As told by “Hermosa Mariposa” and written by Lauren Rose
When I first met my soon-to-be husband, he seemed to be very loving and caring, and everything I ever wanted in a husband, but looking back, now I see that “care” was the beginning of control. He told me that I needed to get everything done before I got home at night and not go back out at all, in the name of safety. I thought his showing concern was sweet, but later I realized that he used kindness to make me more compliant.
On the day we got married, we had a huge fight, and I began to think I had made a mistake. I started begging for him to forgive me. Thus began a series of apologizing for everything— all the time! I was always wrong. Always! His response was always that I was crazy. I needed to keep my mouth shut and not tell our business outside the house.
I reached out to a friend who had worked with survivors in the past. While she couldn’t help me, she gave me resources to contact. When I talked to my mother-in-law and some family members about my husband’s treatment of me, they all acted like they cared, but went right back and told him everything I said. I started attending a church that told me I needed to stay in the marriage and make it work. I then met with a neighbor and started praying with her, and she referred me to Joy at CTPM. She set up an appt for counseling, and there I began my healing journey.
Joy asked me a question that I will never forget. She said do you think that you are in an abusive relationship? I honestly did not believe that I was. I thought his treatment of me would stop “if I could just” be better, more flexible, more sexual, prettier, etc. I essentially thought it was all my fault. Joy helped me to understand the dynamics of abuse that I was living in.
The sad part is that I worked at a domestic abuse agency. I knew all the dynamics of abuse in my head, but I could not see or understand that it was him, and not me, until Joy helped me understand. He had convinced me I was responsible for his behavior.
Called to Peace Ministries (CTPM) helped me with finances and referred me to other places to receive additional help. I immediately joined and got involved in a CTPM support group that helped me process the grief I was experiencing. I saw Joy for counseling weekly until I got a firm handle on what was happening and learned how I could move towards healing. I went to the retreat in 2019 at Oak Island. It was incredibly redemptive and refreshing for me!
I know that I wouldn’t have healed the way I have, made the connections and friendships that I have, or been able to move forward as I have without Called to Peace Ministries!
God has begun restoring my life and giving me back all I lost, and then some! I am excited about how God has been speaking to me and through me to help others. He has revealed His will for my life through His Word, and as a result I have begun to see myself the way God does instead of the way a broken man saw me.
My advice to women coming out of an abusive relationship: Trust God with it all. It is so hard to let go of control because we have no control in the abusive relationship, but I promise you that if you let go and let God show you what you need to let go of and work on, you WILL heal. Looking at yourself in the mirror and acknowledging your role in your healing is key! Healing is all in the way we respond to it. We can stay stuck and be afraid, or we can rise up on the wings of eagles and soar!