Molly at Adventures in Mercy
wrote a really great post about abuse called: Letters to an Abused Soul: When Love is “No”.
I felt kind of inspired by what she wrote here and even though I know many people have dealt with much worse than I have, I have been in abusive relationships almost my entire life.
She talked in her post about how sometimes stopping the destructive behavior can be the most loving thing for all parties involved. She also made great points about how abusive people are not pure evil, how true repentance can make that person safe to be around again and how rarely that happens.
I was the one who turned into an abuser because of my helplessness to fix my situation and in an attempt to change the people in my life.
Abuse didn't work, not for me anyway and it finally led to me almost completely ruining my whole life and losing everyone I cared about.
I did ( after some very extreme consequences and a prison sentence) learn that stopping my abuser from hurting me was the most loving thing for me to do for everyone involved.
I remember when after many visits from my then estranged wife I finally wasn't angry at her for the things she said. I had been praying about it because I had visitation many times while I was in prison and I almost always got very angry with her and she ruined every visit with my kids up until that day. I was just asking for God to help me with my emotions and to help me be strong for my sons. That day I saw her, not as a manipulating emotional abuser; but as a fellow human being with weakness and fears and I actually felt sorry for her. From that day forward the whole dynamic of our relationship changed. There was no healing for the marriage(it was irreparably broken) but for me as a broken twisted child and I think in some sense for her too. After years of giving up my power, I suddenly had control over myself back ( or for the first time) just because I chose not to get angry with her.
I wish I had that chance with my dad.
I don't think I will ever be what some people call normal, but I am better than I was and I hope that my children never have to go through the self inflicted hell that I went through. I actually thought that was normal, it can still be hard to tell when some one is trying to manipulate me, but I do know what it's like to have someone in my life that cares about me and isn't abusive or manipulative.
It's almost like having a new life, one that is a lot more bearable.
Yeah I bought into the prosperity gospel stuff and I was so sure that God would heal my old life.
But you know, maybe my old life was never what God intended. Maybe, fixing my old marriage wasn't God's will. Maybe we all need to let people in these types of situations have just a little more grace and just love them instead of looking at them with advice about waiting for God to change the other person.
One thing I have learned about those kinds of prayers is, God rarely changed the other person because of our prayers; but He does change us if we let Him.