My Story: Prequel

Abuse and violence started very early in my life.  Both my mother and father were very unhealthy and didn’t know how to parent. They were controlled by their emotions and human weakness. My mother was verbally abusive, emotionally demeaning and mentally cruel from the time I was a small child. From the age of 3 I remember being assaulted by my father.  I endured physical abuse, emotional and mental abuse, humiliation and degredation.   I left home by the age of 17.

1st relationship 20 years, married 17 years  and it was entirely verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive. My ex is manic depressive/bipolar with narcissistic personality disorder, his words and mood swings were frightening; breaking things, spitting on me, leaving death threats and spray painting the inside of my home.  Through all of that I didn’t recognize it as abusive, even when I drank to numb the pain.  Through working a 12 step program and rehab I gained strength and enough self respect to stand up for myself.  He refused counseling. I was told by my pastor that I was not called to stay in an abusive relationship and we divorced.

For 5 years, I felt good about myself and had healthy boundaries with potential suitors.  I felt good being on my own. But I had one foot in the world doing my own thing and one foot in the kingdom of God.

2nd marriage  2.5 years. I married my son’s father right on the heels of both my parents deaths which I can now see was a trigger to committing to an unhealthy relationship.  I felt very alone having lost both my parents and thought I NEEDED to be in a family, thought I needed someone.   I became pregnant immediately after marrying.   I entered this marriage in an unhealthy state of mind, rather than making God my everything I made the ‘marriage’ my focal point. When it didn’t flourish, we ran into boundaries and I didn’t have the tools or strength to forgive and move forward. We separated after 1.5 years of marriage.

Seven months after we separated my little sister died.  She had been in an extremely physically abusive relationship but refused to go to a shelter; the abuser had moved her to Tennessee and isolated her, took all her money and reduced her to a shell of who she was.  She called me the week before she died barely coherent because she’d been drinking.  I had no idea how much she’d drank. A week later she was dead from pneumonia and a fatty liver.

Once again I felt like a failure and all alone and sought a romantic relationship to heal the emptiness I felt…truly feeling I NEEDED to be in a nuclear family unit. But I hadn’t come to the TRUTH-that until God is everything in my life and I rely solely on Him I would not be able to receive the man he had for me.  Deut. 4:24 says…our God is a Jealous God…He wants us devoted entirely to Him first and foremost.

I was EASY PREY for men who knew what to look for and in comes Badguy [See MY STORY]. Badguy and I met on Match.com or what I like to call “The Predators Playground”.  Badguy came off charismatic, charming, saying all the right things, doing all the right things, going out of his way to sweep me off my feet.  He mirrored EVERYTHING I held dear, my faith, my family, church, everything.  I truly thought I met my soul mate…Little did I know it was an act, a ploy to ‘get me’. He pressured me to move in with him after a short period of time [completely out of God’s will]. Since I’d never lived with a man before… with 2 failed marriages behind me and not surrendering to Jesus…I said yes.  I moved from SD County to Riverside County, I changed my life for this man believing him to be ‘the answer’.

Oh how deceived I was….Only JESUS is the answer ladies and gentleman; no man or woman will ever make your life what it is meant to be.

The morning I awoke in his house I knew I’d made a mistake.  He started off with verbal and emotional abuse, the kind tone replaced with a controlling angry one.  I was confused and hurt.  I didn’t understand where the knight in shining armor went.  He expected me to acclimate my entire life to his, forego my desires, my business to take care of him, his home, his children.  And I did…I was slowly losing me.  Anytime I questioned him or confronted a lie…I was crazy, what was wrong with me, I was nuts.  After a year, I KNEW I had to leave…that is when the physical abuse began. I didn’t know the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she tries to leave.  1st he sprained my finger, the 2nd time he drug me to the ground and slapped me, time and again he accosted me giving me welts, whip lash and bruises.  Finally breaking my arm, and biting me.

I escaped with my son…a shell of a woman.  Wrapped in a fog of lies. No money, homeless. I was completely broken.

It was through that brokenness that God was able to speak to me.  HE was able to take the broken vessel I had become and start to mold me into the woman He had always purposed for me to be.

I discovered a shortage of resources in our county to help women..I also discovered a deficiency of understanding and help from the church for women who’ve escaped from DV.   I searched online and through the church for someone of faith who could help me…I could find no one.  God then led me to a woman referred by a dear friend who was a Christian Domestic Violence Advocate just days after my escape.  It was through this angel that I started my recovery from abuse.  She helped me become aware of what I’d just escaped from, who Badguy really was.  She intercepted his manipulative texts and phone messages, she helped me through the process of getting a restraining order, she talked me through the awful nights I still felt love for him and missed him.  She ministered to me God’s love and helped set my feet on solid ground.

This is the vision God has given me.  THAT WE AS HIS CHURCH CAN REACH OUT, PROVIDE HELP, LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN WHO’VE ESCAPED FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE or who are SEEKING SUPPORT.  If we can shed just a glimmer of God’s Love and Wisdom on the wounds of these women, we have the ability to stop the cycle of abuse and bring glory to His kingdom here on earth.
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