbed her hand to lead her to the bedroom.
“My love, we need to talk” he told her.
“We don’t have time! You have a deadline, I have an early morning meeting at work. The kids need to get to school. Stop rushing me” she reluctantly said.
“Kids, prepare for school. Mommy and I will have a chat, join you, have breakfast then we’ll leave” he told their three children.
“But dad we’ll get late for school” said their first born.
“You’ve never been late. But today, there will be no harm getting to school slightly late. Don’t worry, I will personally talk to your teachers” he said.
“Whoop! Whoop!! You are the coolest dad” cheered their naughty second born jumping on to the sofa turning on the TV.
The couple walked inside their bedroom, closed the door.
He got her to sit on their bed and he knelt next to her, placing his hand on her lap.
“We’re getting late” she said with a cold tone.
He rubbed her waist and said, “Shush, it doesn’t matter, this is important. I don’t want us to get caught up living life that we fail to address issues”
“So there is an issue?” She asked.
“Yes, my dirty plate on the sink” he said.
“Don’t worry, I will wash it” she said trying to get up out of the bed.
He pressed her down to make her remain seated.
He looked deep into her eyes as if searching for her soul. She felt naked before him.
“My wife, who hurt you in your past?” He asked.
“What do you mean?” She questioned.
“For the years I have married you, I notice you are easily irritable, you have this temper, this bitterness, this fear that erupts out of petty things” he spoke.
“Oh, so you’re saying I am petty? You think my reaction over what you did last night is petty? You think I am petty?” She erupted, sneering at him.
“See what I mean?” He said.
“I am not saying you are petty, I am saying you are easily angered. I am saying that your response to my dirty plate was cold and harsh, all you could have done is correct me with love, but instead, you attacked me, you crushed me over a dirty plate, you fought me over a thing. Why are you this angry?” He continued.
“No one is born angry and irritable. Anger, a hot temper is something we acquire as we live. It is our reaction to the circumstances that push us to fear, defensiveness and confusion. We acquire an angry temperament from our upbringing and the pain we collect along the way. So I want you to look inside you, your past and tell me, when did you start being so angry?”
“My love, open up to me. Let me in to the darkest corners of your past. Show me your scars. Who did this to you? Who introduced you to bitterness? When you open up, you release the pain and healing will start; but when you hide, when you pretend, when you act like you are OK, when you wear a fake smile; healing will evade you and you will take it out on your loved ones. You will find yourself shouting at me and the kids, taking out your frustration on us”
“Racism, fear, tribalism, fear, anger; all those are taught. Darkness of life creeps in through events and we become fearful and angry. Who did this to you? Who taught you how to be angry? Who made you feel like you have to fight alone, like no one is on your side?”
She began to cry.
She broke down in tears.
He hugged her. She broke down even more.
“I was raped. I was raped by my cousins. I was just a young girl” she opened up.
She let him inside her darkest thoughts. Told him of how she was raped, her abortion when she was seventeen that she did because she couldn’t face her parents, her questions about her father who was largely absent when she needed a father figure, how she was sexually harassed at work by her boss and no one believed her. She opened up about her fake friends, who were there only to use her until the day she chose to ride solo. She opened up about how she gave her body to a man who claimed to love her, only for the man to end up cheating on her and making her feel unworthy and not beautiful enough. She opened up about her struggle with self-esteem, the nights she cried to sleep. She opened up about how she made mistakes that ended up costing her time, money and peace of mind, her struggle with bad word and alcohol while she tried to project an image of a Godly woman yet she felt God was angry with her. She opened up about the nights she’d wake up naked in bed with a man she didn’t love and how that made her angry with herself. She opened up about the five relationships she got into thinking they would last. The first one she was used, the second one she was physically abused, the third she was rejected because the man’s parents didn’t approve of her tribe, the fourth she was cheated on, the fifth she was dumped the night before her wedding. She opened up about all her baggage”
He wiped her tears.
“My love, that is a lot for one person to go through. Thank you for opening up to me. It will help me to love you better. When you open up, you release the burden. I now know better about where you are coming from” he told her.
“I have never told a soul all these things” she said clinging on to him.
“If you don’t tell me, who will you tell? Darling, this is what love is about. Taking your past, walking with you today and building with you our tomorrow. Many people think marriage changes things but actually marriage reveals things. In marriage that is when issues become unearthed. People use marriage as a cover up thinking it is a magic wand that will change lives. But when marriage is done in honesty, it becomes a place of healing because where there is love there is healing. With the help of God, my love will silence your fear, my love will redeem back your view of sex, my love will tell you the men you were with before me were wrong. I will show you that you are a Queen deserving of the best of love. Love will heal you. Instead of taking things out on me, let me be love to you. My love, stop fighting alone, stop fighting your inner wars alone. That was then, this is now. You have me. You are married to a man who has your best interest at heart. No more fear, no more anger. OK?” said he.
She looked at his eyes and said, “I love you. I cannot believe after all the pain I went through, finally God brought me something good and I allow the hangover of my past to make me live with anger in my present”
He kissed her and said, “Healing takes time but it will happen. It happens when you stop covering up your pain but become intentional about it”
“I love you. I love you so much” she said.
“I love you too. We are in this together” he told her.
“Kiss me” she requested.
They kissed. The healing kiss.
They prayed. The healing prayer.
He then helped her to dress up and she helped him to dress up. They exchanged some laughs, joined their children, had breakfast as a family and drove to school and their respective places of work playing some cheerful music in the car and having family fun.
Did you get married without addressing the issues you went through in the past?
Are you an angry person?
Don’t take your anger in to your marriage, it will tarnish the relationship between you and your spouse and your children.
May you heal from all the damage you went through along your path.
May your marriage be a place of healing…
We live in a hurting world. Support your spouse in his/her healing process.
Editor: This story’s author is unknown to us but we have decided to share because of the importance of the lessons it teaches for married couples