An Abuse Survivors Manifesto
I chose to write “Off The Mark” An Abuse Survivors Manifesto for day 1 of 7 Goins Blog Like a Pro Writing Challange. It came out a little on the long side with over 2000 words. The PDF version of “Off The Mark” is available for download when you Join our eMail list.
Off The Mark
An Abuse Survivors Manifesto
We are all hungry for the reasons why people abuse others and commit such heinous acts of violence. People are looking for answers to child abuse, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence. They’re looking for real solutions that will put an end to violence.
People get tired of hearing the reasons given by mental health professionals. Often calling them poor excuses made for the offender’s actions.
The professionals explained their reasons or theories, and the contributing risk factors for decades. They say abuse is a learned behavior from childhood experiences. And that abuse is a normal condition of life due to childhood abuse or witnessing abuse in the home.
Professionals say the abuser or victim could have mental conditions and personality disorders, an empathy deficit due to child abuse and various other mental health problems.
They concluded that mental or emotional problems contribute to the occurrences of violence. And we, the general public, listen to them since they’re the professionals.
RISK FACTORS AND REASONS OR THEORIES
I believe the mental health professionals are correct in their diagnosis to some degree. The professionals are giving an adequate understanding of the mindset of abuse victims and the perpetrators of violence. The contributing risk factors, reasons or theories given are diagnosing the mental symptoms.
But, they’re not the true reason for the existence of abuse and violence. And when we fail to understand the true reason, we can’t even begin to experience real healing. We will continue to diagnose and mask the symptoms of a much bigger problem.
I believe people can develop emotional or mental health problems from childhood experiences. And that people can get mental conditions or personality disorders.
I believe people can lack the ability to have empathy. And that abuse can be a learned behavior from parents. When one parent abused the other parent or when a child is a victim of abuse.
The dysfunctional patterns of thinking and ways of being or acting in life do get handed down. They’re passed on to the next generation and to the next and most of the time without a thought.
The trauma abused children endure will have a lasting effect on them well into their adult life. In fact, that is exactly what happened to me and several other siblings in our family.
I grew up in a dysfunctional home with child abuse, neglect, and child sexual abuse. Our father was a pedophile who victimized several of his young daughters for many years.
The dysfunctional patterns of thinking and ways of being or acting in life did get handed down us. And it affected the choices and decisions we made in our adult life.
There is a total of nine children in our family. Three of them developed a mental condition or personality disorder from our childhood experiences. And four of them are unable to hold down a full-time job or to be productive members of society.
My oldest brother followed our father’s path in life. He abused his siblings in a sexual manner. As it states in the book of Deuteronomy; the iniquity or sin of the father was upon the children.
I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likenessof any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Deuteronomy 5:6-10 KJV
In his late twenties or early thirties, professionals diagnosed him with a mental disorder. He received mental health treatment as an outpatient for years. He currently resides in a mental health facility.
The mental health counseling, therapy, and medications have done “nothing” to fix his problems.
Professionals diagnosed another brother with schizophrenia in his mid-twenties. The definition of the word “schizophrenia” is “any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact”.
He received mental health treatment as an outpatient and inpatient for over thirty years. He fell down at a Mental Health Hospital in June of 2014 and sustained a life-threatening head injury. He passed away on June 7th, 2014.
The mental health counseling, therapy, and medications have done “nothing” to fix his problems.
My middle sister was a victim of child sexual abuse by our father from a young age. He performed unimaginable acts on her as a teenager and she ran away from home. After that, she lived in several foster homes where she experienced more sexual abuse.
In her late teens or early twenties, professionals diagnosed her with Bipolar disorder. Bipolar is a mental disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression.
Hum, I wonder why?
The definition of the word “mania” is “a mood disorder; an affective disorder in which the victim tends to respond excessively and sometimes violently”.
The definition of the word “depression” is “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity”.
Could it be that her mind was in a dysfunctional state from years of child sexual abuse? Could it be that her spirit had become afflicted by dysfunction, trauma, and abuse?
She was a victim of child sexual abuse who responded excessively and sometimes violently. Her mental state had been affected by child sexual abuse. Living in this state of mind was the only way she knew how to live. It was the only way she could survive through the abuse.
She went on to get married and have a child. But, the patterns of sexual abuse from men would continue to plague her for many years to come. Like me, she continued making unhealthy choices throughout her adult life.
This flawed mental state came from living in a dysfunctional manner. It came from enduring years of child abuse and child sexual abuse.
