Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Update for Readers

I meant to post last week that I would be taking an extended holiday break. I will start posting again on the third Thurs in January.

In the meantime, readers, I hope you have a restful and rejuvenating holiday season. If you are recovering from abuse, you too can take a break and focus on enjoying your present blessings. If you are still in an abusive environment, remember that there are many older posts on this blog that you may find beneficial.

May God bless each of you by filling and surrounding you with his loving presence during the next weeks.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lies I Believed (Part 6)_No Way Out When You're a Christian

Believed I Couldn't Get of the Abusive Marriage because I was a Christian

Photo by Maena at morguefilecom
I have no short or easy answer for the dilemma of a Christian spouse who finds herself or himself married to an abuser. My own journey was long and difficult. As we drove away from our wedding reception, my brand-new husband exploded in rage as soon as the restaurant was out of sight--pounding the steering wheel, driving recklessly, calling his best friend names and calling one of the women at the wedding a horrible epithet. My first instinct was to return immediately to the church and say I’d made a horrible mistake marrying this man. I wondered if annulment was a possibility. Then I pulled myself together, and focused on believing this behavior was  non-typical behavior for this man since I’d never seen him angry before. I wasn’t perfect either. I would unconditionally love my husband and keep my marriage ceremony promises for the rest of my life—no matter how many other unpleasant surprises might lay ahead.

Seven long years after our wedding, my spouses’ angry spells had become progressively more frequent and I knew our marriage was in trouble. He had progressed to threatening that if I ever tried to leave a room while he was talking to me, his fist would connect with my face, instead of merely denting the wall next to my head.  My husband could and did give me bruises now and then on my arms and legs to encourage me to continue fearing him. He displayed so many radical mood shifts I felt like I had unknowingly married Dr. Jekyll and Hyde.  I finally admitted to myself that my husband had a “serious anger issue.”  I still loved him, although more than once I wished that I didn’t. I could see that our marriage was not honoring God, but I still felt trapped by my “till death do us part” marriage promise.   I had experienced many unexpected “for worse” experiences with my husband but that too was covered by the wedding vows. 

As the years had gone by, I too had changed for the worse. My insecurity, confusion, and lack of self-respect grew exponentially.  I spent most of my energy on trying to keep my husband calm.  I was exhausted and felt helpless. I desperately attempted to salvage our marriage by urging my husband to attend marriage counseling with me. To my surprise, my husband agreed to try counseling.

Over the next seven years, we “tried” marriage counseling three different times.  Each time my husband’s agreement to counseling, led to me to give him credit for caring about our relationship and being willing to work on it—when in reality he only attended 2 to 4 sessions with each counselor. Each time marriage counseling sessions halted abruptly when my husband decided we were seeing a well-meaning but incompetent therapist. Thus, I learned the hard way that marital counseling doesn’t work with an abusive relationship.

Many psychologists and sociologists have noted the ineffectiveness of marriage counseling for an abusive marriage. The relationship isn’t a relationship of equal power in which both partners are humbly willing to work on improving their communication to strengthen their marriage. Instead, the abuser is hoping the counselor won’t figure out he/ she abuses his /her spouse (and wants to continue)—while at the same time the victim is hoping the counselor will see what is happening without having to be told.

I had been infertile for the first 7 years in our marriage, when I finally conceived my husband and I were happier and more peaceful during the pregnancy. I knew having children to save a marriage rarely succeeds, but since we’d tried to have children our whole marriage and then miraculously we were succeeding in such close proximity to my requesting marriage counseling—my hopes for a better marriage soared. Surely my husband would feel more motivated to untangle his anger problem with precious children under our joint care.

Again I was wrong. The only change in the following years was that I spoke up more against my husband’s abusive words and behavior, for the sake of the kids. My husband became increasingly angry and impatient with me and with our children. I tried to never leave any of our children alone with my husband for more than a few minutes, so that I could mitigate my husband’s harmful words and actions toward our children. I was prepared to be our children’s body guard should the occasion arise.

When our eldest child was five, my husband squeezed her arm as hard as he could, just as he had done to me many times. At first I was shocked, but then I leapt into the situation demanding that my husband let go of our daughter. For the first time ever, I told someone outside our relationship about my concerns about my husband’s angry behavior. The pastor prayed with my husband and urged me to see the church counselor. My daughter’s arm was bruised and she protected it over the next couple of weeks while I followed the pastor’s advice and began individual counseling. I thought the pastor and counselor didn’t seem too worried about our situation, and assumed it must not be that bad after all. In hindsight, I can see that I left out important information when I talked with the pastor and psychologist. I didn’t share with them the longstanding patterns and the slow-climbing escalation of a variety of abusive behaviors. Both professionals probably concluded the event with my daughter was a one-time loss of temper, instead of the one piece of an abuse puzzle.
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By the ninth or tenth year of marriage, my husband’s rages were a daily affair. No matter how much I tried to please my husband, peace never lasted. I had tried to change myself so frequently I no longer knew what I felt or thought most of the time.

Over time, I gradually acknowledged that my marriage relationship did not reflect God’s love. My husband’s behavior wasn’t loving and even though I’d told myself that I was being kind and patient with my spouse, I was really acting out of fear—of what my husband might do or say next if I failed to please him. Pleasing my husband had become idol worship.

After my spouse and I had been married for 14 years, I caught my husband choking our five year old son and all my layers of denial fell to the ground. I suddenly and irrevocably knew that my husband was abusive—and that I needed to protect my children more effectively.  

Over the next six weeks, I attended classes at a domestic violence shelter and learned in each session that my marriage relationship completely matched all the criteria of an abusive relationship. It was difficult for me to swallow I was a victim of emotional, physical, financial and sexual abuse—but the evidence was overwhelmingly clear. During the last week in our home, I saw all the signs of my husband building up toward his next explosion. With God’s help, I realized that it was time to get my children safely away from the home before my husband’s next rage.

I still believed God’s plan must be a future miraculous restoration of our marriage. I hoped my leaving with the children would be the catalyst my husband needed. I hoped that the threat of losing us would help him come to his senses and to humbly seek true help for his abusiveness. Even after fleeing from our home, I assumed I still needed to remain married to this man for the rest of my life in order to be a “good Christian.”

After I left, I had opportunities to see how comfortable my spouse was with continuing on the same old course. I watched him lie and manipulate myself, friends and legal professionals. Every time I sought a way to save our marriage, the door was slammed shut by my husband’s own words and actions. I clung to the belief   God would be able to restore our broken marriage somehow—even as I filed for divorce. I assumed my husband would repent before the divorce was finalized.

In my Bible reading and prayers, God continued worked on my thinking.  I kept running into the same verse in my personal Bible study, on the Christian radio station and in church sermons: “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6, see also Matthew 9:13 & 12:7). Staying with an abusive husband had been my act of sacrifice.  I was a willing martyr, sacrificing myself to preserve God’s reputation. I didn’t want to cause others to think God wasn’t powerful enough to redeem a broken marriage. Later I realized that God can protect his own reputation and that the only sacrifices God had accepted prior to Jesus’ all-time sacrifice were clean and perfect animals, not sin-choked marriages.  There was also a part of my behavior that was motivated by pride—I didn’t want to “be a failure” in everyone’s eyes by becoming a divorced woman.

I regularly chastised myself with “God hates divorce.” But it was God himself, who comforted me each time I grieved over the divorce proceedings. It was He who helped me to study the entire verse: "So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. ‘I hate divorce,’ says the LORD God of Israel, ‘and I hate a man covering himself with violence as well as with his garment, says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith (Malachi 2:16, NIV)."   My NIV study Bible explains “a man covering himself with violence”   can also be translated as “a man covering his wife with violence.” Either way, clearly some marriages include violent behaviors which God hates as much as he hates divorce.   


I pleaded with God to rescue my marriage—but God helped me to see he doesn’t force anyone to repent of wrongdoing and he wouldn’t force my husband to accept responsibility for his abuse. God gives each of us free will and upholds our freedom to reject Him and His ways.  According to Jesus, God allows divorce because of the hardness of men’s hearts (Mk 2-5). God hates divorce—but permits divorce through His grace.

Through the domestic violence shelter classes, I learned an abuser is most likely to kill his wife after she attempts to leave. For this reason, I followed safety plan recommendations that I prepared a month before I left. In my case, I knew how frightened my spouse was of police and prisons, so I didn’t feel it was necessary to ask the shelter to hide me. I moved around to different friend’s homes and I requested a temporary restraining order. He deliberately ignored that order twice and I called the police and my lawyer both times. My husband stopped directly violating the restraining order because he didn’t want to spend time in jail.  The temporary restraining order became a permanent restraining order when I reported his misbehavior and threats.

If you still live with your spouse and he has directly threatened to kill you, if you’ve been hospitalized from his violence in the past, if he has no respect for the law, if he has purposefully mutilated any part of your body, and/or if he’s used weapons to harm you, then your decision to leave is potentially life-threatening and you would benefit from a domestic violence shelter’s help to obtain a new identity, new location and new life.

During my separation from my spouse during the divorce process, I discovered in my Bible study that God never listed all the possible circumstances for a divorce. Jesus rebuked Pharisees who were trying to entrap Him saying they could only divorce their wives if their wives committed adultery (Mt. 5:31-33& Mk. 10:2-5). Jesus was rebuking them for the stance of divorcing wives for “any and every reason.” They sanctioned divorce for trivial reasons including such things as having a wife who was a poor cook or had become less attractive than younger woman. They presented divorce as something to be taken lightly.  Their hearts were not in a right place with God. They asked their question in order to embroil Jesus in a controversial topic.  Some interpret this verse to mean that adultery is the only valid reason for any Christian to divorce. I used to think the same way. But I am now convinced that the Bible itself specifically shares a couple of other reasons and doesn’t list every possible reason.

