Guilt over cutting contact with abusive parent

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Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello, I am going to try to be as brief as possible. This is a very sensitive subject, but I really need guidance because it is eating me alive. First of all, I am not a mature Christian by any means. I am really struggling to find my footing and get on the right path. I was raised in a very dysfunctional, abusive home. My father passed away in January. My mother is mentally ill and tormented me for years as a result, until about 6 months ago when I finally couldn't take it any longer and I cut off all contact. She is a very active member of the "word of faith" movement, which many, including myself, view as a cult. Her life basically revolves around what she believes to be giving prophecies, words of knowledge, healing the sick, casting out demons, seeing visions, having prophetic dreams, etc. She believes that she has a very high position of authority, given to her by God, and she has even suggested that He will strike people dead on her behalf if they try to get in the way of her ministry. I feel that she is a very dangerous person for anyone to be around, but she has had people wonder if she is literally an angel (according to her, at least).

At this point, I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (undiagnosed, but I'm sure I have it) and I am terrified of the thought of her showing up at my house to harass me (she has, and she has also damaged my property). I have a two year old son with autism who I absolutely do not want around her outbursts. Not to mention, I feel that it is my responsibility to protect his heart and mind from her. Also, my husband is constantly being bombarded with stress because of her.

Even though the bible says to "honor your parents" and "support widows" (especially when they are family), I made the difficult decision to cut off contact with her only 4 months after my father passed away. I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take hearing stories of her raising animals from the dead, and the visions she believes she was having of my dead father visiting her, or what he supposedly looks like in heaven, her horrible treatment, manipulation, lies, fits of rage, and I quit. I just gave up. I didn't say a word to her, because I knew that it would just lead to more abuse. I just stopped responding to her. I haven't spoken to her in 6 months, and I have no desire to.

My life IS better now. I'm finally starting to sort through the mountains of false teachings that she heaped upon me throughout my life. I've been able to focus on helping my son, and improving my family, instead of using my energy to try to parent my mother, or make sense of her abusive behaviors towards me and others. Life is much better now, however, the GUILT is eating away at me. I constantly hear her voice in the back of my mind assassinating my character, telling me what a horrible person I am for walking away. I wake up in the middle of the night and sit up for sometimes hours at a time, tormented by my thoughts. I feel like this guilt is going to drive me insane (literally), and the only way that I have ever known how to alleviate it was to return to her abuse cycle and give in to ALL of her demands.

I keep telling myself that "it wasn't that bad" or "I'm the crazy one, not her" or that I should "turn the other cheek", but I KNOW that these things aren't true.

If anyone can provide me with any biblical insight that might help me to accept that I *am* allowed to walk away from this, and that God isn't mad at me, I would really, really appreciate that. Thank you.
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Donna,

I grew up with a mother that has Histrionic Personality Disorder. I can relate to what you are saying. Honouring your parents does not require you to submit to manipulation and abuse. In time, you may have the strength to resume contact with your mother and accept that unless there is a monumental change in her life, she is likely always going to be like this.

For the foreseeable future, separation is necessary to enable you to heal, and for you to construct the right kind of supportive environment for your child/children along with your husband.

Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

You and your beloved husband form a new family unit, with the blessing of children God has given you. You can be thankful to your mum for bringing you into the world and for now, leave it at that.

I know from experience that pain you feel right now. Don't ignore it and as best as possible deal with it by talking it through with your pastor or a wiser older Christian lady that you might know.

My other thought for the moment is that this will take time. Remember the parable of the talents. Some are given 10, some 5 and some 1. The Lord doesn't ask you to produce 10 more if he has only given you 1, or even half a talent. I'm going to suggest to you that you might have half a talent for the moment - don't burn yourself out trying to do more than the Lord requires from you right now. Grasp on to what Christ has given you and REST in Him. For now, rejoice in your husband and beautiful child/children and remember your situation is "marked" by Majesty. (Isaiah 40:28ff)

Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 44:28ffDo you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Donna, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Always remember first and foremost, you are a daughter of the King.
 
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a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Dear Donna, Mr. Glover is quite right. We are limited people and have to prioritise with the strength and sanity we have. We cannot transcend what happens to our mind and body in various circumstances. Forgiveness involves a willingness for the other person's good -- but we are not always able to carry out that good to them ourselves. It's all right: we aren't required to be all sufficient.

