I happened to fall upon an interview with Jennie Willoughby, the ex-wife of Rob Porter, who left the White House because of information regarding his spousal abuse of two wives. This is not a political eblast. It is about something that moved and touched me greatly.
The commentator was focusing on why many never listened to her until the photo of actual PHYSICAL abuse from another ex-wife surfaced. But Jennie was there for a purpose: to bring people’s attention to the severity of emotional abuse that took a toll in her life. And it catapulted me right back to my childhood.
Almost as far back as I remember, every night of my life, my dad would get drunk and begin emotionally berating my mother. He would start some kind of argument that would end in screaming, gross ways of pushing her around, but never physically hitting or abusing her.
She endured this for over twenty years of my life. She finally left. Thank God. A year later he shot himself. And who felt guilty? SHE DID. We all did. And that is the core of emotional abuse:
I should stay.
I made a commitment.
I should stay for the kids.
My church and society says I should “try and work it out.”
How will I support myself?
And then Jennie made an incredible point: the first thing an abuser takes from you is your power. They take your choice. They take your will. My mother was one of the strongest people I have, or will, ever know. She helped thousands of people in her lifetime, raised three magnificent kids, in the face of great tribulation. BUT SHE STAYED. She stayed because she was taught to stay and take abuse to be a good person. And she stayed because, aside from all his faults, she deeply loved my father.
I salute her for finally leaving, and I am standing in the channel’s truth when I declare that to stay in any abuse from another person is SELF ABUSE. Love yourselves enough to honor yourselves, and therefore honor your choice to be free and happy….without paying the price of guilt for claiming that right.
You are The God of You. Be the God of your own Freedom.
“When a person only knows abuse, they shift their whole emotional and spiritual life into the context of that abuse. If all you’ve ever known is to be hurt by the one who pretends to love YOU, then many times you go to the person who hurts you for LOVE.”