While you SCREAM at your woman, there’s a man wishing he could whisper softly in her ear… While you HUMILIATE,OFFEND and INSULT her, there’s a man who would remind her how wonderful she is. While you HURT your woman, there’s a man who would make love to her. While you make your woman CRY, there’s a man who would treasure her heart and comfort her and capture all her tears. ~author unknown
I don’t talk much about my past — usually — but with the start of a new book (and e-book) I’m working on, I figured I would share a little about what it is “my story” is all about.
I believe that God had me go through what I went through for several reasons. Two of the main ones being to share my story and then help others who may face simialr circumstances.
I spent 15 years in an abusive relationship. Although he (my ex-husband) would tell you differently, I know now that the dynamics of our relationship were nothing but poison in my life. It may have taken me 15 years to realize it (well, it got worse somewhere around 2005) — and brought me to the brink of insanity/death — But God has miraculously brought me out of the miry pit and set me on a mountain top. How you ask … with a lot of soul searching (on my part), a step in the opposite direction (on my part) and then by meeting me there (God’s doing).
About one year, three weeks and three days ago — I made the decision to walk away from it. I now (STILL) rent out my parent’s basement with my two boys. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. So, people who are ignorant and say that divorce is the “easy way out” — have probably never been faced with it — therefore have no experience to base their bias opinion.
“If you can’t be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you have — escaped,” ~Menard’s Catalog
As a professed Christian, I believe that the reason I continued to live in such an oppressive environment for so long is because of the lies the church and society as a whole tells women who are faced with abuse … such as:
- Once you are married you are ALWAYS married
- There is no way out
- Divorce is a sin
- You must submit to your husband no matter what
- Don’t hold sins against your husband, but forgive and forget (no matter what he has done)
- The grass IS’NT greener on the other side
- The only Biblical reason for divorce is marital unfaithfulness (and “unfaithfulness in this context is cheating)
- God will leave you or you will be “out of God’s will” if you file for divorce
- If you ever remarry you will be an adultress for the rest of your life (this one actually makes me laugh … OUT LOUD. That’s like saying Jesus’ blood is not strong enough to cover divorce — or that divorce is ALWAYS a sin … Oh my, what a LIE)
ALL of these are LIES!! DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!!!!!!
Christians who believe these lies are ignorant. God loves his children and says that He will never leave or forsake them (no matter what happens in their life).
The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” ~Mark Caine
I won’t go into Biblical scriptures to back up every point (you can read those in my book) and I am not condoning divorce for reasons that are superficial. I do however wholeheartedly believe several things — all of which God has shown me through His word and His Holy Spirit — in the last year since I have been free from abuse:
- God does NOT want his child to stay in an abusive relationship (no matter what ANYONE on this earth tells you – including holier-than-thou Christians – (actually, especially holier-than-thou Christians!)
- A man who will justify any and every action he does against you and rationalize his behavior — is probably not seeking God in how to lead his family or treat his wife
- A hot tempered man is NOT thinking of you, he IS thinking of himself
- After being verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually or spiritually abusive — saying he’s “sorry” but never changing — is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
- Throwing things through walls IS intimidation and is NOT “normal”
- A man who truly loves you would NEVER, and I mean NEVER coerce you to do things (sexually or otherwise) that you aren’t comfortable with
- It IS ok to change your mind about things. God gave you a mind for that very reason. It does NOT make you crazy, wish-washy, flaky or stubborn!
- There is a HUGE difference between CONSENT and SUBMISSION!! HUGE!!! To put it into perspective let me say this: I can have a gun to my head and submit to something without EVER consenting to it!!!
- Any man who puts himself first (most of the time) is not worth the effort
- If you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that “gut instinct” that something just isn’t quite right about him — or is off — LISTEN to it. You are more than likely right.
- The Bible is clear that marital unfaithfulness and sexual immorality are both legit reasons for divorce … also abandonment. Where many Christians get it wrong is when they think “unfaithfulness” and “immorality” ONLY means cheating – and that “abandoment” is only physical.
- Most sociopaths do NOT realize they are sociopathic (or at least have the tendancies) — they have lied to themselves and rationalized their actions for so long that they honestly believe they are correct.
I could go on forever really … so I’ll stop there.
“Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States.”
– Dianne Feinstein
I have also learned that I answer to God, not man!! Whether you agree with my decisions or not (no matter what they are), in the big picture — it doesn’t matter AT ALL! And my God has stood by me through all of this! Divorce is by NO means the unpardonable sin. In fact – I don’t believe it’s a sin at all (in some circumstances).
