In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Number twelve in this series was: being ignorant is not okay. This week number thirteen in the series is: denial is not okay.
This has been by far the most difficult blog I’ve ever had to write. For some reason the topic of denial is deeply rooted in areas of my life that I have kept under wraps. I asked God to show me the areas of my life that I need to accept as reality. I have gone through many areas of pain in my life and have come to accept the reality of those situations. There seemed to be one specific event God wanted to reveal to me that I wasn’t accepting as truth.
A friend of mine revealed to me that her husband was abusing her. This caused me to feel distressed. I encouraged her to reach out for help. However, after she told me her story she decided her husband wasn’t abusive and gave many excuses for his behavior. I could tell she was in denial. However, I just kept loving her and believing her when she told me her story. Only a few days after she told me about her abuse she died.
Her death really left a lot of questions in my mind about how she died. I felt traumatized by her death. When I reached out for help I realized why I was traumatized. I was repressing the idea that my ex-husband was physically abusive.
I gave many excuses for this one incident of physical abuse in my mind because I didn’t want to believe he would do that to me. This was the area of denial that God wanted me to admit and accept. With help from a professional counselor, I was able to work through what really happened, and I was able to admit my ex-husband hit me while we were married.
My counselor asked if I reported it to the police. I had not reported it, but I said I would think about it.
After that session, I felt an unbelievable freedom from this traumatizing event in my life. I said it; I admit it and now I can heal from it.
Five days later with some encouragement from a friend I called the police to report what happened to me nine years earlier.
The police officer came to my home and kindly asked me what happened and after a few questions it seemed apparent to him that there would not likely be enough evidence to pursue legal action. The last question he asked was why I waited so long to report this incident. I simply said it was because today was the first day I could report it. It was a healing day for me. Having him put down on paper a case number along with what happened to me will keep me from denying this happened. He gave me his contact information before he left and some information about domestic violence.
If I want to heal, I need to be real and being real means coming out of denial. Admitting the truth can be difficult. I was fooled into thinking telling the truth might hurt someone. But in this case, not telling the truth hurt me.
Why did it take me so long to write this blog? In this case, I didn’t want to hurt my girls by sharing this information. But if I want to model for my girls strength and courage to tell the truth, then I needed to do something tough. The result for me has been healing, freedom, and a confidence that God is with me. And if God is with me then I know God is with my girls. The truth set me free!
I want to share with my daughters that for whatever part I played in teaching or modeling denial, I am truly sorry. I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but also for all my relationships.
I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.
If you are in a relationship that is abusive, you can reach out for help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
If you need other resources for help and healing, you can find related resources here.
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