Have you been a victim of abuse? The infliction of Abuse is commonplace today and sadly, the Church is no exception. It’s a common feeling to miss your abuser. Particularly if he or she is your life partner or spouse. After all, you have shared so must together and maybe had children together. You have given yourself to this person and re-arranged your life for them. They were not only a part of your life, but abusers become YOUR WHOLE LIFE. Now you are without them and you feel bereft.
You went into this relationship thinking this was the right person, you were so in love. You may have, as I did, changed your entire lives, for this person. Made them our center, everything we did was to make them happy, to adjust to their wants or demands. In the process, we lost ourselves. We became what they wanted us to be. We gave up things important to us or people they didn’t want us around and become very accustomed to living for them. And it’s important to realize that, they have worked very hard to get us to that point where we are isolated and he is our whole world because that is what abusers do.
This is Madge’s story and maybe you can relate to it…
Madge was separated from her partner for 6 months. She had to leave as she was being mentally abused and lost all confidence and sense of self. Eventually, she found the strength to leave. However, she is finding it very hard to cope, as her abusive husband keeps popping up saying he misses her and wants to try again. He has done this several times. But she just can’t get him out of her head! And she can’t understand why he keeps coming back to her and saying he wants to start again, because he dates other women. She has ended all contact with him the expectation when he picks up their daughter on custody weekends. But every time Madge sees him, she feels strong feelings surface. She wants to get on with her life but she misses him so much even though he was very controlling and abusive.
Madge is like many of us hankering after the dream. The dream that never was. The marriage that never was, the man or woman who we thought they were, and never was. That is what we miss, not the abuser, not the fear they perpetrated but the hopes and dreams we built with them. They destroyed that dream by behaving badly towards us. They shattered the dream, our dream and it is gone. Like all loss that we experience we grieve, we mourn, And it takes time to recover, sometimes it takes a long time. Its Ok to grieve, we need to grieve. Grieving is important to go through, because if you don’t allow yourself to grieve, you will be right into another abusive relationship and quite unconsciously, you will be looking for someone to replace him, and you’ll get another him or her.
When we are finally free, we can do whatever we want and we make all the choices. We are not used to that. Everything is up to us now. Our minds are like a whirlwind, trying to sort it all out, our hearts are breaking. It takes time for everything to sink in. To handle this is not easy- and when you see him, try to give them a ‘whatever’ when you see them. Try to be indifferent and do not make eye contact or engage in conversation. Keep to necessary niceties. Don’t get pulled back into his web of lies.
You are better than you have been treated. Remind yourself of that each day. Put notices around the house of positive affirmation. I am a Christian so I put bible texts around the house of what Gods thinks of me – a beloved child of God who can do anything in God’s strength (Philippians 4:13). I pray in Jesus Christ name for help each day and find contemplation a wonderful way to fellowship with God.
So, when you first leave to escape abuse, please remember its natural for many different emotions to surface. It’s the end of a relationship, whether good or bad. You lost everything, dreams, hopes, your plans of growing old together and for some of us we lost homes, jobs, money or even our children. And sometimes you want him back to fill that gap again.
Don’t do it, don’t look back, don’t go back. Although there were some good times, I bet there were more bad times. Accept that you are far more than a verbal or physical punching bag, you deserve far better things than that!!
Please be gentle with yourself, escape abuse. there is a lot to grieve over, but grieving won’t last forever- be healed in Jesus name and live in the NOW, don’t skip over today and always plan for the future.💕