In the last couple of weeks I have received some comments from a few friends who all have survived wicked abuse. I decided what they said is too valuable to keep to myself, so here they are for all of you. They don’t address one specific tactic or subject, but here they are all in one place:
Matthew 24:16-18 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (17) Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, (18) and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
These verses are of course from the Lord’s words to His disciples which we call the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). Jesus is speaking to them here about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, but we can correctly apply what He says to our own daily lives now as well:
We see that flight from danger may sometimes be the positive duty of a Christian. The servant of Christ undoubtedly is not to be a coward. He is to confess his master before men. He is to be willing to die, if needful, for the truth. But the servant of Christ is not required to run into danger, unless it comes in the line of duty. He is not to be ashamed to use reasonable means to provide for his personal safety when no good is to be done by dying at his post. There is deep wisdom in this lesson. The true martyrs are not always those who court death, and are in a hurry to be beheaded or burned. [J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, p. 318-19]
One of the most deceitful and wicked wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing that I have ever known used to love to push this business upon people. “Oh but just think of your reward in heaven if you willingly undergo this suffering,” he loved to say to people who were being reviled and maligned by some other wolf among the flock. Of course if anyone were to malign HIM, he would blow up in anger and not stand for it for a second. Abusers have double standards you know. Always double standards.
One of our readers provided the following link to a web page where qualified therapists are listed in every state who are experienced in trauma and PTSD. Here it is:
Now obviously we cannot personally recommend every therapist listed at this site – we don’t know them. However, our friend did utilize this resource with a very good outcome and encouraged us to post it here.
I am no expert on looking for a counselor/therapist, but I think I can offer some advice:
- Secular counseling is not wrong or sinful. Many victims are told that secular counseling is sinful, shows a lack of faith, or will always be contrary to scripture. That is not true.
- A person does not have to go to a counselor required/recommended by their church leadership. (We hear more and more how churches are telling victims where they have to go for counseling). In many cases you would end up being directed to a bad counselor.
- Beware (we must say this unfortunately) of so-called “biblical” counselors. Someone whose training is only from a relatively brief Christian counseling organization is simply not qualified and will very probably give you bogus and harmful information.
- Ask specifically what qualifications the person has to practice in cases of domestic abuse survivors, trauma, PTSD and so on. You don’t go to a general family physician when you need a specialist.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with the person, keep looking.
- Run if they ever try to approach your case with couple’s counseling (if you are not yet free of your abuser)
- In conjunction with the therapy, you will probably be helped by reading through Judith Herman’s book on Trauma.