Sunday, July 27, 2008

Open wounds that never heal

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:20 PM

I found a cartoon a while back, and I had been holding on to it waiting for a time to show it to others. I found an article today on Jeremy E. Saber called, Open Wounds Never Heal. I loved the way the author described it, and how validation can help heal the wounds of domestic abuse, verbal abuse and emotional abuse...of course forms as well!

In my years of experience with dealing with these hurts, I’ve learned one true thing. Open wounds never heal. They need to be treated. They need to be cleaned, balm applied, dressings applied and handled carefully until they heal. If these things aren’t done, the wound will only worsen. It will become inflamed, infected, worsen in it’s severity.

This makes alot of sense to me! The author speaks about the abuse she endured during her marriage, and how others reacted to it. How it was to uncomfortable for people to truly deal with! I think alot of us have felt that way. She spoke of how she wanted him to take some of the responsibility of the downfall of the marriage, and how even his family couldn't accept his brokeness. I see alot of how the church alienates people away from the fold, because you just don't fit into that perfect mold of how they feel life should be lived!

On that same bent: I suffered a severe laceration that caused me and my husband to leave our home church due to misunderstandings causing a breach in our relationship with members there. I can take a lot of “stuff” without buckling. But, in this case, as in my marriage to the childrens’ father, I HAD perceived, rightfully, a wrong and, biblically guided, pointed it out to the person and the kettle boiled over. Hurt feelings. Authority questioned. I couldn’t stay. Over what should have been an insignificant act. I read once that in modern “institutions” of religion, being a good Christian means not making waves nor asking questions that cause folks discomfort. I had an up close and personal experience with that theory.

I believe that discomfort is more fear based than faith based myself.

She spoke about how her former spouse had a near death experience, and how he finally came clean! He apologized for his awful treatment of her, and how those words started to heal some wounds within her. I think that is awesome, but not all of us will have that experience. It will never handed to us, but other people can hand to us things that will help heal us as well. They can give validation of the wounds, and acknowledge the ignorance within the body. They can speak out and tell people we MUST speak about what makes us uncomfortable! Its okay to say domestic violence is uncomfortable! It IS uncomfortable!

She wrote about how when you speak your mind about your feelings and experiences that made you feel uncomfortable how you were treated afterwards. They do set up an environment of:

Well, my husband and I had decided we were through trying to talk about our feelings at the church. It got us into hot water before. We would go to church. We would worship as we desire to do. But, as far as trying to “win friends and influence people”, we wouldn’t get on that bus.

How often do pastors admit:

I did confess that decision to the pastor and he said the most wonderful things to me. He “V.A.L.I.D.A.T.E.D.” our feelings. And, even explained that maybe what we were feeling in the atmosphere was his fault and he elaborated. He had noted some behaviors, also, and had “managed” the situation as best he could, biblically. I could’ve jumped up and shouted. I was that excited that it WASN’T my imagination. There was basis for what we were perceiving. Another wound had balm applied, a fresh, sterile dressing placed over the hurt and, I am confident, will heal without complication.

With acknowledgement and helping of the carrying the burdens of others see will see:

People are resilient. People can forgive the ugliest “hurts” as long as the wound is managed properly. My wounds have, at long last, been properly cared for. Those wounds, the DEEPEST ones, will heal. I’ll be a better person because of this. I already am.

I have witnessed, on many occasions, what God can do in transforming bitterness into “better-ness”. Don’t give up when something has buried you, seemingly, and appears hopeless. God changes things. In strange and mysterious ways.

I Thessalonians 5:11: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together and EDIFY one another, even as also ye do.”

We as the church need to help balm the wounds of those hurting, and live outside of the bubble they feel safe in. Its uncomfortable at times, but can be so rewarding as well.

The church can help victims of all types of wrongs in the world if they would STOP this message of NOT wishing to see the ugly! We don't talk about that! If they would stop the simplistic advice they give out, and really get into the meat and potatoes of the issues! The church can be a great source of healing for those that experience domestic violence, emotional abuse and verbal abuse within the church.

