Archive for the ‘70 x 70: Forgiveness’ Category

One email derailed my day. I’m mad that it did but it did and now I lay here trying to unpack my emotions like a suitcase full of wrinkled dirty clothes.

We’ve all heard the phrase “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” This post is not about the worldwide terrorism, it is about emotional terrorists.

Emotional terrorists are small people. Power hungry people who devise pleasure from hurting others. Sometimes it is those they live or used to love. I know. I was married to one.

People who control others are weak and pitiful. But they still inflict great chaos and hurt to those in their path. The sick part is that is WHY they do it. They utilize your vulnerabilities to their advantage.

After reading an email from my ex this morning I was transported back to feelings that I do not care to relive. Every time I write an email requesting what is normal and expected in a situation it is either: 1. Not answered 2. Answered but like a day later even though I know this person constantly checks his email 3. Met with opposition-always and without exception.

Unless you’ve lived through one of these type of abusive relationships you can’t imagine the PTSD like response your body goes into after such an interaction. It’s like fight or flight. Adrenal pumps. Emotions erupt and threaten any peace you currently had that day.

I remember feeling like this every single day. My mind never got a chance to recover day to day and it felt like every day was fight or flight. I’m not talking physical abuse here but emotional abuse. These physiological responses threatened my health physically and mentally.

I used to feel like this every single day. It might not be the best choice of grammar but it sucked. Big time.

The human part of me wants to retaliate with shock and awe. To what end? Not willing to put my children in the middle of two warring parents (even if we’re no longer married). The rational side of me knows engaging the enemy in this case is what they want so I will not issue shock and awe upon their heads but I’ll be honest, I really want to. But that is the hurt talking.

I don’t get to be the judge but there is some comfort in the fact that God will someday. Even saying that makes me feel small. Truth be told I’ll only recover from my anger and hurt when I hand it over to God. And I’ve been miserable all day because instead of handing over my hurt I’ve nursed it.

Opening up my tight little fists slowly….

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It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake. Been a long time since a painful memory from my failed marriage has kept me up.

Listening to my go to song, “Forgiveness”, by Matthew West on repeat song on my iPhone. Knowing that I need to let it go as holding onto this buried hurt will do nothing but cripple me at this point.

Yet here I am, giving power to a past hurt that serves to do nothing but injure my hurt. Torn between the concepts of hurt and forgiveness yet knowing the second is the only path I can take.

My soul is hurt and it’s hard to even pray but I know the Holy Spirit is making my hurt known to the Father. It’s hard to forgive. I’ve written about this many times, over the years.

Torn between needing to experience the pain that comes from healing and the desire to want to let it go. Like many years ago when I knew that I needed to forgive my ex spouse I prayed for years for the desire to want to forgive him. God worked in my heart that time and since to forgive this one who hurt my heart so.

Wishing hurt away does nothing productive. I’ve learned from experience that it is necessary to truly feel the hurt before I can experience the gratitude to God when He frees me from the hurt. I’ve learned it is allowable to feel the hurt as long as I don’t get stuck in it. Or try to bury the hurt without turning to my Heavenly Father and asking Him to free me.

The concept of forgiveness has nothing to do in my case with reconciliation between the two parties. It is about forgiving someone who has never once asked for forgiveness. It is about laying down the hurt at the throne of God and realizing that God sent His son to die for not only me but for my ex spouse. Knowing that Jesus’ spilled blood was for everyone. None of us deserved for Him take our sins, to take the penalty of our sins. Yet He did. And on the cross He forgave those who put Him to death. What a picture of forgiveness.

Lord, give me the desire to want to forgive this particular hurt tonight. I know that I can only give forgiveness if You change my heart Lord. Change my heart, Lord.

The right words at the right time. This week I had to step out into the stairwell at work to call my dad. I was upset and frustrated and worried. A lack of timely communication about my daughter had me feeling hurt and worried.

As my dad often does, he talked me through the rough situation, offering insight into me and the other party involved that was wise and timely.

After we discussed my reaction to being hurt, again, my dad said these words which wrote on the very surface of my heart:

He can’t hurt you anymore.

And with that, something healed in my heart and head. You see, I HEARD it and believed it. No, I won’t live a life without hurt or loss. How I react to it is what is important.

I’m done. No more power is being given over.

He can’t hurt me anymore.

When you deal with someone who is emotionally abusive, it’s like they say “hey, let’s play Russian roulette” but then proceeds to hand you a fully loaded gun.

Their desire is to hurt, to kill – in my case it was not physically kill – but the intent was and is to hurt me deeply, over and over again. His intent is to kill my spirit.

It does not compute in my mind, it never will. I understand it and have studied and lived through abuse but I will never fully “get” it. It is indescribable and well, nuts.

