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Whatever method you choose for recovery, it can only work if you don’t allow your past abusers or those who don’t understand you make you feel angry and bitter. This is the last thing you want to do because it will keep you in bondage to the harm done to you by your abuser(s).
Forgiveness was the first step of my healing. I studied what the Bible had to say about forgiveness and it was different that what most people think. As I began to forgive God’s way, I began to see all the anger and bitterness in me that had been hidden in my heart. To learn more about healing, my blog post on the subject will help. Go to Forgiveness and Healing.
Forgive Your Abuser For Yourself
However, knowing that you haven’t forgiven is only the first step toward eliminating unhealthy emotions. Not only do you have to forgive, but you have to commit to not living by the emotions that are stirred whenever you think about your past and what was done to you.
With my new understanding of what forgiveness really is, I was able to stop that type of unproductive behavior. However, I also needed to stop all communication with my family as well. That was one of the hardest things I had to do. My father had just died a year before and I was trying so hard to get my family to be close, but I realized I couldn’t cause others to love me or respect me if it wasn’t their “will” or “desire” to do so.
Healing Child Abuse Scars Through Separation
I’ve never smoked, but I believe that separating myself from my family was like quitting smoking cold turkey. It was difficult, but as time went by it gave me a new life and a new outlook on life and especially about myself. It separated me forever from the abuse I had suffered from my mother and her family.
I was free, but I should have been able to see that truth much sooner. It was difficult, though, because I had been trained since a preschooler that if I didn’t do as my mother wanted she would fake illness and actually go to the hospital, accusing me that it was my fault because I was a bad person.
I lived my life in fear that she would die if I didn’t do what she wanted, even if it hurt me or my family. This, of course, was infantile behavior for an adult, but that’s what happens to adult victims of child abuse, they make childish decisions based upon their abusers selfish needs unless they have a strong personality that can override manipulation.
I came to see that I had to distance myself from the pain I felt whenever my mother protected the two persons who had physically and emotionally abused me as a child and later as a young adult. She never stopped asking me to tell her that I loved them and that they were great people. She especially wanted to hear me say that my uncle was a great man, in spite of his trying to rape me.
It sounds pathetic to me know, but I just didn’t see it then. I had to get away from her to move forward and away from the great emotional stress she gave me. Letting her go had to be done in order to realize recovery — and I did! But it wasn’t easy and I didn’t want to do it, but I had my own children and they weren’t getting the best of me.
This may not be the solution for your circumstances when facing your past abusers, but they should be considered as the cause and effect of your abuse in order for you to know how to deal with them for your recovery. But before you do anything, it’s important to forgive your abuser, even if you choose never to see them again.
Realizing The Greatest Love
When searching for a means of recovery from the Bible, I studied God’s love for me and realized that it’s tied with forgiveness. While we must love all others, we don’t have to be with everyone to love them.
We can be separated from them, pray for them and put good thoughts out for them in a more productive way that is pure rather than tainted by mixed emotions, anger and bitterness. I realized that I could love my family in the best way by severing our ties so that I could develop a good attitude about myself. As a result, I became an emotionally and mentally healthy person.
I also learned that faith works by love. So as I learned to love myself and my family God’s way, I grew in faith to change my life and my family. That doesn’t mean that resolution was complete. My oldest daughter didn’t agree with my decision because unknown to me, my mother had told her since she was in preschool that both my husband I didn’t love her and that she was the only one who had ever loved her. This is a casualty of my past, but in time I believe that my mother’s hold on her life will be lifted as well.
In conclusion, if there’s no other message that you get from this article, you need to forgive your abuser God’s way.
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