I have read that this is how you induce psychosis in rats. You behave inconsistently with them; you keep changing the rules. One day when they press down the right lever, expecting a serving of grain like they’ve always gotten before, they instead get a shock. And eventually the switching back and forth drives them mad. Ann Lemont, Traveling Mercies.
Abuse can include, but not confined to, actual or threats of physical violence, actual or threats of sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse to oneself or others in the home (e.g., name calling or putdowns, mind games, swearing or screaming, sarcasm or ridiculing, emotional or physical withholding), stalking (e.g., excessive calls/texts/emails, monitoring daily activities, using technology to track a person’s location), financial abuse (e.g., withholding money, ruining credit, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job), and spiritual abuse (e.g., not allowing the partner to practice his or hers morals/religious beliefs or culture/values, using religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate the partner).
The type of emotional abuse I received was "crazymaking," and is the most difficult type to identify. It cannot be seen or touched the way physical abuse can. Crazymaking seems inconsistent and often makes the abused person think what's happening is her fault.
In giving writing promps to guest bloggers who are interested in telling their Christian divorce stories, I've developed a broad definition of abuse.
What do I mean by "Christian divorce stories"? If you are a Christian and have divorced due to your spouse's abuse, I invite you to consider sharing your story with my readers as a guest blogger. I believe we can have a positive impact on the Church in regards to its response toward Christians who have had to choose divorce. I call it "Healing divorced people within the Church." Here's more information:
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Blessings to you,
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
Free Resource Downloads
12 Steps to a More Joyful Life after Divorce
30 Things to Do When You're Single
Resources for Healing from Spiritual Abuse
50 Divorce Recovery Books and Blogs