I wrote my story, or at least some of it, last month to help bring awareness for domestic violence. When I do this, I am for some reason, still shocked that there are those who knew nothing about this part of my life.
Another thing that also shocks me is the little nudge that comes from those little cartoon guys on my shoulders. One with horns and one with a halo. The horned one teases me with reasons why I would be justified to still be angry and bitter. Even after all these years.
I have healed and changed so much, but I have continuously had to keep working on forgiving and keeping myself from bitterness. Part of the way I have done this up until now is by moving on and keeping my story to myself, so I don’t have to relive the emotions.
Early on, that wasn’t the way it worked. I just couldn’t get away from it. There was stuff in my face all the time, legal issues, shared custody issues, financial issues, and even things the kids would say to me that I knew who the source was. Around this time, I also met a lady who helped me very much, but she was also very bitter about her circumstances. I didn’t want to be that way, I didn’t want to be defined for the rest of my life by abuse.
In order to contend against the desire to stay angry and become bitter at what I had been through, I had to pray often, some days were a constant prayer. I also had to practice taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5.) I found journaling one of my best resources as well as talking things through with friends and councelors.
I would like to point out that, unlike when I lived in the abuse cycle, I am not talking about forgiving and allowing my abuser to continue to take advantage of me. Forgivesness was necessary to get myself healthy and keep it that way. Anger and bitterness are tools to keep me in bondage and manipulate me into doing what I knew wasn’t healthy for me.
Also, important to those getting free from domestic violence, forgiveness does not have to be recognized or received by your abuser to be effective. I wrote a letter, which I doubt he even read. When new issues arose,I wrote in my journal and prayed. The stronger my relationship with Jesus became, and the more I understood how forgives works, the quicker I was able to put that incident behind me. If you are fleeing an abusive situation, I cannot see very many scenarios where this should be done face to face. Don’t put yourself in a position to be abused again.
Take control of anger so it does’t take control of you, and turn into bitterness. Read the Psalms to see how David resisted bitterness when he was being pursued. Find friends who encourage you to move on and not get stuck in anger and bitterness. And most of all, remember Who’s you are, you have been called by name, you are His (Isaiah 43:1)
I would love to talk and pray with you, just send me a note.