A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

“I Thought I Would Feel Better” (or, as Barb would say, “I Thot I would Feel Bettah”)

As you all can imagine, Barbara and I have spent oodles of time discussing . . . well, just about everything. It has been like my sister and I have picked up from where we left off (only we just *really* met). I do not know if it is having similar pasts . . . or having shared so much of our lives through emails and blog posts . . . or simply the pure unity of the Holy Spirit, but Barb and I are natural kindred spirits. I do not know how many times one of us has said, “That should be a blog post” after a discussion (oft amid the chaos of all my little ones sweetly crowding around both of us!). One of these topics has permeated my thoughts since Barb arrived. And I have seen this topic played out in my life and in many of the lives of my sisters and brothers only recently . . .

When I first left my ex, I expected to discover invigorating freedom. In fact, I think I half believed everything would be easy (I am not sure why I thought that since I did not have a job, nor money . . . nor a place to live, and so on). But, for whatever reason, I was under the impression that, by leaving him, life would suddenly have joy. To be sure, the black cloud that had hung over my heart was gone. And I no longer wanted to die. And the children and I laughed (like, deep, tension-releasing belly laughs) for the first time in ages. But, I soon began to see that life was starting to surge into a roller-coaster-type-of-crazy, and I was just as helpless to stop it as I would be to stop a train from going downhill.

There were times where I did feel intense freedom — almost too much to handle. But I alternated between adrenaline and utter despair. I truly was, for the first time in my life, somewhat imbalanced. My children might not have known this. It was something that came out in my prayer life . . . or at night as I cried muffled cries into my pillow. My body, mind and soul could not adjust to this new life. This is part of why Barb and I believe that the idea of smooth sailing immediately after a person has left his or her abuser is a myth.

Another reason for this misunderstanding is that post-separation abuse is rampant. Most of us did not know what to even call it. Stalking, phone calls, texts, emails, harassment . . . and then the “pecking” we would receive from all the people our ex contacted. Plus, children who needed us. Add to that basic survival (“How will I live?!”) or poverty. Perhaps little support from those we surely thought would support us. How could we possibly revel in our new-found freedom in the midst of such emotional and practical chaos? No . . . it is something we think will happen and hope will happen but the road to healing is much longer than that.

Another reason for the inability to embrace our freedom is that, while we were in the abusive situation, we were oppressed. We routinely suppressed our emotions. Perhaps we were told by the ‘c’hurch that showing emotion was sinful. Perhaps our spouses became angry at us when we cried. Or maybe, we had to “grey rock” our abuser(s). In any case, being able to experience the full spectrum of emotions was a “no-no” and, after leaving, those emotions often well up from somewhere very guttural . . . and begin to spill out everywhere. It is quite messy. And not at becoming a person who has “found freedom”. No . . . no. It is not a pretty picture. Not at all. All of a sudden, we experience deep grief . . . fear, shame . . . HAPPINESS . . . fear, grief. Something like that.

This may go on for 3 months, 6 months or longer. It is not at all uncommon for these emotions to continue to surface for several years, in fact. The good news is that if we allow ourselves to experience these emotions, sort through them, look them in the eye to find out where they are coming from . . . we can heal. And then, the hope is that, after we have dealt with much of the woundedness (because we will surely always have new things to deal with), we begin to experience the peace (not a perfect or easy life . . . peace as in a calm faith during the affliction) we never thought we would. And the sense of freedom sets in and things become stable and even-keeled — maybe — for the first time in our lives. Now and then, God brings something up out of my “vault” that is somewhat monstrous . . . something I had not dealt with. And I grieve and I talk and I write and I cry and then . . . healing begins to set in. I do not know how long this will last but, I am a pretty intense gal and I intend to deal with all that comes up. I know it will take time. And that needs to be OK with all of us.

A friend once wisely told me, “You can either walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . . or you can run like hell.” I intend to run.

