The victim who is a Christian often believes that it is the grace of God that keeps them sane whilst they navigate the hell in which they live. This is undoubtedly true. But it wasn’t until very recently that I came to realize that it is the same grace of God that keeps the perpetrator safe.
I was talking to a friend the other day. What she said triggered a memory and brought this lesson to light. She exists in a marriage that was similar to mine. She explained how the day before was a ‘low’ day spent in tears. There were so many things she wanted to say, things she wanted to do, but God’s grace was keeping her from following through. I shook my head sadly, profoundly connecting with what she said.
“But you know something Anna? God’s grace is extended to him too?”. I recounted a tale when I had my first dark thought. I was in the kitchen chopping onions. I was annoyed and restless. Mr. Impatient came to me. I don’t remember what he said, but I clearly remembered the dark thought. He wasn’t standing very close to me but I felt his presence suffocating me. I tensed, anticipating drama. He probably sensed my anxiety for the next thing he said filled me with pure evil.
“What’s the matter with you? You want to stab me?” I imagined in that moment, doing just that. My eyes filled. What kind of brute had I become? I continued chopping but had to stop because the tears blurred my vision.
“For true man? You really want to stab me with the knife?” He goaded.
I pointed the knife at him and cautioned him to back off. He laughed. I became scared. Not of him, of myself. I could see myself stabbing him to prove my point. I wasn’t playing. I needed him to give me space. Why should I do prison time for him? I took the knife and threw it out the kitchen door. I took the others from the block and discarded them in the same way. I turned off the stove and went to the bedroom.
There were times in the middle of the night after coming from the bathroom when I would look down at him and contemplate hurting him just so that he couldn’t hurt me any more. Often during his tirades, I visualized doing things to him which would shut him up. Permanently. However, this would be a decision that I would never be able to walk away from. I would always hate that I lost self-control; probably I’d never respect myself afterwards. Crime of passion or not, everyone would perceive me as the woman who killed her husband. She could have, should have walked away but she killed him instead. Maybe people wouldn’t blame me because of my circumstances, but they’d never trust me. Who could blame them?
There is a darkness that plagued me back then. It was only daily surrender to God that prevented me from succumbing to the obscurity of villainous thoughts. When you are scared of your own malicious potential, it is time to ask yourself how much more abuse you can tolerate. The irony is that nobody should even wonder about tolerating any level of abuse, period. No degree of abuse is ever acceptable.
Peace of mind and peace in God are paramount priorities for survival in this world. Nothing should stand in the way of it either. Self preservation is more important than sacrifice of self when it comes to abusive relationships.
God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper Numbers 6: 24-26.The Message Bible