With my daughter now in college, I decided to permanently clean out the bookshelf where she kept all her senior year papers and schoolwork. For so many years the kids have been piling up their work in this one spot; the “just in case I need it later” spot. But now that all of my children are out of the house, it’s time to reclaim those places and declutter!
ACT prep book; SAT prep book; math book with notebooks of homework; Spanish notes and research papers seemed to take up a lot of space. I am sure at one point the items connected to my daughter’s schoolwork, but as I was going through them, they seemed disjointed and clutter. I started picking up the pace as I thought trash can for everything.
How domestic abuse affects victims and families
The florescent pink folder caught my attention. The cover sheet stopped my efforts completely. Here, within this innocent folder sitting amongst my daughter’s senior year of high school work, was a paper titled “How My Mother Has Influenced My Life”. As I opened the folder, I felt like I was reading someone’s diary; I knew I was invading into her privacy, but I had to know!
Within her paper, my daughter talks about how I influenced her through my relationship with God; she discusses how I lean on God and encourage my family to do the same. She also mentions that ugly stuff was brought into my world to get me to turn away from God. She goes on to say that I faced those challenges (I believe she is talking about my abuser) by leaning more on God. My daughter ends by commending me for taking my journey and using it to bring other women closer to God.
Crying unconsolably, I realized that my daughter wrote a lot about my relationship with God more than I would have thought she was picking up on or noticing.
In a two-page assignment, my eighteen-year-old daughter portrayed my journey over the past twelve years as bringing hope to others. I believe that is exactly what God has positioned my writing to be used for; a vehicle of hope for those transitioning from victim to survivor.
My journey brings hope:
My daughter wrote about how I was always there for her; not about how I messed up her life by not being able to take her on vacations or buy her things she wanted.
She wrote about how I never made a decision without thinking of her and her brothers first.
My daughter wrote about how I showed her about God through my relationship with Him, not how I talked about God.
My daughter didn’t express my being abused as a sign of weakness or failure, but instead wrote “God blessed my mom in so many ways…. But most of all showing her that she can take her past and use it to help others.”
I doubted my parenting skills a lot while raising my children and yet, my daughter gave me accolades.
Through the ups and downs of this journey, I’ve stressed and fussed about trying to be the best mom possible for my kids, but often my worries were in the wrong areas. My daughter wasn’t focused on my shortcomings at all, but instead on the love and faith that I was sharing with her.
While I was focused on bringing hope to others, I modeled that behavior of overcoming and lifting others for my daughter without even realizing it. When you think they’re not paying attention, they’re still absorbing your attitudes. Stay steadfast on your walk with God; it’s the biggest favor you could ever do for your kids.
To my single mom readers, you’ve got this! Although it may not feel like it as you read this blog post, someday it will all come together. And, when it does, I pray your journey will be fulfilling!
Blessings to all,
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.