I also wanted to add, re: that voice in the night, that Christ is not going to entertain any accusation against you, no matter who is raising it.

'Who is he (or she) that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen at the right hand of God, who is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.' I pray that when you wake in the night you will learn to listen for, and by faith 'hear', Christ's voice speaking for you.
 

Clark-Tillian

Puritan Board Freshman
I also think your husband's input is not only essential, but his physical,mental, spiritual, emotional protection of his family is a vital aspect of his fulfilling the 5th Word. Also, please know this, and it's a fine theological point, but I've found it helps in my pastoral counseling. You cannot "feel guilt". "Guilt" by definition is a moral standing in the court of The Almighty. If you've received and rested upon Christ alone for salvation, as he is offered in the gospel, then the indictment of your "guilt" is blotted out by The Blood. You are pardoned--not innocent, not not guilty, but pardoned.

Now, you might certainly be experiencing acute and chronic pain, suffering, regret, embarrassment, shame, confusion etc. I'd be concerned if you weren't; this world can be a vale of tears, and you've obviously experienced that in a horrific manner. I've found that by naming the feeling correctly a great deal of clarity is brought to the situation. Try this exercise: "When I think about my relationship with my mother I feel XYZ." Once you've discerned what you're actually feeling you can bring that to the Mercy Seat and receive the sustaining grace/strength you need at that moment.

Going by your post (which is limited, of course) you have not violated the 5th Commandment by separating your family--especially your son; rather, you've obeyed the the 5th Commandment. There is a clause in the Westminster Larger Catechism #129 that is pertinent to your relationship with your son and the 5th Commandment. A parent must obey this statute by "protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body". The "them" in your case is your son. You're protecting him and providing for his well being via this separation. Therefore, you're obeying the Command.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
My heart goes out to you. I've lived through this kind of thing and have had a neighbor doing the same thing to her husband and children. There are no easy answers, but something simple is to pray out loud against the lies and the false guilt that your mother is laying on you. Audible prayer helps particularly well.

Another idea: are the people your mother is associated with, her church, all this looney? If she has a reasonable, sober pastor who is not as flaky as she is, perhaps your pastor or your husband, together with you, can appeal to him to restrain her behavior. Many medium-sized cities have informal meetings of pastors, for prayer and mutual encouragement. A group like this might be an asset.
 

Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi Donna. I grew up with an older sibling who mentally and physically abused me since I was old enough to remember, about 2 1/2 yrs old. This person hated me for no cause with a vengeance. It was relentless and cruel. When I was too old for them to continue the physical abuse they just stepped up by a dozen or more notches the mental abuse. I tried numerous times over the years to be friends but no longer try and have no regrets for cutting all contact with them. I did my best and that was that. I admit that I do still get angry when I think of all those years that for no reason I was abused and how for many years it deeply affected my life as a whole. I was pretty dysfunctional for quite a bit of my life turning to drugs and alcohol.
In the end I thought "ok, its now self preservation mode time, goodbye, game over. I keep patting this dog but it keeps biting me". There is no guilt in protecting yourself or your family members. I truly pray that God gives you the strength to overcome your feelings of guilt and heals your broken heart.
 

CuriousNdenver

Puritan Board Sophomore
Donna, My heart aches for what you have gone through and will face in the future.

For the foreseeable future, separation is necessary to enable you to heal, and for you to construct the right kind of supportive environment for your child/children along with your husband.

Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
You aren't required to remain in constant contact with an abusive person. What Mr. Glover said seems very wise.

You need time to heal, fellowship with faithful believers and time in the word of God.

I will pray for you.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you so much for your support. The scriptures that you quoted are very comforting. I'm fairly certain that my mother has Narcissistic personality disorder, by the way, along with some sort of psychotic disorder, and a handful of more "mild" co morbid conditions.

It's such a relief to have fellow believers confirm that I am not acting out of line by taking such extreme action in order to protect myself and my family. And you're right, I don't have very many "talents" to work with at the moment. I'm in a fragile place both spiritually and emotionally, and I just don't have what it takes to handle what I'm up against with her.

Thank you again, this was very helpful to me.

Donna,

I grew up with a mother that has Histrionic Personality Disorder. I can relate to what you are saying. Honouring your parents does not require you to submit to manipulation and abuse. In time, you may have the strength to resume contact with your mother and accept that unless there is a monumental change in her life, she is likely always going to be like this.

