Lies, Abuse, and Healing
My problem is that, it’s one thing to work at recovering from the years of abuse, but another to see people that look as though they hate me. I want to explain to all of them that I was abused, not anyone else. I have been researching the deprogramming (there’s a new word for it, but I can’t think of it at the moment) of an ex cult member. It seemed logical that if I was indoctrinated into a life of lies, that I could use the deprogramming methods to come back to a reality of myself. I have had “waves” of feeling like me. They pass so quickly, but at least they have started.
Though it’s been years, it still hurts when I see people be mean to me. I read my Bible for an hour a day and pray for at least an hour, maybe two, to get thru the day. I live a pretty isolated life myself and feel weak when I’m alone. My husband is a very strong personality and most people really like him. When I’m with him, I feel a lot stronger. He doesn’t seem to understand why it’s taking so long for me to heal. I’ve thought of moving to a new area completely (& sometimes pray God moves us), so that I don’t have to see people that hate me, but have read that that is just running. I read my Bible and know that God truly loves me, but when I get around the judgmental people I could cry.
It sounds like you are dealing with many issues in your life. Some are from the past that are affecting the present. Knowing who you are in Christ will replace the lies that have been told about you, lies you believe about yourself, and the labels you carry. I would suggest doing the Bible study called Breaking Free by Beth Moore. Your life has been wallpapered with lies. The only way to replace the lies is with God’s Word in Scripture. Another book that would be helpful is Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge.
I would also suggest you take a sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side write the lies and on the right side write scripture that counters that lie. Here are some scriptures to get you started.
Zech. 9:16-17 – “The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!”
Psalm 45:11 – “The King is enthralled by your beauty!
Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NLT) – “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you…you will be happy again.”
Zephaniah 3:16-17 (NLT) – “Cheer up…don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song!”
Psalm 139:13-16 – “For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Only God’s Word can replace those lies. In the very beginning of creation, all of us were made in the image of God. God made us to be in relationship with him and others. We are not to live life alone. Even Christ when he was here on earth had close relationships. He didn’t do his ministry alone. As you replace the lies with scripture, start with one woman and begin to build a relationship. The isolation will disappear as you take the risk for others to know you. There are those out there who will care. We do.
I totally identify with, “Recovering” in her posting to FM! Unfortunately, FM was only able to address one of the issues posed but the one that really screams out for help is the one that I identify with the most which is: the apparent “hatred” that comes across from people for the “abused” (victim)! (Count how many times in her posting that she alludes to this fact!)In my recovery over the past couple of years now, I STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE THAT TREAT ME THAT EXACT SAME WAY! RSVP/ASAP! TY!
Dealing with people who hate you can be tricky. In the words of Dr. Henry Cloud, why would you want to? We try to change people’s perspective of us, but with some people that is not possible because they make a choice not to. It is normal to want people to like us, but in reality not all will. So we have to let go knowing that we do not need their approval nor is our identity found in their viewpoint of us. Our identity is in Christ. If we are confident of that, then we can let go of the need to have someone’s approval. In healing from others hatred of us, we need to look within ourselves to see why we need their approval. Are we codependent in the relationship or is their mutual caring, trust, and respect as in a healthy relationship?
Individuals who are abused have their foundation of trust broken, especially if there was abuse as a child and then carried over into their marital life. Human induced trauma creates a degree of cruelty that persons are capable of inflicting on one another. Shattered trust and betrayal and takes away personal freedom. Trauma thwarts subjectivity and freedom. To allow self-transcendence does not simply come from thinking rational. It requires healthy relationships with humans. Supportive relationships are necessary to mediate and learn how to trust which opens oneself to a primary way God seeks to communicate grace is indirectly through loving, interpersonal relationships. God provides what we need to learn how to trust. Pain hurts, but trust him in that it can heal.
I agree with Paula’s comment that references Dr. Henry Cloud. He has written some great books on Boundaries. Also, Jan Silvious wrote, “Fool-Proofing Your Life” These are great resources in trying to understand the ‘mean’ people in our lives. We do not to be close with everyone on this earth. Some people are clearly unhealthy- that is why God put references to fools in His Word to us. “God knew there would be those to whom you could not entrust yourself, so he offered an alternative way of behaving with these particular people.”
Learning how to be healthy first starts with putting up boundaries with unhealthy people.
I struggle with what others think of me as well. Especially since light has been shown on our family situation and my husband is so beloved by so many. I know the game he plays and it makes me sick in my stomach and makes me scream inside. But I know God sees me. He hears me. He loves me. And even if a thousand men thought I was evil and wrong, I know my Father is so completely in love with me, knowing my heart and who I am. His love is enough. I just have to keep reminding myself over and over and over.
Did you know that a polar bears skin is black? Now, a hundred “good” Christian men who have never really gotten to know polar bears would assume that his skin is white or pink. But I know its not, God knows it’s not. And those men saying it can’t possible be black doesn’t make it so. The people who look at you with hatred or anger, they don’t know you, they don’t know your life, your heart, your soul. But we know Who does. Praise God for His perfect love! Wrap your arms around yourself and say something nice about God’s precious girl. He’d want you too. 🙂
I am in the process of recovering from an abusive marriage (as well as a spiritually abusive cult.) Is there any other kind??
Other forms of abuse gave way to physical aggression during the last two years we lived together and God told me to get ready to leave. We had ministered as a family so many places and I had a number of supportive gestures made at first.
Now there seems to be a “Hurry up and get over it!” mentality showing up. However, although I have been separated from my minister-husband for 10 months, the first 2 months were spent with church family and the next 4 months at a domestic violence shelter.
I have only been “on my own” with our four children for about 4 months. This is my first time on my own since I left my mother’s house to marry him 18 years ago! The emotional fall-out for me & the kids (3 teens and 1 pre-teen) has been so discouraging at times. I now see him at least once a week as he spends time with the children or occasionally gives us a lift to the store.
I am using this time as testing, like the article in the newsletter and although he has not been aggressive, he slides veiled criticisms in conversations and will not answer many direct questions–though he expects his questions to be answered.
As I seek God’s directive for moving on with my life with my children, I am not yet my “old self”. I have 2 part-time jobs and God has shown me favor in so many ways during this process. Sometimes I get an unction to stay home from church and rest with the kids; then the pastor calls the next week and “wonders” which church he should call to check on us. He has my address and telephone number! I have learned that sometimes people will help according to their own agenda.
I thank God that He gave me those last 10 years with my husband to gather strength spiritually and emotionally to handle this difficult and sometimes confusing period. Just wish I could see the conclusion of the matter.
Realizing the lies, enduring the abuse, and healing can be a very long journey. In Joshua 1:9, God reassures Joshua for task before him. “Be strong and courageous. do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.”
This reassurance is for us also. God does not bring us back to our old self but creates a new better us. We experience healing as he creates a new and improved us. How cool is that!