When you are the victim of abuse there seems to be so many reasons to hate and not enough reasons to love.
I hated myself for staying. I had made a forever vow . . . ‘forever’ being the operative word. Could I really walk out on someone just because I liked them so little? Could I walk out just because they killed all the love inside me? Could I walk out because I thought there was a great possibility that I hated them? What about being happy in their absence but resentful in their presence? Was that a reason to leave? If all these emotions were present during the dating stage would I have stayed? Could I walk away now that they existed in my marriage? When I got to the nitty gritty of it, I asked myself many times what was I doing in such a hostile environment. No one in their right mind would stand in the middle of a battlefield while the opposing sides fire guns at each other. Why then do we submit ourselves to the daily unrelenting onslaught of verbal and or physical bullets?
The fact of the matter is we grew to love this person for a reason. We saw the good in them and they put on quite a show of lovable traits while keeping the ugly bits under wraps. Even when some of the cracks showed, we put it down to the fact that nobody is perfect and everyone is entitled to have flaws because we are human. When the facade stops, and we reminisce we take ourselves to court. We should have known, we should have seen, we should have asked, we should have dug deeper, we should have waited longer, we should have prayed more, we should have listened . . . We hate ourselves for all the things we should have done but didn’t. Hindsight eh?
I hated myself for holding back my tongue and for speaking my mind. Existing in an abusive relationship is a balancing act which the victim never actually perfects. You can choose to speak up for yourself but that will cause another argument. Keep quiet and make your mind wander (or go to sleep) may cause an argument. Shut your partner up with a few choice words will most likely cause another argument. The Bible says ‘ . . . You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue – It’s never been done!’ (James 3:7 The Message Bible). My tongue is no different though very few people who know me would know this. It can run wild and cause unspeakable damage to the hearer. I know that my words have the power to break or build and so I make a conscious effort not to break others. Even when annoyed or angry I choose my words so that the message is conveyed without being malicious. Being married to Mr Impatient meant that this part of me was always difficult to maintain. Some of the very things I promised myself that I would never utter were said in anger and frustration. Whatever has been said can never be taken back even after an apology.
The enemy is absolutely ecstatic when we entertain thoughts of self hate and self loathing. The deeper we sink into this self destruction, the happier he is. Why are we feeding his ego? Why are we giving him such preference in our lives? Yes, we made a mistake, in fact we made a huge mistake but it isn’t beyond God to fix, turn around or create a route of escape. Nothing is too hard for the Almighty Father to understand. He hears every unspoken word, sees every tear, he knows the anguish. We are His children too and He loves us unconditionally. Even if loving the perpetrator is more than we can ever bare or do, we must always choose to love ourself and ultimately love God. When your spirit is being crushed, choose to make Christ your focus, remember His faithfulness and unquestionable love. Don’t hate yourself because of your choices because the one who created you will always love you. ‘How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings, Psalm 36:7, The Message Bible.