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Never, Never, Ever, say these 15 comments to a Victim of Abuse!

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There’s a difference between still being a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse.

A person that still carries the shame, guilt, unforgiveness, has not healed the emotional issues from abuse, or is still being abused is continuing to be a victim.

The person that can stand tall, speak out with no shame, no guilt, and has walked the healing path is a survivor of the abuse that was perpetrated in the past. It isn’t just having “lived through the abuse.” It is a matter of having walked the healing path and by God’s grace has over come the emotional issues and is walking in freedom from the past.

Many people want to be helpful and many think that their questions and statements are innocent and do not affect those that have been abused, be it childhood sexual abuse or spousal rape and abuse, or physical and emotional abuse.

Over the years I have heard many testimonies of the added pain inflicted upon victims and survivors of these types of abuse. I have experienced many of them myself and I can tell you from experience the survivor of abuse may steal herself/himself for the onslaught of “innocent” questions and statements but these questions and/or statements are knives deeply imbedding in the heart of the one who has survived the horrors of abuse.

Never, never, never, ever say these things to a victim/survivor of abuse: 

1. “You could have done something to defend yourself.” 

Let me ask you how a small child can defend herself against an adult? Or how can a wife defend herself against a husband that is bigger, stronger and wields some object, including his fist, at her? Or a teen girl or boy defend themselves against an angry father or mother? Children are taught to obey! Obey no matter what the parent says to do! Wives are taught to be “submissive” to their husband.

2. “Why didn’t you just leave?”

In the case of a small child, where would they go? A two-year old cannot support themselves, nor a 5-year-old or 7, 10, or 12-year-old. Teenagers? Some do leave and they end up on the street, homeless, the property of a pimp, or within a gang doing drugs, robbing, stealing, scavenging for food in dumpsters, and the Lord only knows what else. Many do not have relatives that will sympathize and take them in. For the grown woman, some are threatened with death if she ever leaves, she has children to consider, a homeless shelter may be a temporary answer IF they are not full, she may not have ever held a job in her life and has no means of support. The list can go on and on and on. I highly recommend the book, “The Walking Wounded: The Path from Brokenness to Wholeness” by Secret Angel for a better understanding of a wife and mother living with an abusive husband.  Available at: www.amazon.com.

3. “Why didn’t you tell someone!” 

Many have, most won’t. With young children some have been told to “keep the secret no matter what!” Many were accused of lying, blamed for the assaults, beaten for “telling such lies,” ignored, threatened with family members being killed (and many other guilt-ridden consequences) Most have been subject to mind control from an early age, manipulated and controlled, blamed for the abuse by the abuser. One of the things I was told over and over as a young child, “Just stay away from him!” At two and three years old I was told, “If you wouldn’t sit on your dad’s lap…” We are made to feel it is all our fault! For teenagers some have been actually thrown out of the house at fifteen or sixteen years old or have run away because no-one believed them and the abuse continued. Some married the first guy to come along only to be abused now by a husband. Victims are seldom believed! Males are laughed at. “Men can’t be raped!” If that’s your attitude then read, “Unhelpful Myths About the Sexual Assault and Rape of Men.” Posted on this blog, June 10, 2015.

4. “Well you should have……” or “Why didn’t you…..?

Unless you have been in our shoes there is no way you can even begin to understand or comprehend the dynamics that are or were going on in an abusive home. To lay this kind of condemnation on a victim is to jab the knife in real deep, smile sweetly, and then twist it!

5. “Did you call the police?” 

Young children don’t know to do that.  Some teenagers do and end up in foster care only to be abused again or bounced from one place to another to another to another. Some, when the police arrive the abuser convinces the police the teen “has some mental problems.” Unless there are obvious bruises and cuts the police will file a report and leave.  With adults, many do but out of a false sense of “I love him” or “He loves me” they refuse to press charges once the police have come. Many do not get that opportunity for the control is so great there may not even be a phone available in the home.

