A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Don’t Let Your Dead Body Prove That You’re Right

An old friend who is in the process of separating from her abuser was messaging me the other day. I’ll let you eavesdrop (with her permission).

Rosie: I’ve asked him to move out.

Me: You are brave. I’m praying for you.

Rosie: Or naive. Guess we’ll find out soon, eh? I have this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m so scared. Not sure I’ll sleep much this week.  He was furious and left the house. Who knows when he’ll be back.

Me: Hopefully never. Can you stay elsewhere until he goes?

Rosie: I don’t know.

Me: Could you stay with [a mutual friend]? Or a shelter? Staying at a shelter might get you faster access to their legal resources.

Rosie: I’m sorting options now.

Me: Stay safe. Praying. My friend pointed out that shelters have very good security.

Rosie: I’m going to stay until he messes up or it appears that he might. I woke up to him standing over me in the middle of the night. When I noticed him, he quickly went to bed again. Grr.

Me: [Resisting the urge to drive several hours to go pack her bags] I’m not the boss of you, but I’ll be the very strong urger of you. I STRONGLY URGE you to get into a shelter ASAP. Did you see this news story? I’m very concerned for you and your family. Please be safe.

Lundy Bancroft says these things come in waves. He says he gets waves of toaster throwers, waves of whatever kind of abuse is featured in popular media. Your abuser is a dangerous man. This is THE MOST DANGEROUS time of your life. I’m not trying to be chicken little. This isn’t an acorn falling on your head. You are married to a sociopath whose life’s ambition is to become a Dexter style serial killer. That’s no acorn. This is a big deal and seeking shelter isn’t overreacting.

Rosie: The other night I was wigging out over what he would do because of all his stories. He intends them to be comical but they’re not.

Me: Matthew 12:34 Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…Your abuser is telling you what’s in his heart. It’s not a joke. The Holy Spirit is warning you. What’s the status of the Facebook situation?

Rosie: I blocked him.

Me: It’s good to assume he has allies who will tell him what they see on your wall.

Rosie: Oh. He does have heaps of allies! When I posted something recently, He got TONS of inquiries about it. He was so angry. He accused me of making him look bad. What he believes others are thinking of him is more important than our relationship or keeping me safe. That’s ultimately why I asked him to leave.

Rosie: Truthfully, I keep waiting for him to try something violent before I make a move because he has broadcast to everyone that I’m overreacting and he’s safe to live with. He claims I am unforgiving. If he does something now it’s obviously a different story. I am certain that it’s only a matter of time, but I was convinced he’d just hurt me again…. not murder me and everyone else. Gah!

Me: Please don’t let your dead body prove that you’re right. The ones who will believe you, do. The ones who don’t, won’t. Probably if he murders you, they’ll blame you somehow. Your kids need you. They need you healthy, not maimed. Don’t pay Russian roulette with your life and health. You know the truth. That’s enough. He’s dangerous. Those allies will only believe what they want. Believing that you’re crazy makes his allies more comfortable than believing he’s dangerous. So they will opt for their own comfort over your safety every time.

Rosie: True. So depressing!

Me: You are living with someone who is yielding himself to the enemy of your soul and your children’s souls.
You’re not crazy.
You’re not sinning or living in fear. You’re protecting your children as God intended.
You’re not overreacting. You’re not crazy
Or dramatic
Or sensitive
Or bitter
Or unforgiving

Rosie: You’re making me giggle with all those OR… or … or …hahaha.

Me: I’ve been accused of all of them, probably today…

Rosie: Yep. Guess it doesn’t get that much easier over time, huh?

Me: I’ve resigned myself to not being able to convince the ones who don’t want to believe. Now, I’m not in contact with my accusers. Contact fogs my brain.

Rosie: I think that if I survive the stress of divorcing him, I will feel as if a huge burden has been lifted. Perhaps.

Me: You will get through this. You survived the abuse. You’ll survive the recovery.

Rosie: Then why does the recovery feel so much more difficult and frightening?!

Me: It’s like that idiom “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” He is the devil you know and you’re scared of the changes to come. But I have a meme for you:

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For those in Rosie’s situation, we also recommend these important pages from our Resources section:

Safety Planning    Social Networking (Safety in Cyberspace)    Deciding to Stay or Leave

6 Comments

  1. Brenda R

    I pray that Rosie comes out of this alive. It is hard to believe a man would kill his own children, but it happens often.

  2. Just Me

    Wow. Powerful is the only word that comes to mind. Thank you for this post.

  3. StandsWithAFist

    When I finally got to the point when I could ask myself, “what is the endgame here?”, I realized it was either total control, or, absent that, it was to destroy me, my kids, my family. Neither option was acceptable; I no longer wanted to live like that. I chose to accept reality, to get out, go NC and make no apologies. My abuser had worked overtime to smear, slander & build allies. So I went completely silent, refused to respond to emails, accusations, gifts, cards, threats, pleas and lies. i just went completely “off the grid”: I blocked email, phone numbers, etc. Any cards or gifts went into the trash, unopened. I will never forget one pastor who asked me if I was “ready to compromise yet?”. I answered that “I will never compromise the truth”. That pastor was more interested in appeasement than truth. It was hard, especially the first year, but I am alive and well. I will never go back to that life. Never. Ever.

    • StandsWithAFist, your comment is so good I’ve scheduled it to appear on our FB page, and we will also be putting it on our GEMS page.

  4. Isaiah40:31

    Back a few months ago, when I was admitting the abuse to a friend, she advised me to make a safety plan, and even provided me with lists of what to get together. I used to think that I had to be physically injured again, before I could leave him. But with as often as he threatened to kill me, I realized that it was better to leave before an injury happened (and be able to protect my kids), than to be dead and leave them to the abuser’s whims.

    • Brenda R

      Amen Isaish40:31. The next time could be the last time and you wouldn’t be any good to your kids that way.

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