49 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Wonderful Post! Thank You. Lisa

  2. coco

    Wow, thanks for the timely post! This is almost exactly what I said to myself. I’m only 6 months post-separation and thought I had already been through hell so this part would be a breeze. But the truth is, divorcing an abuser is hard. It’s worth it! But it is a war zone. There is so much unknown! Thank God that I have the most important known in him and can finally live the life I was created for! I have no idea what that is, but I do know that I will get there. For me I have to fight the urge to become a hermit. Even though I now have the freedom to chat on the phone or leave the house whenever I want, I still tend to want to be still. Maybe that is part of healing, since life is so hectic right now. But I literally force myself to go to every sporting event/school function/whatever with a smile on my face. My therapist told me that probably around 2 years post signing of papers/walking out of the courthouse, will I feel normal again. In the meantime, I have been taking things one day at a time, one memory at a time, knowing that I will be ok and that even though this is hard, it is better, and even though there isn’t complete freedom, I can see it in the distance and that is what I’m headed toward.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      two years after all the paperwork signing…that sounds about right. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course he’s going for another round of court/paperwork! Just want it done!!!

  3. WOW! I think I am going to print that last quote out and carry it everywhere with me :) I have found my poetry to be a bit bi-polar lately for the very reasons that you describe above. I have found intense healing in taking the time to write a poem about each emotion as it arises. Facing the feelings head on, no matter how crazy (and those who have read my poems know sometimes they can be a bit crazy) I think my feeling are. The most amazing thing about the whole experience, though is that I can’t write a poem without at least two people telling me that they know that feeling!!
    I thought it would be better, I thought I could just walk away, have a month or two of healing, and then be HAPPY the rest of my life. I don’t know why I thought that…even without the healing and the post abuse and the triggers I am still a single mom of three, living with her parents and jobless. WHY on earth did I think this was going to be easy???

    • Bethany, I can sooo relate. For me ( except for the initial shock and adjustment to my marriage being destroyed and having to make the most difficult decision of my life) the first year was bliss. Then the hardness of my situation kicked in when I filed for divorce-that is when he started to fight and things started getting really stressful. Easy is over-now my fight truly begins.

  4. Still Healing & Growing

    Wow Megan – you hit the nail right smack dab on the head for me! I too, am a woman who feels things deeply – more deeply than most – or at least it surfaces moreso than other women. I’ve finally found the word, intense, thank you!
    It has taken me time to uncover the girl hidden way deep inside. To realize that I am not this wretched good-for-nothing that no one wanted to be around… that I have value. I am learning that it is okay to cry, to just sit there and let it all out and then journal. Just when it seems that I gain some confidence back, someone steps into my life and offers what I did not have in my marriage. Oh how tempting it is to run away with this person… to turn my eyes inward to what I think my immediate needs are. I have had to back up and reassess where I am and who I am. It is an area I dare not venture into as much as at times I am tempted to – a temporary solution that would only rip the healing wound right open again. Oh how it stings! I feel alone, but I know God is here with me (always has been) but it doesn’t lessen that roller-coaster effect other than that the ups and downs seem to be further and farther between, still a roller-coaster ride. It took close to 9 months before stepping inside my apartment no longer brought anxiety. It’s taken me time to finally call him what he really is – an abuser. An abuser who could be the most charming teddy bear in public and when the need arose but watch out! I spent years being a manipulator – trying to manipulate situations so as not to anger him, to please him. Being careful of what I said or did so as not to “rock the boat”. Thinking I was so horribly wrong for this or that; for expressing any surprise or disappointment – oh no – don’t you dare!
    I am still learning what a sense of “normalcy” is. That it is okay not to have drama or chaos in my life. It took a year and a half before I could truly ramp down my adrenalin… that feeling on edge just wating for the other shoe to fall. Waiting and planning how I would handle this or that. Oh my what freedom I have now and it’s okay! I am so glad this site/blog is here. It helps by letting me know that life can and will go on. I am finding that young woman in me who was shoved into a corner. Granted I am older now but I am just now tasting life as God intended. He never intended for me to be shut down and out. If it weren’t for Him, I would not be here today. Yes, I still have those rides on that disgusting coaster but as I stated before, I am still healing and still growing.

  5. katy

    One of the best books I’ve read on being a single mom that helped me immensely: My Single Mom Life by Angela Thomas. She is a conservative Christian, and although she does not spell out the reasons for her divorce, there are several clues in the book that scream “abuse” to me – and so it made sense that some of the things she dealt with in the book were close to what I experienced. She had these moments in the aftermath, trying to parent 4 kids alone, where the pressure was so great that she would come emotionally “unglued” and have screaming meltdowns — to this day she wrote that she was embarrassed by it, but at least she was honest.
    I’ve had one or two meltdowns in front of my kids but things are a little easier these days. It helps that they are out of diapers, in school, and becoming their own little personalities. I continue to soldier on, and try not to think too far ahead. I have isolated myself somewhat because I find that I tend to get jealous of women that seem to have “better/easier” lives than I do – I know that isn’t right but I am not sure what to do with those feelings. So I try to just concentrate on the task in front of me each day.

