Child abuse it is often a well kept family secret. But as children grow into adulthood, many times bitterness lingers. Towards parents, siblings, extended family and any others who may have known or should have known about the abuse.
Bitterness tends to create deep emotional scars that may be very difficult to overcome. For some it is impossible, creating mental health problems.
Left untreated or unresolved, this may be the primary reason in my personal opinion that someone will go on to continue abusing their own children in some way.
There are many different ways that someone may abuse a child or family. There is the obvious physical or sexual, but there is also emotional, and various forms of intimidation.
Abuse affects different people differently, for some it causes them to go into a shell, or a world of their own. Other’s become aggressive and mean towards others, and are more likely to be the ones that you hear about who have gone on to escalate the cycle of abuse that often runs in families or communities.
While many people do in time overcome abuse as they move into adulthood, it is something that changes a person inwardly; it makes it very difficult if not impossible to ever fully trust another human being.
It can also make it very difficult for someone who has been abused to comprehend the difference between religion and a relationship with God. Yes, it is possible for someone who was abused to recover from that abuse, but it is not easy.
It is very easy for victims of abuse to lash out at siblings who also were abused, especially if it is perceived in any way that other siblings were favored over another. What I mean by that is one or more siblings made to believe they are or were better than one or more of the other siblings.
Sibling rivalry is common, and very real. However when those who abuse or allow abuse for whatever reason, instill hate by telling one child they are more loved or better than another it causes grief that will linger for many years.
Sometimes it causes grief that result in complete and total separation of any contact between family members. In extreme cases of abuse, this is most likely a very good and healthy thing. Because why the past can never be changed sometimes in order to forget the past we must refrain from any contact with other siblings.
Not because we do not care or love them, if we have truly came to terms with childhood abuse we can really care and love our siblings. Because if we have came to terms with what was wrong we know they were also victims too. We have to remember that while we may have come to terms with the former abuse, our siblings may not have.
Abuse in any form is wrong, and it does many times create a ripple effect that affects many all around those who were abused, but something to remember is all rivers, streams, etc have banks.
As a former victim of abuse I know that cutting ties to extended family and siblings can be difficult, because of the fact being in your heart you always want to believe you can be a happy family.
But the reality of the matter is sometimes you cannot have a healthy relationship with extended family. This is especially true if you have left the cycle of abuse, and have stepped out of the water on to dry land. (Figuratively speaking of course)
Some will say, well if you don’t go around your family how can you ever win them for Christ. Well the fact of the matter is sometimes you really cannot. All you can effectively do is pray for them and ask God to be merciful to them.
It is never abuse to keep your children away from family members who have a tendency towards abuse, either verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually. It is also never abuse to remind your children that those who have never been saved will always act as an unsaved person. Not to mention those who are as Lot, saved but live a life that causes many others to stumble, or to laugh and not believe.
Remember Lot lived in such a way that when it really mattered he could not even convince those closest to him that God was about to destroy the cities. Many people died because of the fact being Lot lived a life that caused others to not see that he believed God.
The only reason we even know that he did is because in the New Testament God tells us he was righteous but vexed his soul daily.
(Reference 2 Peter 7:7-9) This is a very sad testimony.
It would have been better for Lot if he had been as Abraham, and lived apart from the cities. Lot chose to live in what would have at that time been considered luxuries, but Abraham lived in tents, and moved around a lot. It is not easy to move from place to place setting up camp over and over again, it is much easier to find a house and live in one place. But it is not always best.
Abraham lived separate from Lot, not because of abuse, but sometimes when we cannot get along with family it is best to live our lives separate.
Especially if we find the abuse that we suffered as a child continues on into adulthood, in other forms.
And yes, abuse often does continue on into adulthood, usually not in the same way, but in other ways. One way is when one sibling determines to make another sibling feel inferior in some way. Whether justified or not.
Sometimes it is not a sibling but a parent or other relative or acquaintance that works toward continuing the cycle of abuse.
Abusive cycle’s can end but sometimes it means we just have to separate ourselves from many relatives, and acquaintances.
Separation sometimes can do what our words can never do. Especially when others would chose to try to provoke us by reminding us repeatedly of the past that can never be changed.
Wanting our families and old acquaintances to be there for us when we are hurt or discouraged is normal. However it is lethal when the relationships were never healthy to begin with.
Setting boundaries may work for some but for others who may not be as outspoken, separation and distance is much more efficient and needful.
Last when we remove ourselves physically and emotionally from the cycle of abuse we are better able to see the abuse for what it is. And less likely to continue on in behavior that not only hurts others but will in time also come back to hurt us, as we clearly see the results of abuse.
Abuse does run in many families to varying degrees and also in communities, it is often accepted because of the fact being it is often very hard to admit, that separation is needed.
However we should never forget that we are required by God to forgive others, even those who have caused us the greatest pain, and displeasure. As God has forgiven us, we are to forgive others.
When we do this we show to the lost world the love of God. Also as much as God loves us, we have to accept the free gift he has given to us, that being the full forgiveness of all of our sins, past, present and future. If we reject his forgiveness then ultimately God will separate himself from us forever.
Hell is where all of those who are separated from God will eventually go. There is only one sin that will separate us from the love of God, and that is the rejection of his son.
Separation is painful it is true, but my friend separation from loved ones here on earth is nothing compared to the pain of separation that is experienced by everyone who rejects God.
This article started out about in the home and community, and now ends with the subject of separation from God. The reason it ends this way is because God created all of us to be a part of his family, but some of us reject God and go our own way.
When we reject God, going our own way, we are in effect abusing God. As God gave to us his very best, he made a way to pull us out of the fires of hell. But when we reject God we tell God that we would rather be in burn in the depths of hell than to accept the only provision he has made for us to be secure, safe and happy.
God does not wish any of us to perish but many of us will, not because God does not love us, but because we have walked in pride, believing there is some other provision, or perhaps believing that we are not as bad as the one who abuses the child, or the family.
But really even the most vile sinner or abuser who has ever lived, if they will repent and turn to God they can be saved. And one day live forever in Heaven. Because every single sin that was ever committed or thought of, has been paid for in full.
It is up to the individual to accept or reject. Willful rejection and pride is what will lead to an eternity of separation, much worse than any type of discomfort any may face from the separation of family for any reason. It is also the ultimate payment for all abuse.