Life in FOCUS Blog

I Was Once a Pastor’s Wife Part 3 of 4 

 Una vez fui la esposa de un pastor Parte 4 de 4

What do you think of this story so far? How would you address the issues this young lady has shared?

Here’s where we left off:

 “I” married him. I emphasized the “I” because sixteen months later the drama began. I began to see that “I” was in this marriage alone. “I” was willing to do anything necessary to keep our marriage afloat and happy. After all, I was a First Lady, a Pastor’s wife. He was depending on me. I became the live-in super-maid who gave away a lot of fringe benefits, participated in ministry work, and was a caretaker for my Mom and my grand kids depended on me. I worked two part-time sometimes three, jobs and we volunteered every weekend. One day, running around the grocery store between jobs, I almost passed out. I was exhausted. I called to tell him what happened and…nothing. No, stay there I’m on my way. No, what can I do to help…nothing. His non-reaction weighed me down. Didn’t he care? When I came home from work, I had an attitude.

Emotionally and Physically Exhausted

He had worked from home that day and was trouble-shooting someone else’s computer issue. I loudly dropped the groceries on the marble kitchen counter and left them there…perishable items and all and stomped into the living room to sit at my desk. I waited for him to get off the call he was on. When his call was finished, he asked me what was for dinner and if I had picked up his dry-cleaning. I had to ask him to look at me. Rubbing his eyes, he leaned back in his chair. He knew from the tone of my voice that I was upset but he couldn’t look me in the eye.

Still, I waited. Finally, he looked at me and said, “what?” I told him that I was exhausted and needed his help. That I couldn’t run this marriage and house all by myself. Sensing his anger, I retreated. (Why I stuffed my feelings and retreated—I don’t know) Something inside me warned me that I was treading on thin ice. But I was exhausted, and it seemed, the only one in this marriage. Silence. Then he exploded. What do you want!? I’ve worked hard all day and I’m tired, too. What do you want from me!?

Crazy-making

The words exploded from my mouth. I worked both jobs today! I spent last night washing, starching, and ironing your shirts. I organized them by color and separated the work from play shirts so you could just grab and go. When I walked by your closet this morning everything was jammed in together. It looked like a tornado ripped through your closet. He got up and walked to his closet. What are you talking about? Why is something so small such a big deal? So what, you ironed a few shirts. I bit my tongue, thinking maybe I am making a big deal out of it. Then I said to him. I did it because you can never find anything and you’re always in a hurry. He walked back to his desk telling me that I should just take his shirts to the cleaners and stop complaining.

I continued. I’m exhausted! I almost passed out in the grocery store. I do everything around here and I mean everything. I need help. His reply…

Devaluation

You only work part-time! You don’t have a full-time job! I don’t know what I want to do, but I know it’s not any of those things! My ex-wife did everything around the house and she worked. I never had to wash a dish, iron anything, or clean anything. She always had 5-star dinners prepared, breakfast ready every morning, and fixed the kids their lunches. On the weekends she would have all of our activities planned, I just went along. I didn’t have to do anything. She saved for months for our family vacations, booked our flights, hotel, and activities for our family and our extended family. She took care of everything and my needs.

Ambivalence

When he finished, I sat there like a bump on a log biting the inside of my lips to keep my mouth closed. If I had replied it would have been two words and they weren’t nicey-nice words. I went to bed super early that night, perishable items melting down the counter-top, and slept as close to the edge that I could without falling out of the bed.

What happened to my prince charming? The pastor that I had married who had promised to treat his wife as himself, in front of God, our family, and friends? That meant something to me, that he promised that to God. I thought I’d finally found a man who I’d live the rest of my married life with, in harmony. We were going to give the devil a black eye. Who was this man who complimented me fiercely to his ministry and friends, used to tell me how beautiful I was on my worst days, who used to have such a calm loving voice and jovial laugh? Who was this man who counseled couples with scripture, but lived like a heathen? I was sleeping with the enemy. Everything went downhill from there despite our attempts at reconciliation.

We argued, silenced, and grew further apart the next couple of days. In my naïve mind all couples argued. There was always going to be some type of conflict because I wasn’t him and he wasn’t me. I had such a skewed idea of what marriage was all about…especially marriage to a pastor.

The Change

One day he broke the silence by telling me that he didn’t understand what was wrong with him. (Stop the train Errrttt). Say whaaaaatttt?

He’d realized that he blew things out of proportion a lot in his mind and had decided that he’d practiced hyperbole. What? I’d never even heard of the word. Hyperbole? Then he said it again, “There’s something wrong with me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.” When he said it, he looked like a sick puppy dog. I thought he was for real. After that, we began to do things different.

He suggested we make it a point to pray together every morning, study together, and take care of our house and marriage together, as one. I was confused. I was confused because the person I’d spent the last 16 months with, the one whose last name I’d changed mine to, the one who turned his back to me instead of embracing me while we slept, had done a 180̊ turn. He began to help around the house, plan our vacations, take on more clients to add to our income, and was more affectionate. We continued on in ministry and I quit one of my 3 jobs.  

Whew, I was ecstatic that we were past that hurdle. One morning after cooking breakfast, he left for work and called me from his car. “You have 30 days to pack your belongings and get out.” My brow furrowed, my heart dropped into my stomach, and I actually said, “what, can’t we talk this through?” Click. He’d hung up. It was on a Sunday.

Blind-sided / Discarded / Thrown away

I reacted by moving out, that day. I was in a tailspin, a dark place. I blocked his phone number and email. I never wanted to hear from him again. That Monday he went straight to the courthouse and filed for divorce. A week later he hand-delivered the pro-se divorce papers to a family member that I was living with under the pretense of wanting me to have some of the things I’d left behind. I didn’t talk to anyone or eat anything substantially for three weeks. I was devastated, blindsided.

Two months later, having made minuscule progress toward healing, I answered my phone without looking at the caller i.d. I had unblocked him because I’d had to forgive him for my own sake and out of obedience to the Lord. He was crying and trying to talk at the same time while driving. “I don’t want to be turned over to reprobate. I’m sorry. I was wrong. I don’t want God to turn me over for what I did.” I was confused! Had he talked to someone or had God gotten to him?