When a manipulating, controlling abuser gets you frustrated he has won. I let a situation and person frustrate me tonight and I responded in frustration and let him know I was angry. Although I felt vindicated for about 1/10th of a second, I also knew that I had lost. By reacting to him I fed his madness.

So I develop a plan to avoid this situation with him by planning and out smarting him.

This is my reality. Dealing with it stinks but it just IS. He probably won’t ever change and I know this but I can learn to outwit and outsmart him.

Tonight I lay here listening to worship music because I am not going to let my hurt or anger take on a life of its own. You see, if I do that then the Enemy and this person wins.

Words have power. We all have heard that. We have probably all felt good at the accolades from another and felt bad from the hurtful words of another.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

What a dumb, dumb phrase some of us were taught and used as children!

Emotional abuse. Many hear that and immediately think, well it can’t be THAT serious. Verbal abuse can be yelling but it’s so much more than that. Emotional abuse is hard to put into words and I’ve lived through it.

For me emotional abuse was like being held down in cold water only to be let up once in a while to breathe. Quick breath then whoosh, back into the water that threatened to drown me.

Even though I am out of my marriage I still to this day cannot fathom how someone who professed to love me forever could do and say the things he did. It still doesn’t compute even though I quite well versed in abuse. Hundreds of hours of counseling later and I have come to this revelation.

I may never fully understand it. Some people get lost in the hurt and I did too for a while, a long while. One poignant email is seared in my mind. The person wrote telling me that essentially he was a race car, speeding along and that I was a klunker. I’ll admit I’m no Ferrari but neither was he. That is so beside the point.

I wish that I could unread that email. It was years ago. I’ve forgiven him many times (not because he asked but because I needed to, for me).

Forgiveness is a process. And it’s often something that requires ongoing forgiveness if that person is still in the outskirts of your life. 70×7.

Words have the power to build up and destroy. Words can rally an army to victory and words can cause a person to give up on life. Pick your words carefully and speak to others as you hope they’d speak to you.

I will not forget but I choose to forgive.

I wish that I could explain to my oldest daughter what the last 14 years have been like. Bitter and sweet mixed together in an almost lethal cocktail.

People, maybe even her, might think the emotional abuse I endured wasn’t real and frankly sometimes I wish it weren’t but it was. The worst thing was that it came from someone I loved so very much. It came from my best friend, my love, my husband. Sometimes I wish that I could close my eyes and wish it all away but it doesn’t work like that.

I wish that I could tell her how far I’ve come, how far God’s brought me. It wasn’t that many years ago that I was so depressed that I no longer wanted to live. But I chose life and do you know the main reason? I couldn’t leave those precious little girls without a mother. So I prayed a lot, spent every Wednesday night in counseling for years, found a church, a job and I am rebuilding my life for this part of the journey.

Sure, it’s much different than I had planned for my life but it is what it is. Today when the feelings of anger and hurt threatened to bubble to the surface I put them aside. I made a conscious choice to not let my feelings win.

I’ve cried an ocean of tears over the last few years. I will never forget my daughter asking me a question once. My ex had filed for divorce but hadn’t bothered to serve me with papers. My world came crashing down and the tears could not be held back. My children were little and did not know what was happening. I remember my oldest angel sitting next to me on our sofa saying “mama, mama, why are you crying?” And I just kept sobbing because I knew what was coming but wanted to spare her if even for a few more days. So she sat with me as I cried. I would give anything to have spared her (them) from watching those tears.

My children have seen their mama cry many many times. It happens less now and there is way more laughter than tears now.

I really do feel like I won the lottery when God blessed me with my two girls. I also hope that my oldest will continue to give me grace as I tell my story to the world.

Hurt. Control. Manipulation. Betrayal.

These are just some of the tools in the arsenal for the emotionally abusive person. Small people use them to feel big but really it just shows how small they really are.

Betrayal hurts no matter who does it but when it comes from someone who used to be family it is especially poignant. Abuse is never okay no matter the type.

Recovering from being in an abusive relationship is complicated and a journey. Six years out of mine and I have come so far but there is still more to learn, more healing to do. More forgiving.

Things happen. Situations happen and I’m whisked back to a time when most of what I felt was hurt. Unless you’ve lived through it you cannot imagine the almost PTSD like symptoms. That adrenaline that kicks in that floods your body….fight or flight.

Many years ago I got hives all the time from all the stress I was encountering. It was a outward sign of the inner turmoil. The type of stress that about caused my body to stop functioning.

So here I lay, writing both to process things and in the hopes that perhaps God could use broken ole me and my story to help someone else.

To write about God’s Grace and how God rescued me and holds me even now in his hands. The all powerful God of our universe knows my name and knows exactly how many hairs are on my head at this very second.

I matter. Not because of who I am but because of who He is.