Abused No More: A Journey to Freedom
Abused No More: A Journey to Freedom
By: Susan Deborah Schiller aka Tender Lily
Your story creates your world. It's your story, and if you're not where you want to be in life, at any given time you can say, "This may be my story, up to now, but this is not how it's going to end!"
What happens when shock and trauma, pain and loneliness intrude? Sometimes it's all you can do to get out of bed, let alone make it through a day. Many times the emotional trauma turns into physical disease.
Professionals tell us the same trauma hits us repeatedly and the pain does not subside until we can rewrite our story. How we perceive what happened, and more importantly, how we perceive ourselves can speed recovery.
Pain is good at signaling that something needs to be changed, but that's where it should end. The reason pain keeps cycling is because we use our minds to recreate the event. We focus on the problem. Or we hang out with friends and family who reinforce our victim mentality with sympathetic words instead of overcoming, self-empowering words. While it feels good to receive sympathy, pure sympathy will lock you behind bars and throw away the key.
Here's one key to unlock the prison door of pain:
- How you tell your story will resurrect either pain or hope.
- How you listen to others tell your story dictates how long your pain will continue.
- How you rewrite your story will create your identity as either God's child or a prisoner at the mercy of the next cycle of chaos and trauma.
No one can go back and start over from the beginning. You can't change what happened, but you can start over from now, and rewrite your future.
I'm not a mental health professional and I'm not here to give medical advice. I am one who has escaped prison, recording the journey in my diaries. Like many abused wifes, I experienced:
- Repeatedly being told for two decades by my husband that I was stupid, worthless, and unable to succeed in life;
- Being threatened by my husband that my body would be mutilated and then murdered;
- Being intimidated and then shunned by church leaders, abandoned by leaders in my spiritual network;
- Losing everything: family, friends, home, business;
- Getting up, starting over, and then getting kicked back down again;
- Rewriting my story and experiencing God changing my world, as the Kingdom of heaven invades my life;
Now I'm in a place where I am safe, loved, and able to pursue my life's dream. I live a full life where I wake up in the morning like a child, full of joy and wonder. My life isn't perfect and in many ways I'm only just getting started. But there is peace, new growth, and happiness. I know I don't have to repeat the same old cycles of trauma and chaos. More than that, I'm creating a new family legacy for my children and grandchildren. It's a written legacy that I'm publishing interactively so that you can follow along with me, if you choose.
It's called "On the Way Home", and it records my journey to freedom, as God helped me crack the code of even the most extreme abuse tactics. Interwoven throughout the stories are Scriptures and Life Story Prompts to help you begin to write your own story. .
"On the Way Home" is also for pastors and leaders who, most often, do not understand how to effectively stop abuse, and who unwittingly, aid and abet abusers. Church leaders commonly abuse the abused, for lack of knowledge. That's why I'm willing to be "naked and unashamed" in my writing.
"To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means." — Brennan Manning
I'm willing to be a voice for those who are most often silenced, in the hopes that as you walk in the footsteps of those who are suffering silently, you may join us in a cry for justice and together we can write ourselves into a world where "abused no more" becomes our new reality.
Papa God is bringing us all Home. The family is the backbone of society. He wants us to be healed and whole.
We need to surround ourselves with a team of people who function as a family, whether blood-related or not, who will reinforce our identity as overcomers, not just survivors. That's why this website has been created. In reading my stories and those of other victims, we don't want you to feel sorry for us. Rather we want you to experience the joy of walking out of prison and into the freedom of abundant life.
I invite you to become a bridge-builder so no one is left behind. It takes a team. There is no cost, no prerequisite, no demands for your time or energy. Your presence alone is more than enough!
As a gift, I will send to you my free interactive memoir, which is currently underway: "On the Way Home". Once a week I'll also send you a fresh, new story. To get started, send me your best email and your name. You can be anonymous, if you like.
Hit the "Diary" image below and I'll meet you in your inbox with my upcoming, interactive "On the Way Home"!
Let's be Kingdom writers and write ourselves into a better world! Your story matters
With all my love,
Susan Deborah Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor – to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.
Copyright 2012, Susan McKenzie, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline and bio, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references. For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.