A Cry For Justice

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

Relationship Abuse: the Short Story

Male abuse is based on sexual entitlement, says relationship counselor Don Hennessy, and every abused woman senses this. We must take focus from the woman and put it onto the abuser, challenging his attitudes on sex. It is his responsibility to seek permission, not hers to refuse (or allow). The Bible itself condemns men’s sexual sins more than women’s.

Male abusers, Hennessy says, are more devious and cunning than pedophiles, almost never change, and are fully aware of what they do and how it affects their targeted victims. We fail to wipe out this crime because we do not call it such. Abusers are con men who use brainwashing tactics to fool women.

Victims are no different than non-abused kind people and they have no “pathology” driving them to be targets. The only thing that can be said about most/all victims is that they are ethical, are unaware of whatever tactics the particular abuser wants to use on them, and either knowingly or unknowingly will give up their own needs to benefit others: all traits society encourages at large, but especially in women. Hence the irony and betrayal when targeted persons are criticized for putting up with the treatment.

An abuser operates like this:

First Step: He selects a kind, honest woman who puts others first and doesn’t yet recognize signs of a toxic person. He uses grooming, like a child molester would, on the target to ensure she will do anything for him and not figure out what’s going on. He chooses whichever tactics the particular woman is susceptible to, or grooms her to be susceptible to some, if need be.

From day one, therefore, the abuse begins as he gets into her head.

He gets her to take blame for couple problems; she examines her behavior and thinks if she changes he’ll stop being nasty. Victims don’t see the treatment as abuse because it looks different in the context the abuser creates. Example: he may blame outbursts on his mental health, “triggers”, or PTSD, calling it “accidental.” He acts differently in public to keep up an image, so no one believes her if she tries to expose him. He says he loves her but what he “loves” is her service, which is why he fears a breakup.

Second Step: He skillfully sets her up by using various methods. When he asks her questions and listens to her intently, he isn’t being polite; he’s gathering information to use against her later (her fears, weaknesses, wishes, attitudes, knowledge- or lack thereof, susceptibility to certain con tactics). He fakes a persona or worldview that makes him desirable to whichever target he chooses. If he is unable to, he may try to change her wishes or worldviews.

He presents himself as needing to be understood so she’ll pity and help him. Remember that it is often hard for even savvy people to distinguish between an unethical person and a person with mental or other issues whose behavior may sometimes be undesirable. Sometimes even behaviors themselves are hard to determine as “undesirable” or not depending on the context they are in.

He tries to appear different than other abusers or authority figures his target dislikes (he may say, “I don’t yel like your father,” or, “It’s different when I do it. You’re just assuming something bad because guys you didn’t like did that to you.”) He invents life stories to excuse his behavior, after learning what justifications she is likely to believe; or, he’ll blame her. He fakes apologies to get off the hook, or is overly loving after being mean.

Third Step. He then sets up terms and conditions of being “his woman.” Sometimes the woman is already groomed by her family or society, as in misogynistic households, anti-female religions, or cult environments, and his work is done for him. This doesn’t make him any less guilty- he is merely a vulture rather than a lion. If her gut tells her something is wrong with this setup, especially if it is about him or his actions, he gets her to ignore it. He may call her “crazy,” tell her she “overanalyzes” him whenever she starts putting the pieces together, or tell her she “overreacts” if she’s angry, etc. He only lets up temporarily when she obeys, and he only gets worse in the long run. Even when he’s “nice”, she fears him, and the situation as a whole is abusive even if his behavior at the time is not.

Fourth Step. Sexual abuse is the batterer’s ace in the hole. The abuser carries out sexual and other abuse while pretending to be in love. The bed is his battleground. He must break down any resistance to his sexual authority, whether by intimidation, whining, guilt tripping, or claiming that “men have certain needs.” He experiences God-like power through sexual oppression of her. Porn may shape or reinforce his attitudes and sexual desires. Target women often resist by leaving the marriage bed, but this is sometimes dangerous as he may retaliate.

Oftentimes the target doesn’t even realize the issue is about sexual domination. For example, after an attack he launches on an unrelated issue to distract her, such as how dirty the kitchen is, the victim feels she must offer sex to pacify him. He gets his sex and also gets to keep her thinking she must mistrust her own abilities and thinking, which allows him to manipulate her even more. Victims hide, or sometimes don’t realize, the level of sexual selfishness and abuse. A few abusers withhold sex as punishment, or to confuse the target.

The fact that our society already blatantly promotes the idea of male sexual entitlement means that all women, from birth, are being groomed for this type of abuse, from all angles and at all depths. Coming out of this Matrix-like system is like climbing a mountain for some women. Those who do are often so shocked at how widespread, insidious, and just plain evil this societal setup is, and are heartbroken and confused to discover their beloved husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, nephews, uncles, cousins, public figures (including religious figures) and celebrities are culpable in both using it and helping structure it.

Fifth Step. The abuser also starts offending against whatever else makes her feel human. He doesn’t need his standards met because he’s insecure, had OCD, or really hates a messy kitchen, but so he can make her doubt and hate herself so he has more control. More complaints mean more pacifying him, more obedience, and more trying to jump through his hoops. She tries to explain why she hates what he does, but he stores her complaints in his head so he can use them against her, because he now knows how it is affecting her. No matter how gently she brings it up, he gets angry or changes the subject. When he acts “nice”, it’s to re-groom her so he can offend again. Her first step to freedom is learning not to feel guilty for his actions.

Sixth Step. He destroys her relationship with the outside world. This is purposely done to isolate her so she can’t expose him or get the strength to leave. He finds out who is closest to her and grooms them to support him or think she is crazy or lying. Abusers often use children to attack the victim, and fight for custody. They may accuse her of being “spiteful,” “vindictive,” a bad mother who tries to poison the kids against him. They may spoil the children when their visitation occurs so the children will gravitate towards them, or may abuse (or even kill) the children to punish their partner. Abusers are not insane and choose to do everything they do, especially this type of abuse.

Seventh Step. Abusers only change their behavior (and it’s nearly always a temporary change) when they want to escape a consequence. Many kill their wives if they try to leave, even if they had not displayed one symptom of violence before. They want their victims to come back not because of love but because they benefit from the relationship at the target’s expense, much like a slave owner wants his slaves back if they run away.

