Monday, December 22, 2014

Abuse and Recovery (Elizabeth Smart and Rebecca Musser as my examples)

On my mind:

Two books - one by Elizabeth Smart.
The other by Rebecca Musser.

One was kidnapped and taken against her will.
The other was given by her father to marry a man sixty years her senior.

Both were treated horribly by a man claiming to be a prophet and a religious man.

Elizabeth, it seems from her book, never believed what her abuser told her. She never bought into the idea that this is what God wanted for her, or what she deserved, or was her place in life.

Rebecca, at least for a while, totally believed that this was what God wanted for her, she totally believed Rulon Jeffs was a prophet, and that to be his wife was her place in life.

Both detested the men that raped and abused them, but only one believed that she was supposed to love and revere the man that hurt her.

In my mind, it is that belief that makes a huge difference in recovering.

If you believe it is your place in life to be used and abused; if you believe it is what God wants for you; if you believe you are supposed to take it, it is so much more difficult to recover.

If you believe you will be loved if you stay and take it, or you escape, or no matter what happens, the abuse is still just as awful, but it won't affect you for as long.

I have no idea if either of the women who wrote these books telling their stories would agree with me, but I do think that believing I deserved to be in the marriage I was in, and to be used and abused has made it harder to move past.