Category: Isolating

Sift the lies from the truth

Sift the lies from the truth

We have been looking at some of the ways we can sift the lies from the truth despite the mess created by abuse, and the story of Elijah gives us some clues. Much of what God did with Elijah was simply care for and affirm him. But God also helped Elijah refine his understanding of what was happening around him.

It’s possible Elijah was experiencing some degree of hypervigilance. There was certainly cause for that. Elijah was on the run for his life.

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly?

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly?

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly when there is so much noise? Even though Elijah was well-practised in listening to God, he had great difficulty hearing God clearly when he was in the midst of trauma.

If even Elijah struggled to hear clearly, we can take comfort when we struggle. Perhaps that’s one of the no doubt many reasons why we have been gifted with his story. I am confident at least that while it was happening God was already conscious of our current situations. Way back then, he knew.

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Jesus made it abundantly clear that good shepherds cherish their sheep, while wolves are intent on doing harm. And there is a sense in which we are all called to be shepherds.
We all have a responsibility to care for the humans around us, and those responsibilities are reflected in our daily communication and interactions as well as in larger ways. Even children can learn to be increasingly kind and respectful of others.

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

The value of true friends

The value of true friends

Dedicated abusers can be really good at turning up the heat. One part of the cycle of abuse, in fact, is to apply more and more pressure until their victim does something apparently worthy of complaint. For example, they might just “press your buttons”, again and...

The Paraclete

The Paraclete

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from?” Two of the most powerful tools of abusers are to isolate, and to confuse. Or, really, to disrupt our capacity to hear from others, from our innermost self, and from...

Where is God?

Where is God?

As we slow down and be present with Hannah in her trauma, it is difficult to avoid deep respect for her. It’s really fascinating to see Eli’s response to her. His brief encounter, based on what he observed, led him to think she was...

Are abusers aware of their behaviour?

Are abusers aware of their behaviour?

Are abusers aware of what they are doing? Overlapping with the question of whether abusers are deliberate is: are they aware? Aware of what they are doing? Aware of the harm it causes? Knowing the answer to those questions might make a profound difference in what a...

They have greatly oppressed me from my youth

They have greatly oppressed me from my youth

“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but have not gained the victory over me”

It is common for abuse victims to have to deal with the impact of abuse every day. Even when they have successfully escaped the direct relationship. There are still memories and triggers: mental and emotional injury. There is a need for ongoing vigilance and the complicated, exhausting world of hypervigilance.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us

We are looking at Psalm 123 as part of our series on the Songs of Ascents.

Abuse is torture. It’s difficult to go into that without raising triggers for people. But in the many different forms of abuse: all are dehumanising. Among the dozens of abusive behaviours a perpetrator is likely to be practised at are many that seek to disrupt a victim’s capacity to know and see clearly.

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