There is nothing wrong with a woman who was targeted by an abusive man.

Abusers target whoever they want. Abused women are not abused because they have borderline, bipolar, are “difficult,” depressed, or “strong willed.” Abused women are abused because an abuser chose to abuse them, just as shooting victims are shot because a shooter chose to shoot them. The only pattern that may be true of abuse is that these men choose women who are kind and who are unfamiliar with the tactics, motivations, and warning signs of abusers. Even then, abusers may still choose to target a more educated or sassy woman, for a challenge.

“If you’re being blamed for something that’s not your fault, run,” says Hennessy. Don’t analyze what you did wrong, because it’s most likely nothing.

And even if you have done something wrong, abuse is unacceptable no matter your behavior.

Click here to download this article as a PDF

***

This article was written by one of our readers;  many thanks to her for putting it together! We encourage you to print the PDF and give it out to other people, post it at bus stops, etc.

Further reading
Don Hennessy Series – 13 posts which showcase the work of Don Hennessy

 

33 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    From the original post “From day one, therefore, the abuse begins as he gets into her head.”

    ^That.

    From the original post “Don Hennessy Series – 13 posts which showcase the work of Don Hennessy”

    ^That.

    From the original post “Male abusers, Hennessy says, are more devious and cunning than pedophiles……”

    My FIRST male abuser, my (now late) “dad” was a devious paedophile, though I have no way of knowing if he actually sexually violated anyone outside my abusive family of origin.

    I learned a great deal from Barb’s series on Don Hennessy, and greatly appreciate the work of the anonymous individual who assembled the material for this post.

    From the original post “……..Abusers are con men who use brainwashing tactics to fool women.”

    ^That.

    From the original post “He presents himself as needing to be understood so she’ll pity and help him. Remember that it is often hard for even savvy people to distinguish between an unethical person and a person with mental or other issues whose behavior may sometimes be undesirable. Sometimes even behaviors themselves are hard to determine as “undesirable” or not depending on the context they are in.”

    ^That.

    From the original post “He destroys her relationship with the outside world…..”

    ^That.

    From the original post “……The only pattern that may be true of abuse is that these men choose women who are kind and who are unfamiliar with the tactics, motivations, and warning signs of abusers…..”

    ^That.

    From the title of the post “Relationship Abuse: the Short Story”

    ^That.

  2. Princesa

    Thank you for this, Barbara. I’ll be printing multiple copies!

  3. Helovesme

    This is sincerely one of the best posts ever. Thank you to the writer, and thank you Barb for posting it. From what Barb and others post and comment, we are all truly blessed.

    I read it but need to re-read it when I can before I can find the words to comment.

    Finding Answers always does such a wonderful job in pointing out the strongest point and simply celebrating their strength while encouraging the ones who wrote them.

    It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been reading things on this site or on other ones.
    It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been walking with the Lord and how much He has taught me.
    It doesn’t matter how long long I’ve been removed from my original childhood abuse, and also away from abusive or toxic persons afterwards.
    It doesn’t even matter how long and how many times I pray and plead with the Lord on this. very specific, very relevant and absolutely valid point.

    I have the hardest time, STILL, not blaming myself for being abused, being targeted and being treated as anything less than 100% human.

    Flip side: it’s still a work in progress for ME to treat others as though they are nothing less than 100% human. The struggle continues but I dang well hope I never give up on the second commandment.

    If I ever choose to give up, I am also giving up on the first and greatest commandment. You cannot claim to love Him and not extend His love to others. I can admit that I have fallen short, continue to fall short, and will likely fall short in the future. But I will not give up. He never gave up on me and I know He never will.

    Message to those who HAVE been the victim of the 100% chosen, 100% intentional failure of others to obey the 2nd commandment: they failed the Lord, and they failed you—-and it is 100% not your fault, and it is 100% theirs and theirs alone.

    Society and yes, even within the wall of what SHOULD be the safest place—-the church—has groomed us to believe the exact opposite.

    If it doesn’t line up with the Lord, it doesn’t line up with me. Their lines are crooked and bumpy, His are straight and smooth.

    Many times Christians are led to believe that if you love someone, you should never be afraid of them. There is something wrong with YOU, not the person you are afraid of.

    Fear and faith don’t go together, and faith express itself through love, so if there is fear—-you lack faith AND love. Ouch!

    It is rare to see validation for the ones who have every reason to be afraid. It’s reasonable and not a reflection of their weak faith, or lack of faith.

    I also thought about how safe we are in God’s love. There is no fear there, because we are 100% safe in Him. That not only gives us great peace, but a great sense of rest as well.

    You aren’t walking on eggshells. You don’t wonder and worry if you’ve set Him off somehow, intentionally or otherwise. You don’t fret that He will stop loving you all of a sudden. You know He won’t abandon you. He will protect you, keep you close and will never lie to you.

    Fear has to do with lies, IMO. And nothing is more terrifying than believing the lies that abuse is based on: you’re unworthy, unlovable, unlikable, undesirable and overall—-and deserve little more than a few bread crumbs here and there, if even that.

    When the Lord says He makes beauty of the ashes, I believe the ashes are those piles of lies that have caused so much fear, which has in turn caused so much suffering.

    There is nothing more beautiful than being told that you are a real person whom God died for, and who God perfectly loves, and is for you, not against you.

    Tell me if those ashes can stand a chance when the Lord drives away those lies with His perfect love.

    This applies to any and all relationships, but marriage especially since that is particularly powerful bond.

    There is a difference between not wanting to hurt your loved one, versus being afraid of the one you love hurting you.

    The former is understandable. If a spouse is tempted to cheat, hopefully they will choose not to out of a real desire to not hurt their partner.

    The latter is sick, sad and wrong. No one should be afraid of their spouse hurting them. Ever.
    Possible exceptions might include if there is a mental illness or some other factor that is necessarily fear-based, but it is still quite serious if you do not feel safe in your own home.

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “Fear and faith don’t go together, and faith express itself through love, so if there is fear—-you lack faith AND love. Ouch!”

      ^That.