For the foreseeable future, separation is necessary to enable you to heal, and for you to construct the right kind of supportive environment for your child/children along with your husband.

Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

You and your beloved husband form a new family unit, with the blessing of children God has given you. You can be thankful to your mum for bringing you into the world and for now, leave it at that.

I know from experience that pain you feel right now. Don't ignore it and as best as possible deal with it by talking it through with your pastor or a wiser older Christian lady that you might know.

My other thought for the moment is that this will take time. Remember the parable of the talents. Some are given 10, some 5 and some 1. The Lord doesn't ask you to produce 10 more if he has only given you 1, or even half a talent. I'm going to suggest to you that you might have half a talent for the moment - don't burn yourself out trying to do more than the Lord requires from you right now. Grasp on to what Christ has given you and REST in Him. For now, rejoice in your husband and beautiful child/children and remember your situation is "marked" by Majesty. (Isaiah 40:28ff)

Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 44:28ffDo you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Donna, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Always remember first and foremost, you are a daughter of the King.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, I have been to that church once before and they were very friendly. I have been considering talking to them, but I think I might feel more comfortable with one of the elders at my church. I'm still not entirely sure which option I am going to go with though. I will talk to someone in person soon though.

You may want to check out the OPC church near you. I'm sure, perhpas, they can better serve you with the Word and help than any here can.

Hope Presbyterian Church ( Reformed ) | An Orthodox Presbyterian (Reformed) Church proclaiming the gospel in Syracuse, Onondaga Hill, and Central New York State.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you so much for your kind words. It is very comforting to be reminded that we are not required to be all sufficient. For my whole life, I was always told that I wasn't good enough, or doing enough. I became an over achiever, and burned myself out trying to be everything for everyone. It's nice to hear that I don't have to be.

I did wake up last night, and I remembered what you wrote, and I fell back asleep. Thank you.

Dear Donna, Mr. Glover is quite right. We are limited people and have to prioritise with the strength and sanity we have. We cannot transcend what happens to our mind and body in various circumstances. Forgiveness involves a willingness for the other person's good -- but we are not always able to carry out that good to them ourselves. It's all right: we aren't required to be all sufficient.

I also wanted to add, re: that voice in the night, that Christ is not going to entertain any accusation against you, no matter who is raising it.

'Who is he (or she) that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen at the right hand of God, who is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.' I pray that when you wake in the night you will learn to listen for, and by faith 'hear', Christ's voice speaking for you.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
To be honest, my husband is not the leader in our home. It's not because I do not want him to be, it's because he will not step up. I take on the responsibility of all major decisions and spiritual leadership. If I did not, our home would fall to pieces.

There is hope though. He is a Christian, he is attending church with me every Sunday, and he does agree that leadership *should* be his responsibility and not mine.

As far as the situation is concerned, he doesn't have an opinion. He just agree's with whatever I think is best. If I were to suddenly change my mind, he would change his. This is how he is with the large majority of family matters.

What does your husband think you should do?
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with you, about my husband. I commented on his role in our family in my last response.

I appreciate your point about guilt. It wasn't too long ago that I escaped from legalism, so the concept of being "saved by grace" isn't always the first thing that I think of. It's a huge comfort to view guilt in that way though. Also, I will try the exercise that you outlined. I think it will be helpful, because I frequently feel overwhelmed and disconnected by many different conflicting emotions. It is difficult to even think straight, let alone pray about it.

It's also very comforting to know that I haven't violated the 5th commandment. Being that I'm no longer caught up in legalism, I do recognize that I am not trying to earn a good standing with God. However, I do honestly want to do what is right, simply because I want to.

Thank you for your help.

I also think your husband's input is not only essential, but his physical,mental, spiritual, emotional protection of his family is a vital aspect of his fulfilling the 5th Word. Also, please know this, and it's a fine theological point, but I've found it helps in my pastoral counseling. You cannot "feel guilt". "Guilt" by definition is a moral standing in the court of The Almighty. If you've received and rested upon Christ alone for salvation, as he is offered in the gospel, then the indictment of your "guilt" is blotted out by The Blood. You are pardoned--not innocent, not not guilty, but pardoned.