Throughout the Bible we are reminded that divorce is not God’s original intention for marriage and should only be done for serious reasons. Working problems out within the marriage is generally preferable to divorce. But there is more than one legal reason for divorce mentioned in the Bible. In the New Testament, Paul says that if a non-believing husband leaves a Christian wife, she is free to remarry (1 Cor 7:13-15). Two examples of legal divorce given in Deuteronomy are that a man may divorce his wife because he discovers once they are married that his wife was not a virgin as he had been told or that he found something displeasing or indecent (not referring to adultery) about her (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).


I also learned that it was God who insisted that wives be treated well when an Israelite husband wanted a divorce—he was to give his wife a written certificate of divorce. This protected the woman’s status so she was not under condemnation for her loss of virginity—she could return to her father’s care and could marry another man sometime in the future. God even made provision that divorced daughters of priests, along with widowed daughters, were still eligible to be fed from the priest’s portions of the offerings (Leviticus 22:13). Both these indicate to me that God responds to divorced people compassionately. If we were still in Eden, divorce would be totally unneeded, but we live post-Eden in a world full of fallible and sinful people and by God’s grace divorce is sometimes permitted.

When I finally accepted that my marriage was truly ending, I still thought I should remain unmarried, thinking of verses such as 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. I purposefully kept my heart open to the possibility of future reconciliation if there was proof that there would not be any more abuse. I didn’t continue in this state for long, however, because I learned from my kids and had it confirmed by my spouse that he was getting married that very weekend and needed the judge-signed copies of the divorce agreement. I called my lawyer’s office to check on the progress of the paperwork and requested that I have a copy by the weekend if at all possible and told the legal assistant why. She assured me I would not be in any trouble if my “husband” preceded with marriage without the signed copy. He would be guilty of bigamy, not me. I told her for emotional reasons I’d prefer not to be wearing my wedding ring when my spouse married another. She went to work and I received the paperwork on Friday evening after 5PM via a FedEx driver. I don’t know if my husband had his signed copy on Friday as well but I left that part in God’s hands.

When my minister asked me a few weeks later how things were going with my divorce, I told him about how pressured I’d felt to see the judge’s signature before my husband married another woman. He completely surprised me by telling me at since my husband was re-married, the possibility of reconciliation was closed and I was free to marry another. I hadn’t dated anyone during the separation and divorce process because I had still considered myself married and still hoped for reconciliation. I did more checking in the Bible and realized God doesn’t want a man to remarry his divorced wife if either he or she had married and then divorced another (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).   

I wanted the abuse to end and I wanted my marriage redeemed by my loving God. The abuse did end, but only after the divorce was finalized. God comforted me and helped me see how my former husband who had broken our marriage long before I signed the divorce papers. God was my strength and my security during my divorce and while I was a single mom raising three children. When I married a non-abusive man two and a half years after my divorce was final, God used my new marriage relationship to continue healing my emotional wounds from my previous years as an abused wife. God redeemed my heart and gave me unwavering joy with his constant care as my Good Shepherd.

While you’re being abused it seems like you have no options. The abuser reinforces your sense of helplessness repeatedly through words and actions of abuse. You feel trapped. You feel powerless. But with God we need never be without His power. God is faithful, loving, kind and slow to anger. He is a good shepherd who leads His people to green pastures and calm waters. God is also a powerful God who can lead people out of bondage to fear. God is more than big enough to redeem an abusive relationship or to help a victim re-build a good life after an abusive relationship ends.

I am fully convinced God may lead different people to different solutions. God knows all the circumstances, including the state of your heart and the state of the abuser’s heart. I still believe if an abusive spouse is willing to change, he/she will find incredible power to change in God. If your spouse has not built up to physical violence, God may show you a different way to end the emotional abuse in your relationship. I’ve never seen or heard of abuse resolved if the victim doesn’t insist on separation, at least until there is true evidence of sustained,  positive behavior changes.

Abuse is sinful and God doesn’t condone un-repented sin. An abusive marriage doesn’t glorify God and staying in a marriage that leads to children being abused is wrong. Abuse isn’t explicitly named as an acceptable reason for divorce in the Bible—and there continues to be debate about this in our churches today. I take comfort from the Malachi verse already discussed and also Psalm 11:5, “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.” Matthew Henry, a minister who wrote commentary on the Bible in the 17th and early 18th Century, wrote that one reason God permits divorce is because a violent man might murder his spouse otherwise. Marriage is an illustration used throughout the Bible of God’s loving relationship with His bride, the church—an abusive marriage more aptly illustrates a race car hurtling into a wall.

 
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lies I Believed (Part 5)_What Happens at Home, Stays at Home

Photo by Ryan Castillon

Privacy is generally a good thing, but in the case of abusive behavior, silence protects the abuser and harms his/her victim. Silence about abuse, means the abuser can keep on behaving as he or she wishes without any consequences. It means the abuse will continue.

The victim's silence, however, does not mean that the victim means for the abuse to continue. As a Christian wife I kept silent about abuse, hoping my Christian spouse would repent of his violence and would, as he moved closer to God, want to stop losing his temper.

 My perspective has changed markedly as I've learned more about abuse and have progressed on a journey of healing. I now see that I assumed my husband was a Christian. I had asked him if he was before our second date. He had answered that he had gone to church all his life and that he liked talking with God. Not being raised in a Christian household, this sounded like mature faith to me. Only after marriage did I discover that if his faith was real, it wasn't transforming his life. He wasn't growing and changing as God led him. He wasn't in a place of bearing good fruit for the fourteen years of our marriage. Was he a backslidden Christian or not a Christian at all? Probably I will never know. But what I do know now is that if a Christian isn't bearing any of the fruit that gives evidence of the Holy Spirit working in his life, then it isn't reasonable to expect mature Christian behavior from him. My husband did not acknowledge that he was abusive, didn't repent of it, and didn't ask God to help him learn more respectful behavior.

I knew as a Christian that I must forgive my husband for his abusive behavior. And I forgave--because God asks us to forgive others when they sin against us and because God empowers us to extend forgiveness even in the most difficult situations. What I did not understand about abuse at the time was that my way of expressing that forgiveness was interpreted as a green light by abusers. When I behaved like a woman who had forgiven boundary violations, my spouse felt happy and empowered. He didn't ask for forgiveness but he was happy to see it--because to him it meant that he could do more of the same, knowing that I wasn't going to leave and I wasn't going to report his behavior to authorities. It took years, several Christian books on forgiveness and a conversation with ministers before I realized that forgiving another does not mean that I have to re-extend trust to that individual. It took time (about 12-13 years) for me to understand that I could forgive my husband anything with God's help--but, I shouldn't trust my husband to change his behavior just because I truly had forgiven him. My acts of forgiveness did not guarantee any safety from continued abuse.

I eventually learned that I needed to forgive my spouse, and I needed to hold him accountable for his behavior. I finally told a minister when my husband hurt our 5 year old daughter's arm during one of his rages. I was scared to death that social services would be called but I felt a huge instinct to protect my child. My husband hurting me was one thing, hurting our child was another. The minister didn't report the act to social services and didn't urge for the arm to be checked by a doctor. In hindsight, I realize that I didn't tell the pastor about the other times my husband had been abusive. He probably viewed the situation as a one-time only loss of temper, not as another piece in a pattern of abuse. I returned to silence after this incident.

It wasn't until three later, when I caught my husband choking our then 5 year old son that I admitted that I would need to tell others about my husband's behavior in our home. I went to a domestic violence shelter and reported the choking incident. Again nothing was reported to social services--because I was out of denial enough to go to the shelter but felt totally unsure whether the shelter would view our situation as an abusive one. I was exhausted, confused and frightened when I filled out forms at the shelter.  I wrote sentences about why I was there but I left the direct question designed to confirm child abuse or spousal abuse blank. I thought the workers at the shelter would evaluate the information I gave them and would check the abuse boxes for me if that was indeed what my children and I had been experiencing. I was wrong. No one took responsibility for those check boxes on the form.

Fortunately, the shelter counselor did enroll me in an abuse awareness class held at the shelter. Over the next six weeks I attended each class session and had layer upon layer of denial stripped away by the education I received. There was no way to hold onto the hope that my husband wasn't really abusive. When my husband began escalating again in a pattern that had characteristically built to an abusive explosion, I took the children and left our home. Soon after I requested a restraining order and then filed for divorce.

Secrecy had not served me or my children well. If I had let others know sooner what was going on in our home, how frequently my husband expressed anger, what my husband threatened to do to us, what my husband had done to us so far, etc. either my husband would have responded to having the consequence of others knowing how he was behaving or I would have gotten myself and my children to safety sooner.

I have learned through experience and education that forgiving abusive behavior doesn't inspire abusers to get help. They aren't miserable over abusing others, they abuse because they find it rewarding. As long as someone allows them to abuse, they keep on abusing. It was difficult for me to swallow this. I hated it when the shelter class teacher talked about "allowing" abuse. As far as I knew I had never "allowed" abuse. Abuse was a terrifying reality that had happened in my childhood and in my young adult years. From my perspective as a trapped victim, I didn't want anyone to abuse me, it "just happened."

But in the abuser's mind--they abuse because they like feeling powerful and they choose victims who "allow" themselves to be harmed. Abusers count on victims who will not report their inappropriate and illegal behavior to police. Abusers also do their best to brainwash and diminish their victim into conditioned helplessness. So, even if a victim did report abuse to authorities, he or she wouldn't be capable of  leaving the relationship. It was shocking to me when I finally got this. I had never wanted abuse, but due to my constant exposure to abuse, it took me awhile to figure out that I didn't have to keep living in abuse.

