Chip on My Shoulder
I never thought I was someone who held a grudge. In fact, I would consider myself painfully forgiving. I mean seriously, never once have I punched someone in the face who truly deserved it… that’s grace if you ask me!
Real talk though… I think we are fooling ourselves if we pretend like we don’t hold onto pain. There are some people in this world who are amazing at letting go, but moving forward is not always that easy. We may think we have moved forward because we are no longer wallowing in self-pity, or foaming at the mouth every time we are reminded of some type of injustice, but the truth is sometimes those leftover feelings are hanging on so close to the surface of our hearts, that they manifest themselves in ways that we never realized.
With the root cause of my PTSD being sexual assault and rape, I held onto that pain and vulnerability of being emotionally connected or invested in someone for a very long time. It will never truly go away, but there is such a thing as healing. When I was in the non-healing moments, the “chip on my shoulder” began to rear it’s ugly head in my relationships, until it finally reached a breaking point.
About three years after my initial diagnosis, I started dating someone who is now a great husband and father to the right woman for him. During our three years on again off again relationship, I thought I was finally moving on because my night terrors had decreased, and I wasn’t getting crazy drunk all the time. What I didn’t realize… I was refusing to feel anything for fear that would open me up to being taken advantage of again.
During our relationship we would spend the night together (and yes I know my parents are reading this… you’re welcome), and there was a night when everything simmered to the surface and I was forced to deal with this “chip on my shoulder.” My insomnia and night terrors were back with a vengeance. Instead of feeling the emotions behind it, I left my boyfriend’s bedroom and went out into the living area by myself in the middle of the night to sleep on the floor.
When he came out to talk to me, I was expecting the typical “come back to bed,” but instead he confronted my “chip on my shoulder” and said “when are you going to make a decision.” At first I was angry, but then… I realized exactly what he was saying. I was choosing to let my “chip on my shoulder,” my pain, my anger, my disconnection from emotions run and ruin my life. I made a choice that night and went back to the counseling I had neglected because I had forgiven my attacker. I may have forgiven, but I had yet to move forward beyond that pain, beyond that “chip.”
My question to you… what chip is on your shoulder that you are refusing to acknowledge? When will you make your decision to stand-up for the life you deserve, the life God wants for you, the life you can have if you confront the reality of the “chip on your shoulder” and choose to not allow that pain to run your life anymore.