Growing Pains: Healing after Abuse

By the time I left my marriage, I was bankrupt, betrayed more times than I will ever know, depressed, anxious,

Hopeless.

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PTSD had become my friend. Waking up in the middle of the night, unable to breath, was common. Hiding under my kid’s beds, locking my bedroom door or bathroom door and hiding out for the night to avoid the toxicity of abuse that comes from addiction was an every day occurence.

In order to protect myself, I completely shut down. I thought I was going crazy which I later found out is common in abuse. The abused is taught to second guess themselves, to question their truth at all times. Nothing is ever as it seems.

Gaslighting

Scapegoating

Blame shifting

all terms I eventually learned to describe the toxicity of the relationship I was in.

I went through marriage counseling only to realize that in some circumstances counseling can be harmful. In fact, counseling is harmful when it focusses on open communication and trust while one party puts the work in to heal and the other party does the exact opposite. An abuser is a master at manipulating everyone around them. Thus creating more abuse in every relationship both are involved in whether friendship, counseling, pastoral, family.

In the months leading up to my final goodbye.

Escape.

I was continuously served papers for bills I didn’t know existed. Money went missing. Sometimes, I didn’t know how I would feed my kids.

But the most heartbreaking moments that came of the toxic situation was the questions asked by my boys,

“Mom, where’s dad?”

“Mom, why hasn’t dad come home yet?”

“Mom, you can’t let dad drive, he smells like alcohol.”

“Mom, we need to leave but where will we go?”

How does a mom answer such questions and statements?

How do you leave when you have nowhere to go?

How many times do you cry out to God, declaring freedom, yet experience so much darkness?

In the end, I was begging God to take my life. I lost the will to live. But, I knew, I could not leave my children in the hands of a toxic parent.

In such toxic environments, some people do not survive. Some take their own life. Some succumb to homicide. Some are unable to handle the stress and their bodies finally give in to illness. THIS is the absolute TRUTH and the seriousness of abuse. Hiding abuse, keeping secrets, covering up… only enables abuse and toxic situations to continue and it will continue for generations.

UNTIL someone stands up and says: NO MORE!

I will never forget the night I had a dream of a Lion sitting next to my bed. In my sleep, I turned and gazed directly into the Lion’s eyes and whispered, “Aslan, you’re here?” Aslan responded,

“I never left you.”

I believe in dreams and visions. I believe in a God who will display hope through our heart language. And I believe in a creator who has been with us since the beginning of time, hears our cries, knows our thoughts, answers all things with pure love.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God’s words for generations. To generations. 

I believe in a God who is shifting my heart and allowing me to forgive my abuser.

I believe in a God, who loves my abuser but does not expect me to stay in abuse.

I believe in a God who looks His daughters in the eye and says,

“Come now child,

Arise,

Come out,

I created you for freedom,

Joy…

You are powerful. You are love.

You are mine.”

3 thoughts on “Growing Pains: Healing after Abuse

  1. Thanks, Christelle, for your vulnerability and honesty. I know that writing it will bring healing to you, but reading it will bring healing to others. The enemy wants us to isolate and keep our hurts in the dark. God wants us to bring our hurts into the light and share our journey with others….for us to bear each other’s burdens. The enemy wants us to feel shame and embarrassment and failure. Those feelings DON’T come from God! So we rebuke those feelings in Jesus’s name and you keep writing!

    I’ve forwarded your blog to a friend who had a similar circumstance. My prayers for you will be for full healing/restoration for you and your boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kristen

    This brought me to tears! Continue to be that shining light Christelle! I’ve always went back on the phrase, if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Amazing to see how He is working in your life!

    Liked by 1 person

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