      Helovesme also commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “I also thought about how safe we are in God’s love. There is no fear there, because we are 100% safe in Him. That not only gives us great peace, but a great sense of rest as well.”

      I’m working on ^That.

      Helovesme also commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “You aren’t walking on eggshells. You don’t wonder and worry if you’ve set Him off somehow, intentionally or otherwise. You don’t fret that He will stop loving you all of a sudden. You know He won’t abandon you. He will protect you, keep you close and will never lie to you.”

      It’s hard to remember ^That when the “not me” voices in my head use words similar to His.

      Helovesme also commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “Fear has to do with lies, IMO. And nothing is more terrifying than believing the lies that abuse is based on: you’re unworthy, unlovable, unlikable, undesirable and overall—-and deserve little more than a few bread crumbs here and there, if even that.

      (Bold added by me.)

      ^That.

      Helovesme also commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “When the Lord says He makes beauty of the ashes, I believe the ashes are those piles of lies that have caused so much fear, which has in turn caused so much suffering.

      (Bold added by me.)

      ^That.

      Helovesme also commented (31ST JULY 2019 – 1:19 PM) “Tell me if those ashes can stand a chance when the Lord drives away those lies with His perfect love.”

      ^That.

  4. Suzanne

    “If you’re being blamed for something that’s not your fault, run,” says Hennessy.
    “Don’t analyze what you did wrong, because it’s most likely nothing.”

    I participate in a support group for abuse survivors. And one of the most frustrating things I see over and over is a many-layered analysis some do, even after breaking off all contact with their abuser, of why they were abused. It consists of a breakdown of what THEY did (or didn’t do), coupled with a maddening explanation (excuses, really) of how their abusers came to be abusive (past trauma, mental illness, etc.). Neither, in my opinion, contributes to their healing. Some are stuck in this pattern for years and all the while they’re not making any progress in rebuilding their lives in a healthy way. And it’s all because they won’t or don’t see the central issue: the culpability of their abuser and their own innocence. Why are people in general, and abuse victims in particular, so reluctant to place blame where it belongs? Why is there so little discernment, especially among Christians, about responsibility for sin (abuse is sin) and where it belongs in abusive relationships? I can understand the sinner making excuses for their bad behavior. But what I’ll never understand is why victims make excuses for those who hurt them so profoundly. It’s heart-breaking to see those whose lives have been absolutely devastated by abuse still accepting responsibility for things that were done TO them, and not by them.

    • Helovesme

      “Why are people in general, and abuse victims in particular, so reluctant to place blame where it belongs? Why is there so little discernment, especially among Christians, about responsibility for sin (abuse is sin) and where it belongs in abusive relationships?”

      No one, especially myself, will likely be able to definitively answer these particular “whys.” I can share my own personal roadblocks that may contribute to what you asked about

      We all have a need to not only feel loved, but know we are loved. Not everyone is outwardly mushy and gushy in their relationships, nor does everyone want that sort of thing. However it is expressed, love is as imperative to our souls as food and water is to our bodies.

      To admit that someone you loved does not love you back requires a love of the truth that is willing to embrace the truth no matter what—-even if it is a brutal truth that you wish you never ever, had to admit or worse yet, accept AS the truth.

      Add to that, that person not only does not love you, he or she has chosen to express their hostility in extremely painful ways. Something that not only leaves your soul unfed, but also crushes it at the same time.

      IF you get to that point, it’s not crazy to ask if you can change in ways that will give you what you so desperately need. The word “need” is vital to embrace. Love is not a want, like a want for a sports car or a diamond ring. It is a NEED. It’s also not crazy to ask if you are to blame. You think something about you is blocking someone from loving you.

      If and only if you admit AND accept that none of this is your fault, and your behaviors aren’t a factor—-the only thing left is a cold, hard, dark and extremely depressing truth. Someone took your love and trust, which are two of the strongest forms of vulnerability, and exploited them for reasons that had nothing to do with you.

      The self-condemnation route is NOT much better, but it can be much more bearable than the alternative.

      I understand the confusion —if you finally realize you are not to blame, isn’t that great news? You can stop picking yourself apart and questioning every move you ever made.

      Yes AND no. Now you are more aware of your vulnerability than ever before. You realize that the mantra of “you reap what you sow” is not 100% applicable to every situation, and certainly not when it comes to abuse.

      My soul is never going to be fed by the ones I so desperately WANT to feed my soul. And I want them to WANT to feed my need for love. They don’t and never will.

      No matter how many people claim to love and even admire you, they cannot take the place of those people that you so wanted love from—-aka parents and/or spouses. This may also be applicable to other close relations as well. Since there is a lot of brokenness, your family may be your church family, or a circle of close friends that you consider as family, or another family member that you are especially close to.

      When it comes to Christians, this is truly my personal perception. No matter how many times we read the Word, hear it preached or how often we go to Bible study—-there is something that pushes us away from something that the Bible says over and over again:

      Humanity is not only capable of, but actively engages in not only MANY forms of evil—-but depths of evil that are indicative of unspeakable, unbelievable depths of darkness.

      I used the word “unbelievable” on purpose. It is unbelievably hard to grasp such a truth, so we claim that it’s not believable, even though the Bible COMMANDS us to believe in what we perceive to be “unbelievable.”

      The Bible is not interested in what we think. It is not our word against His. The Word commands us to take His word for it. And the Word is clear:

      Persons that we would imagine to be the LAST persons that should ever inflict “unbelievable” acts of evil on those closest to them, are actually the persons that often DO inflict such acts of “unbelievable” evil—-BECAUSE they have access to persons that are closest to them.

      One of the awful reasons WHY there is so much domestic abuse is because of that simple reason: it is those you are closest to that have the most access to you. Therefore they have the ability AND opportunity to exploit that vulnerability. They know that such persons are fairly helpless, easy to manipulate and will likely stay silent—-again, due to WHO is hurting them as well as being fearful to admit their own status as a victim.

      I once read a victim of sexual abuse say that he was afraid of what his own peers would think of him should he speak up. It was not just about exposing his abuser and the abuse itself; he would be exposing himself as a victim. How would people treat him? He knew it would be different, and not necessarily in the positive sense.