Friday, July 18, 2008

God Verus Science

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:15 AM

I wanted to share something to lighten the mood today!

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't

Need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life

Out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the

"Oh, is that so? Tell me..." replies God.

"Well, " says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the

Likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man."

"Well, that's interesting. Show Me."

So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh....... no, no, no..." interrupts God,

( I love this )

"Get your own dirt."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abuse, Forgiveness and the Pastor's Wife

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:07 AM

Standing in the Shadows is a very touching story of a minister's wife that was treated sinfully, and her husband left the family to start another one! Yet is a story of hope, new beginnings, forgiveness and it also sounds like a ministry she can call her own!

I knew that my healing and the healing of my children could only come with forgiveness. As long as I had unforgiveness in my heart, I was still in bondage - he still controlled me. Forgiveness is never easy but necessary. Too often, we don't allow the wounds and the scars to heal and we never let go of our hurt. But I knew that unforgiveness turns to bitterness and bitterness destroys the mind, the soul, and ultimately the body. I needed to forgive him but I also needed to forgive the members of my church.

I think anyone of faith that has been dealing with any form of domestic violence can relate to this. Forgiveness isn't easy at times, and bitter pill we can't do away with will destroy us in the end if we can't let of it. Forgiveness as you can clearly see isn't for them - its for US! COULD be way the bible asks us to forgive in the first place huh? Abuse isn't always easy to forgive, but I believe you can let go of it little by little!

I realize that some of you reading this "lengthy" blog have gone through painful ministry relationship breakups. Yet, I know that some are still in those painful relationships such as the minister's wife of 50 years. Please let me hear from you - talk to me. I want to pray for you. I want my children to pray for your children. Sometimes, it is not always advice that you seek but a listening ear. Often, the focus is on the minister/pastor with very little emphasis on the wife. When there is a divorce, that wife and those children become invisible. It happens - please talk to me.

The pastor's wife has a very difficult position at times. WHen you are dealing with abuse, forgiveness, and just life that goes also with that please reach out! Reach out until someone listens!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Perfect Example of Narcissism

6 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:56 AM

This man makes me sick to listen to his ME ME ME attitude of pure Narcissism! Gale Warnings posted this audio, and has more information about these messages on the blog.

You change the situation around a bit, and it sounds like some preachers I have heard about! I found a list called the Narcissiam checklist for pastors, but I think it applies in other areas of our lifes as well!

I thought it was a perfect example of Narcissism! What do you think?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boise Officer Tries to make a Difference! Another blogger calling officer's out!

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:39 AM

domestic violence police
The Olympian had a story about: A Boise police detective, in an effort to prevent domestic violence, has organized patrol teams of uniformed officers to stop by the homes of victims to see if everything is OK.

"We want to keep it fresh in their minds we are here to help," Matt Brechwald told the Idaho Statesman. "Domestic violence is unique in that the offender typically doesn't leave the victim's life. As long as the offender is around, law enforcement needs to be around."

On Sunday, eight teams of two officers each visited the homes of 11 victims. Earlier this year, Brechwald and a uniformed officer checked on eight victims, arresting one man who was violating a no-contact order.

Brechwald said he plans to continue the visits.

For the past 18 months, Brechwald's job has been to investigate domestic violence cases for the police department's Special Victims Unit.

He works out of the Family Advocacy Center and Education Services. There, victims of child abuse, sexual abuse and domestic violence can talk to a detective, get medical assistance if needed, find out about local shelters and other services, and get information about legal aid.

Brechwald trains patrol officers on domestic violence trends, and speaks to various groups about domestic violence.

He also pushes for local changes when he sees good ideas working elsewhere. One he likes is the Oklahoma City Police Department's ability to issue an emergency protection order at any time of night instead of having to wait for a judge the next morning.

