Category Archives: Recommended

Recommended: What About the Children? by Cindy Burrell

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Wonderful post over at Verbal & Emotional Abuse by Cindy Burrell:

For an abuse victim who dares to reveal to her friends and family members her inclination to leave her abuser, she often hears something quite different than what the pastor asserted. She will more likely hear, “What about the children?”

There it is: an emotional trump card, a ticking time bomb. Any convictions about escaping the emotional harm she and her children might face on a daily basis are at once upended and she finds herself catapulted into visions of an unavoidably disastrous future. Could it be that perhaps separating from the abuser will only make things worse? Is it true that a child is better off in an abusive household where both parents are present than in a broken home?

Really appreciate the insights from someone further down the road. You can read the rest of the article here.

Prehistoric warm blooded bear-like creature that has nothing to do with Cindy’s post.

Recommended: How Did You Brainwash Me? Kellie Jo Holly

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Excellent article over at Healthy Place. For years, I’ve struggled with the why of the equation. I really identify with this:

According to Ms. Brown’s book, abusers do not “feel” the way we normally think of what it means to feel. Due to childhood abuse or perhaps mental disorder, many if not most abusers detach from their feelings at an early age. Instead of feeling, they observe how other people behave, and then mimic those behaviors appropriately. (emphasis added)

In this way, abusers become expert behaviorists without taking a step inside a class room. They know what works and what doesn’t work to get you to do what they want, and because they’ve detached from their feelings, abusers do not feel guilt for their manipulative actions.

This is probably why abusers cannot take responsibility for what they’ve done to you or admit they abuse you (with lasting regret). They do not comprehend that any wrong took place and may think that your fear and tears are merely a “show” designed to manipulate them, and baby, they ain’t fallin’ for it.

In short, abuser’s use brainwashing techniques naturally because “the set-up” is all they know.

Not sure they can’t take responsibility as much as they won’t.  I believe we all have choices to make and free will. At some point, getting your way becomes more important than loving your neighbor.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Thanks, Kellie~

Recommended: Jeff Crippen: Why is Forgiveness Even Possible?

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Here’s another article on forgiveness that clarifies Jeff’s teaching on the subject a bit more:

In my ongoing discussion of forgiveness, I am challenging much of the contemporary thinking among Christians regarding this important subject. I trust that all of you realize (and I think that you do) that when I maintain that because God does not forgive His enemies (they must bow and humbly repent of sin and confess Christ as Lord and Savior, thus laying down arms against God), I do not mean that we are to remain hateful and vengeful toward those who sin against us and who, in fact, are our enemies. No. We are to reflect God’s own character in dealing with them. He does good to them, and so must we. He tells us to pray for them. We are not to seek personal vengeance, but to leave that to God. But what I mean is that in all of this, we do not declare that they are no longer our enemy, when in fact, they are. They continue the warfare. And I address this because so many victims of abuse are being told that forgiveness means that they must no longer regard their abuser as their enemy, which is simply a denial of reality.

Personally, I think it goes without saying that only God can truly forgive sins but then I’ve been accused of saying much worse so there’s always that. You never know what sort of crazy ideas people might get these days.

You’ll find the rest of the article here and I’ll go insert a link into yesterday’s post just for fun.

Forgiveness Matters

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These days, we’ve got some mighty squishy ideas about forgiveness.

Jeff Crippen recently wrote another brain-niggling article over at A Cry for Justice titled,  The Lord is Merciful and Gracious but He Does Not Forgive His Enemies:

Every victim of abuse, especially Christians, know what it is like to be pushed and prodded with “as a Christian, you are required by God to forgive your abuser.” Too often this pressure includes the demand that the victim reconcile with the abuser, and it leads to being deceived by the typical false repentance abusers love to claim for themselves. Here is the principle:

“God does not forgive His enemies. He never has, and He never will. As His children in Christ, we are to reflect His character and attributes. Therefore, this has profound implications for how we deal with our enemies, who are also the enemies of the Lord.”

And a followup article here to clarify a bit more:

Now, think about this. Do YOU have authority to forgive sin? I mean, do you possess that authority and ability within your own self, simply because you are you? No. Any authority given to any human being to forgive sin is really authority that resides in Christ alone. When we pronounce a person’s sins forgiven, it is only because we do so by the authority of the Word of God. The sinner is not forgiven because of my words, but because of Christ. This is why there is forgiveness only in Christ and nowhere else. Ultimately, if a person will not have Christ, then their sins remain unforgiven. Only Christ can forgive sin, and He can do so only because of His work of redemption for us.