When an adult in a home is abusing the other family members the only effective way to end the situation is for the other non-abusive adult to give a clear message of, "No more abuse will be tolerated." The words aren't what are needed--because abusers don't care about spoken boundaries. The only course that has any chance of getting through to an abuser is action. The abuser needs to know you will not remain in relationship with him. The abuse only stops when the victims leave. If there is future reconciliation and a continuation of the marriage without any further abuse, it only happens after the abuser realizes that he can only regain his family by learning how to stop abusing others. I have never seen any stats on successful rehabilitation of abusers. To gain a realistic perspective I've called a few of the programs whose purpose is to help abusers stop abusing   Each place gave the same answer, "Most abusers return to abusing, but if we succeed with only one person then it is worth our time and effort." I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but it is truth. It is also critically important for abused spouses to understand that the act of leaving creates a dangerous crisis.

The abusive men who kill their wives, most frequently do so when their wives try to leave them. So, shelters advice leaving without making announcement to your husband. If you are taking children with you, leave a note that says you need time to think and the kids and you are on a trip and will call him. Then call about once a week from a phone he cannot track to your location (the phone calls keep you from being accused of kidnapping your own children). If your spouse has escalated to beatings and/or death threats in the past, then use the help available through shelters to relocate to a new location with a new identity.

Freedom from abuse cannot rely on an abuser initiating change. What is happening in the home cannot be a private if you want the abuse to end. It may seem embarrassing to tell others the truth about your spouse's behavior--but it could save your life (physically or emotionally).

Related Articles:

He Said He Loved Me

Why Did I Stay?

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lies I Believed (Part 4)_Submission Means Accepting Any Behavior

How I became a doormat for abusers."> <meta name="description" content=Understanding submission in an abusive relationship."> <Meta name="keywords"content="abuse recovery, abuse dynamics, submission"> </head> <br /> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Submission is a concept that is distorted by every abuser.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>“Submit!” is the command, whether it is voiced or not. By “submit” an abuser demands instant obedience—no matter what.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Submit to rape, a physical beating, or non-respectful verbal assaults.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Submit to accepting attacks of any kind such as blatant o subtle boundary violations, impossible demands, harsh judgments, and false accusations. When living with an abuser you discover that submitting also seems to require all sorts of slippery details like always be wrong, except when the abuser suddenly wants you to give a correct answer; never notice when the abuser is lying to you, except if he or she is testing you; always be controlled by him or her, accept when he or she suddenly becomes disgusted with your passivity; and perhaps above all else, always trust that your abuser loves you and is taking excellent care of you.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Submission is a word used in the Bible, presumed in our laws and practiced worldwide in human relationships. So what does submission really mean?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>According to the dictionary, we submit when we yield ourselves to the power or authority of another. <span style="color: #333333;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>We are expected to submit to public authority figures for the good of society as a whole. In our public lives, there are provisions for what to do if an authority figure is not behaving in an ethical or legal manner. We can call authority figures into account and hold them accountable to certain standards of conduct. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">In abusive relationships, however, the abuser holds himself above any accountability and freely enforces his reign by frightening, coercing and controlling others to get whatever he wants. It took me a long time to realize that what an abuser says he wants, and what he actually wants may be quite different. He might say he just wants to help you be a better person, but what he really wants is to erode away your self-esteem so that he can have more power over you. He might say he didn’t mean to harm you, he may actually mean that he doesn’t want you to take any legal actions against him. He might tell you that he just wishes you would behave correctly so that he doesn’t have to keep trying to teach you, in reality he wants you to lose all confidence in yourself and depend on him for all your perceptions. He wants you to learn to disregard what your five senses tell you. He wants you to believe him when he tells you your actions are wrong, your thoughts are wrong and your feelings are wrong. Another abuser may say very little, but still makes sure you get the message that he is right and you are wrong, he has all the power and you are powerless, he can control you in everything and you can’t control him in anything. He can find many creative ways to enforce unchecked power and control over you—until you submit to anything, no matter how immoral or unjust his demand is.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">It has been part of my healing process to realize that I do not need to submit to abusive behavior ever again. I do not need to obey unethical demands, I do not need to accept harsh treatment as my due, I do not need to agree with the abuser that he can do whatever he wishes without any negative consequences. As a grown-up, I have choices. I can confront or leave when other adults are behaving badly, I no longer have to keep silent about another’s wrong actions, and I don’t have to blame myself when another takes unwarranted liberties. </span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4NVnbN8cD9A/UnvlGTsbTJI/AAAAAAAAAv8/bFkjmMxaaHs/s1600/Kitten+looking+submissive+on+a+rug_file000471264371.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a> </div> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">My understanding of scriptural guidelines on marriage has also changed as I have healed. An often-quoted scripture is Ephesians 5: 21: “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” The way I formerly understood this verse reinforced my passivity and led to me becoming a “doormat,” accepting violent and demeaning behavior as something I could do nothing about. <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mNUweHRv_bA/Unwl7GxmffI/AAAAAAAAAwM/WzcX-jQA9zI/s1600/Dog+laying+on+doormat_file7041294275105.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mNUweHRv_bA/Unwl7GxmffI/AAAAAAAAAwM/WzcX-jQA9zI/s320/Dog+laying+on+doormat_file7041294275105.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo by Seemann, morguefile.com</td></tr> </tbody></table> With God’s patience and help I have learned to read this verse in its full context. Ephesians 5:19 instructs all believers to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” indicating that we speak Biblical truth and encouragement to one another. Colossians 3:16 amplifies on this, “Let word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.” Neither verse describes a relationship that is one-sided, with one person controlling the other. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">God cares about our motives behind our behavior as well.  Why we're submitting matters. Ephesians 5:21 instructs, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” All Christians should be willing to subordinate their rights out of their respect for God. In Ephesians 4:2, the motives we are to act from are spelled out clearly: “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” God helped me to realize that there wasn't anything loving about letting another person act in immoral ways against me. </span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Paul urges a wife to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24) to allow her husband to function as  the head of the family. I’ve learned over the years that God does not mean by these verses that wives are to submit because they are inferior to their husbands in intelligence or understanding. When I was married to an abusive spouse, I too frightened and insecure to be a full partner. This was the way the abuser desired things to be, and I did my best to believe that I was obeying and honoring God with  my lack of assertiveness. In truth, my silence was actually motivated mostly by fear of what my husband would do to me if I disobeyed or expressed my opinion or made a direct request. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>I’ve discovered that the more closely I walk with God, the less I am driven by fear and the more I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to share with my husband my observations, my reasoning, my needs, and my feelings. I now see it as my responsibility to continue being an active participant and partner with submission meaning  that if we are not on agreement on a non-moral issue, I can set aside what I want as an act of love and humbleness. </span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">God’s Word also demonstrates that there are times to act in accordance with our individual knowledge of God --times when it would be wrong to submit. In the Old Testament (1 Sam 25), Abigail‘s husband, Nabal, is described as wealthy and “surly and mean in his dealings.” David’s men give protection to his sheep shearers and Nabal refuses to re-pay the kindness in the customary way.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Abigail behaved righteously when she took action as an individual (not in accordance with her husband) to honor God and David by bringing an appropriate offering of food and urging David to resist his first impulse to punish her household for her husband’s foolish wickedness--and to instead honor God by extending mercy. David and God were both pleased with Abigail’s humble, righteous actions and words. God put to death her violent husband and when David learned of this he married her, knowing by experience that she was an intelligent and righteous wife. In the New Testament (Acts 5), we learn of another wife, Sapphira, facing the problem of being yoked to a dishonest husband. Her husband, Ananias, told her he was going to lie to the church and to God about the sale price of his land so that he could avoid sharing the whole amount and secretly keep a share of the profit for his own use. Three hours later, Sapphira was summoned and asked if she confirmed her husband’s truthfulness, she backed up her husband’s lies, and as a result God struck her dead. Clearly, God doesn’t want us to lie for our spouse or passively go along with it when our husbands do something that is clearly wrong.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Submission does not involve sinning to pacify our spouse. Submission isn’t Godly if it is motivated by our fear of being abused. Submission isn’t honoring to God if we wait to see what might happen when we already know what righteous action and words need to take place. God doesn’t want wives to lie for their husbands. Submitting to violent or immoral acts in the name of being a “good submissive wife” isn’t the kind of submission the Bible writers were speaking of. God doesn’t expect women to submit to sexual, verbal or physical abuse from her husband. He urges husbands to love their wives as well as they love themselves and to treat their wives with respect and kindness (Ephesians 5). The submission the Bible speaks of is about respectful, loving behavior.</span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"></span> </div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p><strong>Related posts:</strong></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p><a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2008/09/to-stay-or-go.html">To Stay or To Go?</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p><a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-lost-myself.html">I Lost Myself</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p><a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/09/who-is-in-control.html">Who is in Control?</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p><strong>Tweetables:</strong></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p>Lies I Believed (Part 4) Submission Means Accepting Any Behavior <a href="http://clickheretotweet.com/TUyOGU5Z">Click Here to Tweet</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p>Improper Submitting Encourages Abuse <a href="http://clickheretotweet.com/WQ5NDdmN">Click Here to Tweet</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p>I Thought I Had to Submit to Anything He Wanted <a href="http://clickheretotweet.com/jBhOWE1M">Click Here to Tweet</a></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span> </div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"> <span style="color: #333333; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p> </o:p></span></div> <div style='clear: both;'></div> </div> <div class='post-footer'> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'> <span class='post-author vcard'> Posted by <span class='fn' itemprop='author' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/Person'> <meta content='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' itemprop='url'/> <a class='g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' title='author profile'> <span itemprop='name'>Tanya T. Warrington</span> </a> </span> </span> <span class='post-timestamp'> at <meta content='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-4submission-means.html' itemprop='url'/> <a class='timestamp-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-4submission-means.html' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='published' itemprop='datePublished' title='2013-11-07T19:04:00-06:00'>7:04 PM</abbr></a> </span> <span class='reaction-buttons'> </span> <span class='post-comment-link'> <a class='comment-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259' onclick=''> No comments: </a> </span> <span class='post-backlinks post-comment-link'> </span> <span class='post-icons'> <span class='item-action'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259' title='Email Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='13' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> <span class='item-control blog-admin pid-732564204'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&from=pencil' title='Edit Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='post-share-buttons goog-inline-block'> <a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-email' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&target=email' target='_blank' title='Email This'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Email This</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-blog' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&target=blog' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=270,width=475"); return false;' target='_blank' title='BlogThis!'><span class='share-button-link-text'>BlogThis!</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-twitter' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&target=twitter' target='_blank' title='Share to Twitter'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Twitter</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-facebook' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&target=facebook' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=430,width=640"); return false;' target='_blank' title='Share to Facebook'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Facebook</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-pinterest' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=2371977605474709259&target=pinterest' target='_blank' title='Share to Pinterest'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Pinterest</span></a><div class='goog-inline-block google-plus-share-container'><g:plusone source='blogger:blog:plusone' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-4submission-means.html' size='medium' width='300' annotation='inline'/></div> </div> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'> <span class='post-labels'> Labels: <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Domestic%20Violence' rel='tag'>Domestic Violence</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Doormat%20Thinking' rel='tag'>Doormat Thinking</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Healing%20Process' rel='tag'>Healing Process</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Powerless' rel='tag'>Powerless</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Self-Esteem' rel='tag'>Self-Esteem</a> </span> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'> <span class='post-location'> </span> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></div> <div class="date-outer"> <h2 class='date-header'><span>Thursday, October 31, 2013</span></h2> <div class="date-posts"> <div class='post-outer'> <div class='post hentry uncustomized-post-template' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting'> <meta content='http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EXnCdSuI0eM/UmgpEFbLgZI/AAAAAAAAAvo/xJvkUZFIY7w/s320/Broken+light+bulb+file000362203086.jpg' itemprop='image_url'/> <meta content='7986270693452382001' itemprop='blogId'/> <meta content='4249016972788515139' itemprop='postId'/> <a name='4249016972788515139'></a> <h3 class='post-title entry-title' itemprop='name'> <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/liies-i-told-myself-part-3my-job-to.html'>Liies I Told Myself (Part 3)_My Job to Heal and Fix Broken People</a> </h3> <div class='post-header'> <div class='post-header-line-1'></div> </div> <div class='post-body entry-content' id='post-body-4249016972788515139' itemprop='description articleBody'> <html> <head> <title>Why trying to repair abusers didn't work
 