      Society and potentially the church as well does not always laud and applaud victims for speaking up. Now they are “marked,” as if being a victim is like having a disease. Put aside the fact that you’re not to blame. You may still potentially be viewed as “damaged goods.”

      Not only is it exposed that someone did not love you, but now you’re afraid that this will be permanent. Others will now be too afraid to love you, or refuse to “take a chance” on you. They don’t want to be closely associated with a victim; as if it’s a disease that can spill into their lives as well.

      Several decades ago, for example, a young boy got AIDS through a blood transfusion. Even though there is NO way you could claim he was responsible in ANY way for his plight, he was treated very harshly by his school and community.

      As believers, you must love the truth to be set free by it. Even the most brutal of truths WILL set you free, because the alternative means the lies that abuse, and the aftermath of abuse, are keeping you in bondage.

      Lies are the disease of an abuser. They are the “sick” ones. Yes, they make their victims “sick” as well, but they [the victims] are not to blame for that. They are not the originators of that disease; they are sadly the ones who pay a dear price for being inflicted with that sickness.

      • Suzanne

        “To admit that someone you loved does not love you back requires a love of the truth that is willing to embrace the truth no matter what—-even if it is a brutal truth that you wish you never ever, had to admit or worse yet, accept AS the truth.”

        The day that I finally understood and accepted that my parents and their enablers (my siblings) didn’t love me, never had, and never would, was both the worst and best day of my life. It was the worst because of the emotional pain that realization caused me, but it was the best because that “brutal truth” set me free to heal and construct a new life that was free from abuse. I don’t say that it was easy, or that my healing commenced immediately. In fact, I sat in my house and cried every day for about 6 months. I was barely functioning, but I did emerge from that period of mourning stronger and more at peace than I’d ever imagined possible. And I wouldn’t have that today without seeing, believing, and accepting the truth that the sins committed against me were never caused or justified by anything I did or didn’t do.

      • Helovesme

        I’m sorry I just saw your comment Suzanne, and I wanted to thank you for this comment:
        (and thank you for sharing that story. I feel like I’ve been there many times over myself)

        “The day that I finally understood and accepted that my parents and their enablers (my siblings) didn’t love me, never had, and never would, was both the worst and best day of my life.”

        I’m not a movie person anymore, but I used to be. The movie “City Slickers” came to mind when I read that sentence.

        Three best friends, all male, asked each other to describe their best and worst days of their lives. One of them told a story that to this day, I never forgot. I think whoever wrote that scene must have been writing from a real place in his or her heart:

        His best day occurred when he was a young teenager. His parents were fighting again because the dad was brazenly cheating on her. When telling the story, he said he realized his dad wasn’t just cheating on her, he was cheating on him and his sister as well.

        So he stood up to his dad and told him to leave and never come back. He said he would take care of his mom and sister from now on.

        The dad complied, and he never came back. But he took care of his mom and sister like he promised, so that was his best day.

        His worst day? Same day.

        In order to love and protect his family, he knew that he had to eject a member OF that family that was tearing that family apart, and would never stop unless he was cut off for good. The truth was brutal, a bitter pill to swallow—-but if it was not faced head on, the family would just get sicker and sicker.

        Whenever I read or hear about abuse or adultery, I usually think about that scene. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone claim that when a spouse cheats, he or she is also cheating on the kids as well, not just who he or she is married to.

        I don’t believe I have Scripture to back that sentiment up, by the way. It’s a personal view. No doubt the whole family is devastated when abuse or adultery or other awful trials, but the way this fictional character expressed it stayed with me.

    • Hi Suzanne, I read Helovesme‘s reply to you and it prompted me to re-read your comment.

      You asked: “Why are people in general, and abuse victims in particular, so reluctant to place blame where it belongs? Why is there so little discernment, especially among Christians, about responsibility for sin (abuse is sin) and where it belongs in abusive relationships?”

      I think people are reluctant to place blame for abuse where it belongs because, from time immemorial, those responsible for the sin have controlled the narrative. It goes right back to Adam blaming God and Eve and the serpent. The Apostle Paul said sin entered through Adam. This suggests to me that even though the woman ate the forbidden fruit first, it was the man Adam who bears the primary responsibility for sin entering the world. Ponder that. I can’t plumb the depths of it: I’m still pondering it. And I’m waiting to be given the full revelation of what Paul meant, which I will only get when the Lord winds up this world like a scroll and brings in the New Heavens and New Earth.

      I think that the abusers have controlled the narrative. There is plenty of evidence for that. For example, men who abuse their female partners and children have formed “men’s rights associations” (MRAs). Some of those men are wealthy and have lots of energy, skills, resources and time to shape public opinion. They are canny in spreading myths that promote the abuser’s narratives. Some of them are in leadership positions in mainstream media, politics, etc. They have a fierce and unrelenting desire to take vengeance on the woman who ‘abandoned’ them. They are very motivated to discredit and blame all victims of abuse, because that helps maintain the abuser-enabling narratives.

      Not all abusers are men, and not all victims are women and children. I recognise that. However, the way things have run in the world for thousands of years is that men have mostly held the economic and political power (there are lots of biological and historical reasons for that). And there are many females who for various reasons have supported, endorsed, promoted and not challenged the abuser-enabling narratives.

      The abuser narratives blame the victim and excuse the abuser. When I see so many people still blaming victims and excusing abusers, I understand this in light of those narratives having been the dominant narrative for millennia in human society.

      Why do many victims in particular continue to blame themselves and excuse their abusers?

      1. Because they have not yet come out of the fog of the abuser narratives which dominate our culture.
      2. Because their abusers have brainwashed and conditioned them to blame themselves and to not blame the abusers. Abusers and society at large have conditioned victims to fear laying the blame where it really belongs (on the abuser) because so many people stigmatise victims for things they are not responsible for. Victims are afraid of being stigmatized and rejected. This can go on LONG after the victim has cut all contact with the abuser. Recovery from abuse — in order to be really wholesome and effective — means not only cutting contact with the abuser (where possible), it also means becoming aware of and disentangling the abuser-enabling narratives from one’s own thinking and replacing those narratives with the truth.

      You might find it helpful to review my post Dealing with a spiritual stronghold.