Not only had I forgiven him, but I restored him. I remember him saying how easy I made it for him. We counseled with the same pastor I referred to earlier. Although I had forgiven him and restored him, I was still incensed that he’d filed for divorce and put me out. I listened as he lied to the pastor right in front of me and as the pastor said, well he did apologize in front of the church and you should have been there and apologized, too.

The Heart-break…again

Many more eye-opening and heart-breaking things happened to open my eyes, like him attending his ex-wife’s birthday party in a tuxedo and texting me a picture of him from the event (he didn’t even wear one for our nuptials), attending his daughter’s wedding vow renewal without me (there was no room for me, he said), him moving to another state expecting me to follow; his ex-wife helped him find his new place and gave him items to decorate. Piled on top of all of the other things that happened that I haven’t mentioned was when my car wouldn’t start one day after work. I turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. I sat there thinking. My first call was to the towing company, not my husband. Odd. Knowing it would take about 45 minutes for the tow truck to come, I used the first 30 minutes to evaluate why I hadn’t called my husband first. Why did I have to evaluate this? Believe it or not, I ended up convincing myself that I was a big girl and that this was such a small matter to bother him with. On the other hand, I would have been there for him. I knew he wasn’t coming, and he didn’t. He later said that I should have told him to come. Even after all of that, I thought, for better or for worse. I let him back into my life. Just like that. We went to court together to quash the divorce proceedings.

Three months later he filed for divorce again and one month after that the divorce became final.

Read more about narcissism here https://narcsite.com/about/

Now, for those of you who read all four posts, you may want to re-read them to gather all of the details. Are you in a narcissistic relationship? We have an upcoming event on narcissism in November. Stay tuned. www.focusministries1.org

 

 

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Read Part 2 of 4

Una vez fui la esposa de un pastor Parte 3 de 4

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Is there any hope for this young lady? https://www.focusministries1.org/blog/is-there-any-hope-for-me

At the end of part 2, I asked a few questions…

What do you think of this real-life story so far? How would you address the issues this young lady has shared?

Here’s where we left off:

The first test came when his daughter called him from the emergency room. We were at his house. I heard him say, “I’ll be right there.” Then he looked at me with questioning eyes. He was beside himself, but I had no idea know why. Explaining that his daughter was in the emergency room, I thought that was why he went into panic mode.  I mean, I could understand him worrying about his daughter, but I saw panic in his eyes. “Do you want to come with me?” Huh, I thought…why would he ask such a silly question?

His Reaction Gave Me Pause

His reaction gave me pause. His reaction. Not the gazillion thoughts hurling through my mind in the 30 seconds it took to answer him. My concern was him. I quickly dismissed my thoughts which were…Aren’t we a couple now? Aren’t we to share in each other’s lives? Isn’t it supposed to be about what concerns him concerns me and vice-versa? Don’t I have a key to his apartment and aren’t we now on the same phone plan? Then, I began to rationalize. Well, we are new in the relationship, maybe he’s not comfortable with my being around his kids. Maybe he’s afraid his daughter, whom I was sure he’d told about me, would reject me. His question didn’t make sense. I snapped out of it, not wanting to appear combative, and said yes, I’d like to go. I said it calmly. On the inside I was sad. I couldn’t pinpoint why, though.

On the way to the hospital I was quiet…and so was he. As we walked into the room his daughter occupied, I greeted her—a person I barely knew—with concern on my face and voice. My personality, I guess. Then I proceeded to sit down. As the entire room came into view, I saw something I wasn’t expecting to see. He spoke to the other person in the room, whom I didn’t even know was in there. At that moment I was the other woman…something I’d never experienced before. It was his estranged wife. I felt that warm wash feeling come over me. I immediately felt like I was intruding. She and I spoke. It was awkward, to say the least. He sat by me. He didn’t have the nerve to tell me that his wife was already there. That was the reason he’d asked me earlier if I wanted to go. Later he told me that he didn’t know how to tell me. Can you say huge red flags? The fact that I had misgivings from the beginning. The fact that I gave him the benefit of the doubt. The fact that I didn’t listen to my first mind when he was moving too fast in the beginning.

I Digress

I digress. After I texted him to begin our relationship anew, we had dinner. He nervously fidgeted with the napkin and silverware. He must have picked up his water glass a million times. I was nervous too, but for a different reason. “I have to tell you something,” he said. I waited. Then he proceeded to tell me that he and his wife had been separated for a year and that they were getting divorced. He was still married! Argh! Separated, estranged, still means married. I did not let emotion show on my face—stoic woman that I was—fortunately the server came to the table to take our orders. When she left to get our food, I said, “so, you guys are separated.” His fidgeting began again. My inner dialogue was afire, but it remained there, locked inside. I said, okay. Now what? He began to tell me how awful his entire marriage had been and why he stayed so long…for the kids. He flooded me with reasons he’d finally decided to move out, all for which I pitied him. Poor him, in a horribly emotionless and sexless marriage, to a monster of a woman who was the mother of his now grown children. I could have—I mean should have—said at that point, thanks for dinner, please take me home…and never call me again, but I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t. Breathe. Instead I thought of all his good qualities, how much he seemed to ‘get’ me, how once this season in his life was over, we could build our lives and ministry together. He was so surprised at how calm I was that he finally began to eat his cold food.

Six months later he was divorced and six months after that he asked me to marry him on my birthday. He’d already called my family thanking them for me and asked my Dad for my hand in marriage! I assumed that he was completely detached emotionally and financially or why else would he have even asked me to marry him. Again! Before saying yes, I… gave…pause. I couldn’t believe he was asking me to marry him. For some reason, I was blindsided. Something inside wouldn’t let me feel worthy of someone loving me and wanting to spend the rest of his life with me. I was quiet for so long that he finally said, “I’m serious.”

My mouth would not open. But then, I said yes. Finally, my prince charming and I could ride off into the sunset together and live happily ev…

As the months progressed, we got along very well. There was favor in our marriage planning. He had joined and was preaching at my church. I was accepted by his ministry family and his grown children. Even his now ex-wife and I respected each other. All was well. No bumps in the road.

