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Thirty-One Reflections Of Domestic Abuse Part 2

Every year in October, I write thirty-one reflections that have to do with abuse to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Abuse has become commonplace in society. Young people get involved in toxic relationships and think it is normal to be abused since they never observed a healthy relationship modeled before them.

Many parents remain in abusive relationships for the sake of the children or at least until their children are adults hoping that somehow that helps the situation. There will always be a cost to pay either way. Divorce is never easy, but there are times when ethical and human welfare lines have been crossed. Separation and divorce are often necessary when the abuser refuses to change. The victim must find a way to become a healthy and thriving human being when abusers could care less.

The #1 reason that I share awareness of domestic abuse is that many of the victims do not realize that they are in an abusive relationship. Victims are many times trusting and outstanding people who do not give up easily. They WANT their marriage to work. They can not fathom that they are in an abusive relationship.

I hope that somehow, someway, victims caught in this dilemma recognize the abuse they are under when they come across my writing. It is not a fun topic to talk about, but it is a social issue that has reached epidemic proportions and needs to be voiced. Please seek help if any of these reflections 31 resonate with you. Abuse does not get better on its own.

For those who have been victimized, the education that comes from injustice and abuse is very valuable. The abuse was not wholly useless. Use that experience and knowledge to empower yourself and others.”

Day 1- “Abuse creates a civil war within your nuclear family. The children and spouse that you thought was on your team are now suddenly against you for life.”

Day 2- “When you are in an abusive relationship, you are dispensable, disowned, and disinherited. You are quickly replaced and never talked about again.”

Day 3- “The victim of abuse must find the courage within themselves to bring the situation to the light by speaking about it and getting help. If they stay silent, things will never change.”

Day 4- “Abusers like to pretend that they are going to commit suicide to keep you emotionally attached, fear-stricken, and in turmoil.”

Day 5- “The alienated children who live with the abusive parent have .very high regard and loyalty to the abusive parent. All the while, they treat the victimized parent with the highest of disrespect.”

Day 6- “Alienated children dismiss the victimized parent by ignoring important events and holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and birthdays. They treat the victim as if they were dead and deserving of such treatment since, after all, it was the victim who left the abuser.”

Day 7- “Abusers seldom admit to any wrongs or shortcomings, and repentance is unheard of. Do not hold out for an apology.”

Day 8- “A very small percentage of abused victims leave the abuser, and a tiny percentage of abusers change.”

Day 9- “Abusers and their victims do not sleep in the same bed. This survival mechanism allows the victim to tolerate the daily hostile environment that they find themselves in. Abusers who enforce the opposite, are committing sexual abuse.”

Day 10- “Men get abused the same way women do. The problem is that they are too ashamed to talk about it, get help for it, and report it.”

Day 11- “Victims of abuse do not see themselves as having value due to the destruction of their personhood at the hands of the abuser.

Day 12- “Remaining in a chronic abusive relationship or environment could eventually lead to mental illness. The cost of saying is very high, and its effect on the mind is usually irreversible.”

Day 13- “It has been said that teamwork makes the dream work. Well, not in abusive homes. The victim is not even on the team, although they think they are. Their input is not welcomed or needed.

Day 14- “Victims of abuse remain in toxic relationships for the sake of their children, not realizing that their children will suffer regardless. The prolonged unhealthy role modeling witnessed by their children solidifies dysfunctional patterns in their minds. The victim also extends their suffering by remaining in the abusive relationship.

Day 15- “Abusers use the victim by making them a surrogate spouse. The victims think they are an equal partner creating a family when, in reality, they are just part of a plan. The abuser wants to birth perfect children with their DNA and uses the victim for this purpose. They do not want the victim’s influence or imprint on “their” children.”

Day 16- “Victims of spiritual abuse cannot fulfill God’s plan for their lives while living with a spiritual abuser. Their God-given gifts are forfeited due to the codependent cycle they find themselves in and the barrage of false messages that they are told and believed. Victims talk themselves into believing that accepting and putting  up with the abuse is a sign of strength, godliness, and obedience  to God.”

