Updated: May 1
Trying to explain abuse / victim dynamic …..
It’s hard to ‘escape’ when a victim of emotional abuse is trapped by their own thoughts, they’ve been caged by their abuser.
It’s the most colorful, vibrant, and beautiful birds that an abuser seeks to capture. An abuser doesn’t choose the worst of the flock. He seeks the best, then ‘tames’ it to be submissive to his will. He clips her wings, so even when the cage door opens she will believe she can’t fly away.
When he tires of her, when she is no longer a challenge, or when she begins to see who he is, he abandons her for a new prize possession to tame.
Her mind becomes the cage he kept her in even when he is no longer grooming and taming her. That cage is everything he tricked her into believing about herself; she isn’t strong enough to survive without him, she needs him because only he loves her enough to put up with her, she will never be good enough, she can’t make it on her own.
So even though he’s gone, she is still trapped. She is trapped in that cage that surrounds her mind. All the damage he caused, no one can ‘see’ it, because it’s in the mind; thoughts that fly around daily, and the trauma is trapped inside her.
People see her as weak, stupid for not leaving him, selfish for not taking care of her kids, a coward for not standing up to him, and for not fighting back. But they didn’t spend years being trapped in a cage by someone who claimed to be caring for them, she did.
She was trapped by the one person who promised to love and cherish her.
The only way to escape is to become a Phoenix, to let the old bird burn so a new strong bird can rise from the ashes and finally fly away.
Have you been abused this way? Have you been a caged bird taught to believe you are worthless and will never be good enough? Have you felt like everything is your fault and if you just tried harder he would love you like he used to?
It’s not your fault, you are not worthless. You are a beautiful bird, the best of the flock that was captured and tricked by a selfish person who wanted you all to himself.
It‘s hard to face, to burn in a fire so hot - confronting all that was done to you, all the shame you are filled with, all the lies you let yourself believe. It’s so hot in that fire that sometimes you feel like you can barley breathe.
If you haven’t felt like the bird I’m describing, maybe you are meant to read this so you can help her.
If she ignores the reality of her past she will remain trapped and another ‘owner’ will come along to keep her in that cage, bound and controlled.
It is exhausting, excruciatingly painful, terrifying and lonely to escape the cage that became her prison. She has to fight the daily reminders. She has to change how she reacts to everything. She has to learn that the echos of his opinion, the ones that scream in her thoughts were all lies.
Unless, you have spent most of your life being oppressed, isolated, used, and made to believe you are weak, worthless and will never be good enough, then you don’t understand why she is the way she is.
Please, don’t judge her when she is fighting so hard to survive. Instead, I’m asking you to pray for her, encourage her and hold her in your heart when she cries. She has more love, empathy and kindness in her heart than you can imagine. Once she burns away that cage you will be in awe of the light her abuser tried so hard to put out!
For you the victim...
a Fowler is one who traps birds.
Pestilence is a deadly illness (I think of this abuse driving a victim to depression so deep we wish for death)
But read the promise God has for YOU!