“Why can’t you do what I say? You're hopeless, You're useless.” Many women don’t realize it, but verbal abuse often leads directly to physical violence. At the end of the day, we can feel empty inside, which normally leads to depression. Sometimes we end up questioning ourselves: “What if I fix myself up more? What if I didn't fuss with him so much? What if I just did what he said?”
Confusion then develops to anger and bitterness. In my case, experiencing physical abuse from my ex-husband led to emotional eating. At one point, I went from 150 pounds to 300 pounds within a year. I couldn’t figure out why I allowed myself to gain so much weight. Why did I let him have that type of power over me? I finally realized that I had to look myself in the mirror to deal with the hurts he caused. I had allowed someone’s behavior to weaken me.
I had to keep reminding myself that I was stronger than this; that I was stronger than what I looked like; that I deserved to be happy; that I deserve to be loved. I decided to become mentally strong by reminding myself that I was not a mistake, that God created me as a beautiful, unique woman. I had to know my worth and value.
After building myself up, I gained the courage to file for a divorce. It felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders. After going through all of that, it seemed like I had my life under control, or so I thought. I neglected to do something that many other battered women fail to do: I did not seek help. This help could have stopped the cycle that so many women experience after leaving one bad relationship.
See, when a woman experiences physical and verbal abuse for so long, without thinking, she can end up in another unhealthy relationship. This is because she is used to being treated in this manner. Mentally, she believes this is the “norm.” In my opinion, seeking professional and godly counsel is a must after being abused for so many years. We need to know that we deserve better than being hit. We need to learn that love does not hurt. “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). When a couple truly loves each other, they lift each other up, not pull each other down. They pray together. They stop saying “I” and start saying “We.” There may be disagreements. Nothing wrong with having an argument because that’s life. But an argument should never make you feel powerless or fearful to the point that you feel reluctant to express your feelings to your mate.
We must never forget our worth. We must always tell ourselves that we are beautiful. We must be mentally strong. We deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve to be loved
unconditionally. This is how we overcome domestic violence.
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