I was a sensitive child who felt other people’s pain easily. Even at four years of age, I felt sorry for my parents when they seemed emotionally out-of-control. Early in life, I accepted the assignment of trying to love my parents out of their pain which they expressed with alcoholism, sexual abuse, controlling behavior, yelling, emotional abuse, etc. Looking back it is so clear that I felt it was my job to heal and fix them. At seven years of age, I realized that God was the one who would be able to heal my parents, not me. But I still believed that if I was loved my parents enough (through my words and deeds) that I could be the important catalyst that would lead them to radically change their lives in healthy ways.
Photo by Michael Conners http://www.mconnors.com/

I took these same attitudes into my marriage as a teen/young adult. My spouse was someone else who had lots of pain inside and a brokenness that kept him from healthy decisions and behavior. His expressions of pain included addictive tendencies, paranoia, compulsivity, suicide threats,  difficulty keeping a job and abuse. The expressions of pain had different labels but the only difference for me was that as a spouse I heard a lot more stories and details about why my spouse was broken and hurting.

In the name of love (and being an un-invited therapist), I tried to carry the burdens that seemed too heavy for my loved ones to carry. I felt their pain as if it was my own. I listened to rage, to bitterness, to resentment, to anger, to depressed feelings, and to drunken perceptions with my whole heart. I committed myself to helping them to feel better and to carrying away as much of their pain as I could manage. I’d carry the pain hidden inside of me. I didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even God.  I also bore other people’s secrets they hadn’t ever told anyone else. I couldn’t take direct action on any of the secrets (because they weren’t my issues to solve), but I carried them locked away inside of me.

By ninth grade, I knew that I had natural counseling and teaching skills that are a part of my personality type. At the time, this knowledge merely strengthened my conviction that I must spend a life time carrying other people’s pain for them--so they’d have a fighting chance to decide to engage in the work and pain of radical change.
 

My self-assigned job of fixing broken people, came about because there was an obvious need and there wasn’t anyone else available to do the job. The job wasn't very rewarding. I was known as a nice person, but the broken people in my life remained broken. I learned the hard way that when someone isn’t looking for any help, when they are not dissatisfied with the way they are living, when they deny they have any issues hindering their happiness and health--they remain dysfunctional. As an adult, I finally know (intellectually, emotionally and spiritually) that no one makes radical healthy changes in their life when they aren’t the ones seeking a healthier life. It doesn’t matter how much anyone else is eager to help them.




Photo by LadyHeart achurch@hbci.com
Now that I am middle-aged, I can see clearly that the result of my faulty belief (of being a fixer of in-pain-broken people) was that I became a nice companion and handy trash can for more than a few abusive and psychologically unhealthy people. When they behaved inappropriately they received empathy and gentleness from me. When they behaved insanely I tried to comfort them. When they raged I apologized a lot and tried harder to make their lives less stressful. When others told me vivid details about crimes they’d committed, how much they hated another, or how resentful and suspicious they were, I tried to calm them and show that I accepted them 100% no matter what they did. I forgave by excusing. I listened by storing what wasn’t mine. I received other’s anger in quantities that stole my own energy and peace. I identified to others to the extreme point of losing track of my own emotions. I felt sorry for the other’s pain and completely ignored how I felt after spending time with them.

Today, I do things differently. I now avoid close relationship with anyone who demonstrates regularly through their actions that they are satisfied with their dysfunctional lifestyle. If I realize I am trying to fix or heal another, I detach (by remembering I can only change myself) and I turn them and their feelings into God’s loving and capable hands.  I now focus on doing my own emotional processing to keep myself healthy and realize that other people have the choice to do their own emotional processing.

All these changes in my own choices have come out of letting go of my own warped perceptions and embracing reliable truths. I still think abuse is tragic and the roots of what leads someone into being abusive are also sad. But I realize now that a sad or tragic or frightening past doesn’t make acting out to harm others right. In addition, I’ve proved to myself that no one else can fix a person who engages in self-abuse and/or other-abuse. Counselors can offer help to those who truly seek help, but all the power for change comes from within the broken person. No one else can create any lasting change inside of someone else.

Have you tried to fix or heal broken and/or abusive people? How did it work out?

Related Articles:
Healthy or Abusive?

Is This Good for You?

Generational Abuse

Tweetables:

I Thought I Could Help Fix Broken People Click to Tweet

Another Doormat Idea Click to Tweet

Don't be a Trash Can for Abusers Click to Tweet

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lies I Believed (Part 2)--Criticism Meant I Had Failed, Again

Lies I Believed (Part 2) Criticism Meant I Had Failed, Again /title>

When I was young, I desperately wanted to believe that if I did something well enough, then I wouldn’t be criticized or punished. I’m not sure anyone ever said this to me directly, but I hoped and believed it. I believed the corollary as well, if I was criticized, then obviously I must have done something wrong. For example, if I asked my parent a question and got yelled at, then I must try harder next time to word it “better” or to use a quieter voice, or something.

 

When I wanted something like a pair of shoes without holes, I was told (with words, tone or body language) that I was selfish. I would then vow to never notice holes in my shoes again. I became “un-selfish” by never verbalizing any needs. It seemed to protect me from some criticism, so I globalized it to almost all situations for many years.

 

This philosophy of having no needs seemed effective in many situations as a child. One situation in which it didn’t work was during long car trips. I would need to use a restroom for a long time but would ignore it, hoping that my parent would stop sometime soon without me having to say anything.  My need grew and I would eventually realize that I was about to have an accident and that would also anger my parents. Whether I spoke up about my need or remained silent about it, I wasn’t going to be praised--so in such dire cases I would eventually, voice my need. After being scolded or hearing an angry sigh or being angrily glared at for causing trouble, my parent would pull over at a rest stop and let me use the restroom. I didn’t feel good about voicing my real need, I felt guilty for causing my parent’s irritation.

Photo by Anita Peppers http://morguefile.com/creative/anitapeppers




 

When I was 19, I married an abusive spouse who also found all of my needs inconvenient. He was the one with needs and I was the one who must fulfill his needs. When my husband said that I made him feel like killing himself because I suggested he speak more gently to our children, I concluded that I was a mean person who drove people insane with unreasonable requests. It wasn’t clear to me how I was mean, I hadn’t meant to be unkind I was just trying to help my children, but on an emotional level I believed I must have messed up the communication in some way that I wasn't smart enough to figure out. I doubted myself more as the years went by and I spoke less and less from my heart. I attempted to avoid any subject which might be heard by my husband as a criticism. I had no wish to hurt my spouse, but I couldn’t seem to figure out the rules so I often didn’t speak my thoughts. Over the fourteen years of our marriage I globalized my thinking to most people. I became more and more isolated through my great hesitation to voice any needs, requests or thoughts.


Bottom line, I believed I should always please everyone and most especially those with whom I lived. I wanted to be a kind and gentle person, but on a frequent basis I seemed to be the cause of my parent's and spouse's anger, hurt or depression. I tried harder and harder to please—but I almost always failed to please them. II was driven to succeed—to be good enough, kind enough; bright enough; but my efforts didn’t work.