      • Gany T.

        ^THIS! Barb’s thoughts on Suzanne’s question about blame, victims (receiving it!), abusers (usually getting off scot free from it). Profound perspectives..

      • Thanks Gany T
        🙂

      • Finding Answers

        Barb commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 12:58 PM) “I think that the abusers have controlled the narrative…..”

        ^That.

        Unfortunately for me, while I spent most of my life identifying the individuals who controlled a particular narrative in a given situation, I was unable (at the time) to identify who controlled the narrative in my own life.

      • 😦 😦 😦

      • Are you now better able (in retrospect) to identify who controlled the narrative in your own life?

      • Finding Answers

        Barb asked (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 2:12 PM) “Are you now better able (in retrospect) to identify who controlled the narrative in your own life?”

        Overall, I would say yes, though it’s DEFINITELY an ongoing process.

      • Helovesme

        Wonderful response Barb!

        “This suggests to me that even though the woman ate the forbidden fruit first, it was the man Adam who bears the primary responsibility for sin entering the world.”

        YES. Truly and honestly, I do not say that to advocate “man-hating.” I realize Eve played a part as well. What I don’t appreciate OR advocate is that Eve being deceived somehow excuses Adam’s choices to also eat the fruit AND try to blame her for it. And blame the Lord Himself: You gave her to me.

        Eve also does not represent me. Christ does. The fact that a woman sinned and fell short of the glory of the Lord does not knock me off of my feet. The fact that she was deceived by (as Christ described him) the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning, who is a master manipulator—-again does not move me to define her as a deceiver. She was deceived by the master of deception.

        If professing Christians want to “push” the false narrative that Eve’s lack of sound judgment must speak for every female who ever existed:

        Then we must bring up Judas. A key and central character in Biblical history as well, who willingly and knowingly and actively sought out a way to betray the Lord Himself. He is someone who was chosen to be a part of His inner circle. He traveled with Him, saw His miracles and ministry up close and personal for three years. Never were his needs not met. Christ made sure of that.

        He was obviously a greedy man (stole from the money bag which he was entrusted with). But wasn’t even smart enough to get a big paycheck for betraying His Lord—he settled for a measly 30 pieces of silver; that was how low he would go, just to see the Lord taken away.

        I do not see Judas as a male representation of the entire male gender. Crafty, greedy, and utterly lacking in love or loyalty. What right does anyone have to define the entire female gender by one woman, unless it is convenient and suits a certain agenda of oppression and injustice?

        The “fog” and “brainwashing” that Barb brought up explains the confusion and distorted perspectives that victims carry around for so long. I cannot express how ingrained it is in me to “fall back” on what I know best, not what I know is right. And sadly, what I know best is NOT usually what is right!

        “I think that the abusers have controlled the narrative”

        Absolutely. The ones in power tend to be the ones who have the bigger “stage,” and so they often get more attention, and in turn they are able to shape and mold society to benefit them. And mostly men, and as Barb pointed out, there are women too can contribute to this.

        And they don’t always do it in an outward, aggressive way. They can appear very sweet and very kind (and they are), but they do not understand that it is a sin to support, enable or stay silent when any human beings are being treated in a dehumanizing way.

        Most people show where they stand, or show their true colors—-by refusing to speak or act. So you can tell where they stand, because they refuse to take a stand.

        In my personal world, this is what I have experienced from women who profess Christ (and I’m not challenging their salvation), BUT they will not cross certain lines that I believe need to be crossed. Or, those lines should have never been there in the first place. Where does the righteousness of Christ speak for you, and where does the so-called righteousness of others speak for you?

        To break the abuser’s die-hard desire for control, which includes controlling the narrative (aka victim blaming), you have to acknowledge that abusers should not have that kind of power. Victims are not only left powerless from the abuse itself, but then they have little to no power to determine the aftermath of abuse. It often goes from bad to worse, and IMO it doesn’t have to be that way, but it has sadly become that way.

      • Helovesme, I really like the points you made about Judas.

  5. Krikit

    If a statement is going to make such a claim as this: “The Bible itself condemns men’s sexual sins more than women’s,” then it needs to be backed up with contextual scriptural reference. Can that please be provided? Thank you.

    • Hi Krikit, that’s a good request! Let me have a go at answering it.

      There are many passages in the Bible which warn about sexual sin by using the generic male form (he, him, brother, etc.) and the sense must be understood as applying to both men and women who commit such sins. I’m not going to list those passages here, as I think it would be a weak argument to assert that the Bible uses ‘he/him/brother’ to refer only to male persons.

      First I will list passages that describe and even-handedly condemn men’s and women’s sexual sins.

      1 Cor 7:1-5 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

      Romans 1:26-27 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      Deut 22:22-23 If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die — the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel. If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

      Lev 18:23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

      Lev 20:15-16 If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

      Now I will list the passages in the Bible which particularly mention women’s sexual sins (as opposed to including women’s sexual sins in gender-inclusive or even-handed statements). I have bolded the mentions of women’s sexual sins.

      Rev 2:20- But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

      Gen 19: 6b-18 (Potiphar’s wife)
      Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

      But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

      So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.

      But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”

      So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

      Now I will list and show in bold the phrases which I think focus particularly on men’s sexual sins.

      1 Cor 6:9-10 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

      Matt 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

      1 Cor 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!

      Numbers 25:1-5 While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”

      Deut 22:25-27 But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.

      Deut 22:6-19 None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father — she is your sister — you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is near of kin to your father. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is near of kin to your mother. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law — she is your son’s wife — you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness. Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive. Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity.

      That last quote sets out what is call the forbidden degrees of kinship. Christians have traditionally interpreted the forbidden degrees as applying to both sexes. But I think it is significant that the warnings are all written to men who might be tempted to have sex with their mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, etc. God must have thought it was important to sternly command men to not commit these kinds of sexual sins. To me, that indicates God was implying that men initiate those kinds of sins more than women do.

      • Finding Answers

        Thank you for your lengthy and informative comment, Barb. The presentation / organization clarifies parts of the Bible for me.

    • Helovesme

      Krikit thanks for asking that. I picked up on that too but plum forgot to ask about it. Looking forward to reading Barb’s reply, and Barb thank you for replying!