    • Memphis Rayne

      Well I had a friend that was going through the same thing, even though we werent totally out of the fog, she was a Mormon… one time she invited my kids and I to a church barbeque,I did not buy anything about it except a burger, or two. Plus the kids had fun.

      Anyhow we were pretty solid friends for about a year, then I hear her say a backhanded comment about me….(i never shared with her my history, we were not THAT close)…
      She came to my two bedroom apt, looked around, looked at how well I appeared to be organized and “put together”? …came right out and said something along the lines of…””Must be nice”” when I pressed her as to what she meant, in her head she had made up all these assumptions about my supposed fairy tale life? Here we were, both single, both with two small children, she however drove a nicer car than I, had better hair, skin and teeth, (lol), she had an actual job….I could NOT wrap my brain around why she would want MY life?????….that actually ended our friendship, because I could not shake the feeling that she was somehow wishing me bad instead of good, and I could not shake the feeling of her judging me? It sucked, and it hurt my feelings. After that, I could always remind myself that what I see, is in fact NOT the reality, people may look shiny, but be broken, they may seem to have freedoms we do not, but be in prison, it may seem like hearts and flowers, but be stab wounds. My kids and actually ended up on her sofa during a transition of homelessness, and she still acted as if “I somehow had it so good”. I quickly ditched the friendship because I had no trust in who she was, or how she could possible see me for who I actually was, and what we were actually going through. It was sad, but nessicary for me to distance myself immediately from her. That may seem like I had no forgiveness or understanding, but I just learned very quickly that envy is assumable, most likely deadly and a mentality that served the purpose of an abuser. Its hard to explain, and I generally suck at getting to the point, but when you REALLY remind yourself that what you SEE is not the reality of what IS, then you start seeing the more human aspects of a person their vulnerabilities, their likeness to you. I could of turned it around and been more of a comfort or model to her in her plight, BUT at the time I was barely breathing in my own air, and like I said her judgement of my family and I, was like a dismissal in her mind that nothing over the last ten years had tore away every aspect of who we were, or who we were striving to be, just wanting to be free. Plus the devastating financial abuse we went through was something she could not see, or understand because she would of had to gone through that to get it. I do understand those feelings, we all have them…especially me because I just want a boring, normal, late for dinner kinda life…..

      • katy

        ugh I soooo get that. I feel stupid having those thoughts sometimes because I *know* that just because someone’s life looks easier than yours, doesn’t make it so. You know what’s so funny? Because I have a job, I’m treated like I have an easy life. My neighbors won’t lift a finger to help me – they expect me to pay them for any assistance.
        The perception is that because I am college educated I need no help. One of my neighbors said that to me outright. (Not because I was asking for help – he was just standing in the street one day when I got home from work, my grass was literally knee-high and and he said something about my job and my cars – a beat up ancient minivan and an old chevy – he said “it must be nice to have two cars” – then “you should hire so-and-so to cut your grass” -and he’s got nicer cars than I do! It was so surreal!)

        We all have these little lenses that we put on when we view others. I need to watch myself to make sure that I don’t do that. I think the worst for me is when I’m at church surrounded by all the married couples and all the kids seem to have great dads – that’s when the bottom falls out for me – but honestly it’s been getting better lately. I think it’s because I know too many married people who are terribly unhappy, so “the grass is greener” mentality is really FADING! ha ;)

        also – that line from Doc Holiday in the movie Tombstone comes to mind… he asked Wyatt what he wanted, Wyatt replies “I guess I just wanted to have a normal life” – and Doc says “There is no normal life, Wyatt. There is only life.”

      • Memphis- I totally get it. In our vulnerable conditions, when we see a toxic attitude that will hinder our healing , we have to get away for our own emotional safety. I had to do that with a sister of mine and even tho it hurts, I know I did what I had to do.

  6. Wow Megan. This post was *so* timely for me. I am now just 5 months out from leaving my abusive husband of 26 years… and taking the 10 children who were still living at home with me. I had no idea what to expect when I left, I only knew that I had to leave; after so, so long I was finally pushed to a place where I knew that I had no other choice.

    I actually just this past week told my (wonderfully supportive) pastor’s wife that I felt like I have been forced to get on a roller-coaster, blindfolded. (And I actually *like* roller-coasters in real life) But I seriously want off of this one.