 

Having done a lot of healing, I no longer assume that all criticism is deserved. Now I know that if someone is deeply depressed, you can’t cheer them up by saying the right thing. When someone is angry about most things almost every day, you can’t please them with kind actions. When someone is controlling, you can’t do anything right enough to avoid his/her correction or criticism. When someone is sexually abusive, you won’t be praised for dressing modestly. When someone is bitter, you can’t be gentle enough to break through their warped perceptions. When someone gains emotional benefit from belittling others, you aren’t going to receive much praise. When someone habitually becomes intoxicated, you can’t say the perfect things to make them see that alcohol is hurting their relationships. No matter how careful you are with your words you can't avoid receiving unjust criticism from abusive people.

 

Abusive people criticize, belittle, and lash out. They judge, punish and threaten family members, regardless of how hard someone might try to love them, please them or help them. As I gained more and more distance from abusive people, I discovered that I don’t need to go crazy trying to be pleasing and right. Non-abusive people like me just the way I am. Like all humans, I make mistakes and don’t do everything right, but I no longer find it necessary to expend energy on trying to be pleasing through silence in order to avoid criticism and/or punishment. I no longer accept the toxic waste that abusers like to project onto others.

 

I now know that voicing needs isn’t selfish—it’s a human necessity. Asking for respectful behavior isn’t disrespectful—it’s an appropriate request.

 

Did you ever believe that you must have done something wrong whenever you were criticized or punished? Have you spent inordinate amounts of energy on trying to please someone?

 

Related Articles:
 I Lost Myself

Victim Blues

It's Not About You


Tweetables:  



This misconception made me a doormat Click to Tweet


An abuser's reaction is not a reliable mirror Click to Tweet


 

 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lies I Believed (Part 1): Anger is always Bad

