The hand of the divine. When you know God is reaching out to you to speak, if not in an audible way then in a tangible one, daily existence can be dreamlike. More on this later, but first some background.

One of my wounds – the deepest one, I believe – is the wound of rejection. When you are rejected by your parents, the heart doesn’t recover fully. It seems that the scar is a lifelong irritation, a sensitive spot that can be set off by the slightest touch. It seems fueled oftentimes by vivid imaginations – or perhaps they are anticipations of rejection to come. The sensitivity of this scar is such that if you have it, you will do odd things to avoid having it touched. Like build high brick walls around your spirit. Like push away the people who are the most important, and then draft the least important to become poor substitutes – throwaway characters in your story.

Like close yourself off from your immediate family because subconsciously you are certain that one day they will have become fed up with you and decide to leave you alone. Better to get that over with as soon as possible, mitigate the pain by controlling the timing. Freeze the wound, hold the ice on your heart until it is numb. Don’t let them in because it just hurts too much.

Without a very strong and loving husband, I am not sure that my marriage would have survived this freeze out.

Two of my daughters were subjected to the outward manifestations of my wounds. Understanding teenagers is difficult enough even if you’re healthy, but when their normal, natural, healthy separation began, my flawed intuition in the area of relationships set off the rejection alarm. And to avoid the pain, much to my deep regret, I closed off my heart to them. I didn’t know what I was doing and I have put down the heavy burden of guilt over this breach. But there remains a sadness of loss, a pain that exists in exquisite wondering when I look into the eyes of my beautiful grownup daughters these days. I choose to express my redemption to them now by giving of my time and attention, by turning my heart toward them even when it exposes my rejection wound that will never completely go away. Again and again, if need be.

For a long time, I felt like my “issues” were not that earth shattering. There were so many things that other people have had to go through that made my experiences seem relatively benign. But I know now that the parental rejection wound is deep, it is painful, and it is permanent. Even on the road to recovery finally, in my 50th year, each day has its battles. When the ones you depend on for your definition of self define you as unwanted, it’s hard to undefine, undo, unsee and unfeel what happened. I can tell myself that I am loved, wanted, important, significant – but the voices inside, the quiet voices that speak in unspoken language, tell me different. My daily battle is to silence that quiet but persistent barrage of the message imprinted on me by the ones I depended on for love. I silence it with Truth. I am learning to overcome the barrage and most days I do win my battle. Sometimes, however, the skirmish is furious and I am weak and worn. I stumble, I am overcome. I am glad to have warriors on my side: all of heaven, and the one here on Earth who does battle for me – my husband, who knows without a word when the fight is too hard for the day. He lifts me up off the ground, dusts me off, and stands with me, and together we win.

Written by Tina Gasperson

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