6. “Just get over it! It happened a long time ago!”

There is no way that dagger can be shoved any deeper into the heart of the recipient of this remark. It is one of the most devastating, demeaning, accusatory, condemning and hurtful remarks that can be made to a victim of abuse. Particularly sexual abuse or rape. Which by the way, sexual abuse that involves intercourse is rape!

7. “What’s the big deal? It was just sex!”

This shows total ignorance on the part of the speaker. Sexual abuse encompasses the mind, the will, the emotions, and the spirit of the victim. The ramifications and emotional consequences of childhood sexual abuse can last a life time. In spousal abuse, where the wife is raped by the husband (along with beatings, etc.) the same thing applies. The mind, will, and emotions are all involved and emotional damage can be severe as well as possible permanent physical injuries.

8. “I’m sure they (parents) did the best they could.”

In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse that can be given for a parent to turn his or her back on a child that is being abused emotionally, physically, psychologically, or sexually! There is always something that can be done or someone who is willing to help. We have had police and laws for centuries. By ignoring the abuse happening is emotional abandonment and anyone who knows or even highly suspects abuse is taking place and does nothing is a co-conspirator to the crimes that are being committed. That means by doing “nothing” you are doing “something” – agreeing with, condoning the abuse.

9. “You just need to forgive and move on.”

Oh, this sounds so Christian! And of course this is done in “love.” Again, it shows the ignorance and total disregard for what abuse does to the victim; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. The emotional pain of the victim is never taken into account with this statement. This statement gives the impression that the horrors the victim has survived are merely minor infractions. “Here’s a band-aid, I’ll kiss it and make it all better.” The knife goes really deep and twisting it hurts even more!

10. “Are you sure it really happened?”

There’s that knife again! Survivors have questioned themselves until they are blue in the face with this very question even though they KNOW it happened. They do not want to believe that someone they trusted and possibly loved would betray them in such a horrific way. It is very difficult to accept the reality of being hurt, betrayed, and used by a loved one. To have this thrown at them turns the knife at least a full turn deep in their heart. Is essence you are calling them a liar and they’ve heard that from many others.

11. “Give it to God and let it go.”

Oh such a simplistic and uncaring statement! Just twist the knife a little more for this is a platitude that many Christians will spew forth when they can’t think of anything intelligent to say. Yes, we seek the Lord, if we are not so angry at Him for not stopping the abuse.  Some beg, plead, and scream to the heavens.  Many victims of abuse carry great anger and through the grace of God we do heal but to tell us to just hand everything; emotional damage, memories, scars, and what we feel to God like we’re handing Him a stick of gum is irrational on many levels. The issues run deep and much emotional damage has been done. Each issue is dealt with in time with God’s help. We can not put an entire childhood or 20 years of an abusive marriage in a box and just cast it off and go about our merry way.

12. “Maybe it was just a bad dream.” 

You have not only stuck the knife in but have slapped the victim hard in the face. In my case, that would have been an 18 year nightmare! When victims of sexual abuse begin therapy, or even before, this thought does come to mind. “Maybe I dreamed it up. It isn’t true.” Again, it is that deep need to not want it to have had it happen. The bruises in spousal abuse prove this was not dream. A night mare in reality but not a dream during sleep. No, we didn’t dream it. We wish we had because we would wake up and it would go away after the 2nd cup of coffee.

13. “Just don’t think about it!” 

Total disregard for the hurt, betrayal, physical and emotional wounding of victim! Absolutely no compassion is being shown. Victims do not have control over what the Lord will bring to mind that He may deem as time to deal with or the memories popping up “out of nowhere.” Walk away from this person! They do not have a heart for your pain and will only cause more.

14. “Well you must have done something wrong!”