Is Anger Sinful?"<title/> <meta name="description" content="Learn about role of anger in abuse recovery."> <meta name="keywords" content="anger and abuse, healing from abuse, anger can be good, abuse recovery"> </head> How many of our subconscious beliefs line up with the Bible and how many are only half truths that have percolated through the manure of our abuse experiences? During the recovery process, I have discover angered I believed things that didn't really line up with the Bible. Abuse is not an honest teacher and yet, it is a strong teacher. It takes prayer and patience to overcome the old ideas. This is the first in a series of posts that will explore false beliefs that plagued me and others who have been abused.<br /> <br /> I didn't have a healthy view of anger. All anger was wrong because I associated anger with abuse. Angry people raped, tore others apart emotionally, told lies, said mean things, etc. I jumped from that belief to believing that a good Christian should never, ever get angry. I thought that's what turning the other cheek was all about.<br /> <br /> My ideas made sense to me. They fit my environment. They seemed logical. But they were lies that limited me and served abusers. I couldn't express anger. Abusers are very okay with that. I stuffed my anger and years later discovered that all of my other feelings had become hostages of the denial as well. <br /> <br /> When I began reading the Bible as a child, I was confused by the verses that showed that God gets angry--but, he is God of the universe so I trusted that his anger was always right and never abusive (truth) and that he was the only one who was capable of righteous anger (a lie).<br /> <br /> I noticed that humans in the Biblical accounts got angry too. And sometimes it seemed okay and sometimes it didn't seem okay at all (such as with Moses' anger in Exodus 32 versus his anger in Numbers 20:1-13). What was the difference? My original ideas slowly began to crumble. Maybe there were times and ways that people could be angry in a righteous manner--but it was easy, way too easy to lose control and sin in anger. My new belief accepted that anger isn't always sinful (true), but held firmly to the belief that humans almost always lose control of anger and harm others and themselves. So I reasoned that good Christians should always avoid outward expressions of anger (a lie) and should always confess any internal feelings of anger to God as sinful acts (a lie). Somewhere along the line, I'd read the Bible enough times to see that righteous anger involves being angry at the things that anger God. So feeling anger at Satan's deceitfulness is acceptable (truth).<br /> <br /> I also began recognizing more how angry I became with  myself whenever I fell into sin, or performed imperfectly or made stupid mistakes. I was frequently unkind to myself in my inner dialogue. God's spirit gently convicted methat much of my angry self-talk was self-abusive...a continuation of the negatives about myself that I absorbed from my abusers. I believed I was incompetent. I believed I was a failure because I was imperfect. I believed I wasn't worth protecting or taking care of. I believed I was never going to be good enough. (All these beliefs were opposite of God's messages to us in the Bible. He hates sin but he loves us. He doesn't expect perfection. He didn't make a huge mistake in creating me. He didn't want me to hate myself). <br /> <br /> During my young adult years, I continued to repress any anger toward others.  I thought I just didn't do anger. I didn't feel anger over the abuse--just disappointment and resignation. I didn't feel anger when my boundaries were violated, I felt tired instead. I didn't feel anger when someone was cruel to me, I felt worry for the other and self-doubt toward myself. I didn't identify or acknowledge my anger, but sometimes I acted angry anyway.<br /> <br /> <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left;"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YvkjeC7FcMY/UksKOty_57I/AAAAAAAAAuw/QkfYJV6yzBI/s1600/file000453698099.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YvkjeC7FcMY/UksKOty_57I/AAAAAAAAAuw/QkfYJV6yzBI/s320/file000453698099.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo by Emanuele Cerroni <br /> <div class="location-and-url" style="line-height: 12pt; margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <a href="http://t.co/SMO6JEipVK" target="_blank" title="http://about.me/emanuelecerroni"><b><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 10.5pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;"><span style="color: #be6301;">about.me/emanuelecerroni </span></span></b></a></div> </td></tr> </tbody></table> In those same years, I discovered that I could, and did, become angry for the benefit of others. I felt angry when children were abused. I felt angry when I learned that a neighbor was being abused by her husband. I was fearless about banging on apartment doors or calling the police when I heard a man abusing his wife. I called the police without hesitation, when I witnessed a man attacking his girlfriend in a parking lot.<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a>It wasn't until I reached middle-aged that I was finally able to get in touch with the anger over abuse  done to me. I didn't like being treated that way. I didn't want anyone else to violate me again. I wasn't "okay with" any type of abuse.  Today, I don't choose to be in friendship with people who are comfortable abusing others. I choose nice people to be friends with. Today, I am more patient and understanding in my self-talk--even when I sin or make mistakes. Today, I can acknowledge my anger to myself and then give myself respect as I decide how I want to express or not express my anger to others. Anger is now one of many feelings I experience. Anger isn't bad; it's a signal that invites me to take note of myself, another person's behavior, and my boundaries. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><span style="font-family: "Calibri","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"></span><br /> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-family: "Trebuchet MS", sans-serif;">Related posts</span>:<br /> <br /> <a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/09/anger.html">Anger</a><br /> <br />  <a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/10/who-are-you-blaming.html">Who are You Blaming</a><br /> <br /> <a href="http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/04/anger.html">Anger?</a><br /> <br /> <span style="font-family: "Trebuchet MS", sans-serif;"></span><br /> <span style="font-family: "Trebuchet MS", sans-serif;">Tweetables</span>:<br /> <br /> <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Lies an Abuse Victim Told Herself about Anger <a href="http://clicktotweet.com/xO8y5">Click to Tweet</a></span><br /> <span style="font-family: inherit;"></span><br /> <span style="font-family: inherit;">Are Christians Allowed to Get Angry? <a href="http://clicktotweet.com/bXf4k">Click to Tweet</a></span><br /> <span style="font-family: inherit;"></span><br /> <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Abuse Breeds Un-Biblical Beliefs about Anger <a href="http://clicktotweet.com/e70A9">Click to Tweet</a></span><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2 class="username"> <span class="url editable-group"><span class="profile-field"></span></span> </h2> <br /> <br /> <div style='clear: both;'></div> </div> <div class='post-footer'> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'> <span class='post-author vcard'> Posted by <span class='fn' itemprop='author' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/Person'> <meta content='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' itemprop='url'/> <a class='g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' title='author profile'> <span itemprop='name'>Tanya T. Warrington</span> </a> </span> </span> <span class='post-timestamp'> at <meta content='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/lies-i-believed-part-1-anger-is-always.html' itemprop='url'/> <a class='timestamp-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/lies-i-believed-part-1-anger-is-always.html' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='published' itemprop='datePublished' title='2013-10-02T14:10:00-05:00'>2:10 PM</abbr></a> </span> <span class='reaction-buttons'> </span> <span class='post-comment-link'> <a class='comment-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208' onclick=''> No comments: </a> </span> <span class='post-backlinks post-comment-link'> </span> <span class='post-icons'> <span class='item-action'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208' title='Email Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='13' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> <span class='item-control blog-admin pid-732564204'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&from=pencil' title='Edit Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='post-share-buttons goog-inline-block'> <a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-email' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&target=email' target='_blank' title='Email This'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Email This</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-blog' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&target=blog' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=270,width=475"); return false;' target='_blank' title='BlogThis!'><span class='share-button-link-text'>BlogThis!</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-twitter' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&target=twitter' target='_blank' title='Share to Twitter'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Twitter</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-facebook' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&target=facebook' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=430,width=640"); return false;' target='_blank' title='Share to Facebook'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Facebook</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-pinterest' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3615768796831855208&target=pinterest' target='_blank' title='Share to Pinterest'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Pinterest</span></a><div class='goog-inline-block google-plus-share-container'><g:plusone source='blogger:blog:plusone' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/lies-i-believed-part-1-anger-is-always.html' size='medium' width='300' annotation='inline'/></div> </div> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'> <span class='post-labels'> Labels: <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Abuse%20recovery' rel='tag'>Abuse recovery</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Anger' rel='tag'>Anger</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Boundaries' rel='tag'>Boundaries</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Damage%20from%20Abuse' rel='tag'>Damage from Abuse</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Doormat%20Thinking' rel='tag'>Doormat Thinking</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/New%20Life' rel='tag'>New Life</a> </span> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'> <span class='post-location'> </span> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></div> <div class="date-outer"> <h2 class='date-header'><span>Thursday, June 27, 2013</span></h2> <div class="date-posts"> <div class='post-outer'> <div class='post hentry uncustomized-post-template' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting'> <meta content='7986270693452382001' itemprop='blogId'/> <meta content='4157341675398947753' itemprop='postId'/> <a name='4157341675398947753'></a> <h3 class='post-title entry-title' itemprop='name'> <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/letter-for-parents-with-sexually-abused.html'>Letter for Parents with a Sexually Abused Child</a> </h3> <div class='post-header'> <div class='post-header-line-1'></div> </div> <div class='post-body entry-content' id='post-body-4157341675398947753' itemprop='description articleBody'> Dear Fellow Parent,<br /> <br /> If you've just found out that your child has been sexually abused by someone you know, life is suddenly very stressful. What should you do? Who can you trust? How can you help your child? How can you cope with your own feelings of anger and betrayal?<br /> <br /> I've been in your shoes, twice (three kids one time and one kid another time). I don't have pat answers for you, but I feel lots of compassion for you and your child/children.  Most likely you feel like you're in the middle of a nightmare that simply cannot be true. You knew children are abused, but not your child. Not like this. Not by this trusted person.<br /> <br /> Chances are, you feel like you've failed your child. How did you not notice sooner? How could you have trusted the perpetrator? We all struggle with these thoughts when our precious child is harmed so seriously by someone we trusted. People who get pleasure out of sexually abusing children are good at what they do. They gain our trust and take advantage of that trust. It's what they do. They seem nice to you and your children. They are often helpful in some way. They often do fun things with the children, as they slowly but methodically prepare the way for future abuse. They are experts at fooling good people.<br /> <br /> You will be more able to help your child if you let go of guilt.  No one can protect their child from all harm all the time. No one can function well if they refuse to trust anyone. Admitting to your child that the offender was sneaky and had you totally fooled, will help your child accept his own experience of being tricked. You can reassure your child that if you had known you wouldn't have let this offender get close to the family. It will enable your child to begin feeling safer again.<br /> <br /> Helping your child while your own feelings are in a major upheaval isn't easy. I found it helped to get psychotherapy for myself, as well as for the child. It helped me to have a safe place to process my emotions. Taking care of myself helped me to do a better job of taking care of my hurting child. The more I'd dealt with my own anguish, the better I was able to listen to my child and to be present with them whenever they needed me to be there for them. The more I learned about sexual abuse and recovery, the more I was able to validate my child's feelings and thoughts. <br /> <br /> When our family went through this time of trauma, I learned many things by experience. I learned that I didn't feel like disciplining my child or holding them accountable to our routines. All I really wanted was to shower my child with love and reassurance. But, my kid still needed a parent and needed both rules and routines upheld. My child felt safer with the normalness. <br /> <br /> I also found that some new, temporary rules were needed to deal with my child's coping behaviors. It was no longer a good idea for my child to have a sleepover with anyone until he was far enough along in recovery he wasn't likely to offend another in the same way that he were offended. Instead of sleepovers at a buddy's--we had some living room sleepovers with one or both parents and siblings (since no parent or sibling had been the abuser). Like many sexually abused children, a couple of my kids began cutting themselves. I made a new rule that they weren't to close and lock their bedroom door--and if they did, they knew I would check them for new cut marks. When two of the children reverted to stormy tantrums--we agreed that I would not touch them unless they asked me for a hug, it helped the child to feel safer and more control of his body. We did not allow anyone in the family to keep tickling a family member who said no, because tickling is one grooming behavior that abusers can use to step over a child's boundaries and condition them to feel less powerful. <br /> <br /> Marriages are sometimes destroyed when a child is abused. Mine held together. How? I believe God helped us and we each learned big lessons in honoring our differences. We expressed grief, anger, sorrow, fear, and hope in different ways because of our different genders and personalities. We both learned that their isn't only one right way to deal with tragedy. We learned to be honest, painfully honest about ourselves and to be gentle and compassionate with one another. We learned to trust, respect, and love each other on an even deeper level than before.<br /> <br /> <br /> Your beliefs about God will be put to the test by this experience. You and your child will wonder where God was during the abuse. Why didn't God protect? Your feelings and questions are normal. I can share with you, that even though I felt tempted to quit believing in a good God, the whole experience actually brought me closer to God in the end. I was less niave about sin and more attached to God. I actually became more aware of God's goodness than I was prior to the abuse. God was there for my children and I while we walked through the valley of darkness.<br /> <br /> You have ahead of you several very rough years. It's going to take awhile to settle into a new normal. But I want to reassure you that you and your children can not only survive this time but you have a good future ahead. You and your child will grow. Strength comes from having a realistic understanding that the abuser cannot rob you of the opportunity to grow and change for the better. You will find that your child has a great capacity to heal and so do you. Both you and your child may find that your compassion for others grows bigger.