I am going to tell a story. It is a story that will be hard to believe, but sadly it is true, and there is more that could be written than I will. Trust me, if I was to write out the completeness of what has been said about me, well, like Roald Dahl author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other great books would say, "It would gobsmack you, curdle your toes, and turn your hair white".
It is a story of abuse. Abuse of leadership. It is more than sheer incompetence. It is deliberate blindness and bias. And I suffered it for years.
Today, I began smiling. I'm actually pretty happy. Something hit me today, and has me smiling.
I've had this leader over us. A good friend of my husband. The one my husband confides in. And the one who had oversight of us until recently. You know him as Dick - a random name, appropriate for this setting.
Dick has been telling my husband for years that I am not normal. He even says that my whole family is weird. (My family that has served him with grace for years. Still does, even knowing what he says about us.) Dick has taken what has been said about me in anger, and believed everything without ever coming to me and saying, "Is this or that true?". Then he has added to that, and gone to other people above me who might help me and written them letters detailing how he thinks I have a psychological problem, might be a pathological liar, and am so irritating to live with that no wonder my husband blows up. He even stated, "I don't know of anyone else in the world who
could continue to live with her the way he has. and finally, when a person is
being tortured again and again, he only responds like the way a cat would. He
lashes back, it's not right, but I can see how it happens."
Really! Wow, really makes you wonder why he hasn't been successful in helping my husband with his anger. Kind of hard to do when you tell him, "Don't get angry, but wow, I sure see why you do!"
But I am happier than I have been for a long time. Why? Because I am dumping what Dick said. No
longer putting my head down and thinking, "this is what all Christians
will think of me, too, if I ask for help". Instead I am thinking, "This
is what one, way off base, blinded by bias, incompetent person said of
me." There is a world of difference in those two.
Actually what Dick
has done borders on spiritual abuse. And it is not me. It is not who I
am. I may have to jump through some hoops to prove that and make
whispers cease, but it is not me. I don't have to be ashamed of his
words. The shame for his words lies with him, and he will have to
carry it, not me. It will come out as part of the healing/counseling
process when we are working with the right counselor, and I will dump
his words, his opinions, and his harsh judgements away.
He will one day
cover his face in shame from them. I do not need to. It is not my
shame that one man thinks and has said awful things about me. It is
abuse, and it is his shame. Very similar to other people who abuse -
that is their shame, and not mine. I will not carry it. I will not be
silent about it. I will not hide my face and think less of myself
because of it. It is their shame, their wrong, their weight to carry.
When I spoke up about abuse, instead of condemnation, I got affirmed,
valued, loved. It is the same with these words, too. I do not need to
carry them. I can speak. I can hold my head up. The words do not
reflect on who I am; they reflect on who he is.
There is freedom in
that, and today I am happy. Learning that freedom.