Time Heals All Wounds?

I heard this all my life.  I never questioned it.  Just kept waiting for time to do its job.  Then I heard Dr. Phil one day.  Someone said this on his show.  And he loudly stated “TIME HEALS NOTHING!”  Really…..

I saw the quote this morning on Facebook….Time Heals All Wounds.  And I wanted to shout, NO IT DOESN’T!  Because I know now that you have to do the work to heal.  I held onto wounds.  A counselor asked me one time why I was so angry.  Because this is all I have!  I shocked myself saying that.  I didn’t know who I was outside of the pain.  I had a death grip on my anger.  I didn’t know how to release it.  If it were just about the past I could have.  But it kept rearing its ugly head over and over.  I kept trying to make things better but she kept throwing me under the bus.  Nothing hurts like your family (in this case my mom) throwing you under the bus.  And it’s a domino effect that rattles the cages of everyone in that family of origin.

Depression gripped me.  But I’m nothing if not tenacious.  I knocked on every door I could think of to climb out of the pit of despair.  Doctor after doctor.  Medication after medication.  The first time it took two years until I started seeing some light.  And the healing began.  Is it a straight path?  Oh hell no.

I couldn’t totally heal and forgive until mom died.  I have always tried to do the right thing.  Take the high road.  I have no regrets with her.  I did everything in my power.  And when she lay dying I was the one there holding her hand when she took her last breath.  The one she disowned.  I didn’t shed a tear.  I cried all my tears for her when she was still living.

So here I am seven years later.  And I can say I have forgiven her.  I am healing and sometimes I think I'm totally healed but I think it will continue to be a lifelong journey.  I have worked very hard to get here.  I found an excellent psychologist who has helped me navigate this road.  I've done the work.

I also know “Hurt people hurt people.”  Mom couldn’t get beyond that.  I’m not sure what all the hurt was in her as she never spoke of it.  I just wanted a mom.  When I think of her I feel sad for her now.  And I can even smile a little at the strong woman I am.

No, I don’t believe TIME heals all wounds.

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      1. davidrv

        My wife had issues with her mother. She spent the last 3 years with her and were closer than they ever had been. Despite her mother having passed away in 2012, my wife still asks the question, why wasn’t I good enough for her? The answer may be that her own mother was adopted by her uncle, while her biological mother had another child that was left to be adopted, before she settled down to raise 5 other children. Her mother had also asked that question, why wasn’t I good enough for her?
        When my wife brings up the subject, no matter what I say, she’ll say, you don’t understand, you just don’t understand. At first it irritated me because I’m not stupid, I can somewhat understand. Now I just listen without saying a word, because there is no answer to that query.
        I have asked her to get help when she’s depressed but she then turns to anger and I have to keep my cool. There’s just no middle ground.
        I’m a natural troubleshooter but I know there’s no solution that I can offer. It’s not logic and it’s much more complex. So I am there for her when she’s seemingly happy, and also for the dark times. Just a little more variety than I bargained for but hey, I’d probably be bored if everything was always going right.
        Thanks again for your perspective on the subject, your replies are just as good as your blog.
        I also read other members’ posts, I thank them for sharing.

  1. starlette

    I suppose it depends how deeply hurt you have been…….. I do believe events from childhood roll on into your adult life………….but as we mature we see behind the actions of other people somewhat, and reason there was probably a reason why they were or are like they are………it would be so easy to become bitter and untrusting……….but the cycle has to be broken………hard to do if you have been conditioned from childhood………big respect to you for ploughing on relentless to find light at the end of the tunnel…….

    1. idigdirt Post author

      Oh for sure those hurts roll into our adult lives. All I wanted was a relationship with her. And I was a puppy waiting for a bone. She’d throw me a bone every once in awhile only to snatch it away. And I never got past wanting it again. j

      It took her death for me to realize how broken she must have been. And weak. To not deal. To throw her child to the wolves. To turn away. To disown me over and over. Who does that? I still can’t wrap my brain around doing that to your child. It is the strong one who forges ahead and stops the cycle. There are many of us out there and bravo to us! 🙂

      I’ve always had a soft spot for “broken” folks. When I was teaching I could pick out the troubled child. From the one who acted out to the withdrawn sad one who melted into the woodwork. I made sure to acknowledge them. Reach out.

      Now at this age I chat with others. Not only about pain but triumphs. Life in general. Especially women. What works for you at this age? How are you managing with retirement, empty nest, life changes? Let’s have a conversation about it. One of my favorite things!

  2. ladyIsabelle

    It would help if you could talk it all through with the person who has hurt you. That is not always possible. It’s particularly frustrating when the person won’t acknowledge that their actions were hurtful. I know that my parents married because I was on the way. In her strange logic, my mother blamed me for my conception. She never forgave me for existing. How am I supposed to deal with that?

