Life Lessons Learned From Domestic Violence

Is it true the ribs can tell “ The kick of a beast from a Lover’s fist”

A kind of Love, Some say by Maya Angelou

Me and DV shirt

I was exposed to domestic violence early in life. I grow up where disrespect was normal. Emotional and verbal abuse were tolerated. By the time I was an adult emotional abuse in the form of criticism, being negative, name-calling, yelling, and punishment had made me numb. As a result, my self-esteem was non-existent and joy was a distant memory. As a toddler, I mimicked what I observed, I was disrespectful and used profanity. When I was in preschool, my dad threaten me for being disrespectful to Paul (my maternal grandfather) after he heard me call him “an old fool”. I stopped calling Paul derogatory names, but it was only out of fear not that I had learned my lesson. I didn’t realize that” reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” I experienced psychical and sexual abuse when I was in elementary school. As a child, I was even encouraged to be verbally abusive and disrespectful to adults. ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. You would have thought that being verbally abused during my childhood would deter me from being verbally abusive as an adult. Once I got married, I was verbally and emotionally abusive to my husband. I learned a harsh word did indeed stir up anger. Once the physical abuse started in my marriage. I would use verbal abuse to try and control the cycle. I figured if I pissed him off on purpose, at least, I would know when the outburst of anger was coming that lead to physical abuse. My children were also victims of my verbal and physical abuse. It was not until I hit my oldest daughter with a broom and it broke and it left a deep gash in her arm did I stop the physical abuse. My oldest daughter tried to protect her sister from my fits of rage. So my youngest daughter experienced less physical abuse from me. Years later we talked about the physical abuse I had subjected my oldest daughter too. I couldn’t remember why I was so angry and would lash out in violence. I could remember some of the incidents. It was not until my adulthood that I learned, “A fool shows his/her annoyance at once, but a prudent Wo/man overlooks and insult. Showing annoyance caused interpersonal conflicts at work and caused me to resign from several jobs- and not be eligible for rehire. Even after learning that principle I did not put into practice. I went to counseling for anger management, but that didn’t help. When I was dating a man in my 30’s after another anger outburst. He asked me was I going to continue to act a fool every time I got angry. His question stopped me in my tracks and I thought about it, but I still wasn’t ready to repent. I continued to be paraphrase” Folly the woman who is loud and undisciplined…” At that point in life, I could no longer claim to be without wisdom. It wasn’t until I went to treatment for the second time in my life after assaulting a police officer that … The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17) I learned that feeling disrespected caused me to go into a rage. I realized I had felt disrespected by everybody, including my children. My children wouldn’t listen to me and that caused me to feel disrespected. They didn’t listen because I lacked prudence (self-discipline). Since I lacked that value, I could not instill it in my children. It was not until my most recent domestic violence experience did I see the need to do the work to start healing. In the past, I had refused to address domestic violence in counseling. After attending a domestic violence support group. I began to see that leaving the situation was only one step. Healing was a process that required an effort. As I peeled back the layers of pain and substance of the pillar of prudence I realized at the core of my anger was fear. Fear that God’s word was not true. Fear that I was not fearfully and wonderfully made. Fear that God was lying when He said in His word that He would not abandon me. I had felt abandoned in life by people and I assumed God would disappoint me like people did. I struggled for years with trusting God on a daily basis. Even though I knew God had performed miracles on my behalf. As I am writing this I am still struggling with trusting God on a daily basis. I start thinking what if I approach trusting God like I had approached quitting drinking. Day by day, hour by hour and sometimes minute by minute.

“Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.” John C. Boger

Suggested Reading

If you Struggle with Anger

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue

What You Say (and Don’t Say) Will Improve Your Relationships

Deborah Smith Pegues

Lord, Shut Me UP!

Anger Management for Christian Women

Karen D. Wasoba

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2 thoughts on “Life Lessons Learned From Domestic Violence”

  1. Awesome article and testimony. Keep going strong and continue in the faith. You can become more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.

  2. LySyin, I just re-read your post and I am awed at your capability to capture attention of an audience (me). I learned a lot from you and your situation and I truly respect you as a woman and I look for great things in your future. Never give up!!

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