Have you ever been told that the things happening in your home are “figments of your imagination”? That’s not very validating, is it? Not very affirming.
But that is what we hear sometimes when we actually get up the courage to tell someone what’s going on behind closed doors. “Oh no,” they say. “That’s not really how it is, maybe you’re exaggerating. Maybe you are misunderstanding. Truly you are over-reacting because that’s not how he is when I see him. Maybe you’re just getting over-emotional about what he said.” Left unsaid, maybe it’s just that time of the month…
When we confront the abuser in our home, we are told, “No, that’s not how it happened at all. Not what I said.”
Could it all be figments? After enough gaslighting in our homes and disbelief from our family, friends, church and others, we begin to wonder. We begin to doubt our own sense of reality, our own sanity, even.
Could we really imagine all of that? Did he just threaten a weird accident to happen in our home? Did I just hear him telling the kids that “Mommy has some mental health problems”? Did he give me a huge hug on purpose to force the breath out of my lungs and scare me, or is he showing me a whole bunch of affection right now? That’s what he said, but is that really what that was about?
A friend went to her pastor recently. She wanted Pastor to know that her husband who is well-known and loved in the congregation, who serves in the children’s ministry and never misses a Men’s Bible Study on Saturday morning has a raging pornography addiction. “Oh, come on,” said the pastor. “It’s not that big of a deal. Why I’d bet that 75% of the guys here at the church look at pornography. It’s not that bad. It’s sure not adultery.”
Was it just a figment of Jesus’ imagination when He spoke to the crowd listening to the Sermon on the Mount saying, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Abuse is sin. Adultery is sin. Watching pornography is sin.
It’s not a figment of our imagination when our husband comes to bed and treats us like a prostitute because he has been watching something perverse on his screen. It’s not a figment of our imagination when his shoes are purposely left on the stairs where we will walk down to do the laundry in the early morning. It’s not a figment of our imagination when he is texting his old high school girlfriend just to say “hey what’s new? Just thinking about you today”.
God’s Word is truth. Never a figment. It says in Ephesians 5:8-13 “for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”
If you speak to a church leader or someone else about the abuse in your home, and they don’t believe you, please contact us. WE WILL BELIEVE YOU. We know it’s not a figment.
Call 630.617.0088 or email [email protected] to get the affirmation and support you need.