When Those Who Hurt You Try to Dictate the Terms of Your Healing



“You don't get to hurt someone and then outline the 'appropriate way for them to heal.' Perpetrators don't get to write the rules of healing.”


 Last night I wrote this quote on my Facebook, when the thought hit me that many times, those who hurt us try to dictate the terms of our healing. When the person who caused our hurt attempts to control the way we heal, it’s sometimes as painful as the initial injury.

When I’ve gone through the more traumatic times after losses incurred, I notice how some want to set a clock on my grief, or tell me the appropriate ways to go about seeking healing. This is accompanied by shame for seeking healing in ways they aren’t comfortable with.

The rules vary from person to person.

It may be everything from, “I don’t understand why you need counseling for this…” to “Is it really necessary to write about this?”

Well here’s the thing…if they caused the hurt they have no right to speak into the situation.

One of my heroes is Martha Tennison, a very well known evangelist in our denomination. I’ve listened to her preach since I was just a little girl and I still sit in awe of the many things she shares. One thing she often says is, “Those who hurt you cannot heal you.” What wisdom!

Not only can those who hurt you not heal you, but they aren’t the ones to turn to for wisdom or boundary setting on how to move forward. They may try to tell you what’s right and wrong, exactly how you should proceed to move forward or how you aren’t progressing quick enough for them. But that’s not their place.   

I have found it’s uncomfortable at best to deal with such individuals but for my health, developing healthy boundaries is important so I can actually move forward. 

At my pace.
And my rules.

*Photo by Deanna Doss Shrodes