There are times when God asks us to be vulnerable to help others see. For me, this is one of those times.
"I need a mommy!" mumbled the child through tears walking up and down the hallway.
Over and over, it was all she could say, the only thought that seemed to answer the hurt inside her wounded heart.
"I need a mommy! I need a mommy! I need a mommy!" she repeated as she sucked her finger for comfort.
She is about three-years old.
So confused and lost, but she knew what she was missing.
A mommy to her would be someone to take care of her, someone to love her, someone to belong to...but where, where could Mommy be found?
Let me explain a little. Children raised in broken or abusive home lack security and attachment. A mother provides this as she embraces her child and gently pats her back or when she lovingly gazes in her baby's eyes. Tender times like these are vital to proper brain development. Without them the brain does not allows chemicals to be released that calms and eases stress. This explanation sounds technical, but people need to understand an abuse survivor does not simply regret not having a parent-child relationship. The brain actually develops improperly in children that are abused, neglected, or living in unstable homes, resulting in poor neuro-transmittion of chemicals in the brain.
"What do you need?," she was asked.
After a very short pause to feel inside her empty soul, she cried loudly, "I need a mommy. Where is my mommy? I need a mommy."
She climbed up on her bed leaning against the headboard and clutching the pillow in her fist. As she squeezed her hand tighter, tears streamed steadily down her delicate face that was twisted in anguish. Her whole body tensed as she rolled up like a baby on the bed.
"Help me! I need help. Who can help me?," she continued to cry out.
She got off her bed and started back down the hall, in search of help. Mindlessly she dragged her feet up each step, and walked into a small room at the top of the stairs. Steadying her emotions, she pushed the buttons on the phone to reach the pager. Her right leg shook rapidly as she again sucked on her thumb, waiting for the responding call. Her phone rang.
As soon as the tender safe voice spoke, she blurted out, "I'm not doing good. I need help. I am wondering around my house crying, 'I need a mommy.' I am sucking my thumb. What do I need to do?"
Her counselor of five years began to connect with the hurting child of her soul. She lovingly told her that, of course, she needs a mommy, a mommy she never had. Working carefully with her patient the counselor was able to minister and meet her needs. She knew her well, and trusted God to give her the right words to speak.
After several minutes the child was laying on the floor wrapped up in a quilted blanket rocking. She intently listened and responded to her counselor who was bringing healing to her soul.
A shy, somewhat embarrassed woman began to speak, "I'm OK. Thank you for helping me." Her counselor continued to breathe words of life into the broken places of her heart.
Biting her lips, she almost apologetically told her counselor, "I can go now. I appreciate your help."
Her counselor consoled her and let her know that she was going to continue for a little longer. Her counselor spoke Words of God to apply His healing to her soul. After they prayed they both knew this crisis was over.
"Thank you so much. I will see you later this week," she said ending the call.
As she took a deep breathe she stood and walked down the steps. Drained of energy but emotionally stable she made her way to bed, knowing she was one step closer to being whole.
This is a real story. It may sound confusing, but it is what can happen to a person who has been severely abused at a very young age. God designed our brain with the ability to cope and survive in the worst of situations. The brain can split into compartments that enclose specific memories or events that are too overwhelming to remember. A child is not mentally mature enough to process facts or feelings that are too intense. The brain is wonderfully designed to provide this coping mechanism, so that a child can literally survive such horrors.
Episodes of alters, states of personalities, can arise from repressed, disassociated memories triggered later in life, particularly after a person finally feels safe, and away from the abuser. When a person has one or two specific horrors to recover from, a counselor trained in trauma therapy can systematically work through the memories in planned counseling sessions. People who lived many years or even a complete childhood in a traumatic situation, can have to work through memories as they emerge in a crisis situation as described in the "I need a mommy" example.
God provides a variety of methods needed for a person to find healing. In this example, one type of therapy, brainspotting linked to EMDR therapy, was used by the psychologist. Therapy helps the client receive the basic care and needs common to every child. As alter personalities of the client becomes less needy, she becomes more stable emotionally, having a greater capacity to function as her adult-self, even in difficult life situations.
If you or someone you love has experienced this, remember you always press into God. He will meet your needs. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Who Provides! God wants all of His children to redeem the years the locust have stolen. He wants the work of Satan to be destroyed!