<br /> <br /> I wish you all the best on your difficult journey. When you feel like quitting, I urge you to focus on making it through the next minute, hour, or day. When you feel like yelling at God, go ahead and let God know that. God can handle your anger and fear. When you feel like a horrible parent, give yourself the same care you'd give to a friend if they were going through what you're going through. When you don't know what to try next, pray, talk to a good psychologist and read about sexual abuse recovery. At first things may seem to get worse before they get better...but be assured things really will get better for your child and for you.  Hang in there--you and your children really will return to smiling and laughing after you walk through your grief and recovery.<br /> <br /> Love,<br /> A mom who has been there <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <div style='clear: both;'></div> </div> <div class='post-footer'> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'> <span class='post-author vcard'> Posted by <span class='fn' itemprop='author' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/Person'> <meta content='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' itemprop='url'/> <a class='g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' title='author profile'> <span itemprop='name'>Tanya T. Warrington</span> </a> </span> </span> <span class='post-timestamp'> at <meta content='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/letter-for-parents-with-sexually-abused.html' itemprop='url'/> <a class='timestamp-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/letter-for-parents-with-sexually-abused.html' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='published' itemprop='datePublished' title='2013-06-27T20:51:00-05:00'>8:51 PM</abbr></a> </span> <span class='reaction-buttons'> </span> <span class='post-comment-link'> <a class='comment-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753' onclick=''> No comments: </a> </span> <span class='post-backlinks post-comment-link'> </span> <span class='post-icons'> <span class='item-action'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753' title='Email Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='13' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> <span class='item-control blog-admin pid-732564204'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&from=pencil' title='Edit Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='post-share-buttons goog-inline-block'> <a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-email' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&target=email' target='_blank' title='Email This'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Email This</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-blog' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&target=blog' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=270,width=475"); return false;' target='_blank' title='BlogThis!'><span class='share-button-link-text'>BlogThis!</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-twitter' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&target=twitter' target='_blank' title='Share to Twitter'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Twitter</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-facebook' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&target=facebook' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=430,width=640"); return false;' target='_blank' title='Share to Facebook'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Facebook</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-pinterest' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=4157341675398947753&target=pinterest' target='_blank' title='Share to Pinterest'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Pinterest</span></a><div class='goog-inline-block google-plus-share-container'><g:plusone source='blogger:blog:plusone' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/letter-for-parents-with-sexually-abused.html' size='medium' width='300' annotation='inline'/></div> </div> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'> <span class='post-labels'> </span> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'> <span class='post-location'> </span> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></div> <div class="date-outer"> <h2 class='date-header'><span>Thursday, June 13, 2013</span></h2> <div class="date-posts"> <div class='post-outer'> <div class='post hentry uncustomized-post-template' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting'> <meta content='7986270693452382001' itemprop='blogId'/> <meta content='3612178798179131498' itemprop='postId'/> <a name='3612178798179131498'></a> <h3 class='post-title entry-title' itemprop='name'> <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/liar-liar-wish-your-pants-were-on-fire.html'>Liar, Liar, Wish Your Pants were on Fire</a> </h3> <div class='post-header'> <div class='post-header-line-1'></div> </div> <div class='post-body entry-content' id='post-body-3612178798179131498' itemprop='description articleBody'> I saw a t.v. show recently with an excellent example of a skillful liar. The scene had a straight talking friend and a liar. The friend asked a direct question about whether he was involved in a dangerous situation. The liar gave a clever non-answer of "Wouldn't I tell you if that was so?" The friend tried with another direct question, "Are you saying that you knew nothing about this problem?" They practiced liar responded vaguely again, "I believe that is what I implied."<br /> What he implied? Yes. A statement of truth? No. Make the friend feel like a heel for asking the original question? Yes.<br /> <br /> It reminds me of so many conversations with the abusers of my past.<br /> <br /> Someone who abuses and lies is no fun to live with. Most of us want to believe and trust others, so it can take a long time for us to acknowledge when someone is lying to us or about us on a regular basis. Unfortunately, by the time we understand the compulsive lying, we've already stomached a lot of lies.<br /> <br /> Some clues that another is lying:<br /> 1. Won't give you a direct answer. Instead, the liar gives you an answer that implies something or steers you toward believing something they are intentionally not saying.<br /> 2. The story changes as it is retold.<br /> 3. She speaks so many words about something trivial that you never manage to finish asking the question you wanted to ask.<br /> 4. He blends some true details with some sound-like-it-could-be-true details.<br /> 5. She changes the subject--frequently --leading everyone far away from the serious concern.<br /> 6. You hear him say things regularly to others that totally misrepresent what you know to be the truth. If he'll lie regularly to others, he'll lie to you too.<br /> 7. If she regularly says "you don't trust me" or "you offend me" or "of course, you would think that" or "I can't believe you'd think I was lying,"then be wary. The liar is focused on getting the spotlight off of himself and onto you.<br /> 8. He leaves you in a state of confusion frequently. You tried to ask a question and what you get back is so convoluted or condescending that you suspect that you are not qualified to ask any questions and you drop the subject.<br /> 9. When nothing makes sense she may be hiding the truth.When she is speaking it all seems to make sense, but after she leaves the room you are completely unsure what she just said. She sounded helpful or honest, but what the heck did she just say? <br /> 10. His version of the story sounds so sincere it hurts to keep pressing for answers. If the story doesn't line up with known facts, it is the story that is fishy. For example he says he needs you to pay because he has no money, and half an hour later you see that he has lots of money in his wallet. <br /> 11. When she keeps telling you that "they" messed up, you should wonder. "They made a mistake, why would I go to a hotel?"<br /> 12. If someone says, "You don't believe me? Then call my boss!",  that's a dare he doesn't want you to accept. Take it literally, call and check.<br /> <br /> It would be so much easier if their pants really did catch on fire or their noses would grow. <div style='clear: both;'></div> </div> <div class='post-footer'> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'> <span class='post-author vcard'> Posted by <span class='fn' itemprop='author' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/Person'> <meta content='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' itemprop='url'/> <a class='g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' title='author profile'> <span itemprop='name'>Tanya T. Warrington</span> </a> </span> </span> <span class='post-timestamp'> at <meta content='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/liar-liar-wish-your-pants-were-on-fire.html' itemprop='url'/> <a class='timestamp-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/liar-liar-wish-your-pants-were-on-fire.html' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='published' itemprop='datePublished' title='2013-06-13T18:57:00-05:00'>6:57 PM</abbr></a> </span> <span class='reaction-buttons'> </span> <span class='post-comment-link'> <a class='comment-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498' onclick=''> No comments: </a> </span> <span class='post-backlinks post-comment-link'> </span> <span class='post-icons'> <span class='item-action'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498' title='Email Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='13' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> <span class='item-control blog-admin pid-732564204'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&from=pencil' title='Edit Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='post-share-buttons goog-inline-block'> <a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-email' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&target=email' target='_blank' title='Email This'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Email This</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-blog' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&target=blog' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=270,width=475"); return false;' target='_blank' title='BlogThis!'><span class='share-button-link-text'>BlogThis!</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-twitter' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&target=twitter' target='_blank' title='Share to Twitter'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Twitter</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-facebook' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&target=facebook' onclick='window.open(this.href, "_blank", "height=430,width=640"); return false;' target='_blank' title='Share to Facebook'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Facebook</span></a><a class='goog-inline-block share-button sb-pinterest' href='https://www.blogger.com/share-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=3612178798179131498&target=pinterest' target='_blank' title='Share to Pinterest'><span class='share-button-link-text'>Share to Pinterest</span></a><div class='goog-inline-block google-plus-share-container'><g:plusone source='blogger:blog:plusone' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/liar-liar-wish-your-pants-were-on-fire.html' size='medium' width='300' annotation='inline'/></div> </div> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'> <span class='post-labels'> Labels: <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Abuse%20recovery' rel='tag'>Abuse recovery</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Emotional%20Abuse' rel='tag'>Emotional Abuse</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Perpetrators' rel='tag'>Perpetrators</a>, <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Warning%20Signs' rel='tag'>Warning Signs</a> </span> </div> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'> <span class='post-location'> </span> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></div> <div class="date-outer"> <h2 class='date-header'><span>Sunday, June 9, 2013</span></h2> <div class="date-posts"> <div class='post-outer'> <div class='post hentry uncustomized-post-template' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting'> <meta content='7986270693452382001' itemprop='blogId'/> <meta content='1202073000609819478' itemprop='postId'/> <a name='1202073000609819478'></a> <h3 class='post-title entry-title' itemprop='name'> <a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-you-call-police.html'>Should you Call the Police?</a> </h3> <div class='post-header'> <div class='post-header-line-1'></div> </div> <div class='post-body entry-content' id='post-body-1202073000609819478' itemprop='description articleBody'> When your child is sexually abused by a friend or relative the blow crushes. I know because I've been there. You're  forced to deal with broken relationship with someone you trusted, as well as dealing with your child's trauma. It feels awful. <br /> <br /> It takes strength, but for the sake of your child and the other children in your community, you need to report to the proper law enforcement the crimes that have been committed against your child. It doesn't feel good when you do it.  You feel shame that you weren't able to protect your child. You feel sad and torn because it doesn't feel loving to report someone you love to the police. You are struggling to cope with it--you might have nightmares, you might feel intense anger that you don't know how to accept, you might feel fearful and wonder who else around you isn't trustworthy. You might feel like your whole world is falling apart and you just want to hide your head under your bed covers. You may feel desperate to help your child but feel totally unequipped for the situation and clueless about how to help him or her. You might fret over whether your child is telling you an accurate story about what happened--what if you're falsely accusing another? Take comfort in knowing that it is very rare for children to falsely accuse another of sexual crimes. Also take comfort in knowing that both you and your child have experienced trauma and shock and that by facing the truth you will both eventually heal.<br /> <br /> <br /> At first, telling the truth to law enforcement may seem to only make life more difficult and painful. The offender will probably deny what they did (at least initially) and will accuse your child of lying or misunderstanding. The friend or relative will reassure you that they would never harm a child. If the perpetrator does eventually confess his abusive actions, he likely will claim that he would never do this again and that you should show your forgiveness by dropping the court case or allowing the perpetrator to have continued contact with your child. Other relatives or friends may also pressure you about "making too big a deal" about his "mistake." They may be angry with you for "rocking the boat." They may blame you for ruining the perpetrator's life. Remember that abuse isn't a mistake and abusers don't voluntarily give up abusing without intensive professional help. It may also help to remember that experts believe that by the time a sexual abuser is caught he is on his 6th-7th victim. <br /> <br /> <br /> From my personal experiences as an abused child and as a parent of abused children, I know that reporting the crime to the proper authorities will help your child heal. He will feel believed. He will feel safer. Keeping silent about the abuse, on the other hand, can increase your child's sense of shame, lack of security and safety. Sometimes parents wonder if  not talking about the abuse will help the child forget and be less traumatized about the whole incident. However, hiding the abuse doesn't make the child have permanent amnesia about what happened--it just makes them feel worse about what happened and much worse about themselves. You have the opportunity to be your child's advocate and to help them navigate a difficult experience with your love wrapped around him or her.<br /> <br /> In addition to helping your own child, you are doing your community a service when you report the abuse. It might protect other children from the same fate at the hands of your child's perpetrator. Silence guarantees that your relative or friend will have the ability to continue abusing--and getting away with it.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, reporting the crime that has been committed also gives the relative or friend who perpetrated crime against your child the opportunity to tell the truth and to receive help for his or her problem. He or she won't thank you for doing it--but in the long-run, you're giving him or her the opportunity for a better life.<br /> <br /> Sometimes parents want to preserve the relationship with the perpetrator--they don't want to face the loss of a sibling or parent or friend. But keeping the secret can never erase the damage that was done to your relationship, no matter what you say or do. Trust has been broken. It seems surreal to call a friend or relative a "perpetrator," but if that is what they do in secret then it is the only appropriate terminology. A friend who abuses children, isn't the friend you thought they were--and exposing them is a difficult but necessary tough-love type of decision.<br /> <br /> A relative who abuses your child will not get better with a family chat--they need at least 2-3 years of intensive psychotherapy to have even a chance of resisting the urge to abuse more children in the future.  