In other words, “It’s all your fault!” We’ve heard this from the first encounter, be it as a child or an adult. Abusers NEVER take the blame! It is ALWAYS placed on someone or something else (usually the victim) and the knife is being twisted around and around as it has been sunk very deep into the heart of the victim. The child victim is NEVER  to blame! With adults, there’s no excuse for a man to hit a woman, ever! Or a woman to hit a man unless in self-defense.

Are you ready? Here is the one that tops all that I have heard over the years! Out of the mouth of a youth pastor that had a seventeen year old victim living with he and his wife to escape the sexual abuse at home came these mighty words of wisdom so confidently spoken to me:

15. “A one time rape is more devastating to the victim than continual sexual molestation, they get used to it.”

I’m still speechless!

Am I saying not to talk to survivors of abuse? NO! I’m saying be sympathetic, compassionate, and caring.  If the person brings up the subject, listen before speaking. Think long and hard what questions you may want to ask. If you are sincere in learning more about what we have to face as the results from the atrocities done to us ask if there are any books we might recommend. Don’t give the platitude or outright lie by saying, “I know just how you feel.” NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T WALKED IN OUR SHOES!

Some survivors, like me, are willing to answer even the questions that you never should have asked. But that’s only because I have had years of therapy and by God’s grace and Christ’s healing I can stand up to the intrusive and inconsiderate questions and remarks. Many survivors will wilt, feel condemned, and damage beyond belief can be done. Words hurt! Words can be that knife in the heart!

Many victims of abuse are sensitive, guilt ridden, filled with shame, low self-esteem, angry, hurt, and  pain so deep only God can bring it into the light. Many continue to feel isolated, unloved, dirty, and unworthy of anything positive.