"(Police in) about 11 different states can do that," he said. "This is something I am a big proponent of. It would take a legislative change."

Jan Bennetts, an Ada County deputy prosecutor in charge of the domestic violence unit, said the prosecutor's office has opened between 170 and 180 felony domestic violence cases a year during the past four years.

She said that's a jump of about 50 cases from 2003, when the Legislature made attempted strangulation a felony.

Steve Rutherford, chief deputy in the Boise city attorney's office, said the number of misdemeanor domestic violence-related cases - anything from battery to stalking to violation of a protection order - fluctuates between 500 and 600 a year.

Giving By Design had an post where he spoke about a police officer's take on 'domestic violence calls'! The blogger showed how the officer that wrote the article clearly has no idea what they are truly dealing with. Its quite the opposite of what the above officer is trying to accomplish.

The blogger ended with this paragraph:

Perhaps if the author really doesn't want to continue to be called out to the same locations time and time again, he/she ought to lobby for better victim's resources, more law enforcement training, or more effective domestic violence legislation rather than jumping on the victim-blaming apologist's bandwagon.

GOOD For HIM! It shows the ignorance of domestic violence that we often find whether within the church, or outside the walls of the church. I found the article he was speaking about very insulting to say the least. Bless both of these parties of opening their eyes, and seeing the truth that was placed before them about domestic abuse.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Untouchables - Sermon on Domestic Violence or Domestic Abuse

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:16 AM

Pastor does a sermon on domestic abuse.

Kirk Peters of Will Street Church in Maroubra Australia did a sermon on domestic violence or domestic abuse.

He speaks of scripture that is used as examples of victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence, and how they are misapplied. How the because of the true nature of domestic abuse or domestic violence they victims rarely speak up, but within the last 30 years people are starting to speak for them.

How he feels that the stats are just the tip of iceberg due to the silence. How hitting is just a small portion, and how its much bigger than that.

He starts in Genesis and continues to the worse case of domestic violence in the bible, and that would be killing of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Saudi woman attacked by her husband - Saudi governement sends him home, and tell her YOU TO!!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:13 AM

I found this story on the Daily Barometer about a women and her family that were here in the US it seems to finish her education. I'm sure her husband was here for either that reason, work, or just to be here with his wife! The story really doesn't get into all that.

According to the story she had a fight with her husband about how he wanted to go home to Saudi Arabia, and I guess according to her and her health issues as she was with child she wanted to wait until after the birth. It sounds like her husband had already called to cancel her scholarship here, because he wanted to go home. The fight was about the birth, and the fact she wanted to finish her education. They were staying at a Motel, and he ended up assaulting her. She left the room, but I guess her appearance as she was bloody alarmed others that called for help.

I guess because she is here on a paid scholarship she is to contact the the Saudi Arabian embassy when trouble brews, and because of her appearance other called for help instead.

The police arrived at the scene and questioned Albarjas about the scratches on her face and the visible bleeding.

"[Alsharif] was telling [the police and the embassy] that 'I did not hit her,' that 'She wanted to go out,' that 'She was acting crazy and I wanted to keep her in the room,'" Albarjas said. "This is not true."

Albarjas and her son now have a permanent home in Corvallis.

"[Alsharif] went back home now," Albarjas said.

"The problem is that my embassy does not like if you are a woman and you call the police, so [the embassy] was really mad at me, and they told me that they are going to cut the scholarship off."

The scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia was paying for Albarjas' tuition and also gave her a monthly stipend.

"The only thing I really want is to have my scholarship back because I have a really high GPA and I'm supposed to have a scholarship just like everyone else," Albarjas said.

According to Albarjas, the embassy is attempting to motivate her to move back to Saudi Arabia.

