Happy Birthday & a shout-out to my fellow survivors

8:25 AM Katy 22 Comments

Today is my birthday. 4 years ago, I spent my 30th birthday locked in a bedroom in Texas with all my babies in bed with me, terrified, listening for the sound of his footsteps coming up the stairs after he got drunk (again).

Many people don't understand this. I don't blog on this topic because there are lots of smart people out there blogging and doing a better job than I could. But I read their blogs and support them offline in every way that I can. If you are scared of your spouse and living in hell, you are not alone. Escape is possible. There are people who understand all of The Crazy and will help you. God does not want you to suffer like this. If your pastor told you different, he is a Pharisee or ignorant. Or both.

I once fully believed that I was worthless, ridiculous, lazy, unlovable, and a useless mess. I believed that I couldn't survive on my own. That no one would ever take me seriously.

None of that shit was true.
 So to mark my 34th birthday & almost 4 years of freedom, here are some people you might need to meet:

 Lundy Bancroft author of "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" - this book was the first step. I couldn't figure out why he did crazy, evil things to me and then pretended that it never happened. After I read it I felt like 50 lbs of chains had suddenly fallen off my ankles. 

For the Christians suffering with the extra fun of spiritual abuse on top of everything else, there are Christian voices in the darkness:

Ida Mae  - secretly survived incredible abuse for 25 years, and her husband was a respected deacon at their church... and she's got a way with words: "On a good day, I’m able to remember hell and share a spoonful. This series of articles tries to speak for women who’ve lived under tyranny who can’t tell their story. Just be aware— Normals get a taste. Survivors get a flashback."

Barbara Roberts - Domestic Abuse advocate, Aussie, survivor - you can find her on the blog below:

Pastor Jeff Crippen - Crying Out For Justice  -the first pastor I've met who is totally educated on abuse in all of its forms, is 100% for the victims, and has the spiritual muscle & courage to confront it. He is truly the "1 in 400". He pastors a church in Oregon.
Pastor Jeff's amazing book:  A Cry For Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church
(There are more excellent survivor blogs out there, please check the sidebar on Jeff and Barbara's blog)

Jerry Sandusky and the Catholic priest scandal are NOT uncommon or rare incidents. Abusers love positions of power or leadership, and they really like churches because of the extra veneer of "God's" authority.

I hope that even if you are not a victim, you can find time to educate yourself on this topic so that you are able to spot the red flags in others. Domestic abuse and sexual abuse are very closely related, and there are signs and symptoms if you know what to look for. (And it's not always a man. Women can be abusers too.)

Being able to recognize these signs could be the difference between helping someone, or enabling a wolf.

{Here ends my Public Service Announcement - back to regularly scheduled programming :) }

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22 comments:

  1. Happy birthday! So happy you are free now. :)

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  2. Happy birthday! Great post! Doors get unlocked for others one story at a time. What a gift this may be for someone else today!

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  3. hApPy BiRtHdAy to you, Katy~ a worthy, wonderful, industrious, lovely and unique creation of God! Thank you for speaking out.
    Joanie

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  4. Katy, you ARE a wonderful, gifted and courageous lady! I had no idea of the private pain you and your children experienced. You have endured hell and chose to live beyond it. You have shown your children that strength can come from trials and that NO one deserves to be treated as though they are nothing.

    I hope you have an AMAZINGLY BLESSED day filled with Love and Laughter!

    HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY!!

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  5. Katy, your marriage sounds identical to my first marriage. It took me 13 years to leave since I also thought I was worthless. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have the happiest birthday ever!! And although we've never met, I think you're pretty awsome!

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  6. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing! I know your life will just get better and better!

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  7. Happy 34th. You have so much to offer to your children and the world! Here's to one of YOUR BEST YEARS yet.....ahhhh to be 34 again! Cheers.

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  8. As a child of the mother who was abused for 16+ yrs, I say hooray!! You did yourself and your children a service that you won't fully understand until they're grown with beautiful families of their own. I know because it's taken a Godly man to help me get past what I saw when my parents were married.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Katy. You are an amazing person, and I've known that all along....you young'un.

