As we saw with Saul in our last article, abusers might employ a barrage of emotional abuse tactics that can make it very difficult to know how to spot a non-apology. Those tactics can make conversations about harm and responsibility very confusing. To cut through that...
Category: Victim blaming
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...
Is abuse deliberate? This is a very important question for both victims and their supporters in response to abusive behaviour. Drs John and Julie Gottman, founders of the Gottman Institute, distinguish between "situational" and "characterological" abuse. In...
Abuse is complicated in so many ways. It is completely unsurprising that people find it difficult to deal with. It’s not as “simple” as just dealing with one horrific type of behaviour. A typical abuser might have dozens of types of behaviour that stretch across multiple forms of abuse. Some of the most confusing and difficult to respond to are the apparent “positive” behaviours – behaviours that help the abuser hide and deny the abuse.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh.
It is so easy to rush through a psalm without imagining the tone of voice. Even the phrase, “tearful prayers”, might significantly miss the depth of this person’s distress.
Again, out of the many names for God, the writer of Psalm 130 has chosen the name God suggested to Moses – when Moses was struggling to accept the task of bringing hope to a group of people who had been trapped in slavery. Trapped, for generations. These were people who suffered ongoing systemic, physical, financial, reproductive, and emotional abuse. Probably more.
Special days of the year are complicated for many people, and Easter Sunday is no different. It might be worth noting that on the first Easter Sunday, God had always known how things would turn out, but Jesus’ friends and followers didn’t. Even that morning, once Jesus had risen, there was a delay between the fact of hope and his disciples’ experience of it.
It’s not that they weren’t interested in hope. Mary Magdalene went down to the tomb while it was still dark that morning, and even when Jesus stood right in front of her it took her time to recognise him. For poor Thomas, who, (we see in the Lazarus story), had been willing to die with him, it was a week before he shifted from despair to reality.
How was life supposed to be for us? Certainly not plagued by abuse. Much of the Old Testament describes what it means to love and respect each other. Not only as individuals: it teaches us how to avoid systemic abuse by making sure the vulnerable are cared for.
God’s clear intention is for us to thrive together in every way. Our physical and emotional wellbeing matter to him. So do our ethics.