I have to wonder how well they will 'take care' of this back in Saudi Arabia, and I realize there are cultural differences and all. The man clearly assaulted her, and when he was charged he ran back home instead of facing the charges. I don't care WHAT was said or what wasn't. You don't punch your pregnant wife! The assault happened in front of their young son as well. It sounds to me like they want to rush her back home, so they don't have to deal with the consequences of breaking the law here.

"What we have is from [Albarjas]. What she has she can tell you," said Sami Alibrahim of the Saudi Arabian Council in Los Angeles.

Photos of Albarjas' injuries were taken at the hospital. Albarjas pressed charges that resulted in a restraining order against Alsharif.

"Everything happened in front of my son, so we had to go to court and he had to prove that this happened," Albarjas said. "And at that time he did not speak that much English, so they had a translator for him."

The incident has caused Albarjas to be concerned for her family's safety.

"My husband's family talked to my family and they said that they are going to kidnap my son," Albarjas said

The women in question it sounds like is also considering a divorce.

I found an interesting take on this story on another blog. I was tempted to get into the discussion, but decided against it.

Two days ago, the same story was forward to me by an American friend. She asked hubby and me if we and other Saudi students can support this family in a time of hardship. I read, and reread the story, without being able to make up my mind about it. It is clearly biased, and takes the stand point of the wife alone. We do not get to hear much about the husband who already left to Saudi Arabia, nor is the Embassy giving out any statements because the information they have, as they were quoted, is what the wife had told them.

I could not help but wonder, is the wife truly a victim here? Is she asking for her rights, or is she a pragmatist trying to get the benefit out of Saudi and American system both at the same time?

I have to wonder WHY someone would justify domestic violence? What does she mean is she a real victim? I would assume because she is a citizen of her country she is entitled to this scholarship money, and because her husband decided to beat the daylights out of his wife things change? Her country, her family, and her husband are all against her because as fate would have it.......someone called the authorities on him. When you live in this country you have to remember that is what happens. If this women didn't press charges chances are the state would have anyway! It was going to happen WITH or WITHOUT her cooperation! Men don't just up and HIT you once! Men that hit have a character debit, and women that hit to me...the SAME!

The chances of this woman being able to stay in this country may not be very likely according to the some of the comments on this post. I don't know enough about it to tell you one way or the other. It does seem like this woman is in between a rock and hard place. She can struggle as a single mom, or she could possibly have her children taken away from her for the divorce according their Saudi law. She can go back home and endure the ridicule and additional beatings from her husband. It doesn't sound like any of them are good choices. Is she the real victim? To me that is a silly question, and one brought up from ignorance sadly.

A violent spouse will probably give out clear elevation in temper signs which after many years of marriage the other spouse will clearly detect. The wife has high blood pressure. Is that a new medical condition or did she have it through out her pregnancy? Could her high blood pressure have influenced her interaction with her husband and her judgement of the steps she had taken (eg, seeking asylum)? If her blood pressure truly does not allow her to travel, how could she have come to the US only weeks earlier?

Students as they newly arrive in the US often do not have realistic ideas about what they're getting into, the legal system, the consequences of small and large decisions, etc. That's why I find it even harder to analyze the story with logic...

What difference does it make? Does she have a better chance of raising her children HERE without violence being involved since he took the coward's way out and ran? Even if you can predict your husband's rages doesn't mean you don't get hurt. If he wants to hurt you - you don't have to do anything he will make sure he does! There is NO logic behind that comment the poster made. Its like she is saying domestic violence can be avoided if you try.....NONSENSE! SO many people don't understand the dynamics of domestic violence.

Could she have thought about that prior? I have no idea, but if she did I don't blame her! You divorce your husband in that country you pay him, and gets to take the children. He gets to continue the cycle of violence onto the next generation. There is something cocked eyed about that as well! No one holds men accountable for domestic violence I guess, and that's morally wrong as well!