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  10. Happy Birthday! I am so thankful that you were not only able to escape your abuser... but that you are living proof that you are a survivor! I have a wonderful friend that has been living with an abusive husband and have always prayed and encouraged her towards freedom (however, he has her so beaten down that she does not think she could leave and have a life so she continues to choose to live in this manner.. her kids too) It breaks my heart......
    You are doing it my friend and I pray that you sharing your story will encourage someone else towards the same freedom you have. Thank you for sharing..... dee dee

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  11. Katy!! My Lovely beautiful friend and today I have the honor to call u my Sister!!
    Happy Birthday!! I will be Forever thankful to God to place you in my life in times of Desperate need... God has used you to be the light at the end of my Dark Tunnel.. You were carrying the Torch and all I did was follow YOUR LIGHT!!

    I love you with all my Heart!!

    ~Marisabel~

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  12. I said Happy birthday on twitter (you are offline on FB -- again) but if you didn't see it I was totally thinking of you. <3 Glad you are no longer in a bad situation and I love ya!

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  13. I am so happy you found your voice and share it with all of us!

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  14. Happy belated Birthday! Sorry I'm late I just found your blog today.

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  15. Raised in very strict pentecostal 'married-till-death-do-you-part" family, Divorce was an abomination...almost as high in the sin category as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So, my grandmother stayed married to an abusive drunk, two of her daughters married alcoholic brothers that fooled around on them, beat them and one even molested his own children. But NO ONE ever divorced...God Forbid! All for the Glory of God these women and their children endured hell on earth.

    To fit into our family culture, a female's worth is being a wife. So, marrying before 21 is the norm...so I married at 19. Fortunately, I did not marry an abusive man but all the brainwashing and living in a home dominated by "I will not be hen-pecked' & "I'm the spiritual authority so don't question me!" culture, messed up this preacher's kids mind more than she realized. My husband and I sought counseling, left my childhood church (Oh, the great sin!) for a church full of grace and forgiveness, and learned how to give each other a LOVE that neither of us had lived or witnessed.

    Of course, I lost family connections....I am still not embraced/held as closely as once but I was able to use my own journey to help my cousin leave an abusive marriage. She fell into the family culture and married a very angry drunk at the age of 19. After 3 years of hell, in tears she reached out to family members and was rebuffed at the idea of divorce. I spoke one line to her (and her mother): When God created and formed you in your mother's womb, did He say that this child for the purpose of a man to terrorize, beat, humiliate and almost kill? That was God's purpose for your life? Your reason for being born?

    She still tells me that was the moment when the blinders fell off her eyes....her mother helped her pack up and leave her husband and she has since married a wonderful, Godly man full of grace and love.

    All this points to - the religious aspect of enduring marital abuse can damage family generations far more greater than divorce for years.

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  16. ANonymous - thank you for sharing. I agree - it's the Pharisee "religion" that destroys entire families and generations of people. I'm so glad you didn't get trapped in a nightmare like that. Each generation has the opportunity to stop that cycle of abuse, WE are it! :)

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  17. Wow I'm late to the party. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Your story is amazing. You inspire me every time!

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  18. first, happy late b, katy. second- wow, this post! spot on. spot on. i was the poster child for marriage vows, but after x number of years/decades, i thought- what sort of role model am i for my kids. esp for my daughter. getting out from under the abusive thumb is difficult. people who know me now and even those who knew me then, no one realized and would even now believe the mental/emotional abuse. because he never hit me- people thought that made everything okay. so did he. so yes, celebrate! and how good of you to celebrate by cheering others on.

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  19. SHerry!
    the verbal/emotional abuse is worse than being punched, any survivor will tell you that!!

    I knew we were kin. ;)

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  20. You go girl! What a triumphant story. I'm so glad you had the nerve to leave and start over for you and your children. Happy belated birthday.

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