Now, you might certainly be experiencing acute and chronic pain, suffering, regret, embarrassment, shame, confusion etc. I'd be concerned if you weren't; this world can be a vale of tears, and you've obviously experienced that in a horrific manner. I've found that by naming the feeling correctly a great deal of clarity is brought to the situation. Try this exercise: "When I think about my relationship with my mother I feel XYZ." Once you've discerned what you're actually feeling you can bring that to the Mercy Seat and receive the sustaining grace/strength you need at that moment.

Going by your post (which is limited, of course) you have not violated the 5th Commandment by separating your family--especially your son; rather, you've obeyed the the 5th Commandment. There is a clause in the Westminster Larger Catechism #129 that is pertinent to your relationship with your son and the 5th Commandment. A parent must obey this statute by "protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body". The "them" in your case is your son. You're protecting him and providing for his well being via this separation. Therefore, you're obeying the Command.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you. Is there a reason why audible prayer is more helpful?

Unfortunately, from what I understand, my mothers church isn't going to be helpful. They're not as bad as her, but from what I gather, they are aspiring to be. From what I can tell, they view her as an inspiration and a spiritual leader. She has no credentials, but they have placed her in charge of a prayer ministry, where they supposedly believe that she heals the sick and casts out devils. I'm also fairly certain that they have paid for her to be educated in the "prophetic" (or something along those lines). This is the stuff that cults are made of.

My heart goes out to you. I've lived through this kind of thing and have had a neighbor doing the same thing to her husband and children. There are no easy answers, but something simple is to pray out loud against the lies and the false guilt that your mother is laying on you. Audible prayer helps particularly well.

Another idea: are the people your mother is associated with, her church, all this looney? If she has a reasonable, sober pastor who is not as flaky as she is, perhaps your pastor or your husband, together with you, can appeal to him to restrain her behavior. Many medium-sized cities have informal meetings of pastors, for prayer and mutual encouragement. A group like this might be an asset.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, it's really comforting to be reminded that I'm not the only one has dealt with these kinds of things.

Hi Donna. I grew up with an older sibling who mentally and physically abused me since I was old enough to remember, about 2 1/2 yrs old. This person hated me for no cause with a vengeance. It was relentless and cruel. When I was too old for them to continue the physical abuse they just stepped up by a dozen or more notches the mental abuse. I tried numerous times over the years to be friends but no longer try and have no regrets for cutting all contact with them. I did my best and that was that. I admit that I do still get angry when I think of all those years that for no reason I was abused and how for many years it deeply affected my life as a whole. I was pretty dysfunctional for quite a bit of my life turning to drugs and alcohol.
In the end I thought "ok, its now self preservation mode time, goodbye, game over. I keep patting this dog but it keeps biting me". There is no guilt in protecting yourself or your family members. I truly pray that God gives you the strength to overcome your feelings of guilt and heals your broken heart.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, it's really comforting to be reminded that I'm not the only one has dealt with these kinds of things.

Hi Donna. I grew up with an older sibling who mentally and physically abused me since I was old enough to remember, about 2 1/2 yrs old. This person hated me for no cause with a vengeance. It was relentless and cruel. When I was too old for them to continue the physical abuse they just stepped up by a dozen or more notches the mental abuse. I tried numerous times over the years to be friends but no longer try and have no regrets for cutting all contact with them. I did my best and that was that. I admit that I do still get angry when I think of all those years that for no reason I was abused and how for many years it deeply affected my life as a whole. I was pretty dysfunctional for quite a bit of my life turning to drugs and alcohol.
In the end I thought "ok, its now self preservation mode time, goodbye, game over. I keep patting this dog but it keeps biting me". There is no guilt in protecting yourself or your family members. I truly pray that God gives you the strength to overcome your feelings of guilt and heals your broken heart.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you.

Donna, My heart aches for what you have gone through and will face in the future.

For the foreseeable future, separation is necessary to enable you to heal, and for you to construct the right kind of supportive environment for your child/children along with your husband.

Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
You aren't required to remain in constant contact with an abusive person. What Mr. Glover said seems very wise.

You need time to heal, fellowship with faithful believers and time in the word of God.

