Love knows words outlive bruises

by Craig on August 16, 2011

When you're 10 years old and an angry, what seems to be, giant of a man rushes toward you, with fire and fury blazing...source

He blasted through the bedroom door…

no knocking…

barely a turn of the doorknob.

When you’re 10 years old and an angry, what seems to be, giant of a man rushes toward you…
with fire and fury blazing…
and a memory of fists and kicks always fresh in your mind…
the fear that strikes is almost indescribable.

I began telling this story here. I’m only telling it because the Love War on the negative voices has me engaged in battle with this negative voice.

If you are new to the Love War against the negative voices…
it began here
and the posty note is explained here….
And over to the right and down a bit on the sidebar, in the “Lots of Love” section…
is the whole history of the war.

So there are questions to ask of this voice – to turn it around to something useful, instead of dark, insidious, and destructive. The first question is, “Where did you come from?” It was here.

You’d think after a long day at work someone would need to take a minute or two to work up a good rage. But not if they’ve been waiting all day to vent their anger – even if that meant directing it all at a 10 year old.

I look back now and realize how frail a 10 year old is.

I never cowered before the rage.
If I did it might have stopped it.
He’s since told as much.

I stood up, bit my lip, and braced.

There would be no hitting this time.

But this was no Brady Bunch moment…
no bedside conversation of how important academics were…
and the right balance between friends and work.

There was no calm here…just a storm…


and a tearing away of pieces of me.

There were two big hands clasping my shoulders, a vise pinching hard.
There was the shaking, like a paint can in one of those mixers at Home Depot.
There was spit flying in my face with each word…
warnings and threats and shouting of an angry man hovering inches from my nose.

And rising up in me was that defense…
The part that said…

Don’t you dare cry!
Stare him down!
He ruined everything!
Hate him!
Don’t give him one. single. tear!”

That part filled me as words hit as hard as any punch he’d ever delivered.


“You want to be a clown! I’ll get you a clown outfit. I’ll get one tomorrow and send you to school in it. You want that?! Then you can be a clown all day long. Your an idiot! A clown – and that’s all you’ll be!”

I was expecting a fist, but he hadn’t beat me in a year by this point.
But you always expect it…
and you brace for it…
you never. stop. bracing. for it.

Then came the shove to the floor…
and he lingered…

Then he turned and slammed the door.

It was over – for now.

Every negative voice has a moment.
To it gets added other moments…
extra weight piled on through the years.

If we want the negative voices turned into something useful…

we have to remember their source…

and understand, and forgive, and move on.

Here’s the source for this one.

Now to ask it a few more questions…


please come back.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea Dawn August 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I just had to sit with this a while before I could comment. Still not sure if I can say what I feel. I never had to live through this kind of nightmare, but I think your words evoke feelings you must have felt . . .at least to some degree. Your vulnerability is beautiful and there is a strength to it . . . like there is a prize to be won . . . and there is. I’ll be back for the next leg of the journey.


Craig August 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

you know, Andrea Dawn, when you’re going through it you kind of think that everybody else is going through the same. You come to think that the hurt, the bullying, the violence, you think that’s just the way things must be. I remember a time when the neighbor told my sister that we had a dysfunctional family – and I got angry. That’s how it works on your head. Anyway, enough about me. I just want to thank you for being so nice. There’s a lot I want to say – but I’ll just leave it at that – thank you. And God bless you.


Debra August 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

This was no Brady Bunch moment… oh Craig. The storms endured by that impressionable 10 year old boy and the gradual crushing of spirit bit by bit…
“You want to be a clown! I’ll get you a clown outfit. I’ll get one tomorrow and send you to school in it. You want that?! Then you can be a clown all day long. You’re an idiot! A clown – and that’s all you’ll be!” This dramatization shows the depth of his meanness.
Was he jealous of you? Did he believe your mother might love you more than him?


Craig August 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm

you get used to it Debra, you just get used to it. And you don’t realize how much it has ingrained itself in you – how it becomes a part of you. I haven’t realized much of it till just now – just looking at this negative voice – and remembering this – over the years he just kind of start believing it. Gosh, how careful we have to be with children. And I don’t know all of his reasons – I know some – but I also know that I was the only one he ever touched. It’s taken me about 10 min. to write this much to you – so I’m going to stop – and move along. This vulnerability gig – it’s not all roses ツ so, anyway, thank you Debra, thank you, and God bless.


Linda August 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

thank you so much for praying for me. we do know each other in Christ! your post always encourage me. blessings


Craig August 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

you know Linda, I’ve never been a big fan of tracing family trees. We come from where we come from – but we are who we are. The family that matters is the family we love. And I’ve always been happy enough to know that people like Abraham, and David, and our Lord, are in my family tree – and they’re in yours too – so we ARE family. That’s good to know ツand I hearted praying for you – thank you for the opportunity. God bless and keep you and all of yours.


lori August 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm

My heart certainly hurts for that 10 year old boy. As you said, you can now see how fragile a 10 year old is. It’s a shame you were forced to endure such awful pain on every level, and it’s wonderful that you are learning to change the negative tapes that sometimes play forever if allowed to.