Don’t Marry Him

Then one day at church I was walking down the hall on my way to the sanctuary when a young lady, while walking past me, said, “Don’t marry him.” I stopped, she stopped, we faced each other. She stared directly into my eyes and repeated herself. She didn’t laugh. She didn’t explain herself.

“I” married him. I emphasized the “I” because sixteen months later the drama began. I began to see that “I” was in this marriage alone.  I was willing to do anything necessary to keep our marriage afloat and happy. I became the live-in super-maid with a lot of fringe benefits, participated in ministry work, was a caretaker for my Mom. I worked two part-time sometimes three, jobs and we volunteered every weekend. One day, running around the grocery store on break I almost passed out. I was exhausted. I called to tell him what happened and…nothing. No, what can I do to help…nothing. His non-reaction weighed heavily on me. Didn’t he care? When I came home from work, I had an attitude. He was trouble-shooting someone else’s computer issue. I dropped the groceries on the kitchen counter and left them there. Sitting at my desk, I waited for him to get off the call he was on. When his call was finished, he asked me what was for dinner and had I picked up his dry-cleaning. I had to ask him to look at me. Rubbing his eyes, he leaned back in his chair.

I think we’re going to have to go to part 4.

What are you thinking of this woman at this point?

Do you know someone like her?

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  Please read here:  For Part 1

In Espanol: Una vez fui la esposa de un pastor Parte 2 de 3 – I Used to Be a Pastor’s Wife – Part 2 of 3

 

We began to spend more time together, exchanged phone numbers, he met my dad, and he took me to meet his sisters. Everything took off from there, as they say, in a whirlwind. When he offered to put me on his phone plan, I declined…at first. When, five months later, he offered me the key to his apartment, I was shocked. I put the brakes on because, why…because frankly that scared me. I told him that I needed to step back from ‘us’ for a while because I didn’t know what to do with all of this. He was not happy about it, but he accepted my decision.

Decisions…Decisions

Days after that, I sat silently, second-guessing myself. Had I done the right thing? Was I going to lose out on my Prince Charming? [Hindsight…intuition is monumental here. She felt a tug. A tug that gave her pause. Things were moving too fast.] Just like I always do when faced with a dilemma, I sought counsel from my married friend-girl and my Pastor—not his wife. She asked me the tough questions like; Did you do a multi-state criminal background check on him? How does he treat his Mama? (If she is still alive, make sure you observe this for yourself) Have you stalked the Facebook pages of any of his exes to see what they’re saying? How many baby Mama dramas does he have? How long has he been on his J.O.B.? (Not working for a temp agency or between jobs) What does he think about watching porn? Has he ever cheated on anyone he’s been in a relationship with? (Explain what you mean by cheating) What I would do when he didn’t meet my expectations. How many of his children and grandchildren is he currently supporting? We discussed the pros and cons of being married verses remaining single. She thought things were moving way too fast.

Pastor’s Response

In the brief phone call I shared with my pastor, the only question he asked was, “Is he saved?” What does that even mean? I didn’t ask Pastor that at the time, but it could mean, has he confessed Christ with his mouth only and not his actions or does he go to church, or does he believe every word in the Bible is from God.  Does he believe as I do, in the Trinity? He never asked me how I knew for sure that he was saved or what my spirit was revealing to me. He never asked to meet him or what I appreciate most about him; or what commitment meant to me? In hindsight I wondered why my Pastor whom I had known for many years, hadn’t taken the time to counsel me when I first brought this to him. I would find out later.

Notice, I didn’t say I sought God. I sought my friend-girl and my Pastor. Another question occurred to me, too, why hadn’t I spoken with my Pastor’s wife instead of him? They’d been married over 40 years. As I sit here sharing this today, I shake my head and sigh. Had I listened early on to what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me, I would have saved myself 3.5 years of tremendous heartache…but I didn’t.

Decision Made

Instead, I texted him and we began the relationship anew. I was digging myself deeper into a hole and into the nightmare that was to come. We became exclusive one week after my re-opening the door with the text message I’d sent and sealed our ‘now budding’ relationship with our first kiss and my accepting the key to his apartment. I rationalized with myself by focusing on what everyone, and I do mean everyone, said about him. “He’s so humble.” “He’s so nice.” “He’s so giving and caring.” “He has great knowledge of the word and lives by it.” “He’s a great Dad.” “He has his own business.” Blah, blah, blah.

He was eager to pick up where we’d left off. We began to spend a lot of time together. I found myself sharing a lot about my horrid past. I’d been in abusive relationships. I was molested as a child. I was wounded. I wanted him to know what he was getting, being in a relationship with someone like me. [I found out later that he found that weak and detesting. My revelations had set me up for the perfect storm. He’d use those things against me.] I’d call him mornings and wish him a blessed day on my way to work. He’d call in-between clients to see what our dinner plans were. We began attending my brick and mortar church, and, I became an integral part of his established virtual ministry. I’d began to prepare for and to take over the Bible study when he wasn’t able to. That felt good. He trusted me with people he’d known for years. He’d always tell me how great I did and how he loved the fact that I got people to interact during the class. A few months later, my Pastor had accepted him as one of his ministerial staff and he’d began to preach and teach at my church. We bonded over those two things, which later became a problem. I was in 7th heaven. He appeared to be also. We’d developed “our” system, and it worked for us.

The first test came when his daughter called him from the emergency room. We were at his house. I heard him say, “I’ll be right there.” Then he looked at me with questioning eyes. He was beside himself, but I had no idea know why. Explaining that his daughter was in the emergency room, I thought that was why he went into panic mode.  I mean, I could understand him worrying about his daughter, but I saw panic in his eyes. “Do you want to come with me?” Huh, I thought…why would he ask such a silly question?

Stay tuned…

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Is there any hope for this young lady? https://www.focusministries1.org/blog/is-there-any-hope-for-me

What do you think of this story so far? It’s a true story shared with permission.

How would you address the issues this young lady has shared so far?

