Monday, September 23, 2013

On the Subject of Repentence

The cowardice and narcissistic approach taken by the twisted man who was once a husband and father to my children, is still something that I have trouble setting aside.

I was at a meeting for people who are in different stages of psychological rehabilitation. Many of the members have stories that are just as awful as mine or sad to say, worse. We are all trying to learn from each other and to speak about the experiences that have so marked us in life. Someone brought up the subject of forgiveness, loving your enemies and showing compassion even if the person who wronged you is unrepentent.

I listen to people that say these things with the knowledge that more than likely, they were never raped or had their children molested. Perhaps, mental abuse was never in their life, so to them, speaking on the subject of forgiveness seems so easy. I am not criticizing....but trying to understand.

Yet there is another side. The Lord himself tells us we must come to Him in repentence in order to be forgiven. We must admit our sinfulness and ask Him for mercy. Then and only then, can the Lord shape us into a useful vessel.

If I am to follow Christ, whether I am willing to forgive someone who abused my children and me, there can be no true change of heart or mind for the offender unless he is made to know and feel the damge he has inflicted. It is because of the offender's indifference, his lack of caring, his fear of being brought out as the guilty one that I cannot yet forgive him. I cannot merely sweep under the rug the awful things he had put my children through. Such an act would be acceptance of the offense and so very unfair to myself and to my children.


No, I do not hate the man....and I don't have to allow bygones to be bygones

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Trying To Pass The Hurdles

     Sometimes the past chases me down and has me see how history repeats itself through my children. I wonder sometimes,is it a genetic predisposition? Is the Lord showing me how life was for my parents when I was a rebellious young teen? There are so many times when I look at my children and the things they do or have done, only to think to myself, "Yes, I remember feeling that way. I remember doing the same things and getting in trouble the same way!"

     It's an odd place to be in my fifties. I can relate so well to what my child is going through and yet, I have to keep that seperation of being a mother not an equal. Everytime I talk to my girls, they bring things up from the past that they have been struggling with inside themselves. I too still struggle. I tell myself, "Get over it. You are in a different place and a different life now. Don't keep looking back!" It is reality though. One that hits me in the face every so often-I am the product of the totality of my experiences. What can I learn? What do I let go?

     My children who grew up in an abusive family situation are beginning to straighten up. I am being pushed to the limit at school and I think many times, I am not such a good wife. I stay up too late, I have a tendency to feel terribly insecure and depressed at times.
I'm not such a good mother because I have trouble setting boundaries. I'm not such a good student. I allow family to take too much time when I should be studying.

     The list goes on continually.
It is hard to be strong and even harder to admit weakness. Yet, as a Christian first, that is my duty. I have to accept my weakness and my character as falling short because it is then that I need God the most and it is then that He helps the most.

      I'm getting a little older every day. I thought that by now, I would feel at peace with my self. It's not to be it seems. I look at my girls and wonder how will they end up? Better balanced I hope. I pray they will come to a place of self-acceptance but more than that....accepting that where they lack, Christ can make all the difference.
      

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Living A Lie


 




I had an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day. She had called her grandmother (paternal side) to find out how she was doing after a medical procedure. While my daughter was talking to her, my ex-sister-in-law took the phone from her mother and asked if my daughter wanted to talk to 'Daddy'...this is the same daddy that molested my daughter when she was only 8 or 9. My daughter was puzzled as she knows that the molester is to have NO CONTACT at all with the minor children. She knew that someone could get into trouble so she said no and the ex's sister questioned her as to why. Well, my daughter, who is only 13, thought it best not to discuss the incident of sexual abuse with her, so she just told her that since her parents were divorced, it might be better if she didn't and that was the end of that.

I surmised that, since I am not on speaking terms with my ex's family, he probably never divulged to them what really happened ...of course,that is understandable. He was the apple of his momma's eye.

 After my daughter told me about the conversation, I started feeling frustrated. I WANTED his family to know the truth. Just sitting here writing to all of you right now, makes me angry about him. I want the truth out and I want him to know it's out AND I want to be believed! I have to keep reminding myself, God knows what he's done. I need to just move on. Yet it's SO difficult! God help me.

I don't know why I didn't see the red flags ....those signs that the father of my children, the man I had been married to was and is, a liar. He was known for his exaggerations. Well, maybe most people didn't realize it at the time but we did. The kids and I. He was also dishonest in many other ways. He would lie to people about doing something...like sending them money toward a debt he owed....but he never would. He was the most likely to go back on his promises. He wouldn't pay people, he would take and not return items, money....a lot of different things. Someone like my ex, who is a repeat offender becomes known for his character flaws yet when he went behind the pulpit and preached or cried, people would be charmed by him and forget his slights.

I'd like to be able to regurgitate all the poison inside of me. I'm often worried that my life with the cult-leader will always be etched into my brain.I pray that at some point, I can step away from all the bad memories and the anger. It reeks to me of  of rottenness...like the smell of road kill as you are driving nearby. It wafts by every now and then, corrupting the senses as it goes.

I hope and pray I can stop inhaling it's odor. 




Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stepford Wife Syndrome

I found a blog today written by a man who extraordinarily enough understood what some abusive churches do to the women in their congregation. It's a good article, please share it:

The Effects Of Spiritual Abuse On Women


Paula Hyles...Maybe 'old news' But Still Relative To The Mess In These Baptist Cults
Part II

David Hyles and family

     In my life, it was much the same...I was an accessory. The difference between myself and the Stepford's of the IFB was this: I wasn't raised within the IFB culture. For 26 years of my life, I wasn't taught what I had to believe except that my parents called our family 'Christian.' It was a facade though. Going to church was a holiday event mostly. There was no teaching going on so aside from agreeing that I believed in God, I really had no settled idea of what that was supposed to mean. I went into the whole IFB cultic view with eyes wide open and my mind was hungrily gobbling everything my pastor thought and taught. I had nothing to compare my teachings with, I believed!

Our pastor was not a megalomaniac as my ex-husband later became. He was basically a shy man but knew his Bible well and taught the IFB doctrines impressively. We didn't have a problem between wearing dresses or pants, it wasn't a big deal. I could still wear my Sunday best at church and not be criticized for jeans any other time.

It wasn't until a few years had passed and Mike was pastoring his own congregants that things got crazier and crazier. The rules would change every other week. Hair had to be long on women, short on men, no shorts on either sex ever, no pants on women, men had to dress conservatively, no jewelry on the guys. Later it evolved into not eating pork or shellfish, no work on Sunday and no going out until Sunday service was over.

Mike had developed a following....(I think he wanted to be as popular as Hyles) so he would mingle and sit with others after church during fellowship....I was alone feeling insignificant.I became disillusioned. There were a lot of single, divorced men in our congregation, Some were sex offenders or were living double lives. Those that were married had very one-sided relationships . Women were there to serve, whether it was sex or food it didn't matter. IFB wives were simply accessories to make the IFB husbands look good.  We were the faces of the family unit. It's a sick, twisted view of a godly relationship that was to be equal in love and repect toward each other. Somehow, it all became a lie!