    I think that one of the most difficult things for me has been the extreme emotions which I have been subject to. I used to consider myself to be a pretty steady person, quite even-keeled, in fact, but now I am realizing that I was that way, in part, because I *had* to be the steady one in our house and partially because that was how I dealt with the abuse~ I conveniently “forgot” it. And now that I am safe(er), I find myself completely overwhelmed by emotions at the most inconvenient times. I was amazed to read here on this blog about “triggering” and realize that I was not alone in what I was experiencing.

    An additional difficulty that I had not anticipated was that the children had so many abusive events to “confide” to me once we had left my husband they and felt safe. And the worst was hearing that at least 2 of my daughters were subjected to sexual abuse. That still makes me sick just typing that!

    So I am in the midst of grieving and dealing with the roller-coaster of emotions which I am immersed in and all the while I am having to be the steady rock for my 10 children who are still at home (plus trying to encourage the 2 who are married, pretty often), listening to them, praying with them and comforting them. And they are all 100% supportive of the decision that I made to leave, but still, I am *so* weary, so tired and feel stretched *so* thin right now.

    And then I am dealing with fear of my husband and what he will do, how he may try to retaliate as he sees that things are not turning out in his favor, legally. He carries a gun on his job and the thought that he could choose to find us and do something terrible is pretty much always in the back of my mind. Right now I don’t think that he has our address, but I know that he could easily find it out if he wants to because of the line of work he is in.

    Thankfully I have parents who are supportive plus my pastor and his wife have stood with me and held my hand through this whole process, plus I have a lawyer who “gets” what is going on and has been a tremendous advocate for the children and I. My heart so goes out to those here who do not have that sort of support.

    Megan, Jeff(s) and Barb, thank you *so* much for all that you do here. I have been so encouraged to spend time reading the archives. Simply hearing that I am not alone in what I am experiencing has been huge. {{{{hug}}}} to all of you! You are each deeply appreciated.

    • MeganC

      Big hugs back to you, dear friend. I . . . don’t . . . know . . . how you are doing it with 10 children. You have been through much. It is devastating to hear about what happened to your daughters. I cannot imagine the agony you must have felt. So so much agony. :( Praying for supernatural strength for you. My heart aches hearing all of these stories.

    • Amy

      Wow, ‘Trusting God’-I thought I had it bad with 7 children, although I have no Family around and my Church is blinded by my husband. I would love to be able to communicate on realistically caring for a large Family while being single-like income? I am waiting to ‘break-free’ when I am able to support the children myself-hard nowadays. Please pray for that and for me. Amy

  7. Jenn

    Thank you for this post! I was beginning to think I should be “over it” already. I am two years divorced and have to have daily contact with my abuser as we share custody of our two young children. I thought there would be this overwhelming relief, and there has been some. I have found it to be a cyclical process; I will be okay for several weeks and he will increase his abuse through the children and I start all over. Some parts have become less intense, while others overwhelm me some-days. Knowing that this is common makes it a little easier to bear and work through. Thank you!

    • Wow Jenn, 2 years and still?!! Oh my! And I keep thinking that this will be a must faster process than that. {{{{hug}}}} I’ll be praying for you. That stinks!

    • Barnabasintraining

      Daily contact?? Oh ugh! :(

      That does stink. :(

  8. It’s been six years that I left an abusive relationship, and I thought the by now the tears would be less, the opportunities to be shocked by someone’s lies, and intent to harm would be over. I am almost 50 and at times I feel childlike in my view of good in the world. Why must someone want to lie to get their way, or to seek revenge, or to want to sabotage, or to destroy me, why? Of course I could come up with a logical answer, but that isn’t the point, for love is not logical.

    Perhaps I live so ‘confined’ from the world that I find it hard to believe that one’s own life doesn’t have enough issues to deal with, that one would need to occupy and bring down the space of another, which is me.

    Yet, I seek God, not as duty, but a choice. I love God! Of course I’m a work in progress, and I have disciplines in my own life, areas, that I work on; areas that the Holy Spirit convicts me of via the word of God, the Bible. In so doing, I don’t have time to contemplate the demise of another, and I don’t even think that way, but he does.

    No, I don’t want attention for all this mess, I want to live free.

