Monday, May 25, 2009

Running from Pain

Why do we try to avoid facing the pain of abuse? How does denial serve us?

I think that we fear the pain. We're afraid that if we face the pain it will destroy us or destroy our world as we know it. I can remember fearing that if I stepped out of denial I would never stop crying or I might get so angry I might do something crazy. I feared I could not handle the truth. I feared that I could not survive what the truth would do to my primary relationships.

Fear was my captor. I was its slave. I didn't directly face my pain, but my pain leaked out anyway. I lived in a fuzzy fog. I did and said strange things to try to maintain the lies. I was rarely aware of sadness, but I was just as muted with happiness. I rarely laughed with true joy or happiness. I rarely cried. I was mostly numb. I told others and myself that I was "fine" or "okay." I survived. I was a bound prisoner of fear, stumbling along without hope in my eyes, dragging my chains of fear along. Not a good way to live.

Have you been there? Are you in that place of mere survival right now?

There is a better way. Facing the pain of abuse does not destroy us. The enemy of our souls reinforces this fear--but it is a lie. Facing our pain ultimately strengthens and frees us. Abuse cannot freely continue in the face of truth. Abuse ends when the light is shone on it or when victims get help and leave the abusive situation. Abuse derives power from instilling and reinforcing fear; abusers lose power when the victim's desire for freedom becomes greater than her or his fear.

And this better way is not a journey we must do alone. God can strengthen us beyond our wildest imaginings. God can help us to face truth and find hope. God can lead us out of abuse. God can use other people to help us first climb out of abuse and then recover from abuse. God can heal us over time--transforming us into joyous people of strength and hope who walk in Him through all the trials of life.


Jan Parrish said...

Tanya, I too felt that anger and grief would be too overwhelming if I allowed myself to admit the abuse. I think this is one of the lies the enemy uses to keep us bound in fear and denial. Great post.

Tanya T. Warrington said...

I agree, Jan. The enemy is the master of lies. He would love to keep all abuse victims bound forever in fear and denial. It is a powerful strategy. When you live in daily abuse, it tears apart all confidence in yourself. It makes it easy for the enemy to whisper lies that feel true.

But God has already defeated the enemy. His power is very limited in this part of eternity and will be non-existent in the largest part of eternity.

I rejoice that in Jesus Christ we can discover how flimsy the enemies lies really are.

Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft