A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — The Endless Chase


Jane’s description of a “cat chasing a laser pointer guided by a sociopath” nails it as she describes the exhaustion and frustration of working against abuse.

I think one of the hallmarks of working against abuse ESPECIALLY within the contentedly patriarchal church is how utterly exhausting and frustrating it is. It’s like being a cat chasing a laser pointer guided by a sociopath. You know it is there, you can see it, you can chase it and you know when it’s on. But you cannot nail it down, catch it or demonstrate it if the person holding the remote decides to turn it off. They just “unclick” and all of a sudden you’re a frenzied, panting cat standing splay-legged in the middle of the room having chased . . . nothing.

ACFJ told me, “We see it too. We see it and it’s not ok.” It was water to a desert. It was a real demonstration of Christ’s church — because the only people who decried what I was experiencing were secular until I found this place, leading me (like so many) to believe I was denying my faith and my savior if I left an abuser. Don’t give up.

This analogy was taken from our Allegories, Analogies, and Fairy Tales — from Comments page.

Jane’s original comment can be found here.



  1. Anonymous

    Jane’s nailed it! I remember when she first posted that description of life with a sociopath – it chilled me to the core because it’s heart-pin-to-the-heart accuracy. All of us as victims of abuse know how hard it is to define and put into words what we experience. Jane positively nailed it!!

  2. StandsWithAFist

    because the only people who decried what I was experiencing were secular until I found this place.

    So very true. Sooooo true.

    This past year was one of the most difficult I have ever lived, & still experiencing….yet my “church” literally abandoned me & my family & my special needs child & even my dog. No one came. No one helped. Our suffering was immeasurable, but we were invisible.

    Those who helped? My “unsaved, un-churched” neighbors, co-workers, my kid’s secular friends, people in strange cities we didn’t know but were moved to compassion to relieve our pain in ways that were small but to us were huge.

    And the abusers just kept the laser-beam game going, until they realized we weren’t chasing it anymore & they got bored.

    Gray rock. Thanks to ACFJ, I learned about gray rocks.

    Thank you, everyone.

    • Toiler

      I found that my unchurched friends helped and supported me more too. What gives? My church condemned me and my Christian friends shamed me. I don’t understand either.

      • Jeff Crippen

        An idolatrous image of marriage has been very widely embraced in the church. Refuse to bow down to it and you are toast.

  3. Toiler

    Love this. I felt this way yesterday. I find that most discussions with abusive people turn to insanity quickly. All the sudden you don’t know which way is up and which way is down. Navigation in a fog. I’m left perplexed and bewildered and I’m not even sure what just happened. But I leave feeling a horrible pit in my stomach. Keep up the good work! Much love for the work you do!

    • Anonymous

      Toiler on: you described interaction with an abuser perfectly. We are left in a fog, perplexed and bewildered, not knowing what just happened. And the abuser loves it. Remember, it is sport to them. I have said before, it is their ‘golf game.’ When they see the dazed look in our eyes and watch with delight how we struggle to gain balance enough just to get through the day, they are satisfied and greatly pleased in the knowledge that they have put us in yet another fog. How sick it all is. The horrible pit in our stomach will only continue to grow and eventually lay us out flat, in sickness emotionally and physically.

      Fifteen months separated, three months divorced. No more pit in my stomach; no more fog; no more abuse.

  4. Mark

    I chased that laser for 36 years and yes it’s exhasting. Good news after 14 months of being out of that relationship the little red dot looses its appeal. God gives wisdom to the cats He calls His own. I love your illustration, it reveals the game and disarms those who hold the laser pointer.

    • God gives wisdom to the cats He calls His own.


  5. Pondering

    It is exhausting to try to get the church to change. Maybe the hope lies is helping individual women see the truth. Because when a woman sees truth and with God is empowered to stand up in her own life, she shares that freedom with other women who are empowered to change etc.

    • Welcome to the blog. 🙂

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      I changed your screen name to Pondering as a precaution (I think you’d given your real name). If you want us to change Pondering to something else, just email The woman behind the curtain: twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

  6. Moving Forward

    Amen! And if you have children, he can lead you on a very long-term chase. Just when you think things are settled he changes direction and you have to start all over again. Needless to say, I don’t torture cats this way.

  7. Escaped my abuser!

    Spot on. I chased that red dot for years and have distinct memories of when I finally realized that I was never going to catch it. Once I thought I “had it right” he would change the rules on me. It makes me so sad that I feel more comfortable sending an abused friend to the local secular domestic violence center for help than I do my local church.

  8. Thanks so much Jane for the “cat chasing a laser pointer guided by a sociopath” analogy.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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