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 Like to read this blog In Espanol

Shared with permission:              

We met in the business office of the apartment complex where I lived. He was the I.T. professional, and I was the patient person waiting for him to fix whatever was ailing the printer. Get it? I was waiting for him to fix the problem. I didn’t understand the significance of that statement, until many years later. My last relationship ended two years ago, but I was still bitter and reeling from deep hurt. I was in the ‘don’t even look my way’ mode. This was definitely not the time to even think about entering a new romantic relationship. Once he fixed the printer, he smiled at me, as if in admiration. I ignored him. I just wanted him to fix the printer and to get out of my sight. I never wanted to have anything else to do with men, ever. Later, he told me that he kept finding a reason to come back to that site—this was one of many sites he serviced—so he could ‘run into’ me again. At that time, I was a tiny bit flattered, but I wasn’t up on the game.

 

After a few weeks, I did ‘run into’ him again at the business office. I didn’t have an ulterior motive for being there, but he did. He asked me to lunch. I told him no. He was persistent, and I gave in after a few weeks of cajoling. The day of our lunch I was super-excited. Not because I was having lunch with him, but because it was the same day that I had received a shipment of my new books I was going to sell at an upcoming book signing. I was putting them in the trunk of my car when he arrived. He asked what kind of books they were, and I told him that all of my books were Christian books. That was his in. After viewing them, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a wad of bills and purchased ten of them—for his ministry. As he was loading the books into his trunk, he explained that he was a pastor. His ever-present smile grew larger.

 

At lunch, he went on to tell me that because of the nature of his job—him always being on the go to various clients—that he had an established virtual ministry that met Wednesday evenings for Bible study and they also had corporate prayer every Monday evening. He had many pastor friends and acquaintances that he did ministry with regularly. He invited me to his virtual Bible study, and after a few weeks, I finally dialed in.

Wow, I thought, not only was he an I.T. professional with his own business, he was a Pastor!! In my naïve mind, him being a pastor meant that we could reason together, as the Bible tells us to, and because we were equally yoked (both Christians), we’d be able to work out our problems, simply using biblical knowledge. We’d thrive together and help others learn about the Lord. We would submit to each other, forgive each other, and—of course after repentance—restore each other, without giving it a second thought. This man would have my best interest at heart. Blah, blah, blah.  I’d finally met a ‘real’ man. One who knew the Lord. Not one who just said he did, using lip service. Surely this man had an ongoing and fruitful relationship with Abba! He had the hook up…a direct line to the Lord! That thoroughly…and I do mean thoroughly, excited me. I began to relax the perpetual frown on my face and have a glimmer of hope again that I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life as a lowly single woman. I was enthralled by the way he appeared to soak in every word I said while we were lunching and kept staring intently at me as if we were the only two on the planet. We began to spend more time together, exchanged phone numbers, he met my dad, and he took me to meet his family. Everything took off from there, as they say, in a whirlwind. When he offered to put me on his phone plan, I declined…at first. When, five months later, he offered me the key to his apartment, I was shocked. I put the brakes on because, why…because frankly because it scared me. I told him that I needed to step back from ‘us’ for a while because I didn’t know what to do with all of this. He was not happy about it, but he accepted my decision.

 

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3

What relationship red flags did you notice?

Why do you think the young lady felt things were moving too fast?

Did she do the right thing by halting the relationship?

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Want to read this article in Spanish? La mente de un abusador

What do these men have in common?

Dennis Rodman, Tommy Lee and  Vince Neil (Motley Crew), James Brown, Christian Slater, O.J. Simpson, Ozzy Osbourne, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Ray Rice, Ike Turner, Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Nicolas Cage, Alec Baldwin, Johnny Depp, Steven Seagal, Mickey Rourke, Terrence Howard, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.…  The list goes on and on. They’ve all been convicted of a form of domestic battery. This got me to thinking about what goes on in the mind of an abuser.

 

The following statements are derived from transcripts of interviews with different abusers.

“Once I can objectify a woman and then put a hand to her, it’s like I’m saying to her, “see, I told you.”

  • This statement shows that the abuser knows exactly what he is doing. He has an agenda. He’s got to win.

“I tried to give her a hug. She resisted that. It’s debatable whether or not I threw her to the ground.”

  • This statement shows that the abuser is in complete denial. It doesn’t matter why she resisted his attempt to hug her. He’s saying in other words, how dare you refuse me. In the last sentence of his statement he’s saying he doesn’t know how she made it to the ground.

“I believe some people bring about the worst in you.” “I didn’t do anything violent; I have knee jerk reactions.”

  • These statements show that the abuser is using an excuse for his actions.

“He knocked me out flat. He ran a knife across my throat.” His response to her statement, “I lightly punched her a couple times…a few taps.”

  • The first part of this statement is from the victim. The second part is in the eyes of the abuser. He’s belittling what he did (a few taps when she was actually knocked out flat), although not aware that he was admitting to the abuse.

“My wife picked up the knife and stabbed herself.”

  •  This statement is idiocrasy.

“I’m quite larger/taller than my wife, so I’d intimidate her with my size. I started using that as a controlling measure. It turned physical one afternoon, my wife wasn’t listening to what I was saying. I didn’t believe she was understanding what I was saying and in my mind, she was not being very clever or very alert to what I wanted so I lashed out and punched her in the stomach. This was about eight weeks after my son was born.”

  • Notice the expanse of  I statements. It’s all about him and what he wanted (control).

“Can’t think of a form of violence I didn’t display. Got to the point where I put my hands around her throat trying to get answers out of her. I squeezed…just couldn’t let go, until she passed out. I accused her of hitting herself.”

  • He was choking her while trying to get answers out of her.

“Breeching the restraining order, Dad told her to come out to the shed. He tied some rope to a rack on his truck, took [the other end] rope and put it around her neck and said, “I want to see you run.” He got in the truck, started it up, and said, “come on dog, I want to see you run. Run dog, run.”

  • In this scenario, the child is describing what he saw and heard. This abuser had breeched the restraining order and proceeded to exert his horrible behavior in front of his own child. He further demeaned and degraded his wife.

 

An Abuser in His Own Words by Megan Twohey – Tribune staff reporter  This is an edited transcript:

Q: What was your marriage to Regan Martin like?

A: Prior to May 2006, our life was good. I went to work. I didn’t go to bars or strip clubs. I wanted to do everything that was right for my family. We didn’t have a lot of friends outside of our marriage. We were always together. She claims she was abused for the whole eight years, but that’s totally unfounded.

