We have no idea of what goes on “behind closed doors” – a personal view of domestic violence. Thanks to one of our faithful readers. This is a story of God’s protection and grace.
By Nevit Dilmen [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Psalm 9:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
“9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
“The first time it happened, I had been married only a few weeks (the year 1968) and I wanted to go see my parents. He said no I couldn’t because I would have to go through the town I grew up in and he did not trust me to be there. I defiantly said yes I was going and he backhanded me off the porch and I promptly got up and again said yes I’m going and he backhanded me off the porch again. I didn’t do that again.”
Another time, he had given me two black eyes and then made me go to a ballgame with him just so my brother would see me. But it being a daytime game I wore dark glasses so my sweet brother would not know.
Well, it went downhill from there. There was never an apology. There was no remorse, no crying “I’ll never do it again.” We just moved on day by day. When it got bad, I would leave the home, but I would come back maybe the next day. I felt I had nowhere else for me to go. I felt stuck mostly because of choices I had made and choices that had been made for me.
This went on often over the 1 year and 2 months that I managed to stay married to him. The final abuse that caused it to end was just a simple ride to get a pizza. Because I knew he was so jealous, I tried not to look at anyone around us. But, I apparently was looking at people in the car next to us, so we left there with him hitting me. He drove down an isolated road and tried to make me get out and wait until some of my “friends” would come and get me. This was long before there was cell phones and it was dark outside. Terrified I could only see one option; so I begged for mercy. Until this day I’m scared of the dark and most everything else. We came on home. He went to work. I packed all my things called my brother and left.
Even after the divorce, one day he blocked my way coming home and at gunpoint kept me from going home for several hours. When he finally let me go and I got to my parents’ home – my brother decided to take care of things. There was a black eye on my brothers “senior” pictures and much more damage done to the other party.
It finally stopped after I went to see the county sheriff. I asked him to please stop this man from harassing me because there would be a “killing” and I did not want my dad or anyone else in my family to have this on them. At times, the anger and rage inside me was hard to control. There was one day in particular if I could have found a bullet to fit the only gun I could put my hands on I would have added another bad decision. It is only by God’s grace and protection that we survive these times in our lives.
Bad choices we make can surely result in misery. “There is a way that seems right to a man,but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 ESV) Out of love, some decisions were made for me, to try to protect me but that kept me from “the love of my life” and so I married the wrong person (someone I barely knew). GOD in his mercy and grace kept me from death during this time and found a way for me to exit without any further heartache.
Isaiah 41:10-14 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
12Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.“
I didn’t think about it so much then as I do now – the blessings that I have had over the years – GOD knows the big picture and if I had consulted HIM – HE would have shown me the right way to go – but would I have listened. I don’t know. I was young and we tend to think “it’s not going to happen to me” and my thoughts were “if I don’t like it I can leave it”. That’s no way marriage should be “entered into”; it sounds almost like you think it is a temporary thing you are doing. And at that age, 18 yrs. old, you really need the wisdom that only older family and friends can provide and lots of prayers to make a decision to marry someone. I did not pray thru this decision nor did I listen to others. Here is a link that you might use to pray before making decisions big or small .https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scotty-smith/a-prayer-for-wisdom-and-peace-when-making-big-decisions/
At that point in my life, I was a young divorcee and determined that never again would domestic violence be a part of my life. I’ve kept that promise to myself! If I feel threatened, in any way at all, I just walk away and consider myself smarter than the last time.
I started out to address my story of “domestic violence.” However, I do not want this to be about me but my hope is that sharing some of my story might help others understand why both women and men stay in a bad relationship or marriage. Sometimes you just don’t know how to get out. Fear, shame, intimidation all are factors that keep someone locked in a personal prison.
If this is your story, please talk to someone who can help and support you. There is a hotline for domestic abuse. Please remember you are not alone. There are people who will help you but you must be the one that decides to get that help.
The following link will provide help for family and friends. As family and friends we must remember we cannot fix them. Only through the power of God’s grace can a person be transformed. We must support and pray for wisdom from God.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all.” James 1:5
For me, it was 1969 and things were different then and I was in enemy territory (his home, his relatives and friends).
GOD does not like to see HIS children hurting or abused by anyone. The Bible tells us that GOD counts all our tears and I think I have overloaded the calculator. GOD is good to me and I am so very thankful.
A good thought to remember:
When we put our problems in GOD’s hands, HE puts his peace in our hearts.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6
Mercy Me “The Healer and The Hurt”