“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be
delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
It’s almost exactly 16 years since I left my abusive husband after 18 years of marriage, but I can still remember clearly some of the feelings that overshadowed that dark season. Having shared many experiences that I thought might be unique to me, I have been amazed at how many of my thought processes are far more common in the lives of other abuse victims than I ever imagined.
Continue reading An Abuse Victim’s Secret Fantasy
“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15
It happens all the time. A victim of abuse finds the courage to step out of the shadows of her shame and fear to reveal the truth about what has happened to her. The trauma she has endured may be a result of molestation or rape, physical abuse, and/or verbal or emotional abuse. She wants to believe that, once she shares her terrible secret, the people to whom she reaches out will hear her, validate her and comfort her. But as horrible and shocking as it may seem, she may not receive what she needs. For reasons that defy logic, many may rise to defend her perpetrator, and she may instead find herself shamed and shunned and even persecuted. Such is the absurdity of the See-No-Evil Disconnect. Continue reading The See-No-Evil Disconnect: Abandoning Victims to Protect the Status Quo
It is a strange thing to invest so much energy into convincing yourself that your relationship is normal only to one day be jolted by the reality that there is nothing normal about it, to be forced to admit that your relationship is patently unhealthy, destructive, and yes, abusive. Continue reading Three Words Every Abuse Victim Needs to Hear
Dear friend, I have no idea how long you might listen before you decide to shut me out. But what I have to say is important, and I hope you will give me just a few precious minutes to share what is on my heart.
What I need to say may change how you see yourself and even, perhaps, the course of your life. Please consider my words. My prayer in this moment is that you might give yourself permission to be completely honest with yourself. Listen to what your heart says. You will know if what I am saying is true.
You see, I know a lot more about you than you might imagine. I know you think no one knows what is going on in your little corner of the world.
But I know.
Continue reading Give Me Five Minutes (Things I Would Like to Say To An Abuse Victim)
They don’t want to hear my stories. They refuse to believe what I say.
“Show me your scars,” they tell me, crossing their arms in disdain. “Prove to me the harm he has done. Without physical proof of your pain, I have to assume you have none.”
I suppose it is easy for the outsider to distrust wounds for which there is no physical evidence. And I confess, such indifference further adds to my pain.
If only he would hit me. Sometimes I wish he would. Then they might understand what he has put me through, how much it hurts, that some of the deepest wounds never bleed. Maybe if my bones were broken, if blood flowed from all the hurting places, the cynics and know-it-alls would not be so quick to downplay my fears or tell me that the things he does or says are inconsequential.
Continue reading If Only He Would Hit Me