Day 17 – “To help victims of abuse, the best things friends and family could do is to hear them, love them, support them, and BELIEVE them. Their abuser never believes them. Being there for the victim regardless of their choice to remain or leave the abusive relationship is crucial. They will need extra support if they leave.”

Day 18- “The Patriarchy Movement is at the forefront of spiritual abuse. When any man positions himself as God’s spokesperson within the family role, exploitation of the mind is imminent. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership where TWO minds work TOGETHER for the common good, not a dictatorship.

Day 19- “Abusers are focused, patient, and relentless when it comes to getting their way. They do not budge. They study the victim in detail. They know just what to say and how to say it to keep the victim indefinitely obedient, oppressed, and disoriented.”

Day 20- “Losing a child to parental alienation is worse than losing them to death. With death, there is closure. With parental alienation, there is never any closure, and the act is senseless.”

Day 21- Common sense does not come easily to victims of abuse.  They always second-guess their decisions since they are never allowed to lead and learn. Leaving an abusive relationship demands a choice that they are too weak, confused, and afraid to make. Yet, only they hold the key to their freedom.” 

Day 22- “One of the spiritual abuser’s favorite Bible verses is Titus 3:10, which states to have nothing to do with a divisive person.  When the victim reaches out for help, the abuser tells them that they are dividing the family. Abusers teach this verse to their children so that parental alienation is justified in their eyes. This belief system is at the core of every cult that has ever existed. Abusers then excommunicate and “put out” their spouse for life and, in many cases taking their children with them as a punishment.”

Day 23- “Spiritual abusers hold family meetings that could last for hours. At these meetings, they break down the victim emotionally by using Bible verses against them. The meeting is never done until THEY say it is done. The goal of the abuser is for the victim and the children to change their behavior. Being perceived as the perfect family is very important to a spiritual abuser.”

Day 24- “An abuser’s words and actions are like smoke and mirrors. They deceive their audience daily with their performance. They make it look like they are getting things done and in the right when, in reality, they are doing nothing and are in the wrong.”

Day 25- “Victims of abuse are prisoners in their own homes. They are confined physically and mentally by the abusive prison officer. The victim must ask for permission for basic things. Once captured, it is hard to get out without a fight.”

Day 26- “Victims of abuse fear to be alone. In their minds, leaving the abuser and living without a partner is equal to being unwanted. The fact is that they have been lonely and unwanted for a very long time, but they do not realize it. Victims would be happier living under a bridge alone than living in an abusive household.” 

Day 27- “Spiritual abusers are false prophets who prophesy the deceit of their minds. They fill the victim with a vain hope and never deliver what they promise. Spiritual abusers also exploit the victim with false words. The victim blindly believes and obeys the abuser, thereby forfeiting their God-given gifts and personhood.”

Day 28- “Abusers will systematically repeat the same key phrases to the victim over and over again for long periods. This tactic is used to break down the victim emotionally and psychologically. The victim eventually succumbs to the methodical verbal bombardment and believes what is being said to them.”

Day 29- “Abusers are easily threatened by victims who deviate from the prescribed system they dictate. Any form of personal growth or change by the victim is perceived as rebellious and divisive behavior. As a result, the abuser begins their accusatory campaign aimed at making the victim conform to their ideologies.”

Day 30- “It has been said that indifference is the opposite of love, not hate. To hate requires emotion. Abusers are marked by indifference. They denote an emotionless, apathetic attitude and high disregard towards the victims. Abusers simply do not care about them nor their families.”

Day 31- “Victims downplay their situation in their minds because of ignorance, fear,  or shame. They allow the abuser to trespass daily against them to keep the peace. The peace never comes. With each accepted violation, the victim becomes more desensitized to the point where their dysfunction becomes their normal.”

