I Will Remember You: a poem by a reader
[October 19, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
This poem post is by one of our longtime readers, IamMyBeloved’s. Many thanks to her!
The other day as I was feeling the consequences of being married to an abuser, I started recalling events in my mind of how our lives had been with this man and all he had done to us. That is when I decided to write this.
I will remember you….
As the man who abused my children….
I will remember you….
As the man who tried to put your disabled daughter away in a home where she would be alone, afraid and completely away from all that is familiar to her, just so you did not have to take care of her or me….
I will remember you….
As the man who put your adolescent through psychological testing so you could prove she was crazy, not even thinking about her or the consequences this would have to her life….
I will remember you….
As the man who raped and pillaged your family financially, to the point that at times we could not even purchase milk, though I let you walk away a millionaire….
I will remember you….
As the man who because of the fear you instilled by your abuse, caused the children to scatter like mice when they heard your hand touch the front door handle….
I will remember you….
As the man who sought out the aid of others to try to put me, your wife of decades and mother of your children, away in a mental institution, where my children would be left alone and without a mother.
I will remember you….
As the man who caused your family to live in complete terror of you, because of your abuse.
I will remember you….
As the man your children believed had locked their mother in the garage and set it on fire….
I will remember you….
As the man who was forgiven by us for all your sin against us, and yet it made no difference in your life as you continued to pursue us to destroy us….
I will remember you….
As the man who was so highly abusive that you incited a “c”hurch against me and your children and would not stop until they had ex-communicated me….
I will remember you….
As the man who caused your children to have to get counseling to deal with the fear and shame you caused them to bear….
I will remember you….
As the most dangerous person to my soul that I have ever known, who cast me to the street and sought to rip me from God’s hand….
I will remember you….
As the man who blamed me and your children for your family’s abuses and psychological madness, even though it was not us.
I will remember you….
As the man who we loved and tried to lead to God, willing to forgive all your faults and sins against us, who in turn savagely tried to starve and ruin us….
I will remember you….
As the man who sweetly wooed and won my heart, through deception, never revealing who you really were, until the marriage vows were taken and the doors were shut.
But then, after I remember who you really were, I will remember my God.
I will remember that He holds all power and restrained your evil against us.
I will remember for the rest of my life how my God reached out of the Heavens and delivered us from your heavy-handed abuse.
I will remember that all your attempts to put me away, were snuffed out by my gracious Lord.
I will remember that He loved me enough to allow enough to happen to cause me never to look back.
I will remember that He is my Savior, my provider, my Husband, my Friend, my All in All and that His banner over me is love.
I will remember that this same Jesus is all those same things to my beautiful children and that He will heal their devastation.
I will remember that somehow I forgot to find out whether you were a loyal, trustworthy, caring and loving best friend who could be a godly husband and father to me and our children but I won’t forget to find those things out in the future.
I will remember that profession of Christ means little and remember that true Christians bear good fruit.
I will remember that forgiveness does not mean “reconciliation” nor does it mean someone does not have to face the consequences for their sin and crimes.
I will remember that there is a difference between being deceived and being deceptive.
I will remember there is a difference between bearing a wicked evil heart and just being a Christian person who still sins.
Lastly, I will remember, that we have all forgiven you and will still forgive you each time you choose to abuse or endanger us.
Sadly, when rare soft echoes of laughter are heard in the walls of this home, they are overshadowed by the reign of terror you once had here — and are drowned out by the memory of prior cries your children made, pleading with God for Him to please make the abuse stop and free us all from the terror we were living in.
We are now free. That freedom means to us that we are free to serve God fully again, free to laugh again, free to live again, free to love again, free to be happy again and free to still pursue action if you decide to victimize us — ever again.
[October 19, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to October 19, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to October 19, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to October 19, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 19, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
- Posted in: Victims
- Tagged: guest post, poetry, recovery, survivors' stories
I will remember my former ‘c’hurch as one that, given this entire testimony, would still encourage the targets of this abuse to remain in the marriage.
