Many thanks to No One Down Here for this powerful comment. I decided to make it a stand alone post to be sure everyone was able to see it. She wrote this in response to the artwork strip done for us published on Nov 4th. Pastors, church leaders, “biblical” counselors, church members – are you listening? Most of them of course will not, but then we write here primarily for abuse victims/survivors.
Here then is NODH:
By the time a person has come to the church for help/relief, etc…
The abused person has already:
–preached all of 1 Corinthians 13 to herself multiple times, probably has the whole thing memorized
–searched her soul for all the things she has done wrong or could do wrong and begged for forgiveness
–searched her soul for all the hidden evil thoughts against the one abusing her and begged for forgiveness, you know, the thoughts that were hidden so deep, SHE didn’t even know she had thought them. They were suggested to her by HIM.
–begged for God’s forgiveness for calling her husband a jerk after he had been on a tirade for hours
–begged for HIS forgiveness for calling him a jerk after he had yelled at her unrelentlingly, calling her worthless, incompetent, hopeless, worst parent ever, worst wife ever, unloving, unbiblical, a witch, a bitch…
–preached “do not judge” to herself, castigating herself for her own issues, determining that who is she to call him out on his MAJOR issues when she also has sins
–talked to herself about “submission” over and over and over… doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, do it anyway because HE is the one to whom you should submit
–told all her faults to HIM so that he would forgive her and finally love her. repeatedly.
–read all the passages about divorce and why she should not…
–prayed for him, prayed for “them”
–stayed up late and got up early to better meet his demands. every day.
–shoved herself under the bus so that HE could be magnified. constantly.
–excused his sin because, let’s be honest… She has also sinned, and no one is perfect, and no marriage is perfect…
–worked hard to make everything perfect for him and collapsed a thousand times a thousand times in anguish when her work was rejected as not good enough.
The abused person has also already:
–confronted the abusive person about his issues and received the answer of “it’s your fault.” multiple times
–forgiven him the few times he asked for that, before it degraded into “I have done nothing wrong, it’s all your fault… I have tried to help you, and you will not be helped.”
–attempted to be accountability partner for other sins since he asked her to… with the results of “leave me alone.”
–brought in some one else as the “take it to 2 or 3 others…”
In short… by the time the abused person goes to the church, she has already determined that none of the things she is now being told to try will ever be effective, because she has already done them. Again and again. She is beyond that, she has shoved down the fear of “what if they don’t believe me…” because she has nowhere else to go.