Abigail’s counselor gave her some pamphlets about safe places for women and a phone number she could call. “Just in case you need help,” the counselor said.
On her way home, Abigail stopped at Sonic, suddenly hungry for cheese tots and a cherry limeade. She browsed through the pamphlets that described some of the symptoms of domestic abuse: threats, controlling behaviors, demanding submissiveness.
If she had a pen, she could have checked off at least ten of the symptoms as adjectives to describe her life.
She could ask Cassie to keep the pamphlets in a safe place, but it was too late now to drive to Cassie’s house and then back home. Nate would wonder why she was walking in the door so much later than usual.
She couldn’t risk it. She drove past the trash bin at Sonic and tossed in the pamphlets. Even though she wanted to read more of the information, she felt proud of herself for making some decisions on her own.
She had set up this session with a counselor and spoken her truth. She had decided not to keep the pamphlets. In a way, she was protecting herself from Nate’s anger and that felt good.
Married yet according to that list, she was abused. Controlled yet trying to set healthy boundaries. Her thumb played with the back of her wedding ring. Shackled to an abuser forever and feeling every bit like Nate’s victim.
The above excerpt is from the novel No Visible Scars. While the book is fiction, it is based on the lives of numerous women who live in abusive situations and don’t even realize it.
Should Abigail commit a crime? Nothing terrible. Just enough to get her locked up. Far away from her destructive marriage.
She doesn’t want to admit it’s domestic abuse, but all the signs indicate she’s a victim. Because her scars are invisible, no one can see the damage inside. And no one will believe her.
Nine years of marriage to a church leader and a successful businessman. A good man. Then why is she so afraid?
Abigail and her friend, Cassie, attend a class that teaches women how to guard their hearts. With the encouragement of these women, Abigail moves closer to becoming the woman God created her to be. She dares to make choices for herself and finds empowerment in the gift of a beautiful dress.
But Nate fights back. As Abigail grows into more of her authentic self, she wonders if the marriage will last. What will the church people say if she separates from her husband? How will she live? He’s always controlled the finances, and she has few options.
Can she find the courage to confront Nate and if she does, what will happen to her future? Must she step into a new life alone or will Nate meet her halfway?
As life unravels into a battle between what is right versus what feels acceptable, Abigail struggles to make a decision. But will her new life guarantee the security she needs?
One out of four women are living in destructive relationships. You probably know a woman who is being abused right now.
Perhaps this book will help her. Certainly, your caring for her will be an encouragement. Listen to her heart and to your own. Help is available.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
No Visible Scars is available on Amazon and Kindle. Order it today. It may save your life or the life of your friend.
It took me decades to get free ~ being a missionary is the hardest part due to judgement and criticism and words like ,”how can you leave, why not just submit, this is WRONG.” Now picking up the pieces and allowing God to remake what is left of my life~He has a tough job ~ but then again He is a Great God who makes everything that He touches beautiful again.
Thanks for the comment, Jennifer. I’m so glad you are brave !
Thank you for sharing this excerpt! Your book is powerful in identifying that abusers don’t only come in “abuser stereotypes.” With one in four being a victim of abuse, this book is more important than ever.
Thanks for the comment, Amy. I would imagine that with so many couples in lockdown, the percentages of abuse are rising. Sad!
Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome. It’s an important topic.