What Every Abuse Survivor Wishes Could Have Happened

Everybody in the grasp of the silent abuse that renders their hope to despair would do anything to change their situation and experience.

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Themes surrounding abuse can be truly upsetting.

Everybody who encounters abuse wishes their story could have been different. They wish their partner or abusive other didn’t do what they had done. They wished their abusive partner or abusive other could have and would have changed their ways. They wished these things for an extended period, very often in the order of years and decades.

Simply bearing these realities is sheer courage because there’s no option when there’s no escape.

Nobody who eventually elects to leave their partner or abusive other didn’t pray for them to repent and transform and change. Everybody in the grasp of the silent abuse that renders their hope to despair would do anything to change their situation and experience.

It’s sheer courage to come to the valley of decision and decide to do something you cannot not do.

Everyone who has endured such suffering as to watch their partner or abusive other lose control time and again has prayed incessant prayers of rescue for the vulnerable (themselves and loved ones affected, included) and recovery of the perpetrator.

Such prayers are a real faith of imploring God simply to survive and to forge a path of escape immediately it’s required.

Nobody who has been subject to calculated callousness hasn’t prayed for safe and effective escape, for understanding of bystanders, for truth to be seen and known. It’s courageousness simply to find yourself in relationship with a dangerous person.

At times, perpetrators can see their need to change, but they may not commit. A lot of the time, however, perpetrators feel justified in their abusive behaviors, or cannot and will not see their own culpability, and this granted, won’t take their responsibility.

Every survivor of abuse wishes it could have been radically different. They’re the last ones who wish to bear guilt and shame and the triggering scars of fear and trauma for what they witnessed, experienced, suffered, and sat through.

This is demonstrated by the level and intensity of a survivor’s grievous and pulsating regret. Just bearing this level of inherent sorrow is sheer courage because there is no option when there was no escape.

Every mother or father or sister or brother or son or daughter who has seen a precious family member suffer under the tyranny of abuse feels sick to the stomach and disgusted for what they cannot unsee, unhear, and unknow. Those who have experienced such vicarious trauma have the momentous challenge to heal wounds none of them would’ve chosen to have. Not one of these is thankful for what happened. And it takes a great deal of time and so much pain to reconcile matters. This too is sheer courage.

No survivor of abuse ever asked for what they received.

Every survivor wanted their situation to be different.



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Tribework

Featured Image by Philipp Wüthrich on Unsplash


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About the Author

Steve Wickham is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He holds several roles, including husband, father, peacemaker championing peacemaking for children and adults, conflict coach and mediator, church pastor, counselor, funeral celebrant, chaplain, mentor, and Board Secretary. He holds degrees in Science, Divinity (2), and Counselling. Steve is also a Christian minister serving CyberSpace i.e. here.