Effects of Living in An Abusive Environment:
When you live with such a person for a very long time, you start to mirror their behaviour. You start to see the world in the angle they want you to see it. Your mind becomes pre-conditioned against what is normal behaviour that when you are exposed to normal behaviour it no longer feels normal or natural to us. We no longer know how to appreciate what is good or what is better.
High conflict relationships are characterized by sudden highs and lows. They can be very unsettling and creates very tense and nervous environment. The traumatic experience the body goes through will eventually manifest in our physical health. Do not wonder why you keep going back to your GP and he keeps saying you've got nothing to worry about. I thought I was dying seven years ago. It was all due to stress i found out later.
I was sick all the time (because if one area of our lives is not well, it spills out onto other areas). I suffered continuously from yoyo weight, stress allergies, my nasolabial folds specially the area on the side of my nose use to bleed because the skin flaked so much; one day I woke up and I found I had alopeacia the size of two $2 coin, the bloating, panic attacks, painful joints, sore muscles, nightmares and the continual feeling of lethargy and depression. All these vanished in four to six months time after leaving my marriage except depression that seemed to have lingered longer. I might be 4 years older now but I feel stronger and look much better today than five - six years ago. I can only put that down to the amount of stress taken off my shoulders, having regained balance in my life and the peace of mind that I can now basked myself on all day all night without fear!
A short-lived tryst I had with a nurse from Northland (I chosed to trust him because being a nurse I thought he was responsible and will know how to honour his words but he ended up just using and hurting me in the end. Now I know it wasn't the profession that made my auntie Almie the wonderful loving giving responsible Christian she was, it was her nature and nothing to do with her being a nurse!) has rekindled my deep-seated passion to reach out to people. It breaks my heart when I see people I care for stoop down lower than they should. To see an intelligent person hand over the reigns of his life into the hands of a less intellectual person is not something our Creator I believe would be so happy about.
If someone gave me an expensive gift, the giver will expect me to use it properly, cherish it, look after it, never to thrash it. I guess with this logic I do think the Lord would prefer the talents and gifts He has given us to be nurtured and put into better use, multiplied and not handed over to a few minority to thrash but to safeguard it. Giving everything we've got to one, two or three persons who control, put us down, use us, hurt us or have no gratitude to us and the things we do for them is really staying in an environment that limits us to grow and be the best person God has intended us to become. It is a choice we have to make: Do we choose to be a slave by serving one man (or woman) or do we choose to serve God? Does being with this person makes us a better Christian? Or are our lives so screwed up that we are scared to reach out for others because we do not want others to know the things rotten in our lives? God have given us talents and gifts to benefit a greater number of people and not just a handful!
My husband use to tell me "you are a sick little girl, you need help" and he meant it in a compassionate way. It came so subtle that I never realize he changed the way I perceived myself. There were times he said he needs to look after me because I cannot do anything or "what will you do without me you silly girl?" These subtle verbal bombs can get buried deep in our minds and eventually change the way we perceive ourselves. I have spent a lot of time trying to recover the confidence I have lost. It is a battle but gradually I am getting it back.
Many of us in a controlling, abusive relationships are great at putting up appearances. We make the world think everything is hanky-dory while our hearts are being wrung tightly and our emotions trampled down! The funny thing is we have no idea everyone knows our lives better than we do, that everyone knows we are a mess except us is an understatement! Our love ones, family and friends being outside our boxes can see what spectacle we think we are hiding from them.
But until we are willing to take control of our lives and refuse to be victims...we really have nowhere to go! We remain in our roles as prisoners of the drama in the theater we call homes, the theater they created for us. The show never stops because we need to entertain them! Yes, people in abusive relationships are all masked up but they have nowhere to go until they want to help themselves.
It takes courage and determination to stop feeding the abuser's ego because the only time or chance a victim can get away from such a relationship is to give up everything but himself and his faith and be willing to start afresh, be willing to start as low as ground zero. It's tough but not impossible to do. If I have done it (and never regretted it) anyone can! The only thing I can promise anyone is that the rewards (freedom and independence not to mention peace of mind and general well-being) are so much more than the effort and sacrifice you have to put into it. Whatever your loss maybe, it will only be temporary. God will bless you ten-fold for your loss and for whatever you have been taken advantaged off!
I honestly do not believe God is happy to watch any one of his children being physically, emotionally and mentally tortured and being willing to put up with abuse. If He wanted us to stay in such marriages/relationships until we die (till death do us part), it would have been written in the Ten Commandments: Do not commit Divorce. Instead it mentioned the only reason man was allowed to divorce: Do not commit adultery. I believe our first responsibility is that of ourselves because we are answerable to the Lord. When adultery is committed the bond that ties us within our marriage is broken. Marriage, Christian Marriage that is = Man+GOD+Woman. Our body is His Temple and if He lives in us are we to allow another person trample it? Go figure it. For reference only I have the Ten Commandments below.
Nowhere in there can I read about divorce, only adultery! It is written that breaking the least of these commandments is breaking the whole law. I am a sinner by nature and as much as I try to keep all the commandments, I am human and I fail, I fail big time! Yet I believe the only sin that cannot be forgiven is the one that we do not bring to God (or do we have too many that we no longer try to bring any to him?). I have learnt to bring myself and my failings to Him on a daily basis and the reward is called peace of mind!And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
So I might have been hurt or I might have been used and taken advantaged of by a man who call himself a Christian but who felt it was acceptable and Christianlike to use me for diversion for the loneliness he was feeling while he waits for his infidel wife to want him back. How can a Christian justify using another person to gratify himself? How Christian is that? If the person who violated my trust as a child has not managed to put me down; none of these can reduce me into a lesser person. I console my soul knowing that God's hands were always there holding me along the way; that after searching my heart I know I have not done anything wrong to these people or to anyone apart from truly trusting, accepting and loving them.
Knowing that I can give my cares to the Lord, I trust He will hold me even closer to his heart from this day onwards!