It came from our parents who chose not to walk in the light of Christ. Our parents chose to take the broad way that leadeth to destruction. They walked in the darkness with sinful conditions. And us children suffered from the same sinful conditions that our parents endured.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7 13-14 KJV
She received inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment for over twenty years. She currently resides in a mental health facility.
The mental health counseling, therapy, and medications have done “nothing” to fix her problems. If anything, the administration of medications made her health conditions worse. The medications have given her diabetes and various other health problems.
I believe the professionals are off the mark in their reasons or theories. I don’t believe they’re the “true reason” for the “existence” of abuse and violence.
I just can’t accept the reasons or theories as “justified answers”.
Answers to “why” people abuse others and commit such heinous acts of violence. Answers to “why” abuse and violence exists and is an epidemic in this country and around the world.
The reasons or theories given are mere “symptoms” of a much greater problem. One that is more than a disorder of the mind. It’s a problem that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. One that mankind is trying to solve, medicate and fix on their own without their creator.
Mankind’s methods of treatment are not working to cure this problem. The vast amount of knowledge we have acquired is not fixing anything. Is it? Our man-made solutions can only provide a temporary fix.
They’re like putting a bandied on an amputated limb that’s bleeding. It just doesn’t work to stop the bleeding. And our man-made solutions are not working to stop the epidemic of abuse and violence.
REASONS AND JUSTIFIED ANSWERS AND SOLUTIONS
The definition of the word “reason” is a justification for something “existing” or “happening”.
What is the “true reason” for the “existence” of abuse? What are the “justified answers” that will explain “why” people are violent? What is the “solution” that will help victims and offenders begin to heal?
We start by looking at abuse victims and perpetrators of violence from another perspective. We must move away from mankind’s mental perspective and towards God’s spiritual perspective.
Now you might say, God, oh no, I’m out of here and that’s your choice. But, I do hope you will continue reading this with an open mind. For a closed mind will never understand the truth. A closed mind will never experience healing.
We must stop diagnosing them as merely mental symptoms. When in fact, they’re spiritual symptoms of living in the darkness with sinful conditions.
We must stop focusing on the acts of abuse and violence. Time is of the essence, we must begin to understand the real cause of abuse and violence. We need to stop trying to put a band-aid on a spiritual wound that mankind can not heal themselves.
Since the beginning of time, mankind has distrusted God and sought to become wise in their own mind. Having become as God’s themselves by obtaining the knowledge of good and evil. Mankind attempts to solve their own problems in life without their creator.
In doing so, mankind will never comprehend the darkness with sinful conditions. A darkness that every human being on this earth is born into and some live in today. A darkness with sinful conditions that mankind is bound by the chains of sin too.
What mankind fails to understand is that without God we are but, confused creatures. Wandering in the darkness, with a dysfunctional mindset that has evil imaginations.
What mankind fails to accept is that we cannot fix problems that are not in our control to begin with. God, our creator has the only “justified answers” to “solve” our problems. No matter if we, the created man believes in him or not.
How can I make such a bold claim?
I have wandered in the darkness with sinful conditions. I was bound to the secret darkness by the chains of sin for forty-five years.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family with child abuse and child sexual abuse. I was a confused creature that had a dysfunctional mindset with evil imaginations.
The dysfunctional patterns of thinking and ways of being or acting in life did get handed down to me. I made unhealthy choices and bad decisions in life. I endured domestic violence and lost children.
God lit a candle and enlightened my darkness. God rescued me from this secret darkness and transformed me with his everlasting love.
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 18:28 KJV
He made known the sinful conditions that kept me immobilized in the darkness. He made known the continuous disobedience to himself that kept me bound by the chains of sin for years.
One day, the Lord called me to come out of the darkness with sinful conditions. He called me to walk in the full light of Christ. He called me to use the gifts given unto me; show them off for the world to see.
The Lord called me to share my story, a testimony of faith with you. To share, the lessons learned in life. To tell you about his saving grace and everlasting love.
Yet, God is the author of the story called life. He is the creator of mankind. His word is the truth. His word is the final judgment. His way is the only way to experience healing.
The journey to healing begins when we understand how we fit into God’s story called life. Only then will we find the “true reason” for the existence of abuse and violence. And the “justified answers” that will explain “why” people are violent.
The “solution” for healing will come to those who chose to walk out of the darkness into the light of Christ by faith.
The Lord is calling.
The Lord is calling us to come out of the darkness with sinful conditions. The Lord is inviting us to walk in the full light of Christ.
The question is will you answer?
If you answer the call, the Lord will give you an abundance of life.