I will remember my former ‘c’hurch as one that would walk past the victims in order to “love the abuser to Jesus.”
I will remember my former ‘c’hurch as one that even in the case of adultery would encourage the wounded to stay.
I will remember my former ‘c’hurch as not Christ’s church.
Yes, SR, I know that former “c”hurch business all too well. I could write a book just on that topic alone – and probably will. Please know that God is not like how your former “c”hurch [treated you] and that they seriously blasphemed God to you, misleading you in your belief of Who He really is. Glorifying God means to rightly represent Who He is to the world. Women leaving adulterers and abusers and not embracing their abusers’ sin, is glorifying God because it rightly represents Who He is — a God who is angry with the wicked every day and does not expect His followers to embrace someone else’s sin — even when it is in marriage.
I coined that way of using “c”hurch, after dealing with my own cultic experience and ex-communication. I remember my young son at the time, telling that place “if my mother isn’t a Christian, then no one is a Christian”. I am thankful to God, that He made them followers of Christ, even in the midst of living in abuse. Eternally thankful for that —
I rejoice with you about the wisdom God gave your son. That means so much to us as abused parents.
My child has expressed extraordinary wisdom of God also, writing in her own poetry about her father being a liar – and even stating to me recently after hearing the pastor of our former church justify himself to me, “He’s a lot like dad, isn’t he?” That just made my jaw drop. She drew parallels between the pastor and her dad that took me forever to see. Perhaps I didn’t want to see them, especially with respect to a leader in the Lord’s house.
Sometimes I think it’s been as difficult and maybe even more (or at least in a different way) coming to understand the reality of the church’s interpretation of accurate exegesis with respect to abuse than it has been learning the truth about my unsaved ex-. From the latter, I’d almost expect him to continue to act as he did, but from those I thought were my brothers and sisters in Christ? That was a blow.
It’s amazing what children can pick up on. Of course, she’s forced by the court to spend half of her time with him, so I’m praying all the while for her protection – physical, emotional, and spiritual. I trust her in her true Father’s hands. Now she’s got to have the coping mechanisms.
Did you coin ‘c’hurch? I realized after my initial comment that I used it without knowing what I was doing really with the ‘c’ in single quotation marks. I’d just seen it and it struck me as implicating the church as a fake. What does it mean to you to separate the ‘c’ that way (just out of curiosity)?
It means a false “c”hurch with false teachers / shepherds. Hence, to me, a cult. When the leadership abuses the sheep, they have no God-given authority to do anything at all. We use it here so often, that I think we all just picked it up. It is heartbreaking that so many victims are re-victimized this way. Perhaps we as victims are somehow drawn to “c”hurches like this, simply because they are abusive.
I am glad God is working in your daughter. I also know how hard it is to trust God for protection when we know how abusive our abusers can be. I think there needs to be more education about how damaging the emotional abuse is to children, so that judges can make better decisions about this. We need to somehow prayerfully, find a way to pound down that path for those coming behind us.
Thank you! Thank you for that explanation. How interesting that the ‘c’ is for cult, because as I attended my former ‘c’hurch recently during a kids’ summer Bible camp thing (my now-ex- still attends there, and our child has friends there, so I took her some nights). Well, the words “cult of personality” leaped into my brain and refused to leave. Every time the pastor spoke, those words just shot out at me. And when I’d speak with people there and they echoed his mantra of ‘love,’ “cult of personality” just kept ringing in my ears.
You and I both know that “love” in and of itself isn’t bad, but the way it’s twisted to mean to allow evil to have its way no matter what the cost to its targets, then their version of “love” excludes God’s justice — in which case, it’s no longer love. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.