Craig August 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

Lori, thank you – it just goes to show how careful we have to be with children. The things that happened early are the things that stick the most – for good as well as bad.

And you know what? I know the expression “change the negative tapes” – and I almost used it – and then I thought how it dated me – don’t worry – you’re still just a very young lass – but me? I actually could’ve used the expression “broken record” – as in final LPs because – well – you know ツ

so I think I’ll just stick with “negative voices” ツ God bless and keep you Lori – and thank you again.


Mike August 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

Hi Craig,
Arrived here by a roundabout way today, but your post stopped me in my tracks. You write well and unfortunately captured what those encounters feel like too vividly for me to shut off a flood of memories. I thought it was normal to fear your own father, to expect to be hit.

Reading this, today, is no accident. In your Love War you are battling against the negative voices and I am wondering if God has brought me here today as a reminder of the origin of some of my own negative voices.


Craig August 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

Mike, your words ring with true experience too. You do come to think that it’s normal to fear your own father – and do expect to be hit – and even at some level become convinced that you deserve it. I’m glad you found me – even by a roundabout way. I appreciate the fact that you took the time to comment. And those negative voices? I hate those stupid negative voices – and it really is about time for them to go! Thank you again, and God bless and keep you.


Michelle August 17, 2011 at 4:49 am

“Every negative voice has a moment.
To it gets added other moments…
extra weight piled on through the years.”

That is so true. And to recognise that and go back and deal with each one individually. Such courage. Though you may be feeling like hiding (I do, and it’s not even my memory, or even anything like my memories, I just want to hide away and comfort the 10 year old boy that was you), stay strong. Stay focused on WHO is leading you on this journey. And don’t forget to talk to Him. Praying.


Craig August 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

Michelle, I wish there were a place for the 10-year-old boy to hide – and the nine-year-old, and eight-year-old, and seven, and six-year-old. I think I’ll be returning to that little boy again – one source is the root of nearly every negative voice I hear. Thank you for the reminder to stay focused on who is leading this journey – and who is always the safe place to hide under. Thank you for reminding me to pray before doing. God bless you Michelle.


Debbie August 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Craig, thank you for being so vulnerable and letting us know where your negative voices come from. It is helping us, but it is difficult for you to do! A sacrifice. . .thank you.
An additional benefit of this today and what you shared is that I have a friend who has fostered and adopted abused children. How you described feeling . . .that you thought it was normal, everyone dealt with this kind of thing . . .may help her too. And the boys she has. :)
God bless you and stand with you . . .and pull you more and more into Himself.


Craig August 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

thank you Debbie. Trust me – I never, ever, ever thought I would get this reveal-y with my blogs. Never ever. This year of connection – it’s turning out to be quite the interesting year. God bless you Debbie – and thank you – I want God to pull more and more of me into him. More of him – less of me.


Nacole@sixinthesticks August 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm

i may be jumping around in my reading a little, but oh, i am glad that i happened upon this. and saddened as well. i can see you as a little boy…standing there trying to be so strong and brave…children ARE fragile. made me think of my own when i raise my voice at them. i do not want them to feel that kind of fear. i want to show them the example of God’s love for them. but in a fallen world, and because im human, all i can do, when i makes mistakes, is to point them to the cross, and continue to allow God to refine me with His fire. and guess what? at the moment, He is using you.

i havent quite figured out what my voices are yet, or what the sources may be–there is some abuse in my past, in my childhood and beyond, but not near as severe as your’s–and the very thing that was done to me by my parents–the things that so many parents tell themselves is ok–i fear that i do to mine (speaking mostly about verbal dysfunctions)–but my mind and heart are really open for the first time, to find out and to allow God to heal. it is time. i am tired of treading the same patterns I always have and being carried away by the currents.

i am having a very hard time, still, writing about forgiveness. i let my husband read my draft, and he said it is no good. 😉 he said it is not the blood, tears and guts stuff that i usually write. and he said that it sounded like i was just trying to put something down because i am so locked up inside. he is right. what to do?


Craig August 20, 2011 at 6:33 am

first of all – and you might already have done this – I think if you’re having a hard time writing a post about forgiveness – I think maybe that might make a great post in itself – just be open and honest about how hard it is to write about it – and why – and I bet one of your typical heart wrenching posts will emerge. Just a thought ツand if you read back sometime – to the day I decided to “give” my mom permission to marry this person – and how I can remember deciding just as I did – and how I think I intentionally put the target on my back from that moment on. I think it was a pretty brave little kid – but the damage has still been done. Just about every negative voice I hear goes back to one source. It was at the point of this age – right around 10 when it switched from physical – to mental – but abuse is abuse is abuse. And thank you for saying that God is using me. Sadly it’s taken a long time for God to discipline, and shape, and mold me into a usable vessel. But I humbly think that I’m there now. God bless you Nacole!


A. August 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Reading your post, and your guests’ comments makes me feel like I am standing on holy ground, here. Your photos are so stunning, and your words so silencing. I hurt for all the children (old and young) who have had to endure the abuses of others, who are so very injured themselves.

With the deepest reverence for what has taken place here,


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