I'm sure she has a point about the students NOT having a good grasp on the system here in the US, but isn't that the role of the embassy in some ways? I'm sure they encouraged this man to run, and not face the charges. If you look at the way they handle those charges here most of the time it certainly wasn't worth running away from! One poster did mention the bias against their country, and I'm sure they do have a point there. The truth being this man shouldn't have laid one finger on his wife to begin with. I mean where is this man's moral standards? He wouldn't have had to worry about it if he kept his hands to himself! THAT is the real point!

One wonders if the wife could have manipulated the situation to make sure she'd come to the USA and then ask for asylum?

Considering the relations between the USA and Saudi, such a request for asylum is almost certain to fail. If the USA allows asylum for domestic abuse, think of the flood gates that would open.

Besides, once the US system gives asylum to one Saudi female, how many more are going to follow? It would be a tacit indication that the society is so bad in Saudi that women MUST flee to remain safe.

I dont think it is going to happen.

So to the SACM and the girl's scholarship, in order to be on the scholarship a woman must have the permission of either her husband or male members of her family. Without this there is no scholarship. She knows this.

As to the man, I can tell you from first hand experience that many Saudis do not feel that they would ever get a fair shake in the US criminal justice system, especially in a situation where women's rights and violence is concerned.

99% of a possible jury pool would have him tried, convicted and imprisoned in their mind before opening statements were given in a US court.

I dont condone him leaving.........but I understand it.

I don't understand it. NOT at all! If they did convict him...isn't he guilty after all? Does he need to be found innocent because she MIGHT have manipulated things? People are NOT stopping to think here! Do we not all have self control? Do we NOT encourage that?

You having to have a man's permission to have the scholarship? They have to understand that this is quite telling right there. Where are the women's rights in this country? Don't tell me they would have DONE something to this man if he had done this back in Saudi!

I'm sure there are bunch of beautiful people back in that country, and we all know they have good moral ones as well. The problem is like everywhere else in this world people shouldn't condone behavior like this! Some countries are worse than others! You don't treat women like second class citizens that need MALES to make decisions for her! There are to many evil men in this world, and if the shoe was on the other foot....SAME THING! When you give ALL the power to one gender, and throw nibbles to the other you will always have problems.

Will she be safe if she is returned I would ask this poster! If he can't answer YES because people will protect her from her abuser then Saudi isn't a place that is safe. You will also have tons of other ladies trying to escape as well, and if you were in their shoes.....I bet you would also! Does that make the country and its people bad? No. It means you have a major bottleneck you need to deal with. If more than 1/2 your population KNOWS they aren't safe in your country...what else should that tell you? We need to use some logic in that area as well!

You make an excellent point. Like many sensitive issues in SA, tackling it would mean pulling a thread out of an intricate net of other issues. So, if we speak about being better equipped with handling domestic violence during scholarship programs, we need to go and work on the idea of domestic violence, free speach (eg, contacting media), male guardisnaship over women, etc. The scholarship is issued by Ministry of Higher Education which legally abides by Saudi Arabian law, so if there's an acception to be made to that law, there's no way around involving the whole Saudi collective mind in it, and treating it as an isolated subject.

While researching this story, I was told that a very similar one took place in Oregon and during the late 70's! The mother never could go back home after it, and she suffered quite a lot to support herself and family.

I have to wonder if you asked that women herself WHICH type of suffering she would wish to endure if she could do that again? Go home and be beaten and suffer....or be a single mom in the US and suffer?

YES there is a huge dynamic if one thing is changed, but to me it sounds like its time. Its a big undertaking, and YES it will be ugly. Its called showing the value of human worth. Neither male nor female would be on their earth if NOT for the other! We are equally valuable in that light.

Chances are this women will be sent back, and from the lack of value they must place on a women like her she may end up dead. You have to wonder about the rage of the children when that happens, and then you have to wonder when that cycle will stop.

Will it ever? I pray that is does. The whole conversation reminded me of how the church at times handles domestic violence as well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Changed html to NO follow - to FOLLOW!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:26 PM

I was reading about the 'nofollow' html that blogger uses, and I decided that it would be a good idea to remove it. I wanted to allow some link juice to go to others that have commented on this blog, and have a good voice and deserve it!