In an adult class that week, my ex- and I were sitting in the same room listening to a teacher talk about wisdom. At one point, the teacher said something about how bullying is more a teen issue than adult issue. I turned to another student in the room who is a social worker and asked her if she in her line of work has become aware of bullying by adults behind closed doors, and she said “yes”. I suggested to the teacher that it’s every bit as prevalent in adult years, just masked. My ex- chose that time to pipe up and said, “What did we all learn from our mothers? ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.'” So I replied, “Jesus didn’t say that. Instead, He called out the hypocrites and liars and those who were abusing God’s word.” And ex- decided to twist things, quoting Scripture to say, “Christians are to speak the truth in love.”
I cringe at the word “love” when it’s just tossed around like a ping pong ball without defining what that really is or how it’s played out in real life. Also without discussing how love doesn’t just equal being “nice” all the time. Sometimes, ofttimes, those who truly love are taking a harder path with greater resistance.
And yes….the church itself sadly becomes a cult when her leaders are interested more in elevating themselves than the truth, stepping over and on those in their path.
Powerful, thank you for sharing. This has caused me to ponder doing the same. Writing it down in such a way that I can remember ‘why’ I am going through all of this turmoil.
THESE LINES SPOKE TO ME — I HAD RED FLAGS BEFORE THE VOWS BUT WAS TOO YOUNG AND VULNERABLE AND HAD NO ONE TO RESCUE ME FROM “THE GRASP”.
Forgiving but not forgetting. My tendency when living with my abusive spouse was to forget all the awful abuse, bury it, convince myself it was not as bad as it really was. It’s how I survived and it became a highly developed tactic to cope. Unfortunately I am now in need to unlearn what I became. My threshold of not feeling the pain was off the charts. I’m less then 30 days separated from the abuser and feeling the pain is liberating. Remembering all the abuse seems healthy. Thank you for the post. Like all words from God, it came right on time!
Unlearning what I became….oh my….perfectly stated. That’s exactly where I am at now. Thankful to have God by my side during the process.
Anonymous – I think I had to write this down, to help me see how far I have come. To realize that the power that was once held over me, has been broken and I am moving ahead.
So many of us saw those same red flags a waving in our face, but just did not see it clearly enough or as you say, had anyone else that saw it and could help us see it as well. But, we learn from it and that is good.
It can be healing to write things down to help us see how far we have come, or to write down things that we need to in order to have a list for court or safety, as long as our focus does not become that and we remain focused on moving upward and onward – blessings with your list making. – 🙂
Yes, Mark, that is probably how we all survived as long as we did. Deny, bury and hide. I think we still feel the pain, but as you say, bury it until there’s no room left to bury anymore and it comes spilling out over the top in us. It breaks us eventually —
We all too, have had to unlearn behaviors and coping mechanisms. Reading the books on the list here at ACFJ will certainly aid you in that and help you know how to deal with divorce issues as a Christian. I hope you are also able to get a good counselor who understands abuse, if you need one.
A very powerful poem! Well done!
Thanks, Joe. As you know, it takes living through the abuse to some degree, in order to dig in our souls and find that God was there all the time, restraining the abuse against us and delivering us.
Yes, very powerful!
Thanks, R2. I hope my writing helps others see they are not alone.
I will remember you as the most dangerous person to my soul that I have ever known….all the while professing love for me.
Remedy – I think this is the one thing that took me the longest to realize. Probably because I had so many people around me who believed in that lie about submission – “submit to the death of yourself”. Not what God means – not at all. Also the “permanence view” of marriage made me believe that I was wrong to leave. Once I understood that area, and heard from God that I was free to leave, I was free. Free to leave and not be ashamed anymore for doing so.
Your poem touched my soul! The combination of love + truth has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?!
In 2 Timothy 3:10-11, Paul remembered his persecutions, yet, like you, he declared to Timothy:
Your HOPE IN GOD is contagious! He is the Healer!!! Isaiah 61:1:
B-S-D, in 2 Cor 1, Paul writes that they were so hard-pressed and persecuted that they despaired even of life itself and then goes on to say that the reason it was happening was so that they would not trust in themselves, but in God to DELIVER THEM and to continue to do so. This is one of those “Aha” moments. So, even they believed that God was going to deliver them from the persecution. Hence, we can believe that God will likewise deliver us from our lives of abuse.
