Today would've been my parent's 58th wedding anniversary. Fifty eight years of hell and slavery for my mom. She hit the 50th year mark and decided her only way out was to die. A prisoner in her own home, unable to leave for so many reasons. She had been so used to not having her opinion matter, that she wouldn't know what it would feel like if she just decided one day to act on what she wanted.
I grew up resenting and rebelling against everything my mother represented. She was so weak and so fragile and so sick and so hopeless. Why couldn't my mom just get up be healed and just walk out the door?
So, I lived my life in a limitless way. I made goals and I kept them. I was a thrill seeker. My faith was huge. Whatever I put my mind to, I worked hard and did it. I achieved impossible goals one step at a time. Things that most people would find impossible to achieve, I achieved them with the help of God. I always knew God was with me and giving me strength to achieve these things. Of course, I did put a lot of burden on myself but we must do our part and take responsibility for the things that God does put in our heart.
I achieved success in the film industry and was making over six figures a year. I never questioned my strength or my ability because I just figured that God gives us a brain and He gives us a body and He gives us strength to achieve everything that He puts on our heart. Of course, some things aren't his will but He grants them anyway because He loves us. We have to learn some lessons the hard way, so He allows these things to happen.
So, on the outside, it looked like I was confident and happy and joyful but on the inside I still was trying to earn the love of my dad and try to prove him wrong. He had programmed me to believe I was a failure. That I wouldn't amount to anything. That I wouldn't make any money being an artist. That I'm not good enough. So, no matter what I achieved on the outside, I still felt like a failure on inside because this is what was programmed in my brain from childhood.
So I spent my entire life picking people that repeated these messages back to me and confirmed them over and over again. That I'm a failure. That nothing I do is good enough. Why would I pick someone who would go against my programming? I have no knowledge of what it feels like to be in a relationship where a man is kind to me without an ulterior motive. I have no idea how to accept something different than what I was used to. I have not been programmed to receive anything for free. Quite the contrary. I have been programmed to work really hard giving all my energy, value and money to someone in exchange for abuse in return.
Sure, I met sweet, loving guys in my life who would have treated me wonderfully, but I had no idea how to handle that kind of relationship. I didn’t know what to do. The only relationship I knew that was familiar to me, was one where I deserved punishment for my good deeds.
So, what did I end up doing? I ended up marrying the same type of person except way worse. My father is overtly cruel. Everyone can recognize his selfishness and mean behavior. I would know how to avoid that kind of person. Let’s not forget that Satan comes as a deceiver. He will charm. So I picked someone who appeared to be kind and supportive and accepting but it was the horrible deceptive mask that drew me to him, for that is what I grew up with. This person I married deceived me for many years while lying to me and breaking down every bit of self-worth that I had for myself through lying and accusing me of things I never did. Through smear campaigns covering up his own lies by telling his friends and family things about me that weren’t true. Pretending to be caring while making me sick, stealing, lying and cheating on me, leaving me deathly ill, penniless, and homeless. How did this guy know how to destroy me? On the outside, there was no sign I grew up with abuse. I had achieved everything I put my mind to. My past didn’t dictate my future… but somehow he knew exactly how to destroy me. My naiveté was the fact that I assumed a husband would want to protect, love and provide for his wife. So, my vulnerability included me telling him my dark secrets of my painful childhood. Yet, he never told me anything about himself. I assumed his listening was a kind gesture…but like the serpent in the garden, he listened for clues as to how to destroy me. What I loved, what I hated, what hurt me and what made me happy. He then had the arsenal to either bless me or curse me. He is evil, so he chose to curse me. So, whatever I loved, he made sure he either destroyed or prevented me from having. And whatever hurt me or I hated, he made sure he tortured and tormented me with that. This is the definition of psychological warfare. It’s illegal to do between countries, yet it happens in marriages and families every few seconds in this country.
This is why I know that this is a spiritual battle. That we aren’t dealing with flesh and blood but the powers and principalities of this dark world. The demons within all of us are so clever. They come to steal, kill and destroy and they introduce themselves as charming princes and princesses. If they introduced themselves as monsters, we would stay away from them. However, we are always lured into the dark by the delicious fruit.
We go for what is familiar even if it’s a torture chamber.
How many stories am I going to hear about people growing up in an alcoholic home causing havoc and then they choose drinking to escape from the pain and do the same things to their own children?
