This spring, 2016, my family and I went fishing--we love to fly fish. And spring fishing means very cold water and fast flows. Staying upright and finding the fish will be difficult. For safety reasons, I had to wear wading shoes.
Wading shoes are shaped more like blocks than hiking boots. The chunky soles provide better grip on wet rocks. But the design hinders the ankle from flexing. As a result, I’m forced to shuffle when I move up and down boulders and through swift water.
I took the first clumsy step into the river and imagined Frankenstein’s labored walk in the 1931 Frankenstein movie. But a few steps later, I lost my balance but recovered before I toppled over—a subtle reminder to proceed with caution to avoid one of my worst fears from coming true, drowning.
After the shadow proved to be a person I knew, I committed to moving forward to uncover my hidden childhood and how the shadow participated in traumatizing me. But I did so as if I were walking in wading shoes with the weight of Frankenstein on my shoulders--clumsy and laden with fear
And even though I claimed to be a women with faith in God who promises to sustain me and will not let me fall, my faith felt clumsy and laden with doubt. I wanted to turn back and run the other direction. But instead, I considered there was someone stronger than me and beyond my full understanding. And my faith became a rock of hope to prop myself up on as the months ahead of me poured out far more than I was ready to handle. (Proverbs 62:2)
The next two months in therapy proved be another rock for me to lean on. Dr. Barone suggested I write about the emotions and details of abuse that surfaced during the day.
During those months, each morning fear and doubt continued to greet me. Getting out of bed felt like my wading shoes were glued to my feet.
But I took the clumsy steps forward, waded passed the fear and doubt, and found time to write. Even if I wrote one sentence, it helped lighten the emotional load.
After I wrote, I prayed that the pain on the inside would subside and heal. Sometimes I hurt too much to pray in words, so I opened my Bible and discovered the Psalms. Psalm 5 became my constant companion, another rock for me to lean on.
Calling for help does not mean you're weak. It means you're wise. Find help.
Be safe. Be accurate. Be brave.