As I heard the blog post read on national television, I wept. For the author and for countless other women I know who have believed the same lies.
We stay in abusive situations because we are designed with the capacity for hope.
We believe things will change for the better. We have to believe it because the options feel too scary and totally unacceptable.
We feel powerless and we have been pummeled so long, our thinking is skewed. We no longer believe in ourselves, because the lies have become our truth.
Ah – women. We endure the pain of childbirth because the outcome is so glorious. We also endure emotional and verbal abuse, because we are certain – if we pray hard enough and long enough – everything will be better.
Then one day, we wake up. We are done. “Enough,” says the battered soul.
Jenny Willoughby’s post has gone viral, because she spoke her truth. She awakened and now she understands why she stayed.
I repeat her words here, because we cannot forget her story and the stories of thousands of women whose hope became reality.
“When I tried to get help, I was counseled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career. And so I kept my mouth shut and stayed.
He could be kind and sensitive, and so I stayed.
He cried and apologized, and so I stayed.
He offered to get help and even went to a few counseling sessions and therapy groups, and so I stayed.
He belittled my intelligence and destroyed my confidence, and so I stayed.
I felt ashamed and trapped, and so I stayed.
Friends and clergy did not believe me, and so I stayed.
I was pregnant, and so I stayed.
I lost the pregnancy and became depressed, and so I stayed.”
From my experiences as a biblical counselor and a life coach, I would add three more statements so many women have whispered in my office:
“I did not want my children to grow up in a broken home, and so I stayed.”
“I had no money and felt powerless. Because I had no options, I stayed.”
“The church told me I had to submit, and so I stayed.”
The truth sets us free. Admitting the truth and stepping into a new life deletes the lies. Then hope becomes our passion.
©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
My novel, to be released March, 2018, shows what happens when a woman stays. Look for “No Visible Scars” – available soon.