Trust and manipulation

Trust and manipulation

Trust causes such deep pain in me.

 I, for so long have wanted to break out of the prison of fear. To extend wide my arms in the carefree assumption that people have my best at heart, and are generally good. To trust in those who were given authority over me, the ones called upon to give me care. That the teachers, nurses, therapists, and doctors alike were actually doing what was best because my life was in their hands.

The overwhelming need to belong, to be loved, to be seen, was only broken and shattered in me time after time. I learned early in life I wasn’t safe, that people weren’t mostly good, and quite often didn’t think or care about me one bit.

I had to carry a load as a child that I did not understand, one that plagued me into my adult life. I learned very young that I had to say, do, and act a certain way to get what I needed or I wouldn’t get it.

Being a fragile and emotional child by nature this manipulation took on many forms. Nothing was off-limits if I was desperate enough. I’ve long had to manipulate my life due to my lack of trust, in, well, anything or anyone.

The more I think about all I have gone through and the woman I am now, emerging like a butterfly from her cocoon, I am keenly aware of the unhealthy, yet the previously necessary coping mechanism of manipulation.

I am not minimizing or disputing the great mercy of God and the progress I’ve made in overcoming insurmountable obstacles, but I am taking a moment to grieve the pain my heart was called to endure.

That as a tender child I was forced to be in such awful situations where I felt my very life hung in the balance. Because of so many heartbreaking experiences my dignity and worth were shattered too.

Whether to get out of a hospital, or to have a teacher to like me, or my dad to not scare me, or a hospital worker to be kind, or a doctor to let me see my mamma, or to not get beat up on the ward, I have had to manipulate things to feel safe, to get my needs met, to be included, and to have some semblance of life and dignity.

Long have been the years of desperation and heartache that led to the coping mechanism of manipulation to try and get something of the scraps that fell from the table of life.

This manipulation is something I have carried into my marriage and my walk with Christ. I have not seen it this clearly until tonight. As I have been fasting and praying the Lord is moving mightily.

Manipulation is birthed from fear, and fear is the opposite of trust. It invades the truth of God and leaves only holes that can’t be filled.

The fact that I have long believed that I had to manipulate God into loving me and giving me good things in life was birthed in me very young and has quietly grown up with me. It’s not been a conscious thought process, but one hidden below the surface. For when we are conditioned in life to believe we aren’t safe, wanted, loved, or cared for we must compensate the best we can. As a young child coping will never be right because what is happening is wrong. Thus we are destined to carry this until we choose to, or not to deal with this gaping seeping wound.

My fear of God’s disapproval and rejection of me is too painful for me to dwell on very long, as it will bring me to my knees.

But as I write this I am being freed. O, praise the name of Jesus! This like many things before He opens my eyes to see, not in anger or disappointment, but in the most tender way. It’s as if He grabs me up onto His lap and says, sweet girl, I know, I know the pain, I know the reasons, I know, I know you beloved one, now lift up your head for your Defender is here.


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