8 comments on “Just Because We’re Gone, It Does Not Mean It’s Over

  1. I’ve heard of others getting comments such as these from friends and family. Thankfully, I never heard anything like this from anyone close to me. They have all listened as much as I was willing to share. They never shifted the blame to me, or said he was under stress…etc. The only people who didn’t support me, sadly, were my pastors. They told me if I wasn’t willing to reconcile with my abusive husband, I would have to step down from my leadership positions in the church. I did, then I found a new church :).

    • I have had somewhat of a mixed response to it. Some have been very, very compassionate and others, who I have obviously had to cut out of my life, were horribly critical and sometimes cruel to the point where the thought of being with them and having to speak to them sent me into panic attacks. I have heard worse than the things I included in this post, but I didn’t feel that it was upbuilding or beneficial to include them. I am sure those who have heard these types of responses know the kinds of things I mean, and to them I give my love and encouragement. It is not an easy thing to handle when people close to you are cruel and refuse to even look at it from your point-of-view.

      I am glad and actually relieved that you did not hear them. You endured more than enough, so the fact that you escaped this gives me some peace.

      I am sorry that your pastors responded to you the way they did and even used reconciling with your abusive husband to hold over your head to try to back you into a corner to do what they wanted you to. Clearly they do not understand the Scriptures. While divorce with the exception of adultery is not Scriptural, there is acknowledgement in the Scriptures that a spouse may leave the other (but just not be free to remarry). It’s like they deliberately looked over the fact that we were created as compliments to a man and are to be assigned honor as the weaker (BUT NOT INFERIOR) vessel, that our husbands (I was not married, I dodged that bullet), are to treat us with the same love that Christ showed the congregation. Call me naive but I am sure that beating on a woman is not displaying Christ-like love.

      The elders in my congregation would never push anyone to stay or to leave… because such matters are personal decisions and we all bear accountability to God for things we decide. That said, never would they have tried to bully me into staying with my ex, and if I chose to leave, they would support me. If I asked for help, they would do what they could to provide that help. I have been out of my abusive relationship for a year and a half, and from time to time, they still ALL stop me and have brief conversations about how I am progressing and whether or not he has bothered me at all, if I feel safe, and if I need help with anything. This is displaying the love that Christ showed the first century congregations. This is reflecting the love of Jehovah. And I hope the congregation where you are now reflects that with you and supports you as well.

  2. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This post is so well written and I am so glad I read it today. I swear I was picturing specific people when reading it. I think I have gotten all those comments and more. MUST REBLOG!!!

    • I know you got more, because I did too. But the ones I opted to leave out were ones that were so hurtful I couldn’t put it here for others to read. If you need to let go of some relationships because they are cruel, you will know for yourself. I had to, and while doing it was painful for me, having to be assaulted with such negativity and cruelty from people claiming to love and support me was doing more damage…. and I quite frankly think I had enough of that. Onward I go 🙂

  3. Pingback: Just Because We’re Gone, It Does Not Mean It’s Over | Life After Abuse, A Brighter Tomorrow

  4. Well I hate it when they say you should of been smarter, like a slap in the face, but on the other hand I think educating oneself is the key to not getting trapped in abusive cycles. For one… They don’t change for love and only temporaryly for the law. Two…don’t let emotions rule you use some logic self talk. Three… Get educated about abuse… Read men who hate women and the women who love them. Learn about codependency how you can take steps get out… Staying won’t help in the end they will hate you for being weak in thirty eyes and staying.

    • When someone finds themselves in an abusive relationship, there are never any easy answers to getting out. Learning about what is happening is only one step, and breaking the emotional attachment from your ability to reason and properly reconcile things is difficult when you have been subjected to emotional abuse and mind games that take away your objectivity and cause you to doubt your perception. You battle between knowing it isn’t right and that thought that it isn’t as bad as you think, you’re over-reacting etc. Also a factor is the fear that no one will believe them, that there is nowhere for them to go, and a key to quite a few survivors I know who left multiple times before getting out for good was in fact a severe lack of domestic violence services in their area. This is IMPERATIVE to have as a resource, and if they see there is no help, if they have no family in the area, etc., they will go back. There is never one contributor to being trapped in the abuse. There are multiple elements playing off and confusing each other, and separating them even when trying to keep the emotional connection out of it is difficult, especially when you’re in survival mode trying to survive day to day.

      I think making things look so cut and dry can be insulting to some survivors of abuse. I understand where you’re coming from on this — knowledge is definitely power and urgent in abusive relationships — but there are a few people I know who read comments here and some of them are going to read this as saying “they should have been smarter.” Actually, the abuser prefers to have the victim there because they are after that high they get over the power and control. 70% of domestic violence related fatalities occur when the victim attempts to leave or shortly after they get out. The immediate window of danger for this is about two years, and for those who have children, it can extend until they have reached adulthood. The abuser will use any means he or she can to keep that control in their hands. This is why they so forcefully instill the fear into their victims – to keep them where they want them. For abusers, it is about power and control. If the victim leaves, they lose that.

      Abusers exploit the love their victims feel for them. They prime them to think they have their best interests at heart, that they love them and want to help them grow as a person…. and then they unleash the monster. Being in an abusive relationship is emotionally catastrophic. Abusers are expert manipulators. They know what strings to pull, when to pull them, and how hard. The only person who sees the abuser for who he / she is … is the victim. They lie about who they are to everyone else around them so they will be less likely to believe the victim if they come forward. Family and friends of the abuser tend to be enablers. Abusers cut their victims off from those who would help them… no contact in person, no contact by phone or text, no contact in email. These people are considered a danger to the abuser so they build walls where they need to. They must minimize risk to be able to keep the power and control. Abusers do not want the victims to leave.

      Unfortunately, the best way to spot an abuser is hindsight, and this is why survivors speaking out is so imperative. You can’t tell passing by on a street or watching them with friends. You can’t tell in the beginning when you are getting to know them. It doesn’t show up immediately, but when it does it’s almost imperceptible. But I can tell you this. Once we all leave, when we see it in other couples, we know. We know because we can pick up things that even the general public misses that are actually valid signs the person is an abuser. No one should ever say to a survivor of abuse “You should have known.” No one. No victim or survivor should ever be called stupid or have it implied. None of us should be blamed or written off and pushed to the side. Society should hold the abusers responsible. The laws should not be so abstract. They are antiquated and need to be updated to accommodate so many levels I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

      Ultimately, someone being abused is not going to leave until they are ready. The reasons holding them back are as varied as the demographics of those being abused. Sometimes the abuser is law enforcement. Sometimes the victim is being forcibly held against their will with no contact to the outside. Being able to find the resources can be hard when the victim is being so closely scrutinized and monitored like I was. They track your internet usage. Your calls, your texts, your email. They open your mail. They don’t let you leave the house, they have people watching you… like I experienced. They might not have access to the one car. They might not live where there is public transit. They may not be allowed to work and are denied access to any financial resources. Knowledge is important, but if you are being stalked, monitored, tracked, and even forcibly held against your will, using it, acting on what you know, is not always easy. The mental imprisonment of fear is just as real as physical controls. Until it reaches a point where you need to escape, fear holds the trump card.

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