Abused becomes Abuser

My Story of Abuse

My story of abuse goes back to some time before I was 12.  There is much I don’t remember, and when it started, I don’t know.  Unknown to almost everyone, my abuser found opportunity to get us alone.  This abuser would not have been suspected by anyone that knew him, therefore the abuse went undetected.  One person did find out about it and told my parents. My parents were taken by surprise.

Let me insert here how different things are today.  The abuser was never reported.  I don’t believe back at that time that anyone ever considered bringing  the law into  situations like this. There were no radio programs, books or teachers talking about this subject.  Today they would be put in jail and marked for everyone to know the danger they could cause to others.

It was not until many years later that I found out that anyone knew anything about what was going on.  I do know about that time we made a move that help put some distance from my abuser.  Since I did not know anyone knew about what happened, I continued to live in fear of being near him.  There were still times we were together and I remember one such incident when I did all I could to get away from him.  I was stuck in a situation where in order to go inside I had to go through a door where he was.  I decided to scale a brick wall, skinning my knees in the attempt to escape.  This was a start of my attempts to take care of myself in ways that would protect me from the fear and pain.

Thinking back on it many years later, I do not know why I didn’t go and talk to my parents about what was such a vexing problem to me, but it never crossed by mind to do this.  The only explanation I can give for this today is the inability for me to process what was going on and then to put it into words.

So from this point in my life I went many years stifling my feelings and finding my own way of comfort to deal with the ugliness that was now part of my life. One of those ways was controlling things in what ever way I could to give me a sense of safety from hurts and scary situations.  This carried over into my marriage.  I married a quiet gentle giant who for the most part went along with my behavior.

At a certain point in our marriage I was finding it hard to have good connection in our relationship.  I sought help so I could figure out what was wrong with my husband.  To this day I am so thankful for the wisdom God gave my counselor. I don’t remember whether it was the first or second visit he asked me the question “What happened to you that makes you so controlling”?  My first response was that it was just my personality or maybe I had learned it from my mother.  No more was said about that but a few days later I believe the Lord opened my mind to remember what had happened to me 30 years prior.  I remembered the ugliness that had been hidden deep in my soul. This was the first time my abuse had been discussed with anyone.

Now instead of these sessions being about how I could fix my husband, they were about my brokenness and my controlling ways that were causing a barrier in our marriage. I slowly began to see how I was behaving and I began to see how this was affecting his role as the leader of our home, this was affecting his confidence. I saw I had taken a position never intended for me. I look back at that time as a time when I shed a lot of tears.  I came to realize that what I was doing was deflating my gentle giant.

This has been an on going lesson in my life, I still find myself going backward.  I still fight it but at least now I can see it easier for what it is. I have forfeited a lot of peace in my life by trying to control rather than let go and letting God take care of things.

I am not sure exactly when, but I found out it was my sister who knew what had happened to me and had told my parents.

So my desire for writing this blog is to help everyday people who might be hurting or broken like I am, see that there is hope and help.  Maybe you know someone who has had hurts like this in their past and you haven’t understood their pain, this might give you a glimpse into their life and brokenness.  There is hope for the healing heart.  This is a great sense of relief when you see you don’t have to carry these burdens alone and it is ok to admit “I am broken and hurting”.  I think I can say with confidence you can’t find relief in your pain until you see your brokenness and where its roots lie.

The quote used at the beginning of this post reminds us that these problems pass from one generation to the next.  It is important that we get to the root of our issues so this hurting harmful patterns doesn’t pass down to our loved ones.  They are vulnerable to our influence and need to be protected from our painful scars.  This pain can stop with the generation that will admit the problem and seek help.

6 thoughts on “Abused becomes Abuser

  1. Jean, thank you so very much for your insight and bravery in sharing not only your abuse but the effect it had on you. One of the things that I found in my lifetime of healing is 1) it’s effects are more enduring than the abuse and God is gracious in helping us heal in phases as we can hear and change. Love, Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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