Are you experiencing abuse or do you know someone who is? Abuse happens in different ways. You have seen and experienced emotional abuse. Emotional abuse itself is the most devastating kind, as it can continue indefinitely and destroy your very ability to believe in yourself. Worst of all the emotional abuse is often not recognized and the victim, you, can become destroyed and diminished with its force.

Has someone criticized you or called you names? Have you experienced demeaning or offensive body language or been intimidated by someone? Has someone twisted your words, yelled, cursed, accused or threatened you? Have you been humiliated or isolated by someone? Have you been manipulated or coerced? Have you had someone threatening to hurt someone you love? Has your pet been hurt by this threat?

You may have agreed to many of the questions asked of you on the first paragraph. Likely, you may have been emotionally abusive towards someone yourself. Sobering, isn’t it?

Physical abuse starts by emotional abuse. It begins when the domineering, coercive person has destroyed your belief system- your very ability to respond to aggressive gestures. It’s somehow, perhaps, your fault; you made him do it??? The very core of your being is demeaned, minimized and you are forced to take on the focus of surviving (ignoring or over-looking) the domestic abuse and simply act right in his sight? It's your fault after all?

Abuse can even become more demeaning and coercive with a sexually manipulative acts. The very person God created you to be is being led by intimidation and manipulation. You are being led by fear and self-doubt.

It’s difficult to believe in yourself or that you have much love surrounding you when the very core of your being is ripped through manipulative, coercive force and you are now reacting with fear.

Isaiah 41:10 says “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Now, more than ever it is time to learn about yourself and increase your ability to love yourself. It is time to heal from the deep wounds and learn how to love yourself once again. This is the time to search for support through friends, family or a Counselor who can help you to go forward and help you build the confidence and self-love you need to live again. Support groups will be also valuable at this stage in healing. Help is there when you search for it!

It is also time to become strengthened by learning to use boundaries. Boundaries are about your own responsibilities and the defining limits you place on yourself to live in a healthy way. It’s about taking control of your own life and knowing how and when to agree or disagree. It’s about learning how you can survive and prosper in this world. Boundaries are so simple and yet profound for they define who you are in the Lord and in yourself. I will discuss boundaries in upcoming later weekly blogs.

John 8:32 states “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” You can and will overcome!