A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — Does Love keep a Record of Abuse?

A gem from our GEMS page:

It is true that love keeps no record of wrongs,
but insanity forgets repeated abuse. [J]

****

Additional thoughts on what Love Keeps No Record of Wrong doesn’t mean.

*****

Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit — Document The Abuse  documenttheabuse.com

Ensure that a victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.
A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.

The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.

A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution

20 Comments

  1. freeatlast8

    I was told this repeated times at the end of our marriage…that I was unforgiving, and that I was keeping a record of his wrongs.

    I wrote letters to my h over the years, which I kept copies of. It was helpful to get my thoughts on paper because if I spoke my thoughts outright he would get angry and I would lose what I wanted to say, or I’d get verbally trampled and not be able to speak.

    It wasn’t that I wanted to bash him with his sin. The letters were to gently ask him to consider his behavior and the effects it was having on his growing family. These letters spanned years of time. I still have 3 of them, each written 5 years apart. This is a testament to me of the reality of the problem when I start wondering if it really was that bad. Yes, it really was.

    Once, when I was trying to prove my point about his anger problem and how long it had gone on, I showed him the little stack of letters I had and he told me it was sinful to keep them because I was keeping a record of his wrongs. I supposed he was right so I threw them away. But I found a few more stashed away when I moved out and I kept them.

    I guess I’m still not sure if there is some truth to this…true, I was keeping a record. It was for my sanity then, as he would deny it had been an ongoing problem, and I could show him details at various points in time that it truly was a long-time issue. It wasn’t that I was holding it against him…it was to prove he had a problem. Is there a difference in record keeping here that someone can put in plainer terms for me?

    • Fogislifting

      I did read somewhere (I’m pretty sure it was on this blog) that keeping records like this were our ‘witnesses’ for the “Matthew 18:15-18 – if a brother sins against you” situation. Because our abusers can be so subtle in abusing us, often our journals or letters are the only ‘witnesses’ to their abuse patterns.

      Since I’ve recently been separated, I’m also keeping any communication to text/email only for the same reason. As well as to enable me to see reality when my mind tends to times of thinking ‘it can’t be that bad surely’.

    • I guess I’m still not sure if there is some truth to this…true, I was keeping a record. It was for my sanity then, as he would deny it had been an ongoing problem, and I could show him details at various points in time that it truly was a long-time issue. It wasn’t that I was holding it against him…it was to prove he had a problem. Is there a difference in record keeping here that someone can put in plainer terms for me?

      I think that your keeping a record WAS for your sanity. And it was a way of you prudently resisting the abuse. Abusers try to dominate our minds and our memories of What Happened. They re-write history. They deny. They lie. They tell a part of the truth — the part that puts them in a ‘good’ light, because it’s only selected from the whole story and the whole context. In effect, they try to brainwash their target, to invade and occupy the mind of the target, like an invading army occupies another country.

      When a country has been invaded (think France invaded by Hitler) the citizens of integrity who live in that country form an ‘underground’. In the underground, they carefully, prudently, at great risk, disseminate information, true information, out to their network of supporters. And they plan and execute (at even greater risk!) strategies to impede the tactics of the invader.

      What you were doing was just like this.

      If you had not done it, or if ALL those letters you wrote had been lost or destroyed, you would have found it harder to come out of the fog and reclaim your mind and soul back from the invader.

      • tb

        Thank you, Barbara. You are right. There is much validation in those letters now. Who knew 5, 10, and 15 years later I’d still have them and they’d be a comfort to me. Odd twist. All that pain poured out on paper, and those papers now comfort me.

        I have been watching Patrick Doyle lately and he talks about writing your stuff down. It documents facts so that when an abuser tries to twist reality or throw you off track, you have it all written down and it can’t be twisted. Well, they may still try, but you know what’s true.

      • I wish I’d kept the ‘note to myself’ which I had written when I was with my abuser, with tears pouring down my cheeks one morning after he left for work. I tore it into shreds a few days later and put it in the rubbish, because I thought it was ‘keeping a record of wrongs’. 😦

      • freeatlast8

        I’m sorry for your pain, Barb. I bet, though, you could easily write that note today. Those memories, for me anyway, are only a thought away. And the pain that went with them is now numbed a bit, but still available if I decided to go there. I could still pen a note to my ex very easily today. Do you think rewriting that note would help you now at this part of your journey?

      • No, I don’t think I need to re-write it now. I’ve got too many other things on my list to write first: things that will help other victims/survivors 🙂

    • HisBannerOverMeIsLove

      I have written it out so I can review what happened and see if I’m exaggerating or just nit picking. He calls it nagging or Bi_ _ _ _ _ _ _. I’ve been careless and he found it. That landed us in the pastor’s office. He felt I twisted the entire incident on paper. It made me feel like I can’t trust myself with what I experienced.

