|Remembering Danni Moss|
Today I wanted to remember my friend Danni Moss. Some may have read a number of her wonderful, and very moving articles on BECAUSE IT MATTERS.
I have to admit I was praying to be able to write that our friend had conquered her battle with cancer, but sadly that was not to be. She went to be with our Lord on June 13, 2010.
Today is my one year remembrance.
Here are some quote from her series, "Stick and Stones: Why Verbal Abuse Kills"
Because we identify people by their external appearance, we are confusing physical injuries with the substance of the abuse. OK, that sounded a little disconnected. Bear with me a minute here.
Remember, who you are is not your body. You are the person who is wearing that body suit during this earthly lifetime. Who you are is independent of your body, though the two are connected.
What makes physical abuse so horrific is the same thing that makes verbal abuse so horrific. What makes either one unbearably bad is the attack on the person — the real person, not the body being worn by the person. Physical abuse generally comes with verbal abuse. The physical abuse communicates assault, hatred, even murder, against the person within the body. The physical abuse is a vehicle for the heart of the abuse – the attack on the person inside the skin.
Abuse is an assault on the person. It can and will kill the person. Physical abuse is just one manifestation of abuse – it is not the worst; it is the most visible and it can certainly kill the fastest. All forms of abuse can and will kill because they are attacking who the victim really is. The heart of all types of abuse is the assault on the person — sometimes through the person’s emotions, sometimes through the person’s self worth, sometimes through the person’s body, sometimes through the person’s spirit — but always against the person.
and another quote:
Words can also “call names” through strong implication without saying the actual name. When an abuser has a pattern of the calm diatribes, carefully and constantly describing, in detail, why you are a failure, wrong, have poor judgment, etc. he is describing you – your worth, value, acceptability, etc.Danni was badly hurt by no true support or understanding of abuse like so many of us.
For instance, Gary frequently launched into long diatribes about all manner of things about me. One was about me liking white rice with butter/salt/pepper as a side dish with a meal. He wondered how I could possibly eat white rice and described in detail all the reasons why it is worthless, bad for you, tastes bad, etc., etc. He did this everytime rice came into his sphere of reference — could be in a restaurant, could be if I fixed rice, if he fixed rice, if someone else fixed rice, if the rice came up in a casual conversation with strangers — he launched into the “how can my wife/you like white rice because…” Yes, he did this — about me — to other people in casual conversation if rice was mentioned. What he was communicating was that I was so stupid I couldn’t make a rational decision about my taste for rice. I ended up being unable to eat rice for several years and I still struggle with it. The strong negative emotional connection to rice is very powerful. There were dozens of things like this that warranted long diatribes toward or about me. Water temperature in the shower, the direction of washing dishes (left to right sinks vs right to left), theological or political sub-points, favorite colors, styles of clothes, preferred recreation, types of books I liked to read, types of TV programs I enjoyed — the list is practically endless. There was always something to rant about – literally daily.
The reason these take a toll is because they “call names” even non-specifically. These rants quantified who I was as stupid, illogical, unreasonable, unsubmissive, rebellious, un-spiritual, non-Christian (literally), etc., etc. They communicated that I was not worth respect, and they communicated that he did not respect me because I was not worthy of respect. While he said he respected me if he was directly asked, his constant way of life said otherwise.
Name-calling, in any form that describes value, is powerful because it assaults who the person is at the most fundamental level. When the person calling names is in a position of authority or in the position of protector/provider his words hold that much more power.
The church didn't listen.
Her family had a hard time hearing as well.
Her youngest child didn't have to deal with living with it full-time as she did get divorced.
I know she had regrets about not doing it earlier, not only for herself but for her other children. Its hard when everyone is telling you its wrong, and you in a place that you can't communicate to them WHY they are not understanding. The pressure was overwhelming.
Her youngest had to go back and live with the man that abused them all after her death. I often pray for her, along with the rest of her children. Her family. Her friends.
The hole you left will never be made whole again here on this earth Danni. We miss you, but I'm thankful you are no longer in pain.
Thank you Lord for allowing Danni Moss to be a part of our lives - even for a short time.
She wrote about abuse....because it matters!
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