Love them to life!

~~~~~~

Feel free to add additional hurtful comments in the comment box. People need to be aware of how they can help, not hurt. 

http://www.elahministriesinc.com

http://www.SuesPen2Paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

When the Load is to Great.

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We don’t have to carry the weight of the past on our shoulders.

Sue's Pen2PaperBlog

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Sitting on my deck with the ceiling fan twirling the fresh air from the Lord watering my plants and lawn I noticed some weird-looking bug stumbling toward me. Or what I thought was a weird-looking bug.

On closer inspection I realized it was an ant and what was so fascinating was that it had a large dead bug that was three or four times larger than the ant in its mouth. It stumbled toward me and as the wind from the ceiling fan hit it, it would stumble, fall over, get up and try again. It didn’t look like the bug it was carrying was really heavy (from a giant’s perspective) but I’m sure because of the size of the bug and the size of the ant it could not see where it was going. There had to be some destination in the ant’s mind.

As I watched the ant…

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We aren’t condemned any more!

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 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” Rom. 8:1

“You aren’t worth the air you breath!” That was told to me as a young child.

Those of us that have experienced an abusive home life know all too well what being condemned means. We were yelled at for the slightest offense, and many times there was no offense on our part. We were just there! We were used as battering rams for those who could not express their anger at someone else. Maybe it was, or is, a parent, a boss, a poor driver,  a spouse, boyfriend, etc. The anger gets directed at us. We’re blamed for the anger that arises. “It’s all your fault!” And the cuss word’s fly!

In some instances we were used for the cruel jokes of another, made fun of, called stupid, told we were never going to amount to a hill of beans. We were poked fun at in many ways, some were physically assaulted, sexually assaulted, and emotionally tormented as though we were no more than a pile of numb and dumb rocks.

Life isn’t easy and at times some of us have felt that life isn’t worth living. “They’d be better off without me.” Oh yes, we know what being condemned means and praise be to God that through Christ I am free forever from condemnation! (Ro.8:1,2)

God did not create us to be condemned by others. John 1:12 says that I am God’s child. That makes me think of when we see our first born immediately after he/she enters the world, the love that wells up inside. A love we cannot even express. How much more God must be filled when He looks down on His new child. The child He has adopted as His own. (Eph.1:5) I’ll bet’cha a months wages He was grinning like a Cheshire cat!

Because I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior He has forgiven me of my sins; past, present, and future. Praise God for that or I’d really be in big trouble! When we confess our sins and ask Him for forgiveness He forgives, and not only that, He never remembers them again! (Heb. 10:17) Then why the heck am I beating myself up over some sin that He doesn’t even remember any more!?

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God. (2Cor.1:21) Oh wow. He’s anointed me to do anything He calls me to do. Does that mean my little short fat legs can run a marathon or I can write a book or speak in front of thousands, or paint a portrait? Woooow. And I’m immediately a citizen of heaven. (Phil.3:20) Oh praise God, I hate really hot temperatures!

I’m now free from any condemning charges against me, by Him when I was an un-believer, and by those who have condemned me. (Ro. 8:33,34) See, they’re liars! The enemy tries to make me believe their lies. God says, “Oh My precious child, Sue, I created you and you are worthy of the air that I give you to breathe and so much more!” All of God’s children are precious in His sight and His heart and His mind. We children of God are worthy! We’re worthy because He has deemed it so through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When the memories of abuse flood back I can find His grace and mercy. (Heb.4:16) I start crying to God and He’ll be right here to comfort me or to explain something I need to know to help me better understand. I don’t have to be afraid any more because Christ has given me power , love, and a sound mind, not a spirit of fear. (2Tim 1:7) I confess, at times I’m not so sure about the “sound mind.” But I definitely have the power to overcome all that was done to me because He is with me and loves me with an everlasting love that I can’t even fatham.

Hey Satan, guess what? You can’t touch me any more! I am born of God (1Jn.5:18) I can be influenced, I can have demonic oppression but I belong to God and there’s not a flippin’ thing the enemy can do about it except try to turn me away from God. That ain’t going to happen! So Get behind me, Satan! And God has told me that all things will work together for good (Ro. 8:28) and I’m confident that what God started in me will be perfected. (Phil.1:6)  So back off, devil, I’m God’s and I believe Him!

If all of this is true, and it is, then why do we continue to hang onto the lies and judgments and condemnation that others have placed on us through childhood and even adulthood?  By continuing to believe the lies of the past we are calling God a liar. Sorry, but that’s true. His word tells us just the opposite of the crap, (excuse my language) that others told us so why do we hold on to the crap and refuse to believe what God tells us? He loves us! He loves us unconditionally. He isn’t the one who lied, called us names, told us we were as stupid as a door knob or as dumb as a rock. He isn’t the one who used us as His tool in unspeakable ways. So why are we willing to continue to believe the evil one who worked through others to destroy us? God said,

“… that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.…”

Eph. 4:23,24

~~~~~~~

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

 

Mama wanted a Girl – A testimony

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Written by Cliff – Angels by Grace Pub. – May 1997

“Oh Cliff, I think we’re going to have a girl. What should we call her? I really like the name Beverly Ann.”

These words captured the excitement of the expected birth as Loraine and Cliff looked forward to their second child. Six years after a Dennis the Menace boy it would be a joy to have a quiet and compliant little girl.

Their second child was born, not a girl, and so I was hastily named Beverly Clifford, after a British newscaster and my father.

The “sweet and gentle” son soon discovered that little girls are liked and desired more than boys. By the time I reached the age of three I asked my mother, “If I was a girl would you love me any more?”

In spite of a caring family with no big problems, roots of doubt, fear, and confusion were growing in me. Rejection and “not belonging” became nagging realities; unspoken, unclear and mixed up. It was not safe to be natural. It was always better to be “sweet and gentle” like mommy expected. Whatever I did naturally was perceived “bad” common to nasty, noisy boys.

I know that the psychologists and developmental experts do acknowledge frequent complications when “the wrong sex” child is born. Rejection and abuse are common inward and outward patterns that happen to such children.