To try to continue on as if nothing really happened only opens the door for your child to be re-victimized and reinforces the abuser's belief that he or she is entitled to treat children however he or she wants. The abuser is driven by a conviction that his or her own pleasure is all that matters. Getting in trouble with the law and receiving help from psychologists is the only way that an abuser might learn to care about how his or her abusive actions affect others. <br /> <br /> It isn't easy, and many people don't understand how abuse works or how powerfully secrecy works against the victims--but years down the line, you and your child won't regret your call to tell the police about the crime committed against your child. Together you and your child will face the flood of emotions and sort out the confusing thoughts and will emerge as stronger and more loving people. <br /> <br /> <div style='clear: both;'></div> </div> <div class='post-footer'> <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'> <span class='post-author vcard'> Posted by <span class='fn' itemprop='author' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/Person'> <meta content='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' itemprop='url'/> <a class='g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' title='author profile'> <span itemprop='name'>Tanya T. Warrington</span> </a> </span> </span> <span class='post-timestamp'> at <meta content='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-you-call-police.html' itemprop='url'/> <a class='timestamp-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-you-call-police.html' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='published' itemprop='datePublished' title='2013-06-09T12:02:00-05:00'>12:02 PM</abbr></a> </span> <span class='reaction-buttons'> </span> <span class='post-comment-link'> <a class='comment-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=1202073000609819478' onclick=''> No comments: </a> </span> <span class='post-backlinks post-comment-link'> </span> <span class='post-icons'> <span class='item-action'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=7986270693452382001&postID=1202073000609819478' title='Email Post'> <img alt='' class='icon-action' height='13' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif' 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href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Perpetrators'>Perpetrators</a> <span dir='ltr'>(10)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Physical%20Abuse'>Physical Abuse</a> <span dir='ltr'>(10)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Poetry'>Poetry</a> <span dir='ltr'>(22)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Post%20Traumatic%20Stress%20Disorder'>Post Traumatic Stress Disorder</a> <span dir='ltr'>(6)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Powerless'>Powerless</a> <span dir='ltr'>(8)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Rape'>Rape</a> <span dir='ltr'>(6)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Recovery'>Recovery</a> <span dir='ltr'>(43)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Response%20to%20abuse'>Response to abuse</a> <span dir='ltr'>(38)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Restoration'>Restoration</a> <span dir='ltr'>(16)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Satanic%20Ritual%20Abuse'>Satanic Ritual Abuse</a> <span dir='ltr'>(2)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Self-care'>Self-care</a> <span dir='ltr'>(26)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Self-Esteem'>Self-Esteem</a> <span dir='ltr'>(11)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Sexual%20abuse'>Sexual abuse</a> <span dir='ltr'>(12)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Shame'>Shame</a> <span dir='ltr'>(19)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Trust'>Trust</a> <span dir='ltr'>(9)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Verbal%20Abuse'>Verbal Abuse</a> <span dir='ltr'>(9)</span> </li> <li> <a dir='ltr' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/search/label/Warning%20Signs'>Warning Signs</a> <span dir='ltr'>(17)</span> </li> </ul> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=Label&widgetId=Label1&action=editWidget§ionId=main' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("Label1"));' target='configLabel1' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div> </div><div class='widget TextList' data-version='1' id='TextList1'> <h2>Recommended Books</h2> <div class='widget-content'> <ul> <li>10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing</li> <li>A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner</li> <li>Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom</li> <li>Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis</li> <li>Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend</li> <li>Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw</li> <li>Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger</li> <li>Codependent No More by Melody Beattie</li> <li>Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar</li> <li>Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune</li> <li>Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.</li> <li>Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden</li> <li>Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend</li> <li>Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good</li> <li>The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell</li> <li>The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.</li> <li>The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee</li> <li>Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green</li> <li>When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson</li> <li>Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft</li> </ul> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=TextList&widgetId=TextList1&action=editWidget§ionId=main' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("TextList1"));' target='configTextList1' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div> </div></div> </div></div> <div id='sidebar-wrap'> <div id='sidebartop-wrap'><div id='sidebartop-wrap2'> <div class='sidebar section' id='sidebartop'><div class='widget Text' data-version='1' id='Text2'> <h2 class='title'>Web Safety Tips</h2> <div class='widget-content'> If you live with your abuser, be aware that he/she can trace your internet activity on your home computer. It would be safest to use a public library computer or a friend's computer.<br/><br/>When you leave comments on this site you can remain anonymous or use a new screen name.<br/> </div> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=Text&widgetId=Text2&action=editWidget§ionId=sidebartop' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("Text2"));' target='configText2' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div><div class='widget Text' data-version='1' id='Text1'> <h2 class='title'>Welcome</h2> <div class='widget-content'> Being abused by another hurts deeply and creates many challenges. But you don't have to settle for merely being a survivor. You can become an overcomer with dazzling wings.<br/><br/>You might feel worthless--but you are not. You are valuable to the creator of the universe. A new life of freedom, peace, and joy awaits. Facing abuse, ending it, and healing from it is a huge journey that leaves behind hopelessness, embracing new life.<br/><br/>Just like myself and other abuse survivors, you can unfurl dazzling wings with the help of Jesus Christ.<br/><br/>This journey is possible. I've done it and so have other formerly abused women and men who have shared their stories with me. Come join us on a life-giving journey of change.<br/><br/><br/> </div> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=Text&widgetId=Text1&action=editWidget§ionId=sidebartop' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("Text1"));' target='configText1' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div><div class='widget LinkList' data-version='1' id='LinkList1'> <h2>Helpful Resources</h2> <div class='widget-content'> <ul> <li><a href='http://www.focusministries1.org/'>Focus Ministries</a></li> <li><a href='http://www.ndvh.org/'>National Domestic Violence Hotline</a></li> <li><a href='http://www.peaceandsafety.com/'>Peace And Safety in the Christian Home</a></li> <li><a href='http://www.projectsafegirls.com/'>Project Safe Girls</a></li> <li><a href='http://www.rainn.org/'>Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network</a></li> <li><a href='http://www.thesilverbraid.org/'>The Silver Braid</a></li> <li><a href='http://timesupblog.blogspot.com/'>Times Up!</a></li> <li><a href='http://witnessjustice.org/'>Witness Justice: Help and Healing for Victims of Violence</a></li> </ul> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=LinkList&widgetId=LinkList1&action=editWidget§ionId=sidebartop' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("LinkList1"));' target='configLinkList1' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div> </div></div> </div></div> <div id='sidebarbottom-wrap1'><div id='sidebarbottom-wrap2'> <div class='sidebar section' id='sidebar'><div class='widget HTML' data-version='1' id='HTML3'> <h2 class='title'>Email Subscriptions powered by FeedBlitz</h2> <div class='widget-content'> <form id="feedblitz" action="http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Track" name="feedblitz" method="POST"><p>Your email address:<br/><input maxlength="255" value="" name="EMAIL" size="20" type="text"/><br/><input value="" name="FEEDID" type="hidden"/><input value="9715266" name="PUBLISHER" type="hidden"/><input value="Get email updates" type="submit"/><br/>Powered by <a href="http://www.feedblitz.com">FeedBlitz</a></p></form><script language="javascript" src="http://www.feedblitz.com/js/typepad-widget.js"></script> </div> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=HTML&widgetId=HTML3&action=editWidget§ionId=sidebar' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("HTML3"));' target='configHTML3' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div><div class='widget Profile' data-version='1' id='Profile1'> <h2>About Me</h2> <div class='widget-content'> <a href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482'><img alt='My photo' class='profile-img' height='80' src='//2.bp.blogspot.com/-1lvadyEF37E/UbDC9iVpRnI/AAAAAAAAAto/uYkqxurM8cQ/s80/3.jpg' width='62'/></a> <dl class='profile-datablock'> <dt class='profile-data'> <a class='profile-name-link g-profile' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author' style='background-image: url(//www.blogger.com/img/logo-16.png);'> Tanya T. Warrington </a> </dt> <dd class='profile-data'>Masonville, CO, United States</dd> <dd class='profile-textblock'>For thirty-five years, I felt worthless. It seemed like I wore a sign across my chest inviting others to abuse me. Unfortunately, I had an abundance of personal experience with being a victim of domestic violence, incest, emotional abuse, physical abuse, date rape, verbal abuse, and spiritual abuse. And then I experienced being the mother and stepmother of children who were assaulted by a pedophile.I felt like a cursed woman. Since multiple people felt comfortable assualting me and then my children I assumed that there was something wrong with me. I had let me myself down in some unknown, mysterious way. What if God let me down, too? One day, in desperation, I prayed asking God to end the abuse. God heard. He rescued me. He continues to heal me. His kindness, grace, and mercy far exceed anything I could’ve imagined or hoped for. He has given me dazzling wings to soar above the pain of past abuse, spreading His message of hope: God does not approve of violence in any of its manifestations. He rescues those who cry out to Him. He heals the wounded.</dd> </dl> <a class='profile-link' href='https://www.blogger.com/profile/00838074093892841482' rel='author'>View my complete profile</a> <div class='clear'></div> <span class='widget-item-control'> <span class='item-control blog-admin'> <a class='quickedit' href='//www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=7986270693452382001&widgetType=Profile&widgetId=Profile1&action=editWidget§ionId=sidebar' onclick='return _WidgetManager._PopupConfig(document.getElementById("Profile1"));' target='configProfile1' title='Edit'> <img alt='' height='18' src='https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_wrench_allbkg.png' width='18'/> </a> </span> </span> <div class='clear'></div> </div> </div><div class='widget BlogArchive' data-version='1' id='BlogArchive1'> <h2>Blog Archive</h2> <div class='widget-content'> <div id='ArchiveList'> <div id='BlogArchive1_ArchiveList'> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2014/'> 2014 </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2014/01/'> January </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate expanded'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy toggle-open'> ▼  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/'> 2013 </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(21)</span> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate expanded'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy toggle-open'> ▼  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/12/'> December </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> <ul class='posts'> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/12/holiday-update-for-readers.html'>Holiday Update for Readers</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/'> November </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> <ul class='posts'> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-6no-way-out-when.html'>Lies I Believed (Part 6)_No Way Out When You're a ...</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-5what-happens-at.html'>Lies I Believed (Part 5)_What Happens at Home, Sta...</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/11/lies-i-believed-part-4submission-means.html'>Lies I Believed (Part 4)_Submission Means Acceptin...</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/'> October </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> <ul class='posts'> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/liies-i-told-myself-part-3my-job-to.html'>Liies I Told Myself (Part 3)_My Job to Heal and Fi...</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/lies-believed-part-2-criticism-meant-i.html'>Lies I Believed (Part 2)--Criticism Meant I Had Fa...</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/10/lies-i-believed-part-1-anger-is-always.html'>Lies I Believed (Part 1): Anger is always Bad</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/'> June </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(4)</span> <ul class='posts'> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/letter-for-parents-with-sexually-abused.html'>Letter for Parents with a Sexually Abused Child</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/liar-liar-wish-your-pants-were-on-fire.html'>Liar, Liar, Wish Your Pants were on Fire</a></li> <li><a href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-you-call-police.html'>Should you Call the Police?</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/05/'> May </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/04/'> April </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/02/'> February </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2013/01/'> January </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/'> 2012 </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(10)</span> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/12/'> December </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/10/'> October </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(2)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/09/'> September </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/08/'> August </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(4)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2012/07/'> July </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(2)</span> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/'> 2010 </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(11)</span> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/05/'> May </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/04/'> April </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/03/'> March </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(3)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/02/'> February </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(2)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2010/01/'> January </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(4)</span> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/'> 2009 </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(63)</span> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/12/'> December </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(4)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/11/'> November </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(7)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/10/'> October </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(13)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/09/'> September </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(6)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/08/'> August </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(1)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/06/'> June </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(4)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/05/'> May </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(8)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/04/'> April </a> <span class='post-count' dir='ltr'>(17)</span> </li> </ul> <ul class='hierarchy'> <li class='archivedate collapsed'> <a class='toggle' href='javascript:void(0)'> <span class='zippy'> ►  </span> </a> <a class='post-count-link' href='http://dazzlingwings.blogspot.com/2009/03/'> 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