Q: Why did you attack Regan?

A: All our problems stemmed from her going to school. I said I can take care of you and the bills, but she decided to go back to school. She could have done school during the day, but she got night classes and wouldn’t get home until midnight. It was a change for me. I couldn’t sleep without her next to me . . . I put my hands on my wife and shouldn’t have. . . . There are two sides. I plead guilty. I was wrong. But as far as raping her, that’s untrue. It did pertain to sex or lack thereof. . . . I won’t say too much more. I don’t want someone to look at me and think I’m a rapist.

One month after this interview, John Samolis was arrested and charged with violating the order of protection that Martin had against him by calling and text-messaging her. On Aug. 18, he pleaded guilty to a previous violation of the order. He will remain in jail until a Will County judge will deliver his sentence. He faces up to 6 years in prison.

There’s a lot going on in this article.

  • He states that their life was good, initially. She states that she was abused the entire eight years of their marriage. He states that all their problems stemmed from her going back to school. He was upset that she took night classes because he needed her their beside him in bed in order to sleep. He did own up to hitting her but wouldn’t say that he raped her because, “I don’t want someone to look at me and think I’m a rapist.” While we don’t have the entire story, we see that in this instance the abuser didn’t get his way, became upset, then raped his wife.  If the victim says that she was abused the entire eight years of their marriage I would think that she has a reason to feel that way. Wouldn’t you? He alluded to the fact that sex was lacking in their marriage, so he felt he had the right to her body, even if she said no.

 

Domestic violence: How I turned into an abuser by Lauren Wilson news.com.au

For eighteen awful months, Matt verbally and physically attacked his young wife. He controlled her every move, even disabling the spark plug leads in her car so she couldn’t escape him. Like almost all perpetrators of domestic violence, Matt told himself his wife was the problem, even while he physically attacked her. His denial ran so deep he began to hate her, telling himself that she brought out the worst in him, and that it was her fault for pushing his buttons.

“I remember the first time, just crossing the line into a really low-level physical alteration, and I thought wow, what has just happened?” Rather than getting help, the abuse escalated. “We continued to do laps around the cycle of violence, and there would be promises made each time,” he said.

Eighteen months into their marriage, when Matt’s wife finally fled to Brisbane, he decided it was time to get help. At the initial interview to join the support group he said, “I don’t really think I’m a perpetrator of domestic violence.” He said this after he decided it was time to get help.

       Verbally abusive pastor

Last night I watched a movie where the dad—who was a pastor of his own church—verbally abused his entire family. There was one scene where the son asked his mom if dad was going to come to his football game. She replied, I don’t know, let me call him. As she dialed his phone number, she was visually shaking because she knew she’d be verbally assaulted…again. “Why you calling me ‘bout something like that? You should be worried about cooking dinner, oh my bad, you burn everything you cook. You need to be going to the gym instead of worrying about what I’m doing. You’ve gained so much weight since we got married. She couldn’t get a word in edgewise. As he continued his rant, she inched the phone away from her ear, as he was getting louder and she was feeling smaller. The next day, as he was verbally berating their son and daughter the wife came out of the bedroom with a gun. “I can’t take this anymore,” she said crying. She fatally shot herself in the head and died in her son’s arms.

  • In his mind, the dad ruled the entire family. According to the book Violence Among Us; Ministry to Families in Crisis by Brenda Branson and Paula Silva, the abuser sees his rights, opinions, and desires as more important than those of his wife and children. They were going to do what he said whether they liked it or not. At the funeral their daughter stated to her friend, that their mom always listened to them and dialogued with them in love, but dad never did.

 

Proverbs 12:15a –  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. Malachi 2:16b—“…and [I hate] him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’”

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If you missed part 1, here’s the link… https://www.focusministries1.org/blog/he-chooses-to-abuse-part-1-of-2

 

In EAW—entitlement-abuser-world, the entitled-ee (Yvonne’s dictionary) is self-privileged and a cousin to narcissism. The entitled-ee’s desires are more important than anyone else almost 100% of the time. They believe they deserve admiration, respect, and have a right to dominance. In the EAW, they perceive themselves very differently from the normal person. They think, “I am in charge because I am the man”, or “I make the money, so I get to decide how it’s spent”.  The entitled-ee has no idea how to compromise with others, places impractical demands on their partners, and have never heard of the words mutually beneficial. They don’t always and necessarily have a general entitlement mentality towards the world, but they do have one towards their intimate partners. 

Unequally Yoked

In your current relationship, do you feel as if you exist only to fulfill the needs and agendas of the other person? Does he/she demand absolute compliance without complaint? Does he/she state opinions as irrefutable truisms or as law? Does your entire life revolve around them? That’s what I would call unequally yoked. What does it mean to be unequally yoked? I like this simple explanation from https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. The Bible states it this way… 2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  2 Corinthians 6:14 NAS: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Sadly, in the EAW—entitlement-abuser-world—they will most likely never feel mortified, deeply repentant, or become transformed. But…but, this would mean that they know exactly what they are doing…right. Bingo! Now you get it. Entitlement in relationships is replaced with mutual value.

  Real-life examples of EAW behavior

  • April Sams was thrown over a six-story parking structure by a male co-worker whose unwanted advances she had refused.

 

  • Maren Sanchez was stabbed in her high school hallway for saying “no” to a classmate’s prom invitation.

 

  • In the Solomon Islands, 35% of males believe that ‘it is acceptable for a man to hit and hurt his wife if she doesn’t do the housework to his liking’.

 

  • In Colombia, a young woman stated, “I believe that everything arises from the fact that men see us as sexual objects and as the persons they need to fulfill their sexual needs.”

 

Does the abuser even know what he/she is doing?

Yes. Is this entitled-ee choosing to abuse you?  Yes. Russell B. Lemle Ph.D. a contributor to Psychology Today in his article From Me-First to We-First gives us examples of entitlement in intimate partner relationships.

  • “Because I do more.” This entitlement is illustrated in the following dual-career marriage when they run out of milk. The husband states, “Since I work longer hours than you do, you should go to the market to get it.”