So many in the church are deceived. My mom was convinced she was doing the right thing her whole life. Submit to your husband the Bible says. Don't divorce, the Bible says. She's following the rules as she knows them to be true, as to not sin but with every commandment, there are conditions and so many times the church has failed to teach that submission to a husband is based on the commandment that he treat his wife as Christ treats the church and gave his life for her. For this is everything!! If your husband is willing to die for you, that proves his love and his protection and that we can safely submit to him knowing he has our best interests in mind. That he wants to protect us and guard us from harm. If that condition is not there, if that commandment to love and protect your wife as Christ has done for the church, then, the husband will be living out his own sinful nature by serving himself at his wife’s expense. He would not be worshipping God, but would be worshipping an idol. He would be worshipping himself. Women have the sin of Eve. Deception. We believe the lies when someone tells us they are a Christian. Yet, if they are serving themselves at our expense, they aren’t true believers. So many of us have no idea we are actually unequally yoked. Every time we submit to sleeping with them, they are controlling us through demonic means because our spirits are intermingling through the sex act. This is the drug that keeps us captive. The bonding hormone of oxytocin. The result being Stockholm syndrome.
So, what was my poor mother’s deceptive truth for escape from her slavery? What was allowed under the law of the scriptures that she was able to justify to avoid thinking she was sinning and breaking a covenant? It was sickness and death. This was her only way of escape. She was a prisoner for 50 years. No way to dig out from the controlling hand of her kidnapper, my father. She had no financial means to leave. And like a caged animal, after awhile, you can leave the cage door open and they don't leave out of fear.
So many people don't understand the psychological warfare of domestic violence. From the outside looking in, people wonder why someone stays so long. The fact is, they have been programmed to believe this is what they deserve. That they are so void of value, that this is the best they could do and the abuser will make them think that it's a privilege to serve them through all their torture. Even if someone escapes, they have no capacity to live as a free person. They have been conditioned for so long to be a slave, they don’t know how to be free.
This I believe is what happened to the Israelites. Let’s not forget that they were slaves for 400 years in Egypt. They had been programmed to not have their opinion matter. They had been programmed to believe that no amount of hope would break the chains that kept them slaves for centuries. So, when they were granted their freedom, they had no idea how to get to the promised land. For 40 years they doubted God even though He kept blessing them. They were programmed to focus on the negative rather than the positive.
Sixty five percent of homeless women left an abuser. They thought they were finally free, yet their only option ended up being the sidewalk. They don’t have any idea that they can make decisions for themselves or even remember how to do it. They don’t even know who they are anymore. Their identity has been stolen from them. This is what happened to me. I was 12 years a slave. The once independent, free thinking, successful woman I was had been programmed for 12 years to think she had no rights, no way of escape, and undeserving of anything good or kind. I was constantly accused of things that my delusional husband would make up in his head. I was made to feel like I deserved this kind of treatment. I was conditioned well buy my own father. The father who hated me for being a woman because he hated his mother and he never forgave her. I was trying to earn the love of someone who will never be capable of giving in return and I chose someone who is exactly the same way. I'm just as broken as they are but the person I'm abusing the most is myself. Where can one heal on the streets? It is very difficult to have hope and reprogram your brain when you are hungry and tired…so you leave a prison only to end up in another one.
The church, I believe has failed to teach that it is just as sinful to abuse ourselves as it is someone else. Anyone who is caught up in taking care of others at the expense of their own health and welfare, knows that they would never do or say anything to someone else that they are willing to put up with themselves! Why isn’t the church teaching that this is also a sin as well? Yes, we must love like Jesus, but He was tortured and abused so we don’t have to be. We must stop thinking that we can be someone else’s Savior constantly risking our own lives. God doesn’t ask us to be someone’s Savior!
Jesus never really spent much time with people that argued against him. He didn’t spend countless hours, days, years trying to convince the angry and abusive person that He was right. He actually did everything He could to avoid them. Yet, the people that were attracted to Him, the ones that followed Him and valued Him, that is where He spent His time. Why have we been deceived to put up with years of abuse? Jesus went to the cross for us so we wouldn’t have to suffer. Yes, He did say we would suffer, but so much of our suffering has to do with the fact that we allow it!! We are free in Christ! That means we can walk right out the door! That means we don’t have to spend one more moment in a relationship with someone that just wants to put us down and destroy us.
We are so good at enslaving ourselves. We enslave ourselves by allowing abusive people to control us or we enslave ourselves by allowing idols to control us. Money, drugs, sex, alcohol, even work…just choose your idol, and become a slave to it!
The only thing that we are to worship that actually brings us freedom is Christ. We are made to worship only Him so if we choose something else, it will NEVER BE ENOUGH.
This is a great link talking about being married to an evil spouse.
**If this has been helpful to you, please consider donating to help heal those victims of domestic violence live out the purpose God has designed for them. Thank you!***