This is a story from one of our readers. She was married to a pastor in the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention.) Sweet Elizabeth was abused spiritually for a long time after she made the brave decision to leave her abuser. Very few people believed her story. She is now happily re-married to a wonderful and godly man and lives a very victorious life. We are proud of Elizabeth and pray that this gives our readers hope.
Extreme psychological, physical, emotional and pet abuse.
Here is Elizabeth’s Story . . .
A few weeks after we got married, I went shopping with my mom while “Jim” was working at the airport on a Sunday afternoon. Not being one to go shopping much, I figured that Jim wouldn’t be upset if I spent $15 and Mom spent the other $15. I called him to ask him if it was okay, and he didn’t answer. So, I left him a voicemail, figuring that he wouldn’t mind. Mom and I bought the dresses and that night when Jim came home, I was anxious to show him what I had bought and try everything on for him to see. His reaction was very unpleasant. He was upset with me for spending the money. He told me that I was “ruining his life” by spending his money . He got angry very fast, and soon, he was screaming very loudly. I started to cry. He grabbed several $1 bills and ripped them in half. Then, he stapled them around the house, next to every light switch. He told me that was to remind me to turn off lights so that we would save money. He told me that I couldn’t just “ go spend money” without first getting his approval. I had to ask him first. I didn’t “need” those dresses, and he said I disrespected him by spending without first telling him.
It wasn’t long before Jim began to direct abusive speech towards me. I soon became familiar with being told to shut up. My family never told each other to shut up, so it was so very hurtful to me. I also became familiar with being called a b*tch. He also said “f*ck you” to me on several occasions, and sometimes gave me the middle finger as well. A few times, he told me to “just go die.” Again, if I cried, he would be furious and tell me to stop it immediately. He always blamed me for making him so upset, so I believed him and thought everything was my fault. This resulted in me trying to change to conform to what he wanted in a wife.
I remember one time when we bought an old car as a fixer-upper. The steering wheel was a little wobbly, so I wanted to drive with two hands. Jim told me that he wanted me to drive the car with just one hand, as “practice.” I responded that I did not want to do that. Jim quickly got angry, and told me that if I would not drive the car with one hand, he would “slap me as hard as he could” to get me to listen. I started to cry, but drove with one hand so I wouldn’t get “in trouble” with him. The car wobbled all over the road as I tried my best to drive it the way he wanted me to.
I remember the day before Thanksgiving in 2007. I don’t remember what was going on, but I do know that my feelings were hurt and I told Jim I wanted to be left alone for a few minutes. I went into the computer room and locked the door. I told him I wanted some alone time with God, just to pray, and settle down. He told me to open the door, and when I didn’t, he started banging on it very hard. He threatened to knock the door down, and at first I didn’t believe him. It was when I heard a loud “crack!” that I opened the door. He left two very noticeable cracks in the door from pounding on it so hard.
There were several times when Jim pushed and shoved me. There were also a few times that he pulled my hair to get my attention. A couple times, he smacked me, but not enough to leave a bruise, so I thought it was sort of okay. (He never smacked me in the face). I know now that it was definitely not okay. You never slap your spouse, no matter how lightly you may do it.
We bought a puppy, and one day she used the bathroom on the floor (as many puppies do), and Jim became furious. He stood over me and screamed at me (while the puppy was standing there watching). He threw a rag at me and demanded that I scrub the floor. I started to scrub the floor, and he grabbed the rag out of my hand and said I wasn’t doing it right. He showed me how HE wanted it done, and then threw the rag at me again. Another time, I was asleep in the bed with our puppy. Jim was working on school work in another room. It was around midnight, and I awoke to Jim beating the poor animal as hard as he could. I noticed that she had chewed a hole in our comforter. Maybe I should have put her in her kennel for the night, but she was just a baby! I begged Jim to stop, but he refused. He grabbed her by her front and back legs and hit her very hard. She was yelping and crying and making sounds I’ve never heard a dog make. He dragged her on the carpet and dragged her down the stairs, where he beat her some more. This went on for a few minutes, and then he threw her into her kennel very hard. She made a loud “thud” as she was thrown against the metal bars. I cried so hard, and again, Jim said I was not allowed to touch her the rest of the night. She looked so sad and I just wanted to cuddle with her and make sure she was all right. Jim then told me that if she chewed up another comforter, he would take her out into the back yard and shoot her. He said it was a promise. It was then that I thought to myself, “What if we had children? Would he do that to them if they messed up?”
Some friends brought a movie to our house one night and it contained a lot of nudity. I was very upset with it being shown in our house. After the movie was over, Jim told me that if I thought that was bad, he would show me something really bad. I knew exactly what he was talking about, and I did not want to have anything to do with it. He took me upstairs into the computer room and proceeded to go to some pornographic web sites. I cried and cried and begged him to stop, but he told me I needed to see something really bad so I would no longer have any issues with nudity in movies. He must have scrolled through the pictures for an hour. They were so disgusting. I cried so hard. I had never viewed anything like that, and to this day, I can’t forget what I saw on the screen. He basically forced me to look at the pictures. Jim pointed out some girls on the web sites that he thought were pretty. He described some of the pictures as “beautiful” or like “artwork.” He told me that he could look at all these pictures without lusting after the women in them because he had “self-control.” However, after he finished, he wanted to be intimate with me right away.
He threatened to kill me a few times. Once, we were driving down the road and I had just about had it with his abusive ways. I told him I was thinking about moving home to stay with my parents, and he said he could crash the car and kill both of us because if he couldn’t have me, nobody could. He then proceeded to slam the small Honda into a shallow ditch. The bumper was hanging off the back of the car. He said, “See! You’re still alive!”
I finally escaped my abusive marriage after two years of horror. It has taken me a few years to get past some of this horror but much of it will stay with me for the rest of my life. The church abandoned me and the spiritual abuse went on for months. It took me a very long time to return to church and I will NEVER go to an SBC church again. I am so thankful that God brought me out of slavery and hell and has given me a new chance at life.