 

  • “Because of my gender.” Society encourages men and women to do things in certain ways, and our masculinity/ femininity can get rattled if not enacted. As such, we cite long-established sex-roles as entitlements for what we want. “I’m the man of the house so I should have the last word,” or “As a woman, I make better decisions about decor and social interactions.”

 

  • “My parents had elaborate holiday dinners, so we have to continue the tradition.”

 

Sadly, in the EAW, no matter how much you give him or do for him, it will never be enough for him.   https://thepowermoves.com/signs-of-an-abusive-relationship/

 

My plea to you…

Please, do not rush into one more intimate relationship. If you do, at the 1st sign that ‘something’ is not right…listen, take heed, then stop. Take time away to regenerate your soul.

 

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I frequently speak with women experiencing domestic/intimate partner violence. One of the hardest things I and they, find it hard to believe and accept is that domestic violence is a choice. Not the victim/survivor’s choice, but the abuser’s decision to specifically act in behaviors to gain, exert, and maintain power and control over you, who they claim to love. The abuser opts to, prefers to, uses as a privilege to, determines to, selects to, harm you, his intimate partner. The abuser has a spirit of entitlement (his belief that he has a special status and that it provides him with exclusive rights and privileges that do not apply to you) to direct every aspect of your relationship the way he wants it to be. So, as you can see, none of this is your fault. Amazingly, abusers don’t think their behavior is abusive. Did you know that there is such a thing as a profile of an abuser?

I still have a huge problem wrapping my understanding around the abuser’s mentality—for some reason the insidiousness doesn’t compute—so I went searching for solutions. I came across the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft who has been working with angry and controlling men for approximately 23 years. Mr. Bancroft says, “Your abusive partner wants to deny your experience. He wants to pluck your view of reality out of your head and replace it with his.” Think about that for a while.

When the abuser does things like:

Keeps track of your every move; Constantly accuses you of things you didn’t do; Isolates you from family, friends, co-workers, etc.; Humiliates you in front of others; Throws your beloved puppy from the third-floor window; Forces sex on you; Can place you in fear from a certain look on his face; Threatens to harm your children if you don’t do thus and so; Refuses you access to your prescription medication; Laughs with the police officer who comes to your house claiming that he did nothing and that you are crazy; Comes to your job and throws acid on you; Drags you by your feet—hog-tied—down the hallway to prove a point; Tells you nobody loves you but him as he holds you in his arms; Tries to convince your family and friends that you are the crazy one, unstable, exaggerating the situation or that you provoked a ‘heated response’ instead of owning up to their own actions; etc. he is perversely rewarded. These are choices he’s intentionally forcing on you. “He feels that it is your job, your responsibility, to alleviate his burden. Your failure to do so, from his self-centered perspective, is an abdication of your duty, a form of betrayal.” Steve Becker, LCSW, CH.T

The deluded abuser honestly believes that his devious exertion of power and control is in your…best…interest! In his mind you are an unpaid servant who should do everything to his liking—you don’t count. Another excerpt from Lundy Bancroft’s book: “When I have new clients, I go to the board and draw a compass with the needle pointing straight up to a big N. “You want your partner to be this compass, “I say to them, “and you want to be North. No matter where the compass goes, it always points in the same direction. And no matter where she goes, or what she’s doing, or what’s on her mind, you expect her to always be focused on you.” No matter what you do for him, it will never be enough.

The Bible verses below give us insight on entitlement.

James 4:1-12  – “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…”

2 Timothy 3:2 – “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…”

It’s always good to get an understanding about something that vexes your spirit, which for me is domestic violence. I do understand a little more about the mentality of an abuser, but it’s still hard to accept.

Next, let’s dispel a few myths and shine the light on the entitled abuser’s excuses:

Larry Bennett, PhD, licensed social worker and professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work, says, “A batterer who quits drinking is a sober batterer.”

I yelled at you because you acted like you weren’t listening to me. I was hit as a child, and that’s how I was raised. If our kids didn’t tell me that you were reading the newspaper, I wouldn’t know that you were planning to leave me.                                                               

Will you be able to spot an abuser pre-relationship?

Don’t be shy…leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Stay tuned for Part 2.                                                                                                                                 Yvonne Cole

 

 

 

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Who is going to take care of everything else if I am taking care of myself?

I have a friend named Sophia. Sophia and her 4-year-old twins were going back home to Germany to visit. She listened, with one ear while trying to settle the twins down, as the flight attendant went through the standard pre-flight announcements… “If there should be a change in cabin pressure…put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” She thought, “I’ve heard this before, but shouldn’t I try to save my children first? It seems counter-productive and—well…a bit—selfish?” Putting on your oxygen mask first is an important metaphor for those of us who run around taking care of everything and everyone else except ourselves. Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival?  Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else. If Sophia had passed out because she wasn’t getting oxygen, what would have happened to her twins?

If you are sold out or will by any means possible meet the needs of your self-entitled perpetrator and neglecting yourself, you will certainly crash and burn. I can tell you this because it happened to me. On my lunch break one day I went shopping to get dinner ingredients. This was after I’d done a gazillion other things that were expected of me that morning before I went to work. As I rushed through the aisles, I rounded a corner, and everything began to swim around me. Think vertigo. I paused—but only for a millisecond—then continued my shopping. I was so set on being the perfect wife. Newsflash, the perfect wife doesn’t exist. Marriage is not a singles club, it’s a two becomes one club. Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent; it’s simply one tool you can turn to when coping with or healing from an abusive relationship. Self-care is the opposite of self-neglect, the practice of taking an active role in protecting your own well-being.  Selfishness or empty conceit is often expressed by building up oneself while tearing down someone else.

Do you know what happens as you faint/ black out/ swoon/pass out? You lose consciousness because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. As the oxygen saturation levels in your body drops, you begin to experience hypoxia (low oxygen in your blood and tissues). When your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to your tissues to meet your body’s needs and your brain goes without oxygen, things can get ugly quick.  You begin to not think clearly or quickly, feel disorientated, might become nauseous, struggle to pay attention, make decisions, or are unable to remember things. Your basic human functions (like say, the will to live) just completely stop working. You eventually pass out.