    • MeganC

      It is obvious to me, Sherry, that you are not in this for attention. That is a lie that I have heard pointed toward those who have been victimized before. That they just want “drama” in their lives in order to gain attention. It is sickening. :( You are beautiful and brave. We are all works in progress and you are a marvelous work that is pleasing to your Heavenly Father.

      • KingsDaughter

        Isn’t that the most ridiculous lie, “That they just want “drama” in their lives in order to gain attention”? Gah! I was told (by him) when I was too fearful to go home one night and called his family for a place to go, that causing all that drama was a “power play”! Most of his accusations have left some room for me to self-doubt, but really??? “power play”??? That was actually laughable and one of the first false accusations that I actually stood up to. I’m glad he said it and gave me such a clear path to say “No! That’s NOT true! How could I subject myself to something so humiliating just for attention??? My sis has a saying that “the devil always overplays his hand” and BOY was I thankful for that one! It led to questioning and standing up to the rest of the lies he has told me about myself.

  9. KingsDaughter

    We are only separated right now but the first few weeks I got a little scared with the wild ride of emotions and seriously wondered if I was not bi-polar or something. There were moments of great peace and joy as God ministered Truth to parched areas of my soul and there were moments of tormenting doubt as the people I trusted hurled their darts of condemnation, guilt and shame. Then there was the new understanding of manipulation and trying not to get caught up in it or vomit with rage when I noticed those tactics in play. There’s the earthquake shift that happens when you move from obedience to evil to obedience to God. There’s the path that is not well worn where you learn to listen to and trust again that voice inside of you. It physically, emotionally and spiritually draining, there are even moments where if I let myself sit with the thought long enough, turning back could almost look good (not so much, but faintly). But as I hold on to God’s Word I recognize the amazing gift of true love that I am giving not only to myself but to my children and even to my husband and community. When one person decides to stand and walk in truth it is an opportunity for those around her to do the same. I think that’s why in the Bible when one person got saved it often applies it to “them and their household” (maybe?).

    Thanks for this post! I wrote my comments as if I’ve already gone through it, some of it I have some of it is ongoing. Another thing that helped was reading about the stages of grief. When something dies, whether good or bad there is a grieving process. Understanding that process was helpful to me.

    • MeganC

      I love the way you articulated this journey, Kings Daughter. This right here:

      “There’s the earthquake shift that happens when you move from obedience to evil to obedience to God. There’s the path that is not well worn where you learn to listen to and trust again that voice inside of you.”

      That is a beautiful way to describe what it is like — you jerk yourself onto another path, time and time again. A path of obedience to God . . . not the path of being controlled by a mere man.

    • Amy

      ‘Kings Daughter’-funny you say about reading and going thru the stages of grief! The Holy Spirit was letting me know that the other day-I just have to find it . I know I did that in counseling before. I think it can come up over and over again, especially if the abuser does different tactics-then you get angry AGAIN! And they just sit by and wonder ‘why is she mad?” Ha! Happened to me today that spouse was bothering me with the premise it was son’s b-day. I always go to church by myself to gain strength and he showed up unannounced AND SITS NEXT TO ME!! GRRR! Like nothing is wrong! I said to myself ‘Nuts to that”. and got up and moved to sit on other side of church! Of course I was wondering what others were thinking, but God really ministered to me by a friend sitting next to me and I told her ‘thank you’. Of course I was reeling, but just focused on Christ and prayed and you know I felt better and ok maybe a twinge of guilt til I remembered all the crap he’s pulled. The only thing that matters is what God thinks of me and He loves me! He knows what all of us have been thru! What helps is ‘Jesus Love me’!

      • Amy- that sounds exactly like something my ex would do. What colossal nerve!!!

      • KingsDaughter

        Amy, It really helped me understand why I was depressed (Silly question I know…). I didn’t look anywhere specific just googled it. Here’s one I found helpful;

        http://helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm

        The “crazy making” they do in church is just that- crazy making! LOooong before I ever knew I was being abused I recognized my husb. using church as part of the “show”. He would never touch me outside of church but suddenly when we got to church he would nestle in the pew beside me and cuddle! I knew it was wrong and for “show” but was so starved for affection that I didn’t protest. Knowing what I know now I would do exactly what you did and get up an move!