Dear victim,

You are not alone in this fight. The injustice you are experiencing will not go unnoticed as long as there is a God who sees it. Your truth is your truth, and only you can make the changes necessary to live a normal and healthy life. There is help available, and I believe your story.

Make an appointment with a life coach or family therapist that is VERY educated and experienced with the intricacies associated with abuse.

Please visit my website at www.mymomentlc.com for more information on private coaching sessions. Do not hesitate or wait for another moment to reach out for help. This IS your moment!

I am here for you as well as other professionals who understand the complexity of your situation.

Referrals

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233

Love is Respect- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888

The WomensLaw online helpline https://hotline.womenslaw.org

AVDA- Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse in Delray, FL 1-800-355-8547

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-500-1119

Thirty-One Reflections Of Domestic Abuse

There is a misconception that domestic abuse is mainly physical. Research has shown that some of the most devastating forms of abuse are not necessarily physical. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical or sexual assault, or OTHER abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner to another. Domestic violence also includes physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, and spiritual abuse.

There are abusive patterns that many times go unnoticed by the victim due to desensitization. Desensitization occurs when one experiences the loss of an emotional response to a negative or positive stimulus directed at them after repeated exposure to it. My goal in writing this article is to awaken those who have been abused for years and possibly decades and are not aware of it. These subtle forms of abuse leave a wreckage of scars, both emotional and physical, and trauma that takes years to heal from and overcome—the less abuse you experenience, the quicker the healing.

There are thirty-one reflections — one reflection for every day of the month to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which takes place every October in our nation. These reflections are not gendered specific, although women suffer the most abuse, with 85% of reported abuse cases coming from women versus 15%  from males.

Day 1

An abuser will eviscerate (deprive of its essential content) your heart and mind in every way possible for you to lose your identity and personhood.

Day 2

Abusers deny the truth and then accuse the victim of making things up. The #1 statement made by abusers to their victims is that they are crazy and are mentally ill.

Day 3

Abusers are unable to say that they are sorry or take responsibility for any of the conflicts that they have created. Instead, they blame the victim for everything.

Day 4

Abusers disengage, stonewall, and give the victim the silent treatment. This form of rejection shames the victim and increases their feelings of unworthiness.

Day 5

Abusers do not allow the victim to become the person they were supposed to be. They prevent and stunt their growth in all areas of life by limiting their freedoms. This control tactic leaves the victim in a perpetual state of immaturity and low self-worth. Sadly, with reverence and fear, the victim complies.

Day 6

Abusers do not want their victims to have any form of support system. They systematically love to alienate, separate, and keep the victim away from the people that they love and that love them. Abusers purposefully physically move the victim far away from their family and friends. These necessary relationships are denied and prevented since the abuser wants to be the only influencer in the victim’s life.

Day 7

Abusers willfully intimidate the victim by using different tactics within a systematic pattern to gain ultimate power and control over their partner. According to many psychologists, mental and psychological abuse produce more detrimental and lasting effects on the victim than physical abuse.

Day 8

Abusers do not allow the victim to work or pave a financial path of independence for themselves. They will provide for the victim’s physical needs such as food and shelter since the fringe benefits of control and power outweigh the sacrifice. Abusers neglect all of the other critical basic needs. They want the victim dependent on them financially so that they never leave.

Day 9

Abusers keep the victim in the dark about their finances while at the same time blaming them for their debt. The victim is accused of being lazy and not wanting to work or contribute to the family. When the victim attempts to get a job, the abuser sabotages their attempt towards financial independence. If they do manage to gain any form of employment, they must turn over all or most of what they have earned to the abuser.

Day 10

Abusers gaslight the victim by psychologically manipulating them into perpetually, second-guessing all of their decisions and their sanity. The abuser’s smooth and seamless mental destruction of the victim leaves them lacking confidence and stuck in a cycle of never-ending confusion.