Paul did not say that he was looking for how to remain being persecuted and just accept it as God’s due for his life – like the belief we so often hear; “God has put you here so it must mean He wants you to stay and suffer abuse” – rather Paul states that he was despairing of life itself, much like victims of abuse do, and was learning to hope in God for his deliverance, not himself. See that? D-e-l-i-v-e-r-a-n-c-e, not strength to endure the abuse and persecutions.
Yep – there it is. The truth about God. Oh boy, is our God ever faithful to bring us the truth about Who He really is. We can all rest in the fact that He is our deliverer and trust Him and look ahead for our deliverance —
Many tears for what he did to you and your children. Rejoicing that God has set you free.
Rejoicing too, Brenda, for all who enter here at ACFJ to gain their freedom as well. Thank you!
Poignant, powerful and profound. Thank you for sharing and also glad you are free.
This is very powerful. Those of us that lived with abusers will have our own “I will remember”. Some of them we will have buried and it will take time to deal with it because of layers of abuse.
I will remember how you were able to speak ill of me but it was “gossip” if I told the truth of what was being said and done in our house.
I remember how people that didn’t even know me would make a judgment that they would pray for me to be forgiving and soft-hearted when all they heard was your side of the story and then quickly decided they didn’t want to get in the middle of it by hearing from me at all.
I remember that you set people against me so that if your evil deeds came to light I was already discredited.
I remember so many things and many more are coming out from the layers of abuse and deceit that was heaped on me. God is my God and He will heal me and He remembers.
[Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]
Cindy – that “gossip” thing is so sickeningly wrong that it is gross. I am so sorry that you have suffered this way. I know all those tactics too and so do most victims of abuse. The abuser is always running ahead, covering himself by lying and leaving us even more devastated by then having to live under more lies and try to find — again in life — who we really are. But God —
Remember as you remember all this vileness, that anyone who believes an abuser has something deceptive in themselves too. Birds of a feather. Also remember, that God’s promise to you is that anyone who sets a snare or a trap or a net for you, will fall into it themselves. Lots of verses to that effect. Also, Luke 17:2, which I am writing a post on and will soon finish, talks about offenses and woe to them through whom they come. Offenses there means laying a trap that could result in someone’s ruin, or downfall of them spiritually, etc..
As God’s daughter, there is hope beyond hope for you and He will sustain you and heal you and soon you will find that as you heal, all those lies and false accusations [the] abuser is making will mean nothing to you, because the truth will set you free. Prayers —
And God remembers it all. Not one tear we shed or one thought we think is forgotten. But for those of us forgiven by Jesus, it’s ALL forgiven and for those who choose to have a seared conscience — NOTHING is forgiven or forgotten. And they will carry every ounce of the weight of their guilt.
Learning how to pray for my enemies has been part of the process of waking up. When I pray for them, it’s that God’s will is done in their lives, that the truth is known about them, that there’s no place for them to hide and that they turn from evil or that they are destroyed. This is biblical and this is righteous and just. The trite garbage I was taught to pray was a lie, and it hurt my soul to not be honest about their evil when praying to God. Denying truth is never part of God’s plan and forgiving the devil is abhorrent yet this is exactly the advice most of us have received when reaching out for help from the Christian church.
This word “terrible” seems like the understatement of the entire Bible once you realize the enormity of evil we currently strain under, but here’s what it says about this word in Strong’s (by the way, this word is only used twice in the Bible; here and Matthew 8:28 where it’s describing violent demon-possessed men).
