The Back and Forth-ness of Leaving An Abuser
I may have mentioned before that it took me three years to leave my abuser. I tried to leave once but had little resources, no support and four small children, including a newborn. I was convinced to come back out of sheer necessity. For the next three years, I would claw my way out of the paradigm I has known for so long. I would speak with good friends, who were honest with me about the abuse . . . then I turned away from them, cutting them off (my ex-husband convincing me they were evil) . . . then, months later, ask for help, again, from these incredibly patient friends. And on and on the cycle continued. I wonder how discouraged my friends were. My life was a yo-yo of confusion. I knew he was abusive but everything pulled me back. It was like I was in a cult. I think, if I were an artist, I would paint a picture of a scared young women, clutching her children . . . running . . . with talons holding onto the back of her clothes, digging into her skin. We were told to obey our husbands; to submit. We were told to respect them, regardless. We were unworthy and sinful if we did not . . . . no matter what they did to us.
Lately, I have been the friend who has tried to open the eyes of women who are “in the fog”. Some of them have responded well. Others have cut me off and I have become the enemy. At first, this stung. But, I remember what I went through. I remember the stifling guilt . . . the intimidation . . . the fear . . . the confusion. And all I have are mercy and tears for those who have cut me off. And I wonder if they will come back one day. Or find someone else who will help them on their journey. But, I refuse to be cautious because other brave souls were not cautious with me. I remember the day I instant messaged a friend. I was finally willing to face the truth. “Is he abusive?” I asked. My friend said, “Yes.” That was when I began making plans to leave.
Why is it so difficult to leave? Because we have a false sense of security and a false sense of loyalty. At least, I did. I felt like I HAD to answer his texts and emails and phone calls. I just simply had to. Or I was sinful. I panicked if I did not. Even months after I left. I felt I had to consult him on everything. It sounds so crazy now! I needed a release. And I asked God to release me. I came to the understanding and realization that I was not under his authority. And I stopped answering him. And, I actually confessed to God the fact that I allowed a mere person to control me . . . and not just the Holy Spirit. It creeps in on you. That control. To where only a look or a tone of voice will make us jump and ask “how high?!” It has to stop. It just has to stop.
At some point, I decided to stop coming up for a breath of fresh air and simply stay in the fresh air. There comes a time when soul ties must be cut. And the Protector of our Hearts is the One to do that. He is more than capable. As I struggle to walk this road with friends . . . a road where I am often the lone wolf in what I am saying . . . I pray that God will loose the strings that connect these ladies to their abusers. After all, my brothers and sisters walked through that valley with me. Give them freedom, Lord!