Acts 26:19-21, Matthew 3:7-8

First off, let’s make a distinction between those who genuinely repent and, as a result, bring forth works of repentance. These we are urged–make that, required to forgive if we want our own sins forgiven when we repent ourselves.

As believers in Christ, we have repented right? We’ve agreed with God that our selfish, unloving actions harm others. We’ve agreed with God that His authority on the matter is righteous no matter how much we might squirm, no matter how we try to justify our gluttony, gossip, lust or murder. If we have not repented, the point is mute. If we continue to cling to our own sin, thinking we know better than our Creator, all bets are off,  just saying.

But when we approach the throne in genuine repentance, willing to accept the consequences of our actions here on earth, ready and willing to make full restitution for the harm we’ve done, fully trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus to restore us to fellowship with the Father, then we must forgive those who have done the same.

Apologizing is fine when you bump someone in the checkout line. It’s great when you’re late to a doctor’s appointment and the nurse looks pissed whilst holding instruments both sharp and pointy. In fact, it’s a really good idea for all manner of thoughtless bumping about in any area of everyday life. But an apology is not sufficient when we sin against each other.

I’m sorry but saying sorry does not equal repentance.

In this day of  inch-deep, pop-christian culture, apologizing is nothing but cheap emotional blackmail to lure the naive and undiscerning into dropping their guard for a better shot on the next go-round.

By definition, an enemy  has not repented. They took up arms against us, intent on our harm and destruction and the fact that they are still an enemy means they have not laid them down. They do not believe they need to repent and they will rip us apart at the first glimmering opportunity. In fact, they fully believe they are justified in their actions and if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll see the apology dance as just one more weapon in an overstuffed arsenal.

The Priesthood of the Saints

I’ve come to see forgiveness as a sacrament– something extended to others as part of our inheritance and position in Christ. After His resurrection, Jesus said this:

John 20: 22, 23

22 And having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit!

23 [Now having received the Holy Spirit, and being [b]led and directed by Him] if you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.

Its a lot harder to discern true repentance and to struggle before the throne with our responsibility as a child of the King. Instead of offering a blanket of easy forgiveness for every offense, how about we trot ourselves into our Father’s presence and present our case?

What if this Christian life is more than just a sanctified spreadsheet of good works to check off before departure? ( Forgive everybody? check. Love my enemies? check. Cast out demons? check.) What if being a born again, child of God involves a relationship with our own High Priest where we must hear His voice, stay before Him until we know His heart and then faithfully obey His righteous judgements?

What if learning and growing in this intimate relationship with the Divine is the key to bringing the Kingdom of Heaven here to earth?

In no way does this negate our personal accountability before God. We are to guard our hearts, allowing Him the space and time to do His job and trusting that He will,  refusing to seek personal reckoning or vengeance and guarding against  a root of bitterness that might take hold and spring up, defiling many. These are all personal, internal, heart issues. Before our own Master we stand or fall. And so do our enemies.

Its a whole lot harder to wrestle with our own fallen nature, our own desire for vengeance, our anger, bitterness and wrath before the heavenly court.

Maybe it’s time we grow up.

Recommended and Working on a Little Something

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Right now, I’m simmering. Not in a she’s-gonna-blow kinda way. Just mulling some things over and seeking God’s direction for new paths.

Recommended:

Barbara Roberts transcribed one of Lundy Bancroft’s videos here. Don’t know about you, but I have a hard time sitting through a thirty minute video when I can read something in ten.  Thank you Barbara!

Here’s a quote and a link to her post:

Lundy Bancroft Says the Right Outlook is Outrage

Is this a male on female crime?

The answer is yes; it is overwhelmingly a male on female crime. Certainly there are lesbian batterers who are abusing their female partners; there are gay male batterers who are abusing their male partners. But the people who are dying are not men who are being abused by women. I certainly know couples where the man is the nice guy and the woman is the not-nice person. It has nothing to do with who is nice people or who’s not nice people. It’s not that image of the world where somehow men are bad and women are good. But it’s about tyranny and it’s about fear and intimidation and it’s about the belief that you have the right to create fear and intimidation, and that you can count on other people to back you up.

Jeff Crippen wrote another wonderful article titled, Why an Abuser Cannot be a Christian. One of the things I appreciate about Jeff– he says the hard things. Lots of church folks get all sorts of bent out of shape over articles like this and I say– Let them twist.

Things are all kinds of messed up when a sociopathic liar can lead the congregation while his terrorized wife and kids get hounded by those in authority.