  6. Finding Answers

    Title of the post “Relationship Abuse: the Short Story”

    For me, there is no short story in the long term effects of abuse on me, and I suspect the same could be said for MANY other survivors of extreme and / or ongoing abuse.

    I recently experienced the death of my “dad” (Omitting details for my protection.), and the only difference in my own life is the knowledge I no longer need to fear / feel anxious about receiving any further communications from him.

    I do not grieve the loss of my “dad”, nor do I exult. To be honest, I feel like nothing has changed. (Omitting details for my protection.)

    I know I have changed in the less-than-two-years since my walls crumbled and I started a LONG process of coming out of various fogs, not merely the fog of abuse. (Omitting details for my protection.)

    Helovesme commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 11:19 AM) “Humanity is not only capable of, but actively engages in not only MANY forms of evil—-but depths of evil that are indicative of unspeakable, unbelievable depths of darkness.”

    ^That.

    Helovesme also commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 11:19 AM) “One of the awful reasons WHY there is so much domestic abuse is because of that simple reason: it is those you are closest to that have the most access to you. Therefore they have the ability AND opportunity to exploit that vulnerability. They know that such persons are fairly helpless, easy to manipulate and will likely stay silent—-again, due to WHO is hurting them……..”

    ^That.

    Helovesme also commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 11:19 AM) “Lies are the disease of an abuser. They are the “sick” ones. Yes, they make their victims “sick” as well, but they [the victims] are not to blame for that. They are not the originators of that disease; they are sadly the ones who pay a dear price for being inflicted with that sickness.”

    ^That.

    From the original post “Abusers target whoever they want……..”

    ^That.

    From the original post “…….The only thing that can be said about most/all victims is that they are ethical, are unaware of whatever tactics the particular abuser wants to use on them, and either knowingly or unknowingly will give up their own needs to benefit others: all traits society encourages at large, but especially in women……”

    ^That applies to ALL the abusers in my personal / professional life.

    • Yes; there is no short story in the long term effects of abuse.

      That’s why I believe in prioritising the voices and viewpoints of victims.

    • Finding Answers wrote: “I recently experienced the death of my ‘dad’ and the only difference in my own life is the knowledge I no longer need to fear / feel anxious about receiving any further communications from him. I do not grieve the loss of my ‘dad’, nor do I exult. To be honest, I feel like nothing has changed.”

      Thank you for sharing that. I rejoice with you that you will not receive any further communications from your ‘dad’. I know he was your primary abuser. And I understand that nothing has changed for you other than you feeling a bit of relief that he will not contact you again.

      Your account brings to mind the biblical truth that death entered the world through sin.

      The word “death” has at least two meanings in the Bible. It can mean spiritual death, and mortal-body death.

      In Eden before the Fall, there was no death: Adam and Eve could have lived indefinitely in the physical bodies God created them in. But after the Fall, as a consequence of the Fall, death entered the world. And in the normal run of things since then, human beings have physically died: their bodies age and wear out, or they are killed/die by one means or another.

      Imagine if death (physical body death) had not entered the world when our first parents fell. Tyrants and psychopaths like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Napoleon, and countless serial pedophiles would have lived indefinitely. Can you imagine how awful the world would be? I can’t imagine what it would have been like.

      The death of the physical bodies of psychopaths & tyrants is a blessing for the rest of us. Thanks be to God!

      • Finding Answers

        Barb commented (3RD AUGUST 2019 – 12:52 PM) “…..Can you imagine how awful the world would be?…..”

        For me, ^That doesn’t look much different than the world today, given some of the truly evil people still alive – it just becomes a matter of scale.

        My apologies, Barb, for my less-than-upbeat reply to your genuine comment intended to encourage.

    • Helovesme

      Thank you so much for sharing what you did Finding Answers.

      “I no longer need to fear / feel anxious about receiving any further communications from him.”

      I’m glad you are free from that fear.

      And thank you for the kind words, Barb, from above.

  7. Helovesme

    At first I tried to pick out the lines from the original post that stood out to me and spoke to me the most. But there were at LEAST a half a dozen that got my brain working overtime.

    To (try to sum up), I got a strong impression of (from start to finish), a victim being dehumanized. Objectification is the name of the game. The qualities that every human being should have full ownership of are slowly but surely, and steadily taken away from her. Until she is a shell of a person—-“programmed” to function as the abuser demands and commands.

    The post included the blame that society carries as well, not to mention the irony that victims are blamed for being targeted, when all they [the victim] “did” was exemplify characteristics that society (and the church) encourages: servant-minded, generous, and compassionate.

    I’m going to share a painful story that is recent but opened my eyes in a way that shocked me, then I’ll bring it full circle. I’m going to condense the story and omit details for protection.

    I had been actively helping a fellow professing Christian, a woman. The interactions were primarily one sided—-the focus was on her real deal needs, which were fairly serious. I did not see her as a friend because of this imbalance. There often wasn’t time (for me or her) to sit and have conversations that may have “balanced” things out.

    I struggle with being social, due to emotional trauma and chronic pain. It’s fairly exhausting, inside and out. In one of our last interactions, she encouraged me to knock on her door so I could visit. I carefully and respectfully explained to her that I was going through a lot of difficulties, and preferred privacy for the time being.

    I will condense her responses. She said I was being “unhealthy.” Other things were said. Bear in mind that she does not know me very well. I understand some of you may agree with her. Isolation can increase depression or intensify trauma, but I respectfully must disagree. When I say no, I mean no. If I’m in the wrong, I hope to remedy that in time.

    I respectfully replied to her that she is free to have that opinion, but that I disagreed with it.

    It took some time before I not just felt offended, but deeply and intensely offended. And here is why. Disclaimer: I do not believe she is an abuser, but she put my abusive past into some perspective.

    I don’t recall where this phrase comes from: “know your rights.” It is imperative that you know what rights you have under the laws of your nation. When you are not treated with that utmost respect to your rights, you have every right to challenge them [the person], and demand that you are treated accordingly. When authority figures or institutions cross those lines, it is 100% valid and imperative to call them out, and demand that they correct these wrongs.

