The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Women are experiencing different degree of violence in the hands of someone they trust. According to statistics, the victims age ranges between 10 month-old to 80-year-old.
Abigail, a young christian, experienced a life of torture from someone she revered so much and despite the fact that she is deeply loved by her family, she didn’t listen to what her loving parents and close friends said about the man maltreating her. She tells her story of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship and her road to healing and recovery.
This is her story:
I am now almost 20 years old. I grew up in a faith based church. I am a second generation Christian. I have a strong Christian family, with loving parents, and a wonderful younger brother who I am very close with. When I entered my public high school, I chased after the Lord, wanting nothing but to live my life for him. Yet something happened when I started dating Thomas.
He was two years older than me. He was also the son of my youth leader. He grew up without a father in his life, and struggled a lot with feelings of anger and abandonment. I knew all of these things very well, but have always had such a mercy heart. To this day, I do not know why I didn’t listen to the wise counsel of my family and friends. I think that I thought I could save him.
It was three months into the relationship that I knew deep down in my heart that something was wrong. The emotional abuse is what I saw originally. The way he could manipulate me was amazing. He was a brilliant talker. He was my first boyfriend, so I seemed to think that it was all normal.
After about three months, was when the verbal abuse began. By this point, I was so brain washed that I thought I deserved what I got. The more the lies were poured over me, the I more I believed that it was true. All of the horrible names, all the horrible descriptions of who I was. My character was smashed. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t seeing my family. I was so isolated. That fall I moved into my dorm room at a lovely, private liberal arts college. I wouldn’t listen to anyone about how I needed to leave him. I was so convinced that everything that was wrong with the relationship was my problem. That as long as I tried a little harder, if I could fix all the things that he said were wrong with me, that Thomas and I would be fine.
Then the physical abuse started. The twisting of my wrist, the smack across my face, the shove to the ground, the hand around my neck. I was so weak. I weighed in at 90 lbs at this point. My fear, my anxiety level was sky rocketing. I couldn’t keep anything together. I felt so small, so vulnerable.
Just a month after I moved into College, my parents withdrew me. They had no idea how horrible it all was, but they knew something was terribly wrong. It took two months after that for Thomas and I to completely lose contact. I changed my phone number and talked to the police. The longer I was away from him, the more I really saw what had happened. And that is when all of the healing had to start. I started seeing a counselor, and even at this point, almost two years later, I see her about once a month. Jesus Christ brought me through all of it a lot stronger. I was so angry for a while, not understanding why God let it all happen to me. And I still don’t know. I know it was my own mistake to not listen to the wisdom of my gut, and the wisdom of my leaders, to not have started that relationship with him.
I do not know what Thomas is doing now. But I know that though I will never be the same, I am stronger. I want to speak out against abuse, to educate leaders in churches about the causes, the signs, and how to prevent it from happening to youth, to adults, to ANYONE. I want people to realize that it isn’t RARE, that it isn’t something that only happens with the addicted, the poverty struck. That it happens in churches. Just because someone may claim to love Jesus, we are all fallen. Thomas was a Christian, but he was messed up all the same. I am a Christian young woman, but the powers of an abusive relationship are deep. They are intense, and they are terrifying. Being an abused young woman is something that will be with you for the rest of your life. It is baggage that I will take with me into my marriage, and into my future relationships with any man. Yet the Lord’s love is massive, and his healing power is radical. He has brought me so far. And it has been a very long road that has been painful, yet all the same, it has been through.
For all the abused women reading this. Maybe you are currently in an abusive relationship, maybe you are healing from one. Either way, STAY AWAY from your abuser. I know that it’s probably one of the hardest thing you could do right now. They are intoxicating. They are like quick sand. One toe dangled in there, one measly phone conversation, and you are back to square one. CUT IT OFF. It’s the only way you can come out of that fog he has put in your brain. And most of all, CRY OUT TO GOD. He and the other abused women of the world are the only ones who will really understand.
Source: Hidden Hurt
Photo Courtesy: Pynkkashmere