Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 2

Victims of abuse may turn into abusers in order to erase the shame, fears and insecurities, which plague them. They neglect those whom they should cherish, and they allow negative emotions to control our life and theirs.

We may use anger as a means to protect our self from further abuse, but this sends mixed messages. People never know when we will patiently suffer as a martyr or blow up like a volcano at the least provocation.

We may not be able to trust people, but we can trust God. Rather than acting with bombastic and combative behavior, we find our strength and confidence in Christ’s quiet resolve within us.

Then we set boundaries, and firmly but quietly caution people not to cross the line (Isaiah 30:15). They may test our boundaries; but if we consistently remind them, they will soon learn to respect us.

The older we get, the more we tell our self that the abuse happened a long time ago and we should get over it. Yet the shameful effects of the violation and the loss of our innocence and sense of trust can last a lifetime.

We may even find our self questioning if the abuse actually happened. We live in denial and convince our self that our abuser is a revered person who could never do anything that horrific.

When a trigger reminds us of the situation, it is because our soul is crying out for validation and comfort. Our true inner self is desperately attempting to gain our attention and to make us take the abuse seriously enough to stop it or to simply acknowledge it.

Snippets of words, body language, the shape of certain plants, an over-reaction that we cannot explain, bizarre behavior that has no basis in reality are all ways that our soul uses to force us to face and validate the incident(s).

Journaling will enable us to get in touch with the episode(s) and tell our story of abuse without having to make it public knowledge. Journaling validates our feelings, nurtures our wounded soul and is extremely healing.

Father God, You collect all of our tears in Your bottle and avenge every one of them (Psalm 56:8). Even if we feel that we somehow caused or deserved the abuse, You wash away our shame and replace it with the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:7).

Remind us that forgiving our perpetrator actually helps us to heal by taking them off our “hook” and placing them firmly on Your hook. You are much better at rendering vengeance than we are (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35). Thank You for healing us from our past and giving us a bright future full of Your love and acceptance (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Loss of innocence means that a person who was supposed to protect, nurture and cherish us actually abused us and stole from us what rightfully belongs to us alone.


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The Purpose of Emotions

God gave us emotions to express our self in words full of feeling and meaning. God also has emotions and expresses them throughout His Word.

There are no bad emotions. The Bible even tells us it is acceptable to feel anger; it simply cautions us not to allow anger to push us into sin (Ephesians 4:26).

Jesus was angry at the abuse of His Father’s Temple by the money changers. He allowed the anger to spur His actions, but He did not act in anger. He was determined and purposeful when He cleansed the temple (Matthew 21:12-17).

Human anger is often like a volcano, which scars the earth with lava welts. Human anger also erupts in a flash and leaves behind huge scars in the hearts of the recipients of that anger.

We should use anger as a red flag to alert us that our body or soul is wounded. Then we can express the feelings of woundedness rather than the emotion of anger.

God gave us physical feelings to bring us pleasure and to alert us of pain and any type of sensitivity. Our emotional feelings function in the same way.

They protect us from danger and injury and bring us joy. Our feelings alert us to what is happening in our spirit, body and soul. We can learn to discern and respond to these indicators.

We even have feelings of intuition, which help to keep us out of trouble. If we ignore our feelings, we will end up in trouble physically, mentally and emotionally.

This is why we need to make a searching inventory of our body, soul and spirit on a daily basis. We analyze the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual transactions going on within us.

This enables us to discern our needs and respond to them, to ask for help from our family and friends, and to seek God’s will for us each moment of our day.

Father God, help us not to disguise or suppress our feelings, or to condemn our self for them. Remind us to use them as You intended: to protect us, to help us to enjoy life and to build more intimate relationships with You and with one another.

Teach us not to abuse our feelings by lashing out at others or by allowing our negative feelings to cripple us with bitterness or unforgiveness. Instead, we can acknowledge to You and to others how we honestly feel and what we need done to feel better.

Thought for the Day:
People who cannot honestly but kindly express their mental, physical and emotional feelings, or who are too afraid to even acknowledge their feelings, are the real fatalities in this world.