I read how to remove the nofollow code from the blog on blogger, and its very EASY to do!

Randa Clay Design has an article about it, and also has made some different color nofollow designs if you would like to announce it to the world!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

You can’t sue a church because you find things they do emotionally disturbing

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:44 PM

States David Pruessner attorney for the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God! I guess now we can't depend on a church to not cause children emotional distress at their location, because now we have the courts legalizing it!

According to Justice David Medina, writing for the majority, said that while Schubert’s argument regarding physical injuries might be tried without mentioning religion, her case was mostly about her emotional or psychological injuries from a religious activity that was sanctioned by the church.

I guess that is okay now! YIKES! Can we say enable abusers here?

The church decided to take a girl and conduct an exorcism by holding her down on the floor for over 3 hours - causing bruising, carpet burns, etc - and it was OKAY because she was more HURT 'emotionally'!

The ruling by the court is awful, but the fact the church can't take their lumps over being irresponsible is even worse! The fact the parents were not there, and they also decided she needed a second dose of this treatment makes you wonder if you can now trust churches with your child's emotional state at all!

Schubert’s account of what happened over several days at the Pleasant Glade church in June 1996 is harrowing.

Schubert and her brother were involved with church activities while their parents were out of town.

On Friday evening, during preparations for a youth group garage sale, the atmosphere became "spiritually charged" when another youth said he saw a demon.

Under direction of the youth minister, the youth frantically anointed everything in the church with holy oil until, at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the minister told the exhausted youth that they had finally been successful.

At the Sunday evening worship services, Schubert collapsed. Church members "laid hands" on her and forcibly held her arms crossed over her chest, despite her demands to be set free.

She reportedly cried, yelled, kicked, sweated and hallucinated while also making guttural noises.

She was released after she calmed down and replied with requests to say the name Jesus.

The following Wednesday, during a weekly youth service, Schubert reportedly began to act in the same manner. She curled into a fetal position and asked to be left alone. Church members thought she was in distress and held her down in a "spread eagle" position with youth members holding down her arms and legs.

During the incident, she suffered carpet burns, a scrape on her back and bruises on her wrists.

Her father, Tom Schubert, himself an Assembly of God pastor and missionary, questioned what happened at the church.

His daughter experienced angry outbursts, weight loss and self-mutilation and eventually dropped out of high school her senior year. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Pruessner said no one should think Friday’s ruling would give protection to a church leader accused of abusing a child.

I'm wondering what they are we suppose to think? Emotional torture is okay if we ALL we were doing is forcing your child to lay down as we wait til they break, and scream JESUS????

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Color Purple

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:32 PM

This story is of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and of course emotional and verbal abuse. I'm sure there are other threads within this story, and I know its a story of domestic violence that people would like to forget.

I watched this and you can see the generations of how domestic violence and emotional abuse just continued. I'm sure its to ugly to show in some churches, but it shows the reality of life that isn't so pretty to look at. The husband of the main character was victim himself, and it showed how his son tried to continue the cycle once again.

It is a story of faith as well. It may not be the modern day story, but its the reality of alot of people's lifes. THEN and now! To me it also shows the baby steps that everyone makes towards a difference.

The color purple is a story that has alot of forms of domestic violence. Every form including the theme here....emotional abuse.

This movie is off site and you will need DivX Web Player to watch it. They do make that program for Mac and PC computers. It gives the movie a neat effect. It darkens the whole screen, except for the movie itself. lol MOVIE theater effect I guess! If you don't feel safe doing so on the movie page? Here is DIVX site. You are looking for the video download.

Click Here for movie

At the end it sense of hope. God can change our lifes around, and God will hand us things in his time. The character's children grew up with no domestic violence within their family, and met their mother and history will change for all. Funny how God can do that at times Huh?

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