“My abuser would call me 15 times a day. I thought this was endearing.”
When I met my abuser I was pretty messed up. I already felt as if I had no value and all I wanted was for somebody to want me. There were some red flags in the beginning that I just didn’t see. My abuser would call me at least 15 times a day. I thought that this was endearing, that he was taking interest in me.
The moment I became pregnant I was no longer a person, I was a possession. I thought that if I paid more attention, if I was smarter, or if I just loved him well that I could make it work. So I just got into this routine, he would get mad and I would apologize and I would just try not to make him mad.
The next two years were a whirlwind of anger, police, and packing. I don’t remember every argument but what I do remember is feeling fear, shame, guilt, and worthlessness. As my abuser’s anger progressed, so did his actions. It started with name calling and mind games. Eventually he started to throw things. Not OUR things, never his things, ALWAYS my things. First it was the glasses. Eventually it was the coffee table.
One night my abuser picked me up by my neck and pinned me on the wall, all while I was holding our 18 month old son. I tried to call 911, which ended up in a tug of war with our son. The police came and he went to jail.
My abuser told me how bad jail was, how he had prayed for God to forgive him. He told me he was going to change and he wanted a fresh start. He even agreed to go to counseling. So I moved back home.
I privately and honestly shared with the counselor. He said, “Marriage counseling is not what you need. This is a very abusive relationship, and if you choose to stay you will die.” I was just stunned, and I really didn’t get much time to think or respond to what he said because my abuser came in the door. He demanded I leave and never contact the counselor again.
It wasn’t long before I saw my situation as potentially deadly. He even admitted to believing he could kill me. I finally left.
Her Journey has given me a newness of heart. Through each lesson I feel more whole. Through the Her Journey process I’ve learned to really let God work in my heart in ways I wasn’t aware that I needed. Every time I go through a lesson there is something more for me. The lesson on forgiveness has become pivotal in my healing. I’ve gone through all this time focusing on healing, not necessarily forgiveness. I guess there was a part of me that has always thought if I fully forgave him, I would be condoning his behavior in some way. What I have learned is that forgiveness is for the healing of my heart. It’s not really about him.
I am no longer fractured or broken. I am Stella; a beautiful daughter of Christ, just as we all are.
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