The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Dirty Love

There is nothing dirtier than abuse.

It’s a perverted version of what true love is supposed to be. I am not saying that genuine love is perfectly spotless. It can be a little messy, but healthy love should have the ability to be washed clean. Abuse is much different.

I know in my experience of being abused that I lived in a constant state of messiness. I felt crazy most of the time. I had all of these emotions inside of me, but I could never find the words to express them correctly. I think that’s what he wanted because it discredited my pain. It caused me to question myself and ultimately apologize to him as I feverishly worked to make myself a “better wife.” It was never enough, though, because nothing would ever satisfy him.

…healthy love should have the ability to be washed clean. Abuse is much different.

The psychological abuse was pure torture. Many times, the fights went into the night. I begged to go to sleep, but he told me I would have to stay awake. I wasn’t always innocent either, but I now see where I was mistreated in a way called reactive abuse. He would do something to push me to my breaking point, and when I reacted, he would then focus on what I did wrong, and it would suddenly wipe away the reason I was upset, to begin with, or it would allow him to say we were now “even.” There were even many moments where I was recorded without my knowledge once I reacted. He would remain calm during the recording and would miss those moments where he pushed me to the edge so that I looked crazy. He would show people this whenever they started to think something was wrong in our marriage. When I found out about it and it became a trigger, he started to record me to my face. He knew what it did to me, and he capitalized on it.

The physical abuse came later in the marriage. I had my head rammed into a wall so hard my makeup stained it. I was thrown down onto the stairs, which was very painful. I was spit on often in those final days, even pinned down with his face very close to mine over and over. His drug addiction is what really made the physical abuse extremely volatile. When he was coming down from the drugs, he was exceptionally mean. It made for a very tense environment, and I began to fear for my life before I got the courage to get out.

I can go on and on about the emotional, mental, physical, sexual, psychological, spiritual, digital, and financial abuse that I went through, but at the end of the day, I had to realize that I had more power than I could ever imagine. He didn’t want me to see that power because it would ignite the flame in me to never accept the treatment that he dished out. Abusers are extremely insecure people who need more validation than anyone could ever humanly supply. That’s why they are so hard on the people that they live with. It’s impossible for anyone to fill that void except for Jesus, but they will not accept that. While you are trying to rescue them, they are slowly killing you. You drown bringing them above the water, and there is no remorse on their side.

The dirtiest part about abuse isn’t just the act of it. It’s the fact that it transforms our views on what God is in our lives. The bible says:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

-1 John 4:7-8, NIV, (emphasis added)

God is love. He is the representation of what it truly is all about. Yet, when we live in abuse, we believe that is love. I am not saying that you are not a Christian or saved if you are living in abuse, but you can’t fully comprehend the entire goodness that is the love of God. You are brainwashed and living in the deception of it. It’s not your fault. No human being should ever abuse anyone, and no matter what anyone tells you, there’s nothing that you can do “better” to stop it. What I am saying is that Satan comes in and perverts the view of love through the actions of the abuser, and in that, he can keep us spiritually in bondage.

If you are being abused, please reach out to someone. Your safety, sanity, and overall wellbeing are important. If you are scared, know that you are not alone. If you can’t get help from friends or family, reach out to your local domestic violence outreach center, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-(800)799-7233. The church should be the one to intervene as well, but I know unfortunately that is not always the case. If anyone tries to use God to combat this, know that divorce may not be what God intended, but neither is abuse. You think about your safety, period.

…Satan comes in and perverts the view of love through the actions of the abuser, and in that, he can keep us spiritually in bondage.

If you have been abused in any way, whether it’s been years past or only days, know that God can wipe clean any of the mess that was left by it. He can restore you from broken to beautiful. That might sound cliché, but once you experience that kind of love, you will never want to go back. We will never be perfect, but God and his admiration for us is. He will never fail you, and he will help you to rebuild your heart, wiping it clean of all the deceptions believed by living in abuse.

Love doesn’t have to be dirty any more.

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