I wholeheartedly believe that to STAY in an abusive relationship is a sin. It is like condoning the abuse over and over again. It is accepting the sin against you. It is settling for less than what God has for you. Leaving would be the right thing to do in an abusive situation. Divorce from an abuser is merely a consequence of his or her actions. Without consequences — they WILL continue to get away with it. It’s like telling the abuser “well, since we are married (or romantically involved – or friends — or siblings- or relatives) I guess you can just treat me any ol’ way you want to and I’ll consistantly take it as long as you just say you are sorry occasionally.
You are NOT trapped. You have a brain to say “this is wrong and I won’t stand for it any longer!” Quit worrying about what your abuser thinks and start thinking for yourself … your children. The cycle will only stop when you are able to stand your ground and say “NO MORE!” If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids!
Quit rationalizing his/her behavior!
Quit fearing the unknown
Quit being a door mat
Quit caring what man thinks
Quit doubting God’s mercy and grace!
Quit accepting a “sorry” every now and then
Quit blaming yourself
Quit trying to understand his/her actions
Quit telling yourself things will change
Quit believing the lies the world tells you and start reading the Bible for yourself and asking God to show you truth
Quit making excuses for yourself and your abuser
I can honeslty say that in a year’s time … the grass IS greener over here! It isn’t always and for everybody, but in my case … It DEFINITELY IS!
In one year’s time — with four separate counselors, hours of Bible reading and talks with my Lord — and obviously with the awesome support system I have (including the most awesome church/pastor in the world and the most supportive friends and family) – I am on my way towards complete healing.
A year ago I was anorexic, cutting myself on a day-to-day basis, having psychotic breakdowns, questioniong reality, trusting NO ONE — and so physically, emotionally and spiritually drained that I honestly believe if I had stayed — I would not be typing this today. I would be dead, either from complications from stress (ie: autoimmune conditions), suicide, stroke or heart attack — or, I would be in a mental health institution.
But God is good!
In one years time I have not cut myself, I have learned to control my thought patterns with God’s help, I have nearly completed my college degree, I no longer have to take anxiety medications (amazing that when you aren’t living in a day-to-day relationship where you have to walk on egg shells all the time — you don’t have to take medicine for it).
I also have sought help from four separate counselors to overcome the abuse and learn how to not fall into another similar relationship.
I have continued to work full time, go to school and seek help.
I have opened up to my closest friends and family about the extent of the abuse — bringing to light what the devil wanted to stay in the dark.
I have been set free from guilt, from anger, from low self esteem.
I have learned to take some advice and leave some.
I have learned to listen to my gut!
I have sought help and counseling for my boys.
I have learned to disregard the ignorance of others who judge me on my decision to leave.
And – I have found love again. And this is how I know his love is selfless:
He puts me first (after God)
He treats me as an equal
He sees me as God sees me; my ex saw me as the devil wanted me to see myself!
He speaks to me, not AT me
He is slow to anger and quick to admit when he is wrong
He treats me as a treasured gift, not a stubborn child
He allows my mistakes
He encourages me
He holds me up
He is my earthly anchor
We enjoy each others company
We laugh like children, love like adults and treat one another as a special gift
He NEVER asks me to do ANYTHING i’m not comfortable with
He loves me and accepts me for who I am — NOT who he thinks I should be!
I can truly say that God has brought me from oppression to freedom. That the truth has set me free. And that I look forward to waking up each day to see what He has in store for me.
If you or anyone you know is in a potentially harmful relationship – whether physically or emotionally unstable — please seek help. It is NOT too late.
Child abuse site/hotline 1-800-422-445
Domestic Violence site/Hotline 1-800-799-7233
For all you haters and judgemental people – be careful — for you will be judged in the same manner as you judge others.
I honeslty believe that living under oppression for so long has done its toll on my body. Stress is a huge factor when it comes to autoimmune diseases, therefore, I have faith that since I am no longer living in those conditions — God can heal me from them.
If you are hurting and need an ear — email me a personal message. I promise not to judge.
And keep an eye out for my book in the future. I will definitely post a link on here when it’s finally finished (which may be several years down the road).
We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.
– Dorothy Day
Take care friends! Until next time,
ps: Several quotes were taken from http://thelaststraw.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/quotes-about-domestic-violence/ – check it out!!!
For your listening pleasure, click here!
I had a tattoo covered. It was a star and it kind-of represented my ex (past). The awesome Mike Groves at Pain and Wonder Tattoo in Athens, Ga covered the star. It is now representative of me rising from the ashes of a burned city. It is a purple balloon (the color of domestic violence) that is carrying me away! I still have some more work that needs to be done (on the tattoo – and myself), but just thought I would share 😉