“Self-care is a simple concept, yet for many of us, it can be incredibly difficult in practice. It is especially challenging for survivors of abuse, who are often made to feel like they are not worthy of love or care. But the truth is that everyone deserves to be cared for, and we all have the power to be our own caregivers. That’s what self-care is all about; taking care of yourself in ways that feel best to you, focus on your own health and well-being, and bring you comfort.” (Taken from National Domestic Violence website.)

“Self-care is about how we can be our best selves in order to be of support to those around us. For children to lead healthier lives, they need a healthy adult who can act as an emotional buffer to stressful or traumatic experiences. In other words, taking care of my own emotional health and well-being is one of the best investments that I can make for my kids’ health.” Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. MomsRising.org

Is self-care Biblical?

1 Corinthians 3:16: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

Mark 12:31: “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Ephesians 5:29: states: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…”

Luke 5:16: “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Even Jesus prioritized alone time with the Father. There are MANY examples of Jesus taking this time to recharge. This is a vital part of anyone’s self-care plan – crucial to both spiritual and mental health! Jesus knew His limitations and remembered his priorities.

Luke 10: 38-42; and Mark 2:27: Jesus encouraged others to rest, like when He told Martha not to be anxious about the housework, but to come and relax with Him.

Hebrews 4:9: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God…”

Quality of life

When we were shown by the attending doctors that the ventilator began breathing for my mom at almost 100%, I immediately went into denial. I wanted to crawl into her hospital bed, hold her in my arms, and if possible, trade places with her. I wanted to will away the toxins in her body and the sepsis in her blood and make her whole again. One of her doctors said something that made me think. He said that if we left her in the state she was in, she’d need someone to attend to her indefinitely. She would never get up from the hospital bed again. Once a very self-sufficient woman, she’d never be able to care for herself again. Then he said that she would not have any quality of life. That did it for me. When we’re in such a state that our quality of life is severely diminished, we won’t be able to take care of ourselves.

At its core, self-care is all about being good stewards of our bodies, minds, and souls in order to become the best version of ourselves. In Genesis, God commands us to take care of all His creation. And guess what? That includes us.

Imagine a life where you have more energy, more time, and are more positive. In this scenario you’re more present with others and more creative.  Who doesn’t want that?  What family, work environment and world doesn’t need or want that? What if, in life, you metaphorically put your oxygen mask on first, not because you’re selfish, but because you can do more — for others and for yourself — if you prioritize your own needs.

We need you!                        Yvonne Cole                                                                                                                                             

Please reply back to this post with ways you self-care.                                                          

You may feel as though you are trapped permanently in your abusive relationship; like there is no way out. Living in an abusive relationship is miserable and leaves you feeling hopeless. Sometimes you are paralyzed inside of the fear. Your outlook isn’t very uplifting or appealing and all you can think about are the eggshells you walk on daily and if you are going to say or do something that will wreak havoc. Even though you did nothing wrong, are not the reason for the ranting and raving, and why the choice/decision to abuse you is not your fault, your instinctive default is to blame yourself. “I must have done something to make ___________ mad.” “I shouldn’t have provoked _________.” Let’s face it, you live with a tyrant, whom you love, but at the same time, you are not sure if you love this person. It’s confusing mentally and emotionally. All you know is that you are miserable and trying to make it through the day. Here’s an option for you while you’re trying to figure out what you are going to do.

 Shake it Off and Take a Step Up

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; so, it just wasn’t worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realizing what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely.

The farmer peered down into the well and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of all the neighbors.

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone.

We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

        Author Unknown

I’ve been where you are…many times. People don’t understand why you are still with the person who brings you such misery.  Truth be told, you may even wonder that same thing.  Have you ever heard of trauma bonding? It is a part of the cycle of abuse. Maybe you grew up witnessing abusive relationships and it’s what you subconsciously gravitate to. Maybe you want to believe so badly that your abuser will change that you continue to hope. Maybe we are so unaware of our own needs that we neglect to “feel” for ourselves. You’ve probably heard, “If I were you, I wouldn’t take that.” People who are not in abusive relationships can say that because they’ve never walked in your shoes. They don’t have a clue.

Sense domestic violence is about power and control I’m going to try to help you get your power back and take control of your life. It’s better to make your decisions from a place of strength instead of abject fear. That bears repeating: It’s better to make your decisions from a place of strength instead of abject fear. Teach yourself how to identify the situations in which you are letting fear control you. And yes, it’s a lot easier said than done. It requires brutal honesty and self-transparency. It means you really have to open up and allow yourself to get a glimpse of your inner scaredy cat.”

You might try…

♥ Take one hour at a time. Just like the donkey in the story above, he shook the dirt off a little bit at a time and stood on it. Don’t look too far into the future. You can take baby steps, just like when you first learned how to walk. You took a step, wobbled, fell, then got back up. When you see that you’ve made it through hour number one, you get a wee bit stronger. When you see that you made it through hour number two, whatever that hour contains, picture yourself getting stronger. Just like the GPS on your device or in your vehicle, you only get enough direction to get you to the next turn in the road. Incidentally it works that way with the other God’s Powerful Spirit. But at all costs avoid the Great Prowling Schemer (Satan)

♥ Get clear. You can only change yourself. What you have in this relationship is not love. Love is the absolute opposite of what you are currently experiencing. You don’t “need” this person. The abuse you are experiencing far outweighs the few good times you’ve shared. You can hope for the best for this person…at a distance and where you are safe. You are not incompetent or whatever other negative words your abuser uses against you to control you.

♥ This may be difficult while you are living in a seemingly permanent situation, but there is “something” that you can be grateful for. Find whatever that is and laser focus on it. If you can only find one thing, repeat that to yourself. God has many promises in the Bible. Learn them so well that you recite them in the midst of upheaval.  Can you remember a time of peace you’ve had? Focus on that. Kiddos napping—relish that time of peace. Watch silly cat videos or anything that makes you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt. You’ll find more. What we’re aiming for here is to change your perspective so that your strength can be renewed, and you can mount up with wings as eagles.

♥ Realize that you will never get “it” (dinner, laundry, sex) exactly the way the abuser wants, because his/her wants always change. You can’t hit a moving target.

A change must occur in order for change to occur.

