Healing in a Hospital Room — It’s Not What You Think
Ten years ago, my rejection wound was reopened. The details are not important. The bottom line is that two men whom I trusted made decisions that affected me in a way that ripped open my rejection wound. I felt completely useless, worthless, and depressed, and even suicidal.
The excruciating pain I felt about the situation led me to pull away from both men and the world as well. I carried resentfully negative feelings towards them. I allowed the situation to change the way I viewed the world and it was not for the better.
As time passed, one of the men moved away. (I’ll refer to him as Hunter although that is not his real name.) I had minimal contact with him. I rarely ever saw the other man (I’ll call him Dayton) after that.
I tried to ignore what had happened and move on with my life. If you have ever tried ignoring painful situations, you will know that that is not usually the best strategy in the world. But, at the time, it was all I knew how to do.
Ignoring it did not resolve the deep resentment I had developed. Rather, it created a deeper chasm where I symbolically fell deeper into darkness when anyone who reminded me of these men (or was associated with the same organization as these men) triggered my rejection wound. I did not arise from the dark hole for a very long time.
I put on a mask so that nobody would know what was really going on. I am not sure that the mask was convincing, but at least I thought I was getting away with not having to deal with my feelings. Unfortunately, at home, I became angrier and more difficult to live with.
Later on, other individuals came to my home and apologized on behalf of two men. The apology went a long way in soothing the pain I felt, but it did not do anything for how I felt personally towards the two men whom I felt had hurt me in profound ways. I recognized that this anger and resentment I carried did not serve me, but I did not quite know how to deal with it.
Even though I was addressing the rejection wound with my therapist, I couldn’t find the path to peace about this situation. It was, in part, what led me to write the workbook, Finding Peace. As I started writing, I contemplated how the negative messages tattooed on my nervous system rawly pulsated throughout my entire body every time my rejection wound was bumped or scratched. The shadows of shame lied, “You are not worthy of love and belonging! You are not good enough!” I couldn’t keep living in the dark like this.
As I began to use the same principles that I write about in the workbook, I started to notice the shift within myself. I began to challenge the negative core beliefs that I am not good enough, and instead embrace the light and truth that I am enough just the way that I am. As I began to do so, I also started to consider how the situation might have been like for these two men and the challenges that they might have been facing at that time. Interestingly, as I did so, my resentment began to decrease and I noticed that some of the heat and frustration that I had been carrying around dissipating.
Nearly 10 years later, a friend of mine was in the hospital after suffering from a stroke. The outcome for him did not look very good. The patient was a mutual friend of mine and Hunter. Because Hunter had moved away, he was not aware of the dire situation of our friend in the hospital. I texted him to inform him that things did not look good for our mutual friend and that if he wanted to see him before he passed away he might need to travel to Yuma before it was too late.
Hunter traveled the four hours to Yuma and asked if I wanted to join him to visit our friend. Honestly, I didn’t want to, but I agreed. As we were conversing with our friend, I was surprised that Dayton walked into the hospital room.
I closed my eyes in anticipation of the wall of resentment and anger that I was certain was going to hit me. Here were the two men from whom I felt completely rejected and abandoned sitting and conversing with our mutual friend. They were cracking jokes and extending well wishes. I sat there, waiting for the familiar feelings of resentment and anger to surge inside of me. But they did not come.
Instead, I felt a surge of peace. It was almost as if I was having an out-of-body experience. It was as if I were watching myself having a conversation with myself and the conversation went something like this:
Do you notice that you are at peace?
Yes. It is wonderful.
Do you notice that the anger and resentment you have felt towards these two men are gone?
Yes. I do.
Tears welled up around my eyes as the feeling of warm, loving, peace settled in. I looked at all three men and realized I loved them. I cared about their well-being and wondered what painful things they might have had to endure. I had found peace.
As I left the hospital, I felt joy in my heart. I said goodbye to my friend who had traveled from afar knowing I may not see him again for years to come. I knew that we would not experience the close friendship we once had nor would we communicate with each other very often. But it was well.
I reflected on how much time it took me to get to a sense of peace regarding this issue. Ten years is a very long time. I had to go through the grieving process. I had to work through anger, fear, and sadness. I had to develop clarity when the shadows of shame, particularly The Judge, Impotent One and Royal were playing ping-pong with my thoughts. The negative core messages written on my nervous system had to be erased while allowing the true message to shine forth. It was hard work. It was heart work.
Perhaps it would not have taken as long had I had the tools now available to me. Perhaps my suffering could have been alleviated much earlier had I done the work necessary earlier on. But for me, this was an orchestrated miracle. What are the chances that these two men, one of whom had moved away over eight years earlier, would be reunited with me in a hospital room nearly 10 years to the day of the original event?
It was meant to be for me. It was clearly a message that this particular wound had been healed. For that I am grateful.