Thank you for this great post, my life is very similar to yours and I come from a family with this same abusive legacy. My dad trying to defame, discredit and institutionalize my mother and the kids being destroyed in the process. There is no acknowledgement of abuse and he actually says that he was a great father — and he really believes it. Thank you again.
1[October 19, 2022: We added the link to a page containing a Strong’s description that closely matches the one provided by Anonymous. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that page. Editors.]
Hi, Anonymous, so many people these days misuse the word ‘enormity’ because they don’t know its meaning accurately. You have used it correctly here, for which I rejoice!
See the OED definition of ‘enormity'[Internet Archive link], where it mentions:
I am one of those traditionalists who grieves that the original meaning is now being watered down.
Thank you for this, Anonymous. I am one of those who believe in digging for the real meaning of words in Scripture, and it is often a real eye-opener.
This false type of prayer for our enemies that others try to instill in us, I believe may come from that stupid statement “separate the sin from the sinner”. (Am I allowed to say “stupid statement”? Seems unloving, doesn’t it?) What?!? Are we to believe that the “sinner” is an unwilling participant in satan’s inciting them? That is ridiculous. Satan has to have a willing participant, and the sin isn’t sent to hell and the sinner gets to move on to Heaven thereby separating the two. The sinner is sent to hell for his sin. There is no separating in God’s eyes. But I do believe that statement became so popular and the thought so prevalent, that it led us straight into the lie and we ended up embracing sin itself.
Loving our enemies means nothing more than doing them no harm. Obedience to God is loving our enemies. It is pretty simple. We don’t repay their abuse for abuse or their evil and lies for evil and lies. We obey God and thereby love our enemies. We do them no harm.
Thanks for sharing your insight here. Great info!
Yes. This. Thank you.
I have a very hard time agreeing in prayer when a friend prays for me and then transitions into praying for my husband and her prayer is NOT along these lines but the standard “trite garbage.” Or when I get a message that says “we are praying for the 3 of you.” I feel myself sinking into a pit of guilt and blame for not agreeing or being strengthened or encouraged, spirit-to-spirit.
Now I know why. This is why. You have explained it well – and it mimics closely the prayer of my own heart as it dares to pray that self-same way. Thank you.
What an amazing poem of honesty and godly character that I could totally relate to on every level. To be in that life for 20 years and finally escaping was only possible with the grace of God. He made a way for me and my family and I will serve Him with alla my heart and soul forever and ever. Amen.
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Hi, Escaped. Yes. To spend decades in abuse — or a life of it if you were raised in abuse — and then come to truly know and understand the freedom Christ has always intended for you, is absolutely overwhelming in the best way possible. So happy for your freedom and love for Christ —
Thank you, Barb, for working so hard and diligently to keep us all safe here. Hope things are brighter for you now – love & hugs.
I was in an 18 year marriage VERY much like the one described in the poem and seeing the abuse described and written down took my breath away. I am two and a half years post separation – one year post divorce and the ex is already remarried to another victim and still playing games with me and my son. I have a “no contact” rule in place and yet he still violates me and my child. He’s broken into my house, stolen my things, late on child support each and every month even though it’s court ordered, stalked my social media page to the point where I had to delete it, tells any who will listen lies about me and my son….I could go on and on. On a certain day a couple of years ago, I said, “Enough.”
Like you, IamMyBeloved’s, God saved me from evil. He stepped in and took my right hand and told me I was going to be okay. That I am loved more than I could know, stronger than I ever thought, and was going to instill inside me a peace like I had never experienced. And God did. Each and every morning before I even get out of bed, I thank God for the peace I know, the love in my heart, and that I am a saved daughter of the King. May God continue to bless you, IamMyBeloved’s, and all who visit this page. Amen.
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So glad to hear that you and your son were able to escape and you are able to move forward!
Enough – I am so sorry for your suffering. You might want to rethink that “No Contact Rule” and ask for an “Order of Protection” instead, if the stalking and harassment continue. You can also ask for the monthly support payments to be made through the state.
