This letter is a difficult one to write as the betrayal and the heartache you added to our lives was unexpected meaning greater pain to endure and overcome.
Realize, when the time came to leave, we expected nothing less than what we experienced from our abuser. We had lived with them long enough that we understood their behavior and had an idea of what to expect.
Yes, there were times their acts of cruelty caught us off guard because truly, who would have thought they would pursue such great lengths to win. But as those who rallied around them, you left us speechless. For you, the forgiveness and feelings of anger will take longer to achieve and conquer.
You see, for every phone call you answered, each text or email you responded to worked only to empower our abuser. With every word you listened to, you worked to increase the control of the monster as he grew stronger and more domineering.
As you chose “not to take a side” since you “loved us both,” you only encouraged the abuse instead of standing against what was wrong. Regardless of the gossip you heard or the embellished truth spread, you were responsible to pursue truth. By choosing to remain neutral, you too became a part of the abuse.
Now understand, we are grown women and though we were damaged by all we endured, we can heal and eventually forgive you for the portion you played into the added abuse. Though, we are tough and made it through, we have found ourselves stronger than before, but not without scars.
However, the additional abuse sustained by our children because of your “neutrality” is a different story.
So on behalf of our children, for those who supported the abuser, we beg of you, educate yourself. Take the time to read, to study and to talk to those who have walked in our shoes. You will probably be surprised to hear the countless stories of those who have been left to fight alone and whose stories mimic our own.
Spend time studying God’s word and understand just what scripture says in regards to oppression (Zachariah 7:10, Psalm 72:4, Psalm10:17-18) and lying (Proverbs 12:17, Proverbs 12:22, Ephesians 4:29). Read up on words such as narcissist and abuse. Educate yourself.
For each of you, this letter serves as our way to say two simple words, become informed. Understand the characteristics and tactics used by an abuser. Investigate words such as gaslighting and manipulation so that you understand the way in which this game is played. And yes, a game because for them, it becomes all about winning.
Choose a side from a position of being well-informed which will leave you aware of what is truly happening. Base your choice on what you knew to be true of the character of those involved and not just hearsay and gossip. Above all else, pray. God is a God of wisdom and discernment. It is amazing the way in which He will open your eyes to the truth if you just ask.
Maybe one day we will live in a world where a woman can find the help and support she and her children need, but until then, will you please seize the opportunity to become informed?
We have confidence in knowing God is faithful and He WILL rescue those oppressed and suffering from abuse. His justice will see to it that those who have caused harm answer for the wrong done. And He most definitely will restore the livesof those who were betrayed, abandoned and crushed accomplishing it in such a way that only HE can claim the glory!
Anyone who does wrong will be paid his due because He doesn’t play favorites,
In the end, we would like to ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive us if we are hesitant to share our lives with you. Please forgive our reluctance in trusting you with our children or our hearts. We no longer give of ourselves so freely.
Now we leave you with one simple request. God forbid, should another individual in your life ever approach you with claims of abuse as we did, do not ignore them. Listen. Believe. Choose a side.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr
Those you left behind
Give Her Wings: Help and Healing after Abuse (the book)
First published on todayforalways.blogspot.com