Believing the abuse was my fault.
My first attempt at reconnecting with my faith started three years before the night my abuser held me in a choke hold. At the time, I had nowhere else to turn; my three-year-old daughter had cancer.
Here I was, living in the secret world of domestic violence and I find that my baby girl has cancer. I thought, really? How much more can I humanly be expected to take? Daily, I am verbally or physically abused by my husband, and now one of our children has cancer? I thought the abuse was awful before the cancer news. But, seeing how my abuser couldn’t deal with the harsh reality of his daughter having cancer, the abuse increased three-fold.
I Deserve to be Punished
Right here in the middle of my abusive situation and my daughter’s cancer, I stood tall believing I deserved this. I believed that this cruel set of circumstances was a punishment for something that happened years ago. I rolled with the yelling and bruising. I juggled my world of child cancer caregiver with beaten domestic violence victim because I felt I deserved to be punished. See, when I was a teenager, I sinned terribly. I sinned without realizing so many years later the confusion of those days that were still stuck in my conscious.
It would be years after I was safely removed from my abuser that I spontaneously voiced this statement during a counseling session. The validity of the lie: I deserve to be punished was so deeply rooted in my subconscious that I never considered this a lie. I believed it to be as true as the statement the sky is blue.
Seeing Truth Clearly
After years of therapy and faith building, I am able to believe this powerful truth: through faith in Jesus Christ, God has forgiven me of my sins, so I can forgive myself too. I now realize that in God’s world, life doesn’t work in a “karma” fashion, with evil always being punished in this life. Sometimes people who have chosen evil get away with their wickedness.
And sometimes people who love God suffer.
Suffering under abuse, or suffering from my daughter’s cancer, none of it was about a karma-like “deserving” of punishment.
God doesn’t work that way.
No, God doesn’t always stop evil. Yes, many difficult circumstances have come into my life. (But He did answer my prayer to deliver my daughter from leukemia, and more than thirteen years later she is strong and healthy!)
One thing I have learned in my faith path is that Jesus has died for me, and when I trusted in Him for my salvation, He made me free. He has freed me from sin and freed me from the punishment for sin.
Yes, God has allowed many difficult experiences in my life, but in every experience, He has wanted to help me and draw me to Himself, with love and patience.
As I have continued to grow in my faith and receive good counseling, I have been able to see that my abuser’s violent actions and words against me are not my fault; they are a result of his inability to control his anger and temper.
Replacing the lie of I deserve to be punished with the truth of my abuser’s lack of self-control and willingness to obtain help, as freed my spirit of years of pain and heartache.
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.