Day 11

Abusers feel most accomplished when they successfully turn their children against the victimized parent. To an abuser, this is the ultimate sign of victory since their self-esteem is derived from being revered. The continual pain it causes the victim is very gratifying to them. The abuser is fully aware that parental alienation will destroy, devastate, and significantly weaken the victim. They also use it as a manipulative tool to get the victim to return to the household.

Day 12

Abusers are incapable of treating their partner with equality and equity. Instead, the victim is treated more like a child than an adult. Their relationship is not a partnership; it is more like a parent/child relationship. The victim needs to ask permission for everything and is not trusted to make decisions on their own. The abuser controls their every move with a heavy hand.

Day 13

Abuse victims do not always know that they are being abused due to the high level of love and trust they have for their partner. All they know is that something is not right. By the time they figure it out, the relationship is often irreconcilable. The abuser then intensifies the mistreatment so that the victim denies their perception and reality instead of getting stronger and leaving the abuser.

Day 14

Once abuse victims realize that they have been in an abusive relationship, anger quickly sets in. The victim feels violated and grieves the loss of the relationship they thought they had. The abuser reacts to the victim’s anger and grief with accusatory statements of blame and shame. They tell the victim that they are out of control and crazy. There is never any compassion or empathy for the victim, regardless of their emotions.

Day 15

Spiritual abusers use the Bible to condemn the victim and make them feel shame. Abusers take scriptures out of context and teach their children that to honor God, they must reject the other parent who is being “disobedient.” The children listen to an abusive parent because they fear to go to hell. They also fear the abusive parent. The abuser uses this technique to teach the victim a lesson and to keep them isolated and shame-based.

Day 16

Spiritual abusers like to quote the verse in the Bible that says that God hates divorce. Since the victim loves God, that statement immediately instills fear in them because they want to please God. The abuser will also say to the victim that the word divorce is not part of their vocabulary while neglecting to make any of the changes necessary to stop the abuse and better the relationship. They want to ensure that the victim believes and feels that they have no way out.

Day 17

Abusers intimidate and control the victim through physical force. They physically punish the victim the same way they would use corporal punishment on their children. To the abuser, the victim is perceived as subhuman. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, only slightly more than half of intimate partner physical violence is reported to law enforcement, and 76% of the victims are females; 24 % are male.

Day 18

The abuser doesn’t believe in divorce. This belief confuses the victim and makes them think that the abuser must love them since they want to remain in the relationship. The victim does not realize that to the abuser; it is just a game about power and control. The victim wants to believe that they are loved and needed, so they remain in the same abusive cycle. They think that by staying that they will influence their partner to change. They also feel they are setting a good example for their children by staying in the marriage and taking it.

Day 19

Abusers believe that they own the victim’s body the same way they control their minds. Abusers have a great sense of entitlement, and they perceive the victim as property to be used for their pleasure. This form of marital rape is used to intimidate, control, and humiliate the victim. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 9.4% of women in the U.S have been raped by an intimate partner. Many do not report the abuse if they are married.

Day 20

Abusers will try to prevent the victim from having any form of modern technology or education. They do not like to see the victim succeed or progress in life. If the victim does manage to accomplish something for themselves, they will not get any recognition for it. Abusers do not want the victim to have any outside influences that would cause them to ponder on their circumstances. The abuser thwarts advancement in the life of the victim to keep them uneducated and unable to make a positive change.

Day 21

Abusers like to homeschool their children. This fertile ground is the perfect platform to control, remove outside influences, isolate, and brainwash their family. Abusers do not want mandate reporters, such as teachers and counselors involved in their children’s lives. According to the nonprofit organization called Homeschooling’s Invisible Children, there is ample research and a complete database of cases involving all forms of abuse and homicide by homeschooling parents.

Day 22

Abusers like to intentionally stalk and instill paralyzing fear into the heart and mind of the victim. The abuser intimidates the victim by threatening to harm or kill them, their children, and their extended family. This form of emotional abuse terrorizes and significantly weakens the victim. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, 1 in 4 stalking victims will contemplate suicide as a way out of their situation.

