25 Nov. 2010

Its ok to say No...

Today, I realised its ok to say No.
Not just any old no, but No to someone who consistently throughout my lifetime, been an abuser.  A verbal, emotional, physical abuser and manipulator.
Even if that person is a close relative, and someone who has been a significant part of your life and your children's lives.
I have been estranged from this person for a few months now, by my choice.
An incident happened which broke my heart, shattered me, I cried out.
I cried, and sought help.  The advice I was given was clear, from a couple of God-fearing people, and I know it was godly advice.
I was told it was time to stand up, speak up and proclaim NO MORE!
You would think that at the age of 37, that I would have worked this out myself years ago, but I was too scared to.
I have forgiven that person.
But I have not known what to do.
One part of me thought I had to reach out again to that person, the other part of me was afraid because, as this person admits no wrong, and refuses to apologise, I feared that nothing would be changed and the ill treatment would continue.
In addition to my personal experiences with this person, I have discovered through my conversations with my children, that my sons have also suffered abuse from this person!
So I know now for sure, without a doubt, that this person has not changed at all, that he has been treating my children just as he treated myself and my siblings in our childhood.
So I have been torn between doing the 'right thing' and keeping the family together, and wanting to protect myself and my children from further hurt and harm.
I talked to a wise Christian lady today, and asked her if she thought I was doing the wrong thing by staying away from this person.  Was I being un-christian-like?  Am I supposed to turn the other cheek?
Forgiving is one thing, which I have done, but must I put myself and my children back in the firing line?
Oh dont get me wrong, this person is not a monster, he can be nice, and loving almost, but its the incidences of abuse (and manipulation) that stick, and do harm.
My friend said, that it was ultimately my choice, but she said it was doubtful that this person would admit wrong, or even see what they are doing as wrong, even when told straight out.  She said that I needed to consider the fact that my children may see and experience what is being done by this person, and may end up continuing the cycle in their own adult lives.
I hadnt considered that specific point, I had thought very strongly that I didnt want my children to be a part of repeating history by being victims of the person as I was, but I hadnt considered that they may then become abusers.
So today I say NO
I say no more will this person have a significant part of my life or my children's life.
I will not give him opportunity to inflict my children (or myself) with his abuse.
I have a heavy heart, still, but I know that for now, I have made the right decision.

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