I will pray for you.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
"To be honest, my husband is not the leader in our home. It's not because I do not want him to be, it's because he will not step up. I take on the responsibility of all major decisions and spiritual leadership. If I did not, our home would fall to pieces. "

If this is the case, then I'd say be at peace. God's requirement for you now is that you submit to your husband, and you are. You are no longer under your mother's authority.

So it seems to me, at least from my vantage point, that you are submitting to God's will and you need not agonize.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I did wake up last night, and I remembered what you wrote, and I fell back asleep.
Donna, I am so glad you were able to rest in Christ's acceptance of you and your works in the night.

It is a comfort to understand that even Christ had limitations according to his humanity: a wise friend pointed out to me that he could only claim to have 'finished the work God gave him to do' because there was so much that he left undone. It is also a comfort to me that the work his Father wanted him to do, though difficult and though no one else could have done it, was still adapted to his human limitations. Our Father wisely adapts our burdens too; and He is so much more ready to be pleased with our least efforts to do His will than anyone else could be: we are so eagerly accepted in Christ.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
If you are willing to read a secular book, that is excellent on diagnosis and practical advice, get "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout. Your Mom sounds classic. One thing I can tell you is that you will be advised to get as completely away from her as possible.

Also, I would get out a piece of paper and start writing down in columns the truth and the lies. Maybe three columns for starters, including mental voices and uncertainties. In that third column be sure to put anything that you "hear" like her voice in your mind, and also tormenting feelings ( I am guilty, I am horrible). List everything you can as it comes up especially at night.

Now, in the daytime, when you are calmer, divide into a column for truth and lies. One by one try to look at the list and think about it and write down what the truth is. Truth can have more than one part- like write down that yes, I am a sinner and fallen and messed up, but then write down truths about God- he is sanctifying me, he is helping me, he gives wisdom, he loves me, he will work this for good. Write down a list of truth about your Mom- she is given to anger, she is in deception, she manipulates, she is probably under the influence of demonic entities.

You are in a battle for the mind, and the problem is her. You have to fight lies hard, with truth. Basic truth about the situation, and constant truth about God and scripture. As you keep telling yourself the truth it should get easier, but it takes time.


I went through this to a lesser extent- my little sister had two dead babies thanks to her no medicine/no doctors positive confession cult. To this day God tells her things audibly and she sees visions and nobody can argue with any of it. It was very difficult but I had to end the relationship about 12 years ago when it got abusive ( Hubby and I were constant targets of criticism and accusation). It was painful because of the cousins, but you WILL get past it, even if it takes a few years to really go on.

If you had a broken neck and had to be in the hospital for months, you would not condemn yourself for not visiting people. If you were in isolation because of a bone marrow transplant, would you beat yourself up for being isolated? Of course not. Is your soul broken and distressed? Is your soul vulnerable right now? Of course. There is nothing wrong with getting away from it and getting better- even if that takes 20 years.

I will pray for you.
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
Can you be in very limited contact for now? Limiting contact can help and do talk to a therapist about how to set boundaries with your mother. If she is abusive, creating health (mental or physical) issues or otherwise creating extreme difficulty, a break of various lengths of time is a good idea.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, that's a relief to hear.

"To be honest, my husband is not the leader in our home. It's not because I do not want him to be, it's because he will not step up. I take on the responsibility of all major decisions and spiritual leadership. If I did not, our home would fall to pieces. "

If this is the case, then I'd say be at peace. God's requirement for you now is that you submit to your husband, and you are. You are no longer under your mother's authority.

So it seems to me, at least from my vantage point, that you are submitting to God's will and you need not agonize.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for the advice. I have heard of that book before. My sister is majoring in psychology (no surprise there) and she has mentioned it before. From what I can tell, my mother has Narcissistic personality disorder, which is in the same personality disorder cluster (I think?) as a sociopath because they are so closely related, so I'm sure that book would be helpful.

I will take your advice on dividing truth and lies. I always feel better when I am informed of, or reminded of the truth regarding this situation, so I am sure that being able to quickly reference a chart of truth and lies when I need it will help me to calm down when I need to.

