Domestic violence story from emma
As you read this paper I want you to read it not with intent to respond but to understand.
Abuse is (in my own words) to gain total control over someone’s mind through manipulation tactics such as, but not limited to: sexual threats, forcing sexual actions, isolation, playing mind games, lies, degrading, intimidation, blaming and threats.
Abuse comes in many forms: economical, sexual, physical, psychological, mental, verbal. It is a silent epidemic that affects 1 in 4 women in the world. Your chance of being in an abusive relationship is higher than being in a vehicle accident, diagnosed with cancer and getting malaria combined. Everyday in America 3 women are killed by their spouse or intimate partner. If a women gets out of an abusive relationship, there is 75% chance that they will be killed and a 90% chance that they will return to the perpetrator. A child raised in a home where abuse occurs is 1000 times more likely to repeat those actions.
A recent poll showed that 75% of pastors/priests/ministers put people in abusive relationships because they do not have the knowledge of what is happening and put more emphasis on preservation of the family versus safety. Good, solid biblical family morals are important but should not override someone’s safety or their own salvation.
From my experience of being abused for 11 months I can tell you many things.
I can tell you what it’s like to be raised in a loving home where you were taught about God, and Jesus dying for our sins so that we may have a hope of eternal life.
I can tell you about starting repentance in the Apostolic Christian Church of America and the joy it brought me: developing a strong relationship with God, fellowship with the churches members, and an opportunity to be a light to others.
I can tell you about some of the best years of my life in High School where I was given an opportunity to be light to others, spend time with strangers who turned into friends.
I can tell you about graduating early to work in a resource room with a child who has been in multiple foster care homes, abused, and sexually molested at a church.
I can tell you what it’s like to go home to a family that loves you, in a house that’s warm and feel so blessed for the life you were born into.
I can tell you that I spent nights crying because I knew that I had something so special and that the child I helped never would.
I can tell you about receiving a proposal, asking the elder if this person was a faithful brother and being told yes. Only to find out he had sexual interactions with thirteen year olds and his first cousin, looked at porn, drank, spent a weekend with a lady from Cargill-Cedar Rapids to just name a few.
I can tell you what it’s like to be married to a person who does not know God. That has no idea of right versus wrong.
I can tell you what it’s like to try to reason with someone who is clueless.
I can tell you that it only takes a few minutes for someone to have complete control over your mind. That it only takes a few minutes to not be able to say if something is right or wrong, when 5 minutes ago you could have without a doubt in your mind.
I can tell you what it is like to be raped.
I can tell you what it is like to be hit, shoved and punched.
I can tell you what it is like to stand in a bathroom trying to breathe and praying you do not get beat because you tried being yourself just like your elder and family told you to.
I can tell you what it is like to want to kill yourself.
I can tell you what it is like to have to leave a room because you have such distaste for someone that you want to kill them and catch yourself going to grab their neck.
I can tell you what it is like to have no control over your body or mind. To exist, not live.
I can tell you what it is like to not know wrong from right.
I can tell you what it is like to give up on everything. To have no hope and no emotion.
I can tell you what it is like to be excited for Sunday because you will get a meal.
I can tell you what it is like to feel worthless.
I can tell you what “walking on eggshells” means.
I can tell you about singing Jesus Loves Me in your head to get yourself to sleep.
I can tell you about crying silently every night.
I can tell you about keeping the door locked in your house because you are so afraid.
I can tell you what it is like to lay in bed and wonder: How did this happen? Why was he a brother if this is what he had done? Why was I told he was faithful?
I can tell you what it is like to feel anger towards the people who have always been there for you: God, your family, elder, and friends.
I can tell you what it is like to spend 2 ½ months working as a teacher in a classroom of abused children. That you spend every Monday – Friday, 7:45 to 3:35 trying to get a young boy to trust you. Trust you enough to trying to crawl out of the corner, to take off his coat, to stop pretending to be an animal, to eat, to talk, to walk. Only to fail every day.
I can tell you what it is like to have a complete miracle in your life take place. To be given an opportunity from God to leave an abusive relationship.
I can tell you what it means to dissociate.
I can tell you what it is like to not want to eat for days.
I can tell you what it is like to look into the eyes of people that care and love you and to watch them cry because you are so gone.
I can tell you what it is like to go into Subway and not know what to order because someone else has been making that decision for you.
I can tell you what it is like to want to play piano, but can’t because someone told you that you were horrible and what a waste of time.
I can tell you what it is like to cry every Sunday for a year plus.
I can tell you what it is like to tell your elder accounts of what happened and have him tell you how you will be excommunicated for getting a divorce and should never get remarried. Even though you do not want to get remarried anyway because you feel like you are worthless, stupid and nobody would want to anyway so who cares.
I can tell you how that supports everything your perpetrator ever said from an abused persons mind frame.
I can tell you what it is like to have post-traumatic stress disorder.
I can tell you a long list of things which bring on flashbacks, and horrible feelings.
I can tell you what it is like to be by people constantly that do not understand abuse and the skills I use to cope with that.
I can tell you what it is like to not be able to relax.
I can tell you what it is like to wake up throughout the night feeling terrified.
I can tell you how much direction God has shown me.
I can give you a journal full of verse, chapters, songs, and events that showed me God’s direction of what to do in my life with this situation.
I can tell you what it is like to had/have nightmares about your father-in-law or spouse sexual molesting your children.
I can tell you a long list of the good I have seen come from this situation for my personal life. A stronger relationship with God, a true understanding of one moment at a time, a better understanding about God’s will for our lives, a desire to help others in need that do not know about God.
I can tell you what it is like to come out of an abusive relationship and help a young girl at school with reading and feeling good about herself.
I can tell you what it is like to receive a letter from another woman who has been abused and has now taken the courage to leave.
I can tell you that God loves you enough to remove anyone from your life that doesn’t align with His purpose for you.
I can tell you so much more.
I can tell you that even when you get done reading all of this that I know you probably will not completely understand and that is okay.
I understand that this is an uncomfortable and scary situation. I hope and pray though that you do understand some, because there are so many people that could use your help and prayers. I hope you take this as an opportunity to learn, not to respond and “fix” somebodies life. I am starting to move forward, but it is the beginning of a long process, I hope you can have patience with me and my family and the respect to not need to know everything.
Sometimes the people around you don't understand your journey - that's ok- it's not for them.