    At its heart, abuse is about taking things away from others, things that belong to them [the others]. They have no right to them [the things that belong to others]. They belong to an individual; to each and every human being, male or female. Even (and especially!) children have rights, even though they are uniquely dependent on others during that season of life.

    When someone is trying to take something from you that does belong to you; that they have no rights to—-GET OFFENDED. I started to recall my abuser violating my personal space when he would physically hit me. He would violate my sense of worth and dignity when he would verbally abuse me. He would abuse his authority in intentionally disparaging and demeaning me. When bullies at school would tease and tear me down, they destroyed any hope of fitting in or belonging that I so craved, as does every human being. I was basically told, in all these interactions—-that they had the right to inflict pain on me in ways that violated my rights to feel safe, respected, and treated with equal worth.

    It took me years to figure this out, and this interaction with this woman brought it to light. My TIME—-what I do with it, who I spend it with, and how I use (or not use it) to serve, bless or give to others—that does not belong to anyone else but ME.

    With marriage (if you are married): My BODY is my own. It belongs to me. Sex is sanctioned and encouraged within in a marriage. but not even a spouse has any rights to intimacy with me, without my 100% approval and permission. AND vice versa.

    Don’t you dare demand “oneness” with me. Do not infer that “oneness” with me is so much your right, that you have the right to “get it” from me by any means possible. So my rights fade into the background, so that your rights (or “male sexual entitlement”) must be satisfied or else your maleness is being disrespected? So you cheapen me in order to feel more like a man?

    What kind of oneness is it if it’s being coerced, manipulated, not to mention dishonoring and disrespecting the very person you claim to want to be “one” with?

    The nonsensical arguments within the church about the bodies of spouses (but heavily directed regarding the bodies of women) “not being their own” never, ever means you have relinquished full rights and ownership of your body. How dare the CHURCH, of all places, prioritize sex as anything LESS than how God intended it: for two people to express love in one of the most powerful, and intense ways? What kind of love is being expressed when it is not 100% willingly and joyously given by both persons?

    This includes any and all forms of intimacy. My pearls are my own. Of course we hope to trust our spouses with our most personal stories and secrets. And our bodies. But no one should try to grab them from you, or drag them out of you, or demand you give them to another. That is stealing, because only you own the rights to your pearls.

    This woman’s attitude angered me so much because she was (to me) attempting to take my time away from me, and demanding that I give it to her. My TIME is a pearl. Now, please—-she would have been free to express disappointment, even hurt feelings at my words—but compassion and respect for my time, my rights to privacy—-should have been front and center. She showed none of that. NONE. She displayed herself as having a right to access my time, my attention and my personal company—and she did not have any rights to any of that without my express permission, which I refused then and still refuse to give her.

    This also explained previous years of my people pleasing ways. I would allow others to speak for and demand my time as if they owned it, not me. I would easily give in and say “yes” to others, even when I wanted to say “no.” I was letting others make decisions FOR me, even when I longed to exercise my own judgement.

    Being a certain type of person, as this post pointed out, can cause you to be targeted—-and boy, was it open season on a person such as myself: eager to please, easy to manipulate and worse—I exuded a very fear based, whipped puppy persona.

    It can attract just the right kind of people: ones that are not above using coercion or “dangling” promises of fellowship and a sense of belonging over your head—-all in order to get what they feel entitled to: your time, service and any other resources that will benefit them, but come at a great cost to you.

    The “violations” kept piling up from more and more persons around me—and my sense of independent thinking, deciding and behaving was slowly slipping away.

    One of the worst aspects to ALL of this is still the hardest to take in. I do believe it was assumed that I was too foolish or too simple minded to catch on to any of this. They were not completely wrong, but they very much should not have underestimated the Lord’s ability to make wise those that are considered fools by the world. 🙂

    I DID catch on, because He moved and worked and opened my eyes, slowly but surely.

    It is perfectly reasonable AND Biblical to step back from someone who is trying to take something that expressly does NOT belong to them and say: how dare you. Get your hands off of me. Or, don’t speak to me that way. Or, who are you to tell me how I spend my time, who I spend it with, and who comes in and out of my life, or my house?

    I know this is hard. When I DID start to take my “power” back, it came at a price. However, keep in mind that you are taking BACK what is yours, and what does not belong to others.

    They took it from you without your permission. Why do you need to ask THEM for permission to take back what belongs to you, and what they should never have taken away in the first place?

    When I stood up to this person, I wasn’t AS wishy washy as I tended to be. Half the time I am glad I didn’t get too harsh, other times I wish I had been more direct and indicated that whoever you think you are, my time is mine and not yours.

    She DID try to finish this back and forth by expressing that she just wanted to give me a hug. Supposed sentiments aside (I did not fully believe her), I would have refused that as well. I don’t like to be hugged much. Part of it is due to emotional trauma and clamming up towards physical touches, the other part is due to my body being particularly frail and hugging is often more painful than pleasurable.

    The best way to help me would have been to offer prayer and an open door should I ever need or want to talk, or if I ever did feel up to a visit. To me, this is not a lot to ask. But she never asked. For the majority of people I’ve tried to have interactions with, they never even bother to ask. Those that don’t bother to ask, I suggest you not bother with them at all. They’re not worth your time. 🙂

    • Helovesme, well done for being assertive with that woman. 🙂 She was happy to take your help, but she did not accept your ‘no’. It sounds like the whole experience gave you much insight.

      As we’ve said before on this blog, a good way to evaluate a person’s character is to notice how they respond if you say ‘No’ when they’ve requested you do something for them, or when they put their wishes before your wishes. The ability to respectfully negotiate differences is a mark of good character and maturity. If someone lacks (or willfully resists using) that ability, it’s a red flag that the relationship will be bad longterm.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you so much for that, Barb. I appreciated the encouragement. Your comment absolutely rings true. I DO know how to say “no” to people, even though my testimony indicates the exact opposite—-it still does not come naturally to me, but it DOES come.

        She recently contacted me a few times. I did not want to put anyone through what I have so often felt: ignored and treated as though I don’t exist.

