Posted by: forfreedomalone | 13/08/2010

Crutches

When I was nursing, some years ago now, a young couple was involved in a terrible motorbike accident. There were fewer bones in her body not broken than broken and it was a long slog for everyone to get her back on her feet again. She worked so hard at walking again that some days the nurses and physios would be in tears as we watched her refusing to give in to the pain and difficulty.
He was not so badly injured and was discharged many weeks before her; he would come often to visit her and we would see him struggling in on his crutches.

Her stay with us was the same 13 weeks as my secondment to that ward, we arrived together and left together. She left walking, unaided, which was only a little short of a miracle. He was still on crutches.
I met them again a year later when I was in Out Patients’ Clinics and she was back to see about having a pin in her femur removed. She looked fantastic, he was still on crutches. We chatted a bit and she confided that she was going to leave him. He was holding her back from so many things she wanted to do with her life because he would not get rid of the crutches.

In the early days when he was recovering from a dreadfully traumatic event he needed crutches to get him on his feet again, they made him feel safer than walking alone. Now they were no longer aiding his recovery, they were hampering it. He was stuck; unable to go on to independence and freedom because the crutches were no longer aiding weight bearing, they were stopping it.
In different ways were are all like that young man. We need crutches to get us through times when standing at all is difficult, but we must discern when it is time to throw away the crutches and walk unaided.
Blame, shame, anger, bitterness and guilt can all become crutches; excuses as to why we are not able to move on with our lives, free from any encumbrance. The root of all of these is fear, whose only antidote is love.

You may have been mistreated, abused or abandoned but are you using the shame, anger and bitterness as excuses to avoid facing who you really are? Are you refusing to let go of your crutches and walk alone? Are you afraid of loving?

I have a young client who is destroying her life strand by strand. She is drinking too much, using drugs, and has abandoned all her moral safeguards. She says that she is fine, she is in control and that she only needs a little help to get through the day. When she is asked Why? she will not answer. Her drinking, drugs and promiscuity have become her crutches, they help her avoid the real issues. Once they numbed the pain, now they are exacerbating it.

We are moving slowly to the roots and I know she will be free. She requires great strength to face the things which she believes are too painful to be faced, but she has that strength already, she is just using it to keep herself facing in the opposite direction.

With love and encouragement she will be free, but first she has to see that she is a prisoner to her crutches.

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