Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Ocean of Pain

Published:Sunday | August 9, 2015 | 8:00 AMKimberly Goodall

Ocean of Pain

We are all different and shaped by our experiences. Who we are today is shaped by past intimate relationships, beliefs and personal trauma - rape, abuse or the effects of poverty. These can leave us with unresolved feelings that affect our current and future relationships.

For 45-year-old Daphney Brown*, her parents sent her and sister to live with relatives, as they could not afford to care for all of their four children. While Brown went to live with an aunt, her sister, Celvia was sent to another relative. Brown was physically and emotionally abused while her sister seemed to have been given 'the world'. Celvia seemed to have had a happy life went on to have a hard-working husband and beautiful children. Unfortunately, Brown could not have children.

She felt less than her sister and that she was not worthy of love. Though Celvia would try to make her sister feel loved, when Brown asked her for her second daughter, Celvia refused.

Fast-forward 14 years later and Brown has not forgotten her sister's refusal. She caused her to lose her job and home. Brown thought this would bring her happiness but still feels a void and continues to find ways to make her sister's life a living hell.

Childhood experiences play a major role in the personal growth of individuals, and, according to relationship psychologist, Dr Sidney McGill, "A lot of times, our personality type, the stage of our trauma, our perspective of hurt and what we go through as children up until we become adults, contribute to the way we grow and form bonds (intimate or platonic)."

Dr McGill notes that, for persons who have been hurt to the degree that Brown has, they can end up treating persons the way they feel about themselves. They feel like they have no value, so they do not place a value on anyone else.

Building and maintaining a relationship is important in personal development. Dr McGill notes that, when you are unable to love and be loved, you become a danger to yourself and others. He explains that when a person has lost their power due to abuse, they have a tendency to hurt others so they can feel in control and feel like they have regained some power. In the end, they are alone and drown in an ocean of pain.

ocean of damaged love

The ocean of damaged love is the place where those who have been hurt dwell and the question we all ask is, how do we help the broken-hearted and prevent the broken from breaking the wholehearted?

Dr McGill explained that persons who are normally broken need the pain in their story to be heard. They need a constant listener, someone who will give them the attention they need to be taken seriously. "Nowadays, we take persons' hurt and feelings for granted, instead of being someone who will listen and be of help," notes Dr McGill.

McGill continued, "These persons need psychological enquiry, a constant recovery process and, more important, spiritual intervention."

Finally McGill notes, "This is your life, stop blaming others as you also play a part in your recovery and pain. Forgive yourself and forgive others so you can rebuild your life."

* Name changed