      • I am shocked at this behavior, yet there seems to be a pattern, a subtle pattern, to how manipulative and covert an abuser is in their crazy-making actions. As I read Amy’s reply I recalled how many times this happened to me, especially in church, leaving me so very confused, sitting in the pew, asking God, what is wrong with me, what is wrong with this whole picture? I know what goes on at home and yet at church he is treating me so differently. Thank you for sharing Amy.
        I am so grateful that abuse is being discussed more openly these days, especially through blogs such as ‘A Cry for Justice’, and that victims to not have to bear this burden alone.

  10. Truly Mutcer

    Reading this blog was a great help to me. Two years down the track I kept asking myself “are we happy yet?” The answer kept coming back “NOOO”. Nearly two years and only the pieces have changed on the chess board. My boys now don’t see dad as so bad anymore and of course a bit defensive (especially the younger one who is now becoming his sycophant). Of course he is playing tricks and buying their affection, they have forgotten the bad days (and who wouldn’t want to). Yet here we are in our little house, not much money (kids see this is a bad things and dad is happy to flash around his money as a control thing).
    Also this little house is safe. They want mum and dad back together but they can’t wait to return from his house to our little safe house at the end of each weekend.
    And yes God fills this house. There IS laughter. There IS the occasional frivolity. There IS the spontaneity. And guess what….We are happy.

    • Hi Truly, welcome to the blog. So nice to have a new commenter. :)
      Are we happy yet? = Are we there yet? . . . in that tone kids use on a long car journey, eh?

    • Amy

      Truly, that gives me hope!

    • coco

      Hi Truly! There was a post awhile back that was a moms story of her son finally seeing his dad for what he was after 8 years (I can’t remember the exact length of time). My (soon to be) ex does the same things as yours with the money, etc. I call him Disneyland Dad. I just keep telling myself that one day my kids will know the truth, in the meantime, I am going to do my best to model the truth, trying to live the life I was created for, and will be here when they come to the truth, which I believe they will some day. But I do know how that feels. Thanks for posting!!

      • That post was actually on Cindy Burrell’s blog. This link will get you there.

      • coco

        Thanks Barbara!

    • Truly, that was the first thing I noticed after my ex was gone. How much more the kids and I laughed when we were together. Christmas Eve it stood out the most as my youngest (16 years old) read the Night Before Christmas- as she always does. But this time, we all laughed and joked and had the best time while she read it. I realized that when HE was here, we never felt relaxed or free enough to do this before. It’s ‘little” things like that , which help me know I did the right thing.

  11. MeganC

    It is OK to be numb right now, friend. Your psyche is protecting you . . . it could be shock. You have enormous challenges ahead. Please know that you are not alone.

  12. Annie

    Megan, I tried to imagine you imitating the Aussie accent, but it didn’t come out right. Then again, even the great superstar Meryl Streep was criticized for her imitation of Lindy Chamberlain in “A Cry in the Dark” – “A dingo toook my daughtah!!”

    Sorry for the superficial light-hearted interruption…

    • MeganC

      Ha! That’s good stuff, Annie. I actually became quite good at imitating Barb. lol! :)

  13. Amy

    Anne, what helped me is making a list of things I like to do-what brings me happiness? Gardening, reading a book, going for a walk at your favorite place helps alot. I don’t know your circumstances but try and see if you can take care of yourself in anyway. It does get better. I have yet to seperate but instead I am trying to care for self, like going to the gym, getting a few clothes(never did-always put everyone else even husband before me, so there never was any money for my needs). Anyway, hugs to you.

    • I also got new clothes for the first time in years. I’ve always seen attention to clothing as kind of superficial, but I must admit, it helped me feel like I was taking care of myself.

      And yes- the gym too. That helped a lot just to have some physical release and also feel a little more healthy.

  14. KingsDaughter

    Something else that has helped me tremendously with my “roller coaster” of emotions post-fog, has been to remember every day that we are in an intense spiritual battle, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” and to prepare accordingly.
    For me it has been a tactic of the enemy to keep me so wrapped up in the “battle” with my husband that I don’t even think about the greater battle. On days that I do remember and saturate myself in prayer and The Word, I get great encouragement and wisdom.

    I wanted to write that in my original comment but as usual there are so many thoughts and emotions to process in this that it got forgotten before my fingers could type it! ;-)

    • Barnabasintraining

      You are so right. It is a spiritual battle. I have a tendency to forget that, especially the “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” part.

  15. Heather 2

    Nearly two years divorced and still find myself grieving at times. I see that I am not alone. I try to note the blessings in my life, and as was mentioned above, sometimes I see that the child in me still struggles with the pain caused by others who should love you and care for you.