      I write most of it here now. I try to let someone know what is said so it’s not just my interpretation and I will forget a lot of things and am reminded by others that this has happened before etc. I still can’t trust what anyone else says 100% because it’s just my side of the story they weren’t there. I paint an ugly picture.

      1 Corinthians 13 was a chapter I had put on my fridge to remind me and memorize because I felt I wasn’t able to love because I felt angry at him all of the time. Angry for his neglecting us, things that were in desperate need of repairs on the house, being on the computer every second he was home etc. I believed it was unloving of me to not be able to carry the load of all the responsibilities without feeling I should have some attention and love back. How much of a door mat for Christ am I supposed to be? What’s that look like? Maybe if I understand LOVE more I can do this without feeling mad and hurt.

      All these memories keep coming back when I least expect it. It practically destroys the rest of the day for me. Now that I know what love is it’s even harder. I know what has been taken. I missed everything. How in the world did I survive all that for years. WHY?

      My husband shared how he usually has angry sex with me. A lot of times he said. After he said it I realized he has been angry when becoming intimate. He would rather think about it. After this conversation I realized just how wrong that was. It deeply affected me as I wondered what that meant. I had been so desperate for touch and all that I took what I could get. (which triggers more childhood memories, unbelievable how much goes through the mind in a second) The next time after I was sore for a good week. Not the first time. But lately he is showing interest and I’m not the slightest bit attracted or even wanting any kind of touch (very weird for me). I don’t think he meant to bruise me and hurt me. But with what he said and all it messed with my head. I can’t get past it. All the loneliness, burning while being married, feeling desperate for his love, waiting for days and weeks for him to be in the mood on top of all the other neglect and harsh words and a few times of hitting me are just horrible memories that won’t stop. My prayers for not wanting the desire so much etc has finally happened. Everything reminds me of something hard or terrible said or done.

      That “remembering” I am told is a list, or my black book, or not letting anything go, or me wanting to be miserable. I’ve wondered is that true? I DO HAVE A LIST. It keeps coming back because the SAME things are happening so it ties together with the past and I can’t control it. IT IS there in my mind. I cry about those things, not in front of him, almost never in front of him.

      I’m all over the place here. The angry sex comment he said to me….I realized he said that about his EX WIFE YEARS AND YEARS AGO!!!!!!!! They always had angry sex he said. Ok weird. BUT THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE B E F O R E he was a Christian. I was told a family member was watching OLD home videos of years ago. In the video he was screaming and YELLING at his wife knowing it was being filmed. It was as if nothing had EVER changed. MY h is the same way with me and that has taken a pretty heavy hit to my person. It’s all been a lie. After we were married he told was giving a newly married guy how you think when you remarry you will be different than you were. then you find you don’t trust them and it’s like it was before. I don’t know why that one comes to mind but it is creepy. He can tell you what his only hope in life and in death is. He can tell me more about the BIBLE and how x and y are this and that. He can even say he probably shouldn’t do certain things. I wonder how sinful can or are we and the truth is still in us?

      I feel angry. The stupid Pearl book chapter about the angry wife practicing her anger comes to mind. or was it mad. yeah madness. like there is no real reason for being mad.

      I don’t have a point here. feel free to delete away.

      • Dear HisBanner,
        I didn’t delete anything from your comment. I only added a bit of punctuation to make it clearer. There was one sentence — After we were married he told was giving a newly married guy how you think when you remarry you will be different than you were. then you find you don’t trust them and it’s like it was before. — which I couldn’t make sense of, so left it as-is. But it doesn’t matter.

        I thought your comment was wonderful. Wonderful because it shows your stream of consciousness as you try to figure it all out, try to poke through the fog… The way you wrote is typical of how victims write when they are in the place you are at: that place of such pain, certainty-but-not-certainty, knowing-but-not-knowing … and the trauma of it all… where the gushing words come because they have been backlogged for so long and more and more traumas happen on the top of other traumas, so it’s almost impossible to put it all together.

        I understand. Your are not mad or crazy or ‘a bad Christian’ or ‘nagging’ or ‘b____ing’ or any of those derogatory adjectives! You are a woman who is being abused, a woman who is trying to climb out of the fog — while the abuser and his allies keep producing more fog from their fog-making machines, their lies and the distorted wicked ideology… while they keep breathing the poison of their lies into your space … so that you have almost no more space in your head.

        ((((hugs)))))

        And thank you for sharing 🙂

        I’m so sorry the anti-husband found your secret notes to yourself.
        And that pastor is a fool or an outright wicked man himself.

        You are right to feel angry. Your anger is a sign of health: you are NOT CONTENT with being abused!

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry HisBannerOverMeIsLove. What you’re going through is what Barb said, “Your anger is a sign of health: you are NOT CONTENT with being abused!”