Dear one: You deserve to experience what Jesus Christ came for, and that is to have an abundant life. Let’s not make his death for naught.

*****Write down one thing you are going to change. Just one…and stick to it. Then build upon it, just like the donkey did in the beginning of this post.

Click the link below for more in depth version of victim-survivor-thriver…Oh and share this with someone you love.

Victim – Thriver – Survivor

Yvonne Cole

Need a refresher of series 2?

https://www.focusministries1.org/blog/5-steps-to-quiet-courage-a-way-out-series-2-of-3

It seems almost impossible to emotionally detach (a defense mechanism used to cope with distressing or overwhelming emotions. It involves disconnection between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) from an abusive marriage, dating situation, toxic family member or co-worker, while you are still in the situation, but you can proactively remove yourself mentally.  No one can read your mind, but God. Pray first (Read Psalm 91), then ask God to help you purpose in your heart and mind that you will no longer allow your boundaries to be crossed, your feelings trampled on, your ideas discounted, your feelings invalidated, etc. Someone might ask, “Why not just leave?”  You will, but you want to leave smart, not hard by developing an escape plan. First, escape (detach) in your mind, then the physical escape can follow. As you can see, detaching emotionally is crucial. You’ve been thinking about leaving for a while now.

When you have, unfortunately common, situations like this, (The recent case of Zach Smith, the former assistant football coach for Ohio State University. His ex-wife, Courtney Smith, made it known that she was a victim of domestic violence. She even had physical evidence to prove her abuse, which many survivors are not able to provide. Despite the evidence, head coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith chose to give Zach the benefit of the doubt instead of believing Courtney and neglected to take action. Like many abusive partners, Zach presented as Mr. Hyde to his colleagues, and Dr. Jekyll to his partner, making it difficult for those who knew him publicly to see him as being capable of abuse) happen it makes your life harder as a victim, but God! You are still on this earth for a reason.

In series 2 we listed 4 steps to detach. Step 5 focuses on planning your escape. The following is the list from series 2.

How to emotionally detach while in your abusive relationship:

  1. Make changes that are going to make you smile inside-out for real. Courtesy of Kate of luvze.com What are some of the things you used to love to do? Write? Color? Walk? Dream? Listen to music?
  2. Whenever you can, get quiet and listen while your spirit intertwines with the Holy spirit. He talks to us daily. Read the Bible. Read inspirational stories. Recite in your mind or on paper those things you are grateful for. God has hidden blessings in this challenge you are facing.
  3. Get brutally honest with yourself. Not to be confused with berating or belittling yourself. Take off your rose-colored glasses and look at your situation the way it truly is, not how you wish it could be or how it was in the beginning. Can you recall any of the red flags that manifested themselves before you became a duo? Hindsight is 20/20. Promise yourself that you will learn from it.
  1. Grieve Even though you are still physically in the relationship, you can remove yourself emotionally. The end of a relationship is hard. No matter what happened in the relationship, it’s hard. Your hopes and dreams of being loved and experiencing genuine love are dashed. When we attach ourselves or join to another, that person becomes a part of us. Show grace to yourself and begin the grieving process. Allow yourself to take this journey and realize that it’s not a rush job that can be done overnight. Christians grieve differently than those who have no hope. The stages of grief—Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—will come and go. Sometimes several times a day.

Grief from Shattered Dreams

Grief is more than facing the reality of what is. It is the process of letting go “what should and could have been”, then releasing the hurt and pain and turning our focus to the Lord who brings comfort and hope.”

      Paula Silva

We’re in no way discounting anything that you’re experiencing at the hands of or from the mouth of the person who claims to love you, in any shape form or fashion. Your experience is yours, specific to you only. “I’ve never gotten a black eye or a busted lip, but I’ve felt abused in one way or another: mentally, emotionally, verbally,” J. Lo (Jennifer Lopez).

Right now, you’re living in fear of what he’ll do next, anger at yourself for being afraid, shame that you are enduring violence, dread of his comings and goings, uncertainty of how you will support yourself and your children if you leave, anxiety and worry that you can make it on your own, guilt that you have been telling lies to your family members and/or co-workers about your situation, and the list goes on and on. You might start to question your own perception of reality and sometimes even your sanity. That’s why you must get free in your mind first. Your mind governs all else. Worry is a trick of the enemy of your soul who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) See the list above.

You know what you must do, but you’re wondering if you have the courage to do it. In some cases, your safety and the safety of your children are in immediate danger. You must get to someone who can help you. In other cases, the danger is imminent but not immediate. Right now, you are living in continual stress, trauma, and survival mode. Make your mental and physical health a priority. Stop blaming yourself. You will never do or be enough to the abuser no matter what you do. If your abuser is gone a lot, make good use of that time instead of worrying what he/she is doing.

 

5. STRATEGIES

  • Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells, or fire escapes to use.
  • Keep your purse and car keys ready and put them ___________________ in order to leave quickly.
  • Tell your neighbor about the violent situation and request that she or he call the police if she or he hears suspicious noises coming from my house.
  • Teach your children how to use the telephone to contact the police, the fire department, and 911.
  • Create a code with your children or my friends so they can call for help.
  • Follow your intuition of when things are ramping up and move to a place that is not enclosed.
  • Keep copies of important documents and keys in a safe place outside of the house.
  • Tell the people who take care of my children which people have permission to pick up my children and that my partner is not permitted to do so.
  • Keep my order of protection on my person.
  • Inform my employer not to let him in the office or not to put calls through from him.
  • If I feel down and am returning to a potentially abusive situation, I can remind myself of all the bad times.

Emotional detachment is a sign of inner strength. You are stronger than you think you are. You can have a fear-free life. There can be life after abuse; a life of love, hope, and peace.

A prayer for you:

Lord, you are an ever-present help in the time of need. You created everything that was created and you created my dear sister/brother who is experiencing domestic violence. You are a personal God who takes a personal interest in each of His creations. Provide a way of escape, both mentally and physically so that this dear sister/brother can heal and begin to live the abundant life you came to give us.   In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Yvonne Cole

For a more detailed safety plan click the link below.                                                                                

https://www.focusministries1.org/articles/DevelopingASafetyPlan.pdf