Updated: Jan 15
Casualty- a person killed, wounded, or hindered by some event. Medically speaking, this word means a severe or fatal accident.
You can be a casualty of your childhood trauma, but this article is about how we fail to pay attention because we are so in love, which causes us to suffer in relationships. Has an event wounded you? Was the blow of the pain incapacitating? Were you able to catch your breath, or did you find yourself paralyzed by the hurt you suffered? In a single moment, the trajectory of your life can change. One minute you are enjoying a movie, the next, a knock at your door ushers in a heartbreaking discovery changing things. Imagine being a casualty of someone’s unprocessed childhood trauma. I have. Before seeking proper treatment, I was also the culprit. I have been in relationships that typically ended after years of tolerating the individual not showing up altogether. The root of this toleration for some represents their father’s role in their lives, or the lack thereof. I kept myself in vicious cycles of accepting what I got because I did not feel worthy of more, nor did I know what more to expect. My self-esteem was low, and any attention I received different from what I received at home made me feel comfortable in toxicity with another face.
I was in a relationship too long before finding that it was all fabricated. It seemed real, the dates were actual, and the quality time was real, but there was also another woman receiving the same treatment. After gaining insight on the level of deceit I was a part of the entire relationship, I understood that a person who would do what happened to me had pain points I could not imagine making me a casualty of their unhealed trauma. That situation allowed me the knowledge I needed to apply to my next relationship. If they are interested in talking about their past, listen closely, and ask how they are healing those areas. We recreate in our adult lives what happened to us, what we saw and heard as children. Until we heal, physically, we may be adults, but emotionally we are the same age the moment the trauma arrested us.
This person spoke about his parents often; I did not realize until the shattering pain crippled me, he was cluing me in on who he was and his behavior. It is vital to get your head out of the clouds and listen. They tell you who they are early on. I have taken listening to another level. I found that men do not talk in straight lines as we women do. He could tell you an unrelated story, but the details in there are his. I heard so much about coworkers; I later found out those were parts of his life. He needed to see how I would react. This person was not comfortable being himself. If you ask about his history of cheating, he may answer, saying, “I am not a cheater, but a woman has visited me while I was with another woman.” If you leave it there, you just missed that he dates multiple women at once. If that is normal for him, it will not be considered cheating. We have to make them uncomfortable and dig deeper. It is a matter of life and death. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get UNDERSTANDING.
It was the end of yet another relationship with the same pattern of dishonesty. Every time I wanted to believe the person meant well, new evidence would surface. If we were in a court of law, he would have gotten life without parole, but he maintained his innocence. Despite what he said, I felt like a casualty of the war with him. I felt like another person on his path to self-destruction. He was not aware of who he was. He internalized what he saw and what happened to him. He felt alone growing up and that no one saw him. A war was raging in him, but he was unsure how God created him to win. Until men understand the importance of seeking help for their wounds, every woman they encounter will be in the position I was. Let us ban together and form a united front encouraging our black men to heal. We need to produce generations of whole children. Remember, generational trauma can fall upon the third and fourth generations. One person healing heals four generations. Whatever that man is hiding about himself will show up in your children. A woman can pass trauma to her embryo, and so can a man. His sperm has memory too. I cannot say enough that we need to normalize helping our men get help. They are just as broken as we are. Men grow up learning to be strong, hiding how they feel, ultimately killing them and everything they touch. It is like a widespread infection we must get a handle on before more people die.
When you encounter situations such as this one, make it a priority to heal. Understand, you can get through this. Schedule sessions with your therapist and coach immediately.
Journal about the experience and reflect on what you wrote. During the time of reflection, you will find what you missed. These are opportunities to grow. I know they say, “be with someone you can break generational curses with” post like that go viral, but I often wonder if readers know what that means. Sometimes people are not honest about what needs unpacking, so they rob you. You are denied the opportunity to make your decision, stick with it, or leave. Honesty has taken a back seat, and many casualties because of it. #Write2Heal
Please do not take it personally; these individuals seriously need therapy. Internalizing is detrimental to your emotional wellbeing. You are hurting but do not wear this as you did something wrong. Gain what you have to from this situation and move on. Address the areas fragmented by this level of betrayal and pray for the other party.
Give yourself time to heal. As I stated in a recent blog, ends must be processed. Would you leave your house without closing the door? A lot would get in, right? So, make sure when a relationship ends, the door is closed before you attempt to date again. That chapter has come to a close, time to begin the new one once you remove the blocks.