    Sometimes, trusting God is all we have. I think that is how it should be though. We will get to the other side one day. In the meantime, walking by faith daily, spending time with our Lord, being there for others….these give us purpose in the midst of our uncertainties.

  16. Oh Anne. I can only offer you hugs.
    Praying for you.

  17. MeganC

    Dearest Anne . . . One thing I do believe you have is the fact that you did not allow your children to believe that it is “OK” to stay with someone who has treated you with such disdain. You have taught your children that they are worth more than that . . . that YOU are worth more than that . . . and that it is good and right to walk away from someone who abuses you. Your children have a chance to have healthy relationships now, because of what you so bravely did. I join with Barb in praying for you. Please hang in there. It sounds trite but it is so true . . . it is just that it is the darkest for you right now. But, dawn is coming.

  18. Barnabasintraining
  19. Not Too Late

    Anne, I must admit sometimes I feel that way too.

    But then I remind myself that the prize is in the journey, not the goal. I am able to savor the moments with the kids, to enjoy the sunset without being rushed, to live in each moment, whether that moment be pleasurable or painful. I no longer live according to his dictates or in anticipation of his reactions (not on a daily basis, anyway).

    It’s a priceless gift, to be able to independently and enjoy each moment. It’s the gift of being human, and even if I find myself poorer, with fewer (but more trustworthy) friends, with a bad reputation among some, with kids who still have to put up with his behavior, it’s worth it. Slavery with food and shelter vs freedom in the desert with the promise of milk and honey to come – I know which one I’d choose.

    I know what you mean, though. It does sometimes seem like a huge and pointless sacrifice. Hugs to you, and here’s to better days!

    • KingsDaughter

      NTL,
      “the prize is in the journey, not the goal”

      What a great perspective! I’ve often reminded myself something similar when going through trials, that what Jesus is interested in is how I handle the process (whats going on in my heart and the small choices I make) . That helps me live in the moment and pay attention to my heart not just getting to the right decision or place. I think I’ll add to that from now on, that the prize is also in the journey not when we “arrive”.

      Thanks for sharing that nugget! :-)

  20. Freindinneed

    I am putting this on my wall. I found description of explosive behaviour very interesting.

  21. psalm 37

    I’ve been divorced three years now, and I have been back and forth to court at least a dozen times since then. When I start feeling better, the abuse is allowed to continue in a legal/judicial sense in a courtroom. I HATE spending hours and days responding to motions and wasting my time that way. I know that the devil is at work behind all of this, and I pray so many times that God will give me relief from his work through his agent of harassment and spite–my ex (and the corrupt judge who won’t do anything about the $15,000 in back child support I’m owed!). I liken the whole divorce experience to someone who has cancer. Having an abusive ex who thinks it’s his right and duty to make life miserable for you is like being in remission and then having the cancer return. It’s physically and mentally exhausting.

    Another way things don’t get better is that you find things out when you’re living apart from the abuser. You find out things they’ve done, possibly in secret, to betray you or make you look like an oblivious fool. You say to yourself, “How in the world did I fall for that when he _____________?!” I remember finding out how much money my self-employed ex was really making compared to how much he made it appear he made. He gave me and our 2 kids a second-hand life, and when I did the math, I was stupefied at how much this plumbing/heating contractor could have hidden during our 10 year “marriage.”

    BUT, there are times when the realization of freedom hits you. You read about God’s dealings with shrewd and deceitful men (Psalm 18) and feel the sense of anticipation that it’s going to happen. You block your phone or demand TEXT ONLY so you don’t have to hear that awful, evil voice of the one who ruined your life for years. YOU call the shots sometimes instead of being controlled. You think about God’s promise in Joel 2:25 where He says He will restore the years the locusts have eaten.

    When times are discouraging, and you feel demoralized or dejected, mine for the gold of what God is doing in your life. Some days, a big chunk of gold falls in your lap. Other days, you have to walk through the dark nooks of the mine, pick axe in hand, and find the little nuggets.

  22. Randi

    These are exactly the lies I believed for so many years of my 35 yr marriage. Another big one for me was fearing what family and friend would think of me, what the church would think, I couldn’t survive without him, he might hurt me or himself if I left, what will happen with children, their lives will be ruined… But one by one this past 10 months the Lord has shown me that I am an Overcomer and fears can be put down. Thank you for your website and great messages to validate and educate me. Randi

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