In 2014, seven years after leaving my abuser, I still believed my abuser’s lie that I was a terrible mom. This lie was so ingrained in my thought process that it influenced almost everything that I did and made me feel extremely guilty for the things that I didn’t do. My sense of guilt greatly increased when my oldest son didn’t have the high school grades to get into a four-year college, and he had no particular direction. “I told you so,” the voice in my head would say, “terrible mom.”
Journey to Abuse Recovery
A glimmer of truth:
Yet, while my son was attending a local community college, he found what turned out to be the perfect university for him. In high school, he wouldn’t have known to choose this university, but at the community college God helped him become academically confident and aware of this better option.
I now know that instead of carrying all the guilt, I should have been focused on observing God’s plan for my son in action. Instead of guilt, I should have been praying that He would fix my regrets with His awesome plans.
Seeing truth clearly:
As I began to step back from my heavy burden of guilt and look at my life more objectively, I began to understand some important things.
First, during those days of heavy guilt, I had lost track of the prime objective of my leaving my abuser: to break the domestic violence cycle. The fact is that if I break the cycle and raise Christian children, then I am a good mom. God isn’t asking me to raise smart or athletic children; He is asking me to raise children who are being taught to be kind and to know Him.
Second, my children were army kids, moving often while living in domestic violence. This was a very non-ordinary world, but society expected them to function as if their world had been ordinary. I finally understood that it was OK if my son didn’t conform to the typical time lines of his peers.
Third, I needed to get those all-important boundaries with my abuser and then get his voice out of my head before I could even see what being a good mother was all about. I finally saw that the foundation to all good mothering was truly loving my children and providing them with my compassionate support over the long term.
Time proved that all the material gifts their dad provided wasn’t what my three children deeply cared about. My always being there for them, during all the awkward times of growing up, is what my children really needed. And this was something that, as I healed, I was learning.
This weekend my youngest child is graduating from high school and it feels so different than it did six years ago. Over the past year, my daughter’s path to college has been filled with a few curves and unknowns yet my response to these is what I find significantly different. Over the past year I have been able to enjoy watching God guide and direct my daughter towards the path He has laid out for her. Calmly watching God’s plan unfold has obviously been so much more enjoyable and calmer than stressing out and carrying a lot of guilt which I carried six years ago.
I thank God daily for allowing me to be a part of His plan to develop and mold my children into the special young adults they are today.
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.