Sean loved the bicycle he got for his 7th birthday. It was his favorite color: red.
He rode it everywhere he went in the neighborhood. He especially
One day, upon exiting the store, his bike wasn’t there. He looked around hoping he had simply forgotten where he parked it. But it was clearly not there. His stomach dropped what felt like ten inches and he felt like he wanted to puke.
Of course, Sean was upset about his bike. But that wasn’t the only reason for his distress. He started walking home. The closer he got, the slower he walked. His feet wouldn’t move any faster.
“Someone took my bike.”
His mom, already stressed from the day’s activities, responded in her predictable way, “What? How could you be so irresponsible? How could you… well, you’re not getting another one. Go to your room until your dad gets home.”
Sure enough, his parents punished him for being “lazy.” Not only did he have to cope with losing his bike, but he also had to endure his parent’s hot anger and being grounded for two weeks—a true triple-whammy.
His teen years were filled with more dread. He believed he was “messed up” and carried a heavy anxious feeling with him. He frequently muttered under his breath, “yep, another perfect messup by Sean.”
Sean turned to food to manage his uncomfortable feelings. “I feel better when I eat. Or, at least I don’t feel so bad.” Inevitably this led to weight gain. Unfortunately, this left him open to unkind words from his peers. They snickered and made funny noises behind his back and sometimes even in his face. This quickly became too much for Sean to manage with food alone.
The problems intensified. Sean fought back when picked on. This was only verbal jabs at first, but
Sean entered into a negative cycle that seriously picked up steam during his high school years.
Sean’s story will continue next week as I spend time teaching about healing emotional wounds.