        At first I told myself that I SHOULD at least offer some sort of perfunctory response. I got the strong impression that I should not respond, so I didn’t. It is not easy to pray through so many mixed emotions, and even harder to make sense of them. I had a gut feeling (and as the post indicated), I didn’t dismiss it outright.

        The post brought this up. How you are talked to is not always 100% sincere.

        When people are in real need, they are uniquely vulnerable. Depending on the crisis, they might feel shaken or insecure or overwhelmed or helpless.

        It’s doubtful that they are lying when they say how sweet and kind you are, but keep in mind these comments are a reflection of the Lord working in you. He is blessing your hands to serve, and also blessing the work of your hands.

        But there is far more to a person than what they do with their hands. Do they see the rest of you as well? Christ saved you as a whole person, not just your hands and feet.

        Connecting this insincerity to the post, an abuser is good at pulling the heart strings in order to get what they feel 100% entitled to receive. It it as IF they are in real need, but they are not. And to add insult to injury, your needs are mostly “in the way” since their needs MUST take the absolute and top priority.

        And even those that ARE in real need can learn how to say just the right things, in the right tone, that they know will reap results.

        “While pretending to love” is how the post put it. No, they don’t love you, they love what you do—specifically for them. (Side note: I’ve had to deal with petty jealousies when I’ve done things for others, but not for them. Another red flag)

        “He says he loves her but what he “loves” is her service.”

        That is no way to be loved. A person’s true heart will reveal itself to you when you dare to act like a flesh and blood human being, not a mindless human robot who only lives to serve others.

        As much as we are commanded to serve others, those “others” are commanded to serve others as well.

        It’s really hard for me to know who to trust. When I look for people to trust, I look not only for sincerity, but a sense of consistency. Are you there one moment and then gone in then next? I can’t always be the one to BE depended on.

        I think abusers “train” their victims to never say “no” to them. At a certain point, a victim doesn’t even consider refusing. The automatic “yes” has become as natural as breathing. She might not even consider that she is being manipulated. When manipulation becomes a way of life to you, that is all you know. That is how you have been trained to know or experience love (which is no love at all, but your abuser assures you that it is!)

        That is all I knew for years—I tried to please people so they would love me, or at least tolerate me. It was normal to me. “Performance based” love put me on a never ending treadmill of always being in some sort of motion (or being ready to be put in motion) Even when I wasn’t actually running, I lived in fear of being left behind as others ran ahead of me, or away from me. And If I didn’t keep up with them, I’d be left alone and left behind—-and I’d be to blame because I could not keep up with them (aka keep up with saying “yes” to them)

        The church can unintentionally encourage this sort of lifestyle and paint it as Christ-like. It can be easily argued: what’s wrong with that?

        Everything is wrong with that. When Christ died for us, He took away that “treadmill” mentality for GOOD.

        If that treadmill doesn’t exist for Him, it should not exist for you, or any sincere born again Christian. This post described a victim living in constant anxiety, uncertainty and an ominous awareness that the “show” is all about the abuser, and he must be served at any cost—-or else.

        I lived in fear of that “or else” and when I DID experience it, it hurt like crazy. But my former lifestyle was far more hurtful, even though I really thought I was finally a part of a family and/or church family. I had no idea how uptight and unhappy I was during those years, until I put up a “closed” sign on “selling myself” out to others. I hope to never reopen that “business” ever again.

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (3RD AUGUST 2019 – 5:20 PM) “…….a victim being dehumanized. Objectification is the name of the game. The qualities that every human being should have full ownership of are slowly but surely, and steadily taken away from her. Until she is a shell of a person—-“programmed” to function as the abuser demands and commands.”

      ^THAT describes the process of turning a victim (human) into a slave (robot).

      Thank you, Helovesme, for your comment. (Omitting details for my protection.)

  8. Finding Answers

    Suzanne commented (3RD AUGUST 2019 – 10:51 AM) “The day that I finally understood and accepted that my parents and their enablers (my siblings) didn’t love me, never had, and never would…..”

    ^That.

    Helovesme commented (3RD AUGUST 2019 – 5:20 PM) “One of the worst aspects to ALL of this is still the hardest to take in. I do believe it was assumed that I was too foolish or too simple minded to catch on to any of this……”

    ^That.

    Helovesme commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 11:19 AM) “As believers, you must love the truth to be set free by it. Even the most brutal of truths WILL set you free, because the alternative means the lies that abuse, and the aftermath of abuse, are keeping you in bondage.”

    ^That.

    Helovesme commented (2ND AUGUST 2019 – 9:47 PM) “……Victims are not only left powerless from the abuse itself, but then they have little to no power to determine the aftermath of abuse……”

    ^THAT battle belongs to God.

    • Helovesme

      Just wanted to say thank you, Finding Answers, for taking the time and effort to point out which comments stood out to you, or blessed you. It’s an enormous encouragement to know others are being encouraged when they share such private, personal thoughts.

      I held off on saying this because it’s very hard to even write out. I’ve seen glimpses in the posts on this website that reminded me of a few family members on my spouses’s side. The females in question being victimized, and the males in question inflicting that harm.

      But this post gave me stronger and brighter glimpses.

      My eyes have been opening to the manipulation for awhile now, and more precisely—the WAYS that they manipulate or are manipulated themselves.

      But this post (and others) are giving more insights. I have so many questions that likely will not get answered, but I again wanted to thank those that write these posts AND comment on them. You all do such a good job.

      • Finding Answers

        Helovesme commented (5TH AUGUST 2019 – 10:45 AM) “My eyes have been opening to the manipulation for awhile now, ……..”

        ^That.

        Helovesme also commented (5TH AUGUST 2019 – 10:45 AM) “…..this post (and others) are giving more insights…….”

        ^That.

        Barb commented (4TH AUGUST 2019 – 4:05 AM) “As we’ve said before on this blog, a good way to evaluate a person’s character is to notice how they respond…….”

        ^That.

        Barb commented (4TH AUGUST 2019 – 4:05 AM) “The ability to respectfully negotiate differences is a mark of good character and maturity…..”

        ^That.

        Helovesme also commented (5TH AUGUST 2019 – 10:45 AM) “……but I again wanted to thank those that write these posts AND comment on them. You all do such a good job.”

        ^That. 🙂

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: