8.21.2006

Marriage: A Tool For the Depraved? VOL. 8

When I worked in the treatment center, we had a young man who came from an abusive family. We're talking unimaginable amounts of trauma and damage. This boy was wounded. Deeply. To the core. He didn't weigh more than a 100 pounds, and yet he was so disruptive and destructive that we could not control him. Eventually, we got to a point where we had to hire an extra person to work the milieu so that there would always be an extra pair of hands to make sure he was taken care of. That is a big deal. In a place where the client to staff ratio was 1:4, this child had 1:1 attention during every one of his waking hours. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for him. We told him I love you. We joked around with him. He was loved. He was given choices. And second chances. And 17th chances. And three meals a day. All luxuries he had not been afforded before.

After several months of treatment, and a month of very good behavior, I got permission to take him out for a reward. We went out to a mexican restaurant. He ate fried ice cream until he could eat no more. He was accelerating in the program. Growing. Healing.

Three days later, he ran away and was brought back to the facility in handcuffs. He lost control that night and had to be physically restrained. After spending the last of my fun money that month on chimichangas and fried ice cream, I was called horrible names and even bit so hard I had a large bruise.

It was like he did not know how to get better. Like he didn't want to get better. And the people who wanted to help him were his enemy.

Melanie's comment from last week about the paralytic in John 5 is beginning to make sense.

In so many ways, I am that teenage boy. I have everything I need before me for full life. And yet, I flaunt my battle wounds (small in comparison to those of other people) as an excuse to stay stuck . . . to resist change.

Last week Herb and I were joking around about scapegoat . . . "Sorry, I had a bad day, so I can run this red light." "You know, I just got in a fight with my boss, so I am going to punch you in the face." "I had a colonoscopy today, so, I just wanted to let you know I won't be paying my taxes this year . . . and I am going to put whoopie cushions on the chairs of all of the judges in the Supreme Court. But don't blame me, I had a tiny camera shoved up my buns today. It isn't my fault."

This week and last, my prayer book has been guiding my to scriptures and sacred readings about our part in the process of God's healing and forgiveness. Melanie was right . . . there is a level of responsibility in healing. At some point, we have to say:

"I want to get better."

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3 Comments:

Blogger bansheewigs said...

very profound, cara. i like to that this response is 'allowing'. allowing God to love us. allowing God to heal us. allowing ourselves to be forgiven. etc.

10:04 AM, August 28, 2006  
Blogger Lolita said...

i wanted to go back and read john 5 before replying to your post. i read it today (before a really long nap), and the only thing that stood out to me was that after the man made his excuses, Jesus just said, "pick up your mat & walk".

i wonder if Jesus had already healed him, but was just waiting for the man to walk in healing. in a way, we all have immediate healing available to us, and we just need to "pick up our mats..."

9:48 PM, August 28, 2006  
Blogger Lolita said...

and it sounds like that is what you have just done! :)

9:48 PM, August 28, 2006  

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