Trauma and Responsibility

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NIV (emphasis mine)

“Today, I will not wait for others to see and care; I will take responsibility for being aware of my pain and problems and caring about myself.” Melody Beattie

A lovely woman died today. She was pretty, charming, intelligent, warm, talented and had a young son starting adulthood.  She also could be dramatic, unpredictable, cruel and deceitful. She was 56 years. She died from liver failure. Alcohol. There but for the grace of God go I.

Or was it childhood trauma? Both?

I knew this woman because my son dated her for several years. It was a highly tumultuous relationship fraught with drama and never-ending pain.  The short-lived moments of bliss would pull my son back in. She powered through several jobs with a bottle of vodka close at hand. I loved this woman. My son loved this woman. She was more than her drinking. She was more than her trauma. She confided to me her childhood abuse at the hands of her mother and emotionally absent father. My son and I tried everything to get her help. No. My son finally ended the relationship to save himself and rode a tremendous learning curve. He financially set her up for six months to help her get on her feet.  Another chance at life. This was a big sacrifice for my son and there was guilt and heartache involved too. Messy. Painful. She married another. She died. I am so sad for her. I remember our Father loves her more than I and more than my son did.

How do we know if we’re powering through something or passively victimizing ourselves? We learn from Jesus. First, we seek him. We seek wise counsel that is gentle and humble at heart. We take responsibility. Powering through will not work and leaves us spent. Passively letting life happen to us means we won’t know who we are or our potential. Both behaviors victimize ourselves and others. Trauma happened to us. We didn’t cause it but we have to come to terms with it if we want a full life.


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” This quote from Galatians is proof we’re on the right track. And it increases! It probably won’t be a straight line, it may not happen immediately (patience is in the verse), it probably will be very painful at first, but it happens.


Dear Father,

We pray for this woman who is now in your care. We pray for others who may be in similar situations. We pray that you show how much you love them. We pray that you keep us in your loving grace. We pray to be a blessing for those struggling.

We thank you for your humble and gentle son, Jesus.


Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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