Norm* seemed like such a nice guy when Kay dated him. He had a great sense of humor and they laughed a lot. They went to church together, and he professed to be a Christian. Little did Kay know how alcohol would plunge both of them into an indescribable Hades!
They married when Kay was eighteen. Norm was affectionate and attentive. He even taught a Sunday School class. But he was very possessive and had a tendency to put her down at times.
Then Norm started drinking. As his intake increased, what happiness they had shared was shattered by violence. Kay began wearing long-sleeved dresses to cover the bruises on her arms. Her husband killed three unborn babies by causing her to have miscarriages.
One night Kay picked up Norm from a tavern because he was drunk. Pregnant again, Kay was terrified of what might happen again. Their son Danny had fallen asleep on the couch. Awakened by his father's shouting when they came in, he saw his father smash his fist into Kay’s mouth. Danny shook with fear as his father picked him up to take him to his room.
When Norm laid Danny in his bed, the little boy began saying his prayers. Norm laughed at him. "There is no God," he declared contemptuously, "and I don't want you to pray any more!"
Then he turned on Kay. "Don't you ever teach our kid to pray!" he ordered. That hurt her more than her bleeding mouth. When Danny prayed, "Please God, take care of Mommy," Norm returned to beating her.
On another night Norm staggered into their bedroom and jerked the full-sized mattress right out from under her and threw it across the room! There Kay sat on the box springs with her book still in hand. As Norm came roaring at her, Kay instinctively jumped up, grabbed the lamp, and crashed it over his head. That knocked him out and ended the violence for the night.
That does it, Kay thought, as she looked at his prone body. I'm tired of being battered physically and psychologically, of having him kill my babies. And I'm sick of his infidelities with other women. I'm leaving!
Taking her little boy, Kay left and moved in with her parents.
One night Norm came to try to talk her into coming back, and he was drunk. When Kay refused, he got violent, and her father called the police. When Norm began threatening to kill her father, Kay had him committed to a mental institution. Kay realized he had mental problems and was dangerous to her family.
Kay felt depressed and hopeless about her situation. One night when her parents went to church, anger and self-pity overwhelmed her. She filled the bathtub with steaming hot water, climbed in, then screamed from the pain. Hyperventilating, she slid under the water. She wanted to drown. Her unborn baby, now eight months along, began moving frantically. Pulling herself out of the tub, Kay angrily declared, "No devil is going to take my life or hurt my baby!" And that was her turning point.
Up until then, Kay had forgotten how to smile and hadn't even been able to pray. Now she suddenly found that she could pray again for her Lord's help. For she knew He had saved her life and He cared for her.
Then Norm was discharged from the mental hospital One Sunday morning he broke into her parents' home, his eyes glaring demonically. With her soft, kind talk, Mother kept him from violence until the police came.
After several more violent episodes, Kay finally sued for divorce. Norm had a heart attack when he got the papers--and later died of another attack.
Kay is now happily married to a good Christian man. She took no chances on this one. After working through her own issues, she prayed to the Lord for wisdom and guidance and asked Him for a good husband. And that's exactly what God gave her!
Advice for Abused Women
Kay now works as a nurse in psychiatric hospital, counseling other women who have been abused by their husbands. She believes the Lord put her here so she can share the great truths she learned through her own bitter experiences. And she prays that He will use the healing biblical truths that released her from the pain and resentful feelings that kept her from being a whole woman.
*If a woman's situation is in the past, Kay urges her to forgive her former husband for everything. It is not without good reason that Jesus taught, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37, NIV).
"As long as you harbor anger, bitterness, and resentment toward your husband," Kay tells the women, "you will be hurting yourself and your children, and be unable to get on in a wholesome way with your new life. In your mind you will stay an abused, defensive, and inferior-feeling person. If possible, find a qualified counselor to help you work through and release those harmful thoughts and feelings. This will free you to forgive your husband, and allow God to heal you completely."
*If another woman has been involved, Kay advises the abused wife to do as she did: forgive the other woman also. Forgiving others clears the air between us and God and makes it possible for Him to help and guide us.
*If a woman is still in her abusive situation, Kay counsels her to get herself and her children out of it. Immediately! They are both in too much danger, and Kay doesn't believe God wants a woman to stay in a violent environment. Furthermore, the children are in great danger of becoming abusers themselves. After one occasion on which Kay’s husband abused her, her little boy came over and twisted her arm. When Kay asked him why he was doing that, he answered, "Daddy does it." Abused women need to learn to say no, set boundaries, and protect themselves. They also need to learn that they deserve to be treated with respect. They do not need to tolerate abuse.
*Kay also advises women not to be too hasty in filing for divorce because crises and major decisions do not blend well. Divorce should only be a last resort after all else fails.
*After leaving an abusive mate, many women are anxious to get out and start dating someone else, but they're not ready for that. They first need to find their own identities, learn to smile again, feel human again, and not think of themselves as someone who deserved to be battered. They also need to restore relationships with their families. More importantly, they need to seek God's guidance, not only regarding their future, but to see if there was a deep-seated reason why they were attracted to an abusive partner in the first place. If there was such a reason, and they don't face and resolve it, they are just as likely to be attracted to another abusive person. (He, too, may be very charming at first.)
*Children of abused women may have endured much horror in their home, but they need to know there was love in the marriage at one time--if there was. Kay finally realized that she had robbed her children by not telling them of the love that she and their father had once had for one another. This is something Kay now pass on to other women.
Thus God is now using this life she almost threw away in order to help many other suffering women.
*Fictitious name used for Kay’s husband.