Day 23

Abusers do not allow the victim or their children the opportunity to receive necessary medical and mental health services. The victim is threatened and told never to attempt to get help or else.  The abuser denies that the need even exists. They refuse family counseling of any kind because the only one with a problem, according to the abuser, is the victim. They do not permit outside intervention of any kind. The spiritual abuser reminds the victim that God alone will help them with their problems.

Day 24

Spiritual abusers minimize and reject the victim’s request for forgiveness on any matter. They tell the victim that their repentance is not real because if it were, then they would change. The victim believes this lie. They start second-guessing God’s love for them and their worth. The spiritual abuser puts themselves in place of God and manages to twist the victim’s perception of God. They want total allegiance from the victim.

Day 25

Abusers like to have partners that are much younger than they are to groom and mold to their liking. They scout out someone trusting, naive, and unassuming. The abuser’s dream is to create a fantasy partner. Once found, they begin the calculated process of forming new ideologies in the victim’s mind one brick at a time. The victim slowly changes who they are and never becomes the person they were meant to be.

Day 26

Abusers make sure that the friendships that are allowed are only with like-minded families. Other victims then surround the victim. Unfortunately, they do not know it. This lifestyle then cements in the victim’s mind that their life is “normal.” The abuser points out other victims within their circles and uses them as role models for the victim to emulate. This type of comparison leaves the victim feeling confused and worthless.

Day 27

Abusers love to alienate their children from the abused parent. The children learn to be abusive as well to prove their allegiance to the victimizer. The abuser gains their loyalty by giving them unlimited freedoms and monetary perks. The children continually dishonor the other parent as a form of punishment, never realizing that they are hostages who are also being abused. The abuser wants the victim to break at all costs.

Day 28

Abusers commit emotional incest with their children. They withhold essential information from their partner and share it with their children instead. The children become the abuser’s confidants. They feel honored to be entrusted with such valuable information. The children start looking down on the victimized parent. This kind of sick dependency could last a lifetime because of the value the children mistakenly derive from it.

Day 29

Abusers consistently put down the victim’s culture and background. They destroy the family roots and bonds that provide any form of security to the victim. Abusers eradicate the nostalgic feelings associated with the victim’s memories. They forbid them from hearing music or watching TV shows from their past. The abuser wants to be the only one at the forefront of the victim’s mind. The present life is what the victim is allowed to dwell on.

Day 30

Modern-day slavery exists in abusive homes. The abusers have a strategic cover-up operation going on. They serve as leaders in their church, supervise and manage people at their work, and are philanthropic. They dress nice, live in beautiful homes, and drive nice cars, yet their families are secretly destroyed from within. Their Facebook page is envied by many. When the victim finally reaches out for help, they are not believed many. Unfortunately, some friends and family members will side with the abuser.

Day 31

Abusers utilize many forms of tactics to control and keep the victim sequestered. Their children become the primary instrument by which the abuser inflicts the most damage. The victim must find enough courage to leave amidst the bombardment. If the victim manages to separate, the abuser tells the children that the victim has broken the family apart and abandoned them to fulfill their dreams. This form of sinister abuse creates deep scars in the heart and minds of the children.

Dear victim,

You are not alone in this fight. The injustice you are experiencing will not go unnoticed as long as there is a God who sees it. Your truth is your truth, and only you can make the changes necessary to live a normal and healthy life. There is help available, and I believe your story.

Make an appointment with a life coach or family therapist that is VERY educated and experienced with the intricacies associated with abuse.

Please visit my website at www.mymomentlc.com for more information on private coaching sessions. Do not hesitate or wait for another moment to reach out for help. This IS your moment!

I am here for you as well as other professionals who understand the complexity of your situation.

Referrals

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233

Love is Respect- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888

The WomensLaw online helpline https://hotline.womenslaw.org

AVDA- Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse in Delray, FL 1-800-355-8547

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-500-1119