The Quiet but Inexorable Abuse is a Violation of the Soul

“I have known pain. I have been through pain that not even acetaminophen or ibuprofen could ease. Pain that only heals with the advancement of time…” This was an opening statement of a lady preacher that recently visited our church. I’m not an enthusiast of lady preachers but this one had such an opening statement that arrested my full attention that was contemplating the reality of moving through space for seven days to heaven as it is written in the inspired words of God.

‘We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His right hand placed them on our heads.’

“I was married at the age of 21,” continued the lady, “and thought that was all that I needed in life. I was then still a student on campus. I had fallen in love, or so I thought.”

I became even more alert right at that moment. She had very good oratory skills accompanied by appropriate gestures for every phrase. Looking at her face, she appeared way older than my mother. And as if confirming my observation, she proceeded, “I am now on the fifth floor, and the grace of God is ever with me.”

The lady gained momentum as she continued narrating her story. She moved me to goosebumps when she vividly described an incident where she was due to deliver her first child.

“My loving husband drove me fast to hospital when my pains began. On arrival at the hospital gate, he left me at the mercy of the security personnel as he sped off to work probably. I was carried by unknown individuals towards the maternity ward. I did not know humans could sustain the kind of pain that I felt during delivery.”

I recalled visiting a maternity ward for the first time. I witnessed women making all kinds of noises. When grown women screamed like that, I knew that the ordeal they were undergoing was not one to be taken lightly.

“A day elapsed and no one came by to congratulate me for delivering a baby boy. My husband showed up two days later in untold rage. His concern was that the hospital bill was on the rise and I needed to nurse myself and the baby at home. And that was it. While at home, every house chore demanded my attention and I wasn’t in a capacity to execute them all. I was beaten up for not doing them. But then I knew that he loved me.”

I began getting angry that she thought the guy loved her for forcing her to work whereas she needed to be on bed rest. And that is how most ladies who are in abusive relationships reason. That as long as the guy has you around but hits and tortures you emotionally, he loves you. I refuse to accept that ideology.

“It was not long and the baby was a year old and I had to resume my studies. He would often come for me in school and hit me on our way home for leaving our baby with the housemaid.”

She insisted that it was engraved in her mind that he loved her.

“In the year 1990, he was a victim of a car crash and he passed away. As I looked at his body in the morgue, I pitied him. It was the hardest moment of my life. Dealing with that loss was almost impossible.”

That narration moved me as to how many ladies are or have been in abusive violent relationships and do not dare to walk away.

‘The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. Even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.’ __ Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

I recently saw a man in a supermarket inappropriately thrusting a trolley at his wife for she was taking too much time on deciding whether she should pick Downy Concentrate or Sta Soft for fabric softening. Worse yet, a workmate of mine recently walked into the office with a hijab covering her face yet she was not Muslim. On jesting about the same, she broke down and I later realized she was covering bruises from a beating by the husband.

The more tolerance is given for abuse, the more it becomes a norm, and the more damage is caused. Most people tend to overlook the aspect of abuse from their friends or partners while capitalizing on their countable good deeds. Well, it is correct to do so but it is detrimental too.

“One of the obstacles to recognizing chronic mistreatment in relationships is that most abusive men simply don’t seem like abusers. They have many good qualities, including times of kindness, warmth, and humor, especially in the early period of a relationship” _Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

And so the lady preacher proceeded with her narrative and it ended well that she currently has a non-abusive, loving and gentle husband.

She called out on ladies in the congregation never to put up with any kind of abuse in their associations. She echoed that the wounds from over two decades ago were permanent scars in her life.

She climaxed by saying, “Love and abuse can never dwell in the same environ of a loving association. If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship, you have won.”

I came across these facts about abusive relationships, and I couldn’t agree more:

  1. It is not always loud. It is not always obvious. The poison seeps in quietly and slowly.
  2. Love is not draining. Love is not tiring. That is not how it is supposed to be.
  3. Apologies are like band-aids. Soon enough, you’ll bleed again.
  4. This is not your fault. You did not turn them into this. It is how they are, how they have always been.
  5. There will be fewer good days than bad days. The good days will be so amazing that it will feel like everything else is better than it is. Your mind will be playing tricks on you as your heart is trying to convince itself that it made the right choice.
  6. They do not love you. That is not love.
  7. You are not wrong for wanting to run, so do it. Listen to your instincts.
  8. You will let them come back again and again before you realize that they only change long enough for you to let them in one more time.
  9. Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are roughly three times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.
  10. Listen to and believe your loved one. Allow them to control their own lives. If your loved one does not want to stay, do not force them to.

That day in church, the session was coined, END IT NOW.

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