As a victim of abuse, you will feel a lot of swirling intense emotions once you are away from your abuser because it is safe. Your storm of emotions is normal, healthy, and necessary for you to walk to the healed side of abuse. However, it’s vital for you to take Christ’s hand and let him renew your mind through the truth and power of God’s word.
Emotions are real, but they don’t have a brain. They can’t learn or lead you into the healthy exceptional love design of Jesus Christ. It’s vital for you to work with him and with a Christian counselor who has experience in domestic abuse. It’s time to focus on your healing and relationship with Jesus as you look at the five common feelings of abuse victims.
A Deep Sense of Loss
Whenever you share your heart, love, and life with anyone and you end the relationship, you will feel a loss. There is a death to the relationship and your hopes, dreams, and fantasies of what you wanted it to be. It’s vital to understand the stages of grief to keep you from allowing your pain to lead you back into the same abusive relationship or another one.
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Understand that you will go in and out of these stages in your own time and order. It’s different for everyone. Seek professional help from a Christian counselor experienced in domestic abuse. Let them empower you to process your grief without allowing your emotions, confusion, and pain to deceive you into another abusive relationship.
Your ultimate need to be loved is the strongest need God created in you. Unfortunately, when victims don’t know Christ’s love design, they can rationalize and excuse the abuse when the abuser apologizes. They exchange facing the abuse for keeping the connection. A victim’s emotions can be very mixed up when they have also been deceived by misquoted Scriptures. Being a ‘good Christian,’ wife or mother NEVER includes abuse. To permanently break free from abuse, seek professional help for yourself as you grow your personal relationship with Jesus.
Self Blame and Shame
The whole lie of abuse is to make the victim believe it is their fault. This lie comes from Satan himself. When you are a disciple of Christ, you have his wisdom in you to discover and eliminate the lies you have believed about yourself, love, and abuse.
Jesus never uses blame or shame, for this is not his pure love. However, the devil is the father of lies and the accuser. His favorite tools of deception are shame and blame. It’s vital for you to know who you are “in-Christ.” You are his friend. You are right with God. You are God’s masterpiece. You are blameless and as white as snow. I encourage you to look up your identity in Christ and to study who you are until you know who you are in Christ. In him you will be free from shame for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Anxiety and Depression
When you leave an abusive relationship, it’s normal to feel anxious and depressed. I encourage you to visit your female doctor or trusted physician and tell them everything. Let them do a blood test to make sure you don’t need antidepressants for a while to normalize your chemical balance.
I also encourage you to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus in a Bible study about your mind, emotions, or who you are in Christ. All your battles begin in your mind. Joyce Meyer has a great book called Battlefield of the Mind, which talks about how vital it is to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Hold onto Jesus and study God’s truth and He will set you free.
Feeling angry is healthy, normal, and necessary to move to the healed side of abuse. However, it’s vital to let Jesus help you process your anger in healthy ways to keep you on the healing path. He will help you from allowing the enemy to twist your anger into bitterness, revenge, rage, unforgiveness, or self-destructive behaviors. When you follow the exceptional love design of Jesus, he will help you process each emotion as you break free from the lies and mindset of domestic abuse.
Darla Colinet is a Christian abusive relationship expert and Christian Self-Esteem speaker. She helps abuse victims overcome the lies of abuse as she empowers them to live abundant lives of love, hope, and strength in Christ. Get in touch with her today at GodsTransformingGrace.com to read her personal story of triumph in Christ.