    1. idigdirt Post author

      I’m so sorry lady. Sad indeed. A child responsible for their parent’s actions. Absurd. Your mother sounds like mine in that I felt guilty for existing. How do you deal with that? My suggestion is to give yourself what you never had. I know that sounds strange. I heard this years ago. How can I give myself a mother?

      This is what I did. I searched out and reached out to friends. I learned to be gentle with myself. Is is easy? No. Is it necessary? Yes. Try each day. Tell yourself you are worth it. You are deserving. These two things is what I have been actively working on the past two years. I never felt it. I would write repeatedly “I am deserving. I am worthy.” Never believing it but I wrote it. Over and over. I have been in a dead marriage (divorce pending) where I never got an affirmation. Was made to feel guilty and undeserving of wanting anything. Just like my mom. A good therapist..(.and I’ve seen numerous ones over the years, many were ineffective or just plain horrible) was my key to liking myself enough to get out of the marriage. Small steps. One day at a time. Try and do one little thing each day for yourself. And tell yourself you’re worth it! Even if you don’t believe it yet….tell yourself I AM WORTH IT! Because you are!

  3. Linda

    It all depends on the person hurt. If they can understand why something happened and see themselves as an innocent victim, then can forgive themselves and cast blame on who it belongs to. For example; LadyIsabelle your mother is the one that had intercourse, only the two involved are responsible. You became the victim of her poor judgement. She did not take responsibility for her own actions. She had to be a very miserable woman, which may have come from past actions toward her. If you know why she felt this way, you may find she was treated the same way. You deal with it by knowing that babies are innocent, they should not be forced to take on the sins of their parents. You come to realize that her behavior is her problem not something you did. I feel for her, in a sense, because she missed out on sharing the love of a beautiful child. The bonding with her daughter who would have been her best friend. Instead of proudly showing off her child, she showed the world she wasn’t worthy of you. You be the kind of person and the kind of parent you always wanted. You stand tall. Don’t take on her unfortunate outlook on what should have been seen as a gift from God.
    I was molested, abused and shamed growing up. I learned that I can’t blame myself, a small child can’t change what was done wrong to them by an adult. They can learn that no one deserves that and to be kind to others who may have lived the same life.I hope you see the beauty in yourself and that you were brought into this world to help make life better for others. Blessings and healing to you.

    1. idigdirt Post author

      Words of wisdom Linda. Why some of us stand up and say NO MORE when raising our children and others pass along the dysfunction is something I ponder often. I knew I would never do to my kids what I endured. It was a daily consciousness for me. Unfortunately the tendency is to repeat. I fought it all the time. But I was stronger than the tendency! It’s the one thing I’m most proud of. I wanted to be the mom I never had.

      I too was abused sexually, verbally and physically. The family dynamics are so splintered. WWIII erupted when I was 40. I kept it hidden. My brother blew the whistle. And the fallout was worse than I ever imagined.

      Twenty three years later I stand strong. I have never blogged before doing so here recently on SC. I have years of journals for my eyes only. Perhaps now this is my platform. I want others to know they are not alone. We must lift each other up. A kind word. Relating. Listening. Sharing. Find a purpose for the pain.

  4. CSweet51

    Thank you idig for sharing. I am learning a lot thru your posts. They have opened up some emotions within me that have surprised me.
    I have always had issues with expressing anger. Never felt entitled to. All I can say is WOW! thank you…
    Blessings to you and may you continue towards peace within yourself.

    1. idigdirt Post author

      Wow Sweet, thank you for telling me this. I truly believe this is my purpose. To share and hopefully touch someone else. I think I mentioned this before but if I cannot do this, what was the point? Nothing could have brightened my morning more than hearing that someone benefited from my journey. Hugs to you my dear.

      1. CSweet51

        I had a 31 yr marriage to an alcoholic that ended with him kicking me out of the house….I was very ok with that. What did hurt was the woman who he had met online move in two weeks after I was gone….hmmmmm.

  5. ladyIsabelle

    Thank you very much for your kind comments. One good thing that came out of my own childhood experience, was that I was determined that my own children should always know they were loved and wanted.

    1. idigdirt Post author

      Thank you dave. I actually went to get massages for awhile to experience human touch. Nothing replaces that from someone else.

  6. Drummer

    Yes, I do believe time heals all wounds, but it can take a lot of time and takes hard work on your part.
    Your story is terribly sad – and my feelings go out to you,
    but you have come this far, please do continue your efforts – it will be worthwhile.
    My best wishes