If other common circumstances of life touch the family, more wounds and scars are added to the child involved. In my case my parents went through a financial crisis in a partnership business. After several months of snowballing problems my family, who had been considered well off, left town with $2.87 from the bankrupted business.

Suddenly the responsible and caring people were desperate to find work and thankful for a small rented house that had only cold water and no indoor plumbing. Eighteen months later we were on the move again.

This time it was across the country from West to East and into a small town of new hope and a small rented apartment. But, everyone in the town was separate and apart even though publically courteous, behind the scenes they were mean, belittling, and held mocking attitudes towards the “newcomers that didn’t belong.” More rejection and abuse were felt when such things as, “Who do they think they are moving here and taking good jobs we need?” were whispered.

My thirteen year old brother became a dare-to-do anything rebel and clown. His good mind, quick tongue, and fast fists earned him respect but for years there was no belonging. “Who cares, I’m having fun” was his attitude. Everything was a calculated risk, as far as he was concerned.

On the other end of the pendulum was me. As the younger son I learned to use my mind and skills to please, to listen, to help, and to comply. I also learned that deep feelings and dreams had to be hidden, even denied. It was safe only to have “sweet desires and good dreams.”

Being small of build and not aggressive meant staying on guard, don’t trust, don’t get cornered, and run hard. I also learned to talk fast and to learn to say what others wanted to hear.

It is true that all persons are not equally sensitive to emotional, artistic, and inward realities. Just as others are skilled in logic, practicality, and physical results. But it is a rare person who can’t communicate something. Even without words, actions say volumes.

When the life experience has been filled with confrontation, rejection, and abuse, responses, I have learned, can be very different. This is true whether the abuses are outwardly clear – physical, sexual, neglect – or inwardly  scarred and hidden, like I was. All can live lives of quiet desperation and with silent screams. Some act out the wounds by attacks, fears, and visible addictions.

The point is that all of life for all persons eventually demonstrates the human problems of fallen and sin-cursed mankind. Our fallen condition cannot be ignored or denied, without tragic results. Certain processes are still in operation whether the river of life is above ground and visible, or deeply hidden in the underground aquifers and torrents.

We each have a central-in-the-core need for a Savior who identifies totally with us. Who still provides a transforming process that leads to release and fulfillment. Out of the pain and wounds in life we can each come to see the fact of our need, our hurt, our anger, and even our unfulfilling desires for revenge.

As I too came to see my life was unmanageable and that I was powerless to change what really mattered in my core being, I discovered over and over in new situations that the Lord’s love was always available to forgive my sin and restore each area of futile reaction.

Gradually I learned the process of turning my life over to Him in each situation, in each emotion, and in each reaction. The 12 step approach became much more to me than an addict’s need as I discovered something of the meaning of the gospel song, “Stepping in The Light,” in the steps of the Master.

As a survivor, life is now the daily challenge of being healed by confession, forgiveness, and new release. I am learning the value of my 12 steps toward wholeness and true fulfillment.

With my clear new identity “in Christ” I am now learning to cherish the hurts that have led me to my new long-term relationship in Him.

~~~~~

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

 

Pedophilia is “Natural and Normal” ???

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Shall we have a group barf group? How absolutely sick these people are!

“There is no God!”

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Sue's Pen2PaperBlog

I hear the cry of the saints as they pray and in the background I hear the roar of those who do not believe. They scream in my face, “There is no God you fool!”

Sitting on my back deck this morning looking out over my one acre back yard I hear the whistle of a bird happily communicating with his friends. The soft tingle of wind chimes mingles with a variety of bird calls. The tree leaves rustle in a breeze that brushes my cheeks.  The grass is wet with the morning dew. A tear-shaped drop of water hangs precariously off the pink pettle of a rose as the sky clears from an evening of rain. The serenity is calming, soothing, tranquil.

The whirl of tiny hummingbird wings catches my attention as it shoots past me heading for the hummingbird feeder hanging close by. It sits so delicately on the…

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