        That your husband is doing and saying the same things about and to you that he said and did to his first wife clearly shows that he is the problem. That he doesn’t trust others — this is my husband as well. It’s part of the reason they’re accusers. The truly don’t see that other people with a heart to serve Jesus are not trying to take something from them or trying to control them in some way because this is how THEY think and without the ability to put themselves in other peoples positions — they are left with viewing life through their own selfish, greedy, envious eyes.

        Wrong biblical teaching about God’s word has destroyed many people’s life and stolen their joy in the Lord all through the generations but this current generation with it’s instant access to most everything should have helped us–if we’d been teaching truthful bible information–but instead it’s often the erroneous teaching that those in need find and they end up like us–with anti-christs for spouses and a defeated walk with the Lord.

        We’re the remnant. The stragglers who just can’t seem to participate with the lies, even when we try, we can’t swallow it anymore. When we realize the horrific abuse that’s been dumped on us and try to get help we are so often told to get back in line and shut up–but we CAN’T! Most days I’m so grateful for this but other days I just want to go to sleep. You are not alone.

  2. freeatlast8

    Yes, why waste good ink…or key strokes! LOL Good point!

  3. StandsWithAFist

    “The axe forgets what the tree remembers”~ African Proverb

  4. Anonymous

    I kept a journal because I feared dying at his hands. Then I would go to great lengths to mail my journals back to a friend in my home state for safekeeping (in the event of my demise I wanted evidence). Life with a terrorist / abuser consisting regularly of Gaslighting, wretched filthy name-calling, lying and dehumanization would leave my head spinning, trying to sort through it all. And then of course to have a terrorist stand over you denying and scapegoating would leave me in a miserable fog. I needed to go back to my journals the day after to literally keep my sanity. “Dealing” with abuse is only part of survival, having to bring ourselves back to the reality that it REALLY DID HAPPEN is another part.

    One day I was in so much pain and suffering and started writing in my journal and before I knew it, my ‘husband’ was standing over me (it’s like he came out of nowhere). He asked what I was doing. I said that I was having quiet time with my Lord and writing what I called my Psalms of David (crying out to the Lord in anguish). He asked me to read some of it to him. I said that I did not want to do that. His rage erupted. Then he demanded I read to him. Again, I said I preferred not to. More rage! So through tears I read a few lines to him and then, rage beyond belief. He went out back on the deck and started a fire in the charcoal grill and insisted I put my journal in the fire; out of incredible fear, I did.

    • Every one of those words he burnt that day, and that fact that he made you burn them, will be on his charge of indictment at the Last Judgment.

      • Anonymous

        Sobering!

    • Fogislifting

      Dear Anonymous, I shuddered to read what you went through. I dearly hope you have escaped and no longer live in the same house with that rage and terror. Xx

      • Anonymous

        Fogislifting, God rescued me late at night 15 months ago and on a dark, cold, foggy winter night I fled. Foolishly, though, after believing his lie that he was sick and needed me I returned to him for a few weeks. And like you said in your comments, “it can’t be that bad surely.” Not only was it that bad, it was worse. This time a family member came for me. The fact that I even returned after all the abuse tells me I am still in need of recovery and healing and that I need to surround myself with those who love and really care about me. In other words, I am to walk with the wise!

        I have adamantly refused to return to him. My divorce is pending as of this week. I still have many of my journals tucked away but with or without them, I heard it said and how true it is: “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Life with my terrorist / abuser only ever left me feeling like a worthless piece of garbage. By God’s grace, my scars and deep wounds are healing and I am moving forward in newness of life!

  5. kim

    I was watching a rerun of a Dr. Phil show, which featured a woman who claimed she was being abused by her husband. As partial proof, she played a voicemail message from him, during which he called her every ugly, demeaning thing imaginable. The husband also appeared on the show and blamed the woman for recording and keeping the voicemail. As the woman tried to tell her story, Dr. Phil told her she was “taking his inventory” and should concentrate on her own part in the problems. Score one for the self-serving abuser and shame on Dr. Phil- having a PH’d obviously is no guarantee that a counselor “gets it”.

    As a result of the advice Dr. Phil gave on the show, the woman said “my heart has opened up”, followed by her, no doubt, going right back into the hell her husband created, this time with the added pain of knowing that the therapist didn’t support or validate her. And I believe she said her heart had opened up because she was afraid of her husband!

    Do I think the woman “kept a record of his wrongs” by keeping the voicemail? Heck no! And sadly, even with the voicemail, and other evidence of the husband’s abuse, the blind guide still couldn’t see the abuse for what it was. Something far too many on this site have experienced first hand when dealing with counselors, pastors, and church members.

  6. I should have put this link at the bottom of this post when it was first published. But better late than never.

    Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit — Document The Abuse documenttheabuse.com

    Ensure that a victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.
    A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.

    The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.

    A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution

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