I don’t eat chocolate [or anything chocolate]. I don’t eat shellfish of any kind – never have. People are always curious as to why – especially chocolate. There’s the proverbial question, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ Right? Who doesn’t eat chocolate? Well there’s always a ‘ reason why’. For some of us the ‘why’ is well known. However, for some of us it is buried or hidden under layers of trauma, pain, denial, repression, projection and the list goes on. Many times these stem from childhood experiences. Some questions, like the one below, are easier to answer than others.
My story? Well, I grew up in an island nation where it was common to ‘cleanse’ children at the end of the summer months – before returning to school in September. It was lovingly called a ‘wash out’; it was supposed to be good for us. What’s the reason? This is the reason my parents gave. We ate a lot of mangoes [ and other fruits] in the summer months and sometimes they had worms. The cleansing was meant to rid us of anything toxic in our system., along with the worms. Listen – I will not argue with their reasoning because I never got sick as a child. I rarely even had the common cold.
When I was about 8 or 9, My mom gave me a new ‘wash out’. I think it was called ‘Brooklax’. That may have been the brand – not sure. It looked like chocolate bars. I vomited for days unending. I was finally taken to the doctor. This was the doctor’s comment “Mammy, if you want to kill her, give it to her again.” Needless to say, my mom was so shook up, she never gave me any ‘wash out’ ever again. She did try the tea bushes though – cerasee, soursop leaves and so on. I hated them all. From that day chocolate has never entered my digestive system. I can’t tolerate even the smell. I associated chocolate with Brooklax. I was never able to shake that; today I cannot swallow chocolate.
The shellfish story was less dramatic. My uncles loved to go crab hunting and fishing for what was called crayfish. One night, they brought home a bag of crabs and let the crabs out for fun. I swore they were chasing me all over the yard. I was traumatized. My uncles thought it was fun. I then watched them drop the crayfish into hot boiling water. The antenna reminded me of big cockroaches. That day I was so put off by that sight. Since then, I have never tasted anything that reminded me of crayfish including shrimp, crab, and lobster. What the heck! I just threw conch, clams, mussels and the like in the mix. I refused to eat all of them. So here I am a grown up today … and, I just can’t!
Having chocolate and shellfish absent from my diet will never harm me. I know why I don’t eat them and I am peace with that. What challenges me sometimes, however, are the things I don’t have an answer to. Have you ever asked yourself ‘ Why don’t I…? or why do I..?’ Those things that are puzzling to you and to those who are close to you. Why do I feel the need to always be in a relationship? Why do I sabotage good relationships? Why do i stay in toxic situations longer than I should? Why is shame or anger my default emotion? Why am I so possessive? Why do I abuse or beat on women? Why am I so overly distrustful? Why am I turned off by much older men? [that’s me , I know why- I’m sorry 🤔] Why don’t I want to marry a man or woman from a certain ethnic group? [ me again – help me Jesus😎]. Why don’t I like to be alone? Why? Why? You can add yours. There’s always a reason.
Here’s the problem. If we do not resolve these deep seated issues, they manifest themselves in many unhealthy behaviors. One of my youngers friends posted recently, you will start to ‘bleed’ on those around you. People cannot heal our deep-seated wounds. They try and they end up frustrated. We end up resentful. There are places that only the Spirit of God can reach. Some things can only be understood by divine revelation and discernment. There are times, of course, when God uses people to ask the right questions and lead us to a place of healing or better understanding.
The day God showed me ‘shame’ in me, I was minding my own business. He asked me a question that I couldn’t answer. As I sat there, a scene from my childhood flashed across my mind. There was no way I could have remembered that on my own. My loving Father showed where the spirit of shame was transferred to me. I was taken aback for a minute. This was the beginning of my healing. It has been a journey. Some things are embedded in layers and require a continuous intentional ‘peeling away’. The end goal is victory – whatever that looks like for you.
Can I encourage you not to leave these questions unanswered? Take some time and have a conversation with yourself and with God. Sometimes you may need some sort of intervention – someone trained or called into that kind of ministry to help you find answers. Be reminded that we will not get the correct answers if we are ask the wrong questions. God does desire ‘ truth in the inward parts’. The truth as revealed by God is what sets us free.
Your hurt is incurable and your wound is grievous… there is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound. [ BUT] I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord’. [Jeremiah 30: 12, 13, 17a]
***Thanks for taking a glimpse into a piece of my heart. ‘Like’, share and comment.