By Rev Paul N. Papas II
May 2, 2017
Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees. Sometimes you feel like you are knee deep in alligators.
Have you become a boiled frog?
I’m referring, to the proverbial frog that, placed in a pot of cold water that is gradually heated, never realizes the danger it’s in and is boiled alive. The hypothetical boiled frog is a useful metaphor for a very real problem: the difficulty of responding to abusive situations that creep up on you a bit at a time.
Most of us become so comfortable or used to our current situation that we don’t really know how to escape from it? (the heat) Don’t put up with rising temperatures!
Let’s not be a boiled frog!
Are you in a job which doesn’t suit you, your skills, your values, your personality or in abusive situation? Have you become so comfortable or used to your current situation or in a situation in which you don’t know how to escape?
According to the Dictionary Abuse is defined as wrongly or improperly using one’s authority. This could mean between a husband and wife, siblings, co-workers, people in your church, boss and employees. There are different types of abuse with a common thread; an abuser’s control over another person, imposing their will upon someone else, to force them to do something against their will or prevent them from activities.
Signs that you’re in an abusive relationship
There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and imparts on you feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions at the link below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
There are different types of abuse with a common thread; an abuser’s control over another person, imposing their will upon someone else, to force them to do something against their will or prevent them from activities.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out. There is help available.
Sexual Assault is one type of abuse. An article I would recommend to keep handy is 10 Things Sexual Assault Victims Want You to Know http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/april/ten-things-sexual-assault-victims-want-you-to-know.html
Unfortunately people have misused words in the Bible to impose their will upon someone else. It is not news, God Hates Abuse. One example is often repeated phrase that God Hates Divorce.
“God hates divorce!” (Read the rest of the verse…)
Christian wives frequently hear this first part of Malachi 2:16 as though the institution of marriage trumps the lives wrapped up in it. Rarely quoted is the second part of the verse which says:
“along with the one who conceals his violence by outward appearances.”
Christian wives often think they have only two options: endure abuse or face condemnation by God for not obeying the Bible. As a result, guilt, despair, internal conflict and heartache cloak every moment as they cling to survival, trying to please both God and their husband.
The future looks hopeless, and their identity and value obscured. Children grow up as secondary victims of domestic abuse, desensitized to God’s ways and primed to continue the cycle of abuse as adults. Read more at https://godhatesabuse.com/god-hates-abuse I highly recommend reading and keeping the book handy titled God Hates Abuse.
Victims of abuse often experience and exhibit various degrees of PTSD, the same PTSD suffered by combat veterans, police officers, fire fighters, and other first responders. They also experience and exhibit anxiety, stress and distrust issues. Help is available. Just like any a clock which is too tightly wound, the unwinding must be carefully done.
Abusers oftentimes have self-worth issues and feel empowered and mighty when they abuse someone.
Here are some real examples from one family of controlling abuse:
Father beats a third grader because the third grader had a friend come over to the house…the father did not want anyone to know what was said or done in the house. This is a real example of controlling abusive behavior.
A son was called to come to the house to pick up a script for the Mom who was sick and could not get off the couch. The father, her husband, told the Mom to get up and get it yourself. They later divorced. This is a real example of controlling abusive behavior with an escape.
Years later, another son from the same family as above learns he can control the family by withholding medical updates of a hospitalized loved one.
An unrelated example is a woman Mary, not her real name, was looking for bruises on another woman, Jane, not her real name, who had her boyfriend present. Mary asked Jane if that man was her boyfriend, Jane said yes. Mary said she was looking for bruises because in her mind that is how men showed their ‘love’ for women by beating them.
No one deserves to be abused. Help is available for the Abuser, the Abused, and those affected by the abuse, just not all in the same setting.
Do your part to stop abuse today. Learn what you can do to recognize and prevent abuse.
Abuse in Relationships: Can You See It?
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcetneraz.org
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