I am so sorry to hear about your sister. It's comforting to know that other people have felt the frustration of not being able to argue with a person who has had a "supernatural" experience. Even if one of my mothers visions goes directly against scripture, she will simply tell me that I am misinterpreting, and start quoting unrelated scriptures that supposedly back up her viewpoint. If I sill don't accept it, she will start throwing accusations at me that my faith is weak, or that I'm grieving the Holy Spirit. Being that I am still in the process of renewing my mind from that belief system, listening to her arguments would sometimes make me question the truth, which is why I absolutely cannot be exposed to that. Naturally, her claims sound very desirable and convincing to a person who does not know the bible well, otherwise people wouldn't fall into that trap in the first place and these cults would not exist.

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.





If you are willing to read a secular book, that is excellent on diagnosis and practical advice, get "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout. Your Mom sounds classic. One thing I can tell you is that you will be advised to get as completely away from her as possible.

Also, I would get out a piece of paper and start writing down in columns the truth and the lies. Maybe three columns for starters, including mental voices and uncertainties. In that third column be sure to put anything that you "hear" like her voice in your mind, and also tormenting feelings ( I am guilty, I am horrible). List everything you can as it comes up especially at night.

Now, in the daytime, when you are calmer, divide into a column for truth and lies. One by one try to look at the list and think about it and write down what the truth is. Truth can have more than one part- like write down that yes, I am a sinner and fallen and messed up, but then write down truths about God- he is sanctifying me, he is helping me, he gives wisdom, he loves me, he will work this for good. Write down a list of truth about your Mom- she is given to anger, she is in deception, she manipulates, she is probably under the influence of demonic entities.

You are in a battle for the mind, and the problem is her. You have to fight lies hard, with truth. Basic truth about the situation, and constant truth about God and scripture. As you keep telling yourself the truth it should get easier, but it takes time.


I went through this to a lesser extent- my little sister had two dead babies thanks to her no medicine/no doctors positive confession cult. To this day God tells her things audibly and she sees visions and nobody can argue with any of it. It was very difficult but I had to end the relationship about 12 years ago when it got abusive ( Hubby and I were constant targets of criticism and accusation). It was painful because of the cousins, but you WILL get past it, even if it takes a few years to really go on.

If you had a broken neck and had to be in the hospital for months, you would not condemn yourself for not visiting people. If you were in isolation because of a bone marrow transplant, would you beat yourself up for being isolated? Of course not. Is your soul broken and distressed? Is your soul vulnerable right now? Of course. There is nothing wrong with getting away from it and getting better- even if that takes 20 years.

I will pray for you.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Many years ago, I heard a pastor recommend Proverbs as the default Bible reading regardless of what else you are reading or studying. Match up the day of the month with a chapter, so today's reading would be Proverbs 21. Doing so will help build your wisdom in dealing with such difficulties in life and I have found this quite helpful at times.

I agree with what others have posted, I would add another thought. Though as Christians, I believe we should be careful about having the law step in to our relationships, it may be well within the positive applications of "you shall not murder" to ask for a restraining order to protect you and your family. Only you and your husband will know if the situation has reached this point, but I wanted to raise this as a possibility.
 

Julytwentysecond

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for your reply. I do not currently have any contact with her, and I haven't for 6 months. I did try to have limited contact for about a year, and it was not manageable. My husband and I even put our house on the market for a year so that we could move 1200 miles away and see if we could manage to have limited contact from a distance. However, we were not able to sell our house, so that plan didn't work out. We're going to try again in a few years when we can afford to lower the price.

I have been in therapy for awhile, and one of the reasons that I did chose to cut contact completely is that I could not set a boundary that she was willing to respect. It got so bad that she came to my home, damaged my property and was causing such a scene on my front porch that I had to threaten to call the police just to get her to stop harassing me and leave.

She has created both physical and mental health issues. I have post traumatic stress disorder, and I ended up having to see a cardiologist due to stress related chest pains and palpitations. Also, I honestly believe that it was the stress of living with my mother that killed my father, and I am so afraid that the same thing will happen to me.

Can you be in very limited contact for now? Limiting contact can help and do talk to a therapist about how to set boundaries with your mother. If she is abusive, creating health (mental or physical) issues or otherwise creating extreme difficulty, a break of various lengths of time is a good idea.
 

THE W

Puritan Board Freshman
i think matthew 5:38-40 is speaking against retaliation, getting even, and holding a grudge but not against removing one's self from an abusive situation.

If you have made the effort to set boundaries in order to maintain limited contact with your mother and she has trampled on them, and you are not bad mouthing her to the world, then you are not in violation of the 5th commandment either.
 
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