I want to re-visit and re-affirm the fact — and it is a fact — that the abuser is not and cannot be a Christian. A person who is ruled by a mentality of entitlement, of power and control over others, who so lacks a conscience that he feels absolutely justified in the evil tactics he utilizes to get what he wants and to rule over his victims, is not a new creation in Christ. And I need to continue to affirm this because it is being denied in our churches. I know it is being denied because I continue to receive first-hand reports from Christians who are victims of terrible, ongoing (usually for decades) abuse who verify that their pastors and elders and fellow Christians are insisting that the abuser IS a Christian.

If you haven’t yet, head over the A Cry for Justice and read through some of Pastor Crippen’s articles.

And finally, an article from Morven Baker  (a wee lecture for the ones who will never want to hear it)  just because she found the cutest kitty picture and needs extra tissues.

Recommended: Lundy Bancroft: When His Put-Downs Sound True

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Take a grain of truth, wrap with hatred and malice, slather generously with a critical spirit. Serve up constantly with breakfast, lunch and dinner and watch the wife and kiddies develop into raging lunatics, complete with oozing internal sores, easy to jab anytime you  feel like having a little fun.

Nothing like the delicious anticipation of watching a teenager self implode  while awaiting that prime moment you get to crush them for disrespecting your God-ordained authority.

Kiss, Kiss

I have a survivor crush on Lundy Bancroft, no lie. His latest article over at Healing and Hope, is brilliant with a clarity available only to someone who’s fought Goliath a few dozen times.

Here’s number three on his list of reasons *not* to accept  your abusers twisted viewpoint:

(I’d like to just quote the whole article but that seems a wee bit naughty)

3) Because he’s ignoring how profoundly his mistreatment of you has contributed to these problems, or even created them entirely. When you live with a chronically insulting and undermining partner, your self-esteem suffers, your friendships suffer, your concentration suffers. He’s certainly not helping – he’s making everything worse.

One of the reasons we accept the poisonous insults lobbed our way  involves the nature of the sandwich. We can hear the truth and identify. We cannot discern the malicious intent behind the words. There’s no point trying. Throw the whole thing away and start from scratch.

Thank you, Dr. Bancroft.

You can read the entire article here: When His Put-Downs Sound True

Recommended: Kellie Holly: After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship

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A few weeks after leaving the beast, my car broke down in the Walmart parking lot way after dark. Scary place at the best of times but sitting out there all alone in a new town with no way home, I arrived on the threshold of a full on panic attack.

I had no idea what to do. Years of programming made me think I couldn’t make a move without the husband’s input. My first impulse was to swallow my pride, admit I couldn’t function without him and dial the number. No doubt he awaited just such an opportunity.

Fortunately, better sense prevailed. I sent out a half dozen frantic texts/phone calls to anyone vaguely within driving distance and waited in my car until someone answered. I prayed for wisdom and . . . I. . . waited. I remembered that I now resided in the big city. I could call a cab if all else failed. I could leave the car where it sat until morning at which time, I’d do the same thing anyone else would do– I’d call a mechanic.

Eventually an old friend rode in to the rescue. We tried to jump the car and blew out a fuse. He drove me home and the next day, the mechanic took care of everything including my wounded pride by assuring me I’d handled things just fine. I did not contact the beast, I did not explain what happened, I simply charged his credit card for the bill and kept contact minimized. When he sent an angry email asking for an explanation, I told him the car needed repairs and nothing else.

Once you’re out, you must get free. It takes time, deliberate thought and patience with yourself. Only you understand how many nooks and crannies your jailer claimed inside your thinking and only you can root him out.

Kellie Jo Holly addresses this issue in a new post, After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship:

When I left my ex, my life didn’t change immediately. I obsessed over him and our marriage. I imagined conversations we might have the next time we met. I woke to his voice only to find he was not in the house. My heart raced around the time he would normally return home from work.

I was gone, but I hadn’t left him. My old routines remained. I continued to fear doing something wrong that he would discover. I cleaned the house, bought his favorite foods, and budgeted the money he sent me for four despite having only three of us in the house (our kids and me). When he called, I was afraid not to answer. When he emailed, I emailed right back hoping I met his time schedule for responding.

I continued to behave as if he would come home any second. I lived in chaos, attempting to attend to an abusive husband who no longer lived in our home.

I love Kellie’s writing. Here, she nails it– that semi-sick feeling when you realize your abuser moved into your brain without permission.

You can read the rest here.

Thanks, Kellie!

Recommended: I Have a Dream by Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts

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There’s a short post over on Anna’s blog titled I Have a Dream by Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts. I can’t quote  here without giving away the punchline but anything that involves YouTube videos, rotten tomatoes (properly blessed, of course) and a rephrasing of Mark 11:27-33 gets my vote for Best Blog Post Before Breakfast.

Seriously guys– there aren’t enough tomatoes on the planet.