Please know your story brings hope to all who read it. We serve a God Who does deliver us from evil and I am thankful that you and me and others here have been delivered from that way of life. God’s blessings rest with you likewise.
Enough – that pretty much says it all!
I’ve been thinking about our screen names, and how if we made a list of all the screen names that people use on this blog it would be such a poignant snapshot of the journey of victims of domestic abuse.
Enough. SurvivorThrivor2. HealinginHim. Hope. Still Scared But You Can Call Me Cindy. Anonymous. Remedy. Clarity. Begin Healing. Friend of Target. Anewanon. ThePersistentWidow. 7stelle. Anonymous. Beautiful Mess Called Life. Beckylovesthelight. Sunflower. Searcher. SeekingHelp. Savedbygrace. Freeatlast8. Disguising My Identity. Paescapee. Bright Sunshin’ Day. Starlight. Private, Please. Anonymous100. Anon. Anotheranon. ManyQuestions. Moving Forward. Barnabasintraining. Greater Glory. Charis. Round*2. IamMyBeloved’s. Perplexed. Desiring Healing. Microgal. Nonymous. Just Me. Standsfortruth. Nannygranny. A Prodigal Daughter Returns. Psalm37. Innoscent. Marriedtomyself. Escaped. Dawn Rising. Still Reforming. Loves6. Anonymous. Me. Overcomer. StandsWithAFist. NoMoreTears.
….and if I’ve left any out, please add your names in reply and I’ll add them to this list. (I only used the pseudonyms that are not everyday personal names.)
You warm my heart and through this blog I know I have true friends.
Thank you for this, Barbara.
Yes, there are many “true friends” and we are grateful that ACFJ has given us a voice. For many who have desired to honor Christ; you have done a great work at untwisting Scripture used against us. Now, that’s being a true friend who loves!
StandsWithAFist [To add to the list.]
Ps: haven’t been here lately, b / c my adult son had a catastrophic mountain climbing accident and nearly died. He was 6 weeks in hospital, 14 surgeries, and will still prob lose his leg. The strength I learned / earned here allowed me to call security on an abusive doctor that my son despised & did not want; this particular doctor was a bully in a white coat and I not only threw him out of the hospital room, I threw him off my son’s case, reported him to the hospital CEO & Director of Nurses. Justice!
This is tragic. I hope your son is as strong as you have become. I will be praying for both of you. How old is he? I’m so glad you were able to stand up for your son with this Dr. when he was unable to do so for himself.
Well done, StandsWithAFist! I stand with you on your stand (which sounds somewhat redundant, but there it is).
I will keep you and your son in prayer for healing, comfort, and the Lord’s peace to fall upon you and His joy to be your strength. I thank God your son is still with you.
Oh Wow, SWAF! What a tragedy for your son! And what a sign of strength on your part, in dealing with that bullying doctor!
I shall pray for your son. And I’ll add your name to the list. 🙂
You often come to my mind as I think of how much I’ve learned through you and Pastor Jeff and Twbtc and Ellie. I’ve learned that, not unlike in grieving a death, we all experience abuse and resist in different ways (and the abusers are as different as we are, but share evil in common) – and that no matter how we as targets resist, you all have honored those choices and us. For that I am so very grateful to you.
I’m learning still more about accurate exegesis and how the church still oppresses victims of abuse and how we can speak up about it, shining the light of truth into that darkness. Thank you for taking a stand for us and with us.
[Paragraph added to enhance readability. Editors.]
Thank you, Barbara, with all that you are going through, for including me, a newcomer. God Bless you. Now I can’t see for the tears…. but thank you!
This is a powerful poem. Sadly so many are still living these experiences through churches that have condoned abuse through lack of action.
Speechless. Just, wow.
I love this post.
That poem is beautiful. I’m so sorry to read of all the horrible things your husband did to you and your family. You are so strong and a testament to how much God loves His children. May He bless and keep you all your days.