Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019Nancy Virden
My son messaged me yesterday utterly frustrated over a story he heard about a woman who is heavily emotionally abused. When she finally left her husband, he attempted to kill himself. Now she fears escaping the marriage because she doesn’t want her young daughters to have to deal with their father’s suicide.
My heart goes out to her and to the many wives and mothers who are held as emotional hostages to controlling and abusive men. I am no expert and have never claimed to be. I do know that all abuse – all of it – is about power and control. Also, men who are embedded in their desire to control women, children, the elderly, psychologically weaker persons, the disabled, or anyone over whom they feel powerful, do themselves feel intimidated in some way. They are cowardly and small-minded.
This past weekend I spoke at a rehabilitation center for women. Residents receive counseling and are sometimes made aware of options they did not know existed. When I was there in 2013, the same happened to me. Abuse and abusers were described in ways I finally understood. Since then, through this blog and other means, it has been part of my intention to inform people how to recognize abusive behavior and the attitudes of abusers.
I saw a video of a baby koala bear in the moment of its rescue by wildlife preserve specialists. It did not understand what was happening, and puffing itself up and squealing, it tried to look and sound scary.
That is how I picture perpetual abusers. Unlike the koala, they are not victims in need of rescue. They are not incapable of making better choices. At some point, in fear, they began to puff themselves up and tried to sound scary. They are not worthless – no one is worthless – however, they are not to be trusted and cannot be respected.
What choices are left for women and girls caught in their web?
- Talk to a professional who understands the workings of emotional abuse as well as other types of abuse. To start, locate a women’s shelter and either go there or call them for recommendations.
- Talk to a lawyer who is recommended by the shelter or your counselor.
- Look online for advice from reputable sites. Avoid any site that promotes “stay married at all costs”. I believe most people mean well, but in the case of some religious convictions, they do not understand the skills abusers have at speaking the right “language” and faking repentance. Some scriptures are misapplied in these cases.
- Have at least one or two friends you can trust and lean on.
- Regardless how He has been portrayed to you, God is good. His nature is love. Call sincerely on Jesus to protect and guide.
- Find a church that teaches he is the only Son of God, and salvation is through faith in his death and resurrection. Then look for a support group within that church that speaks to abuse. If that does not exist, ask people who will pray with you for the power of God to change your circumstances and set you free.
- Remember you have options. Traps are releasable. You are not alone – so do not be alone in this mess.
- For an abuser who threatens harm to himself or another person, find a moment when you and the kids can go to the shelter. In an imperfect world, the help of others makes a huge difference.
Today’s Helpful Word
John 3: 20, 21
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!