The finish line loomed ahead and I dragged myself acrost it, heart, mind, soul and finances bleeding out as the unsympathetic eyes stared.
The bleeding pain from years of abuse and betraying each part of who I was slowly, bit by bit was about to over.
And then it was. The final papers came. Decree of divorce finalized.
How unreal. I had just turned 25.
Not a single cheer happened, not even from me.
But relief, I felt such relief! Now life would get better! To be free of the daily struggle of having my heart criticized, ravaged into ribbons, my body coerced and shamed daily and my mind questioned and twisted into a pretzel of dissonance!
Life was going to be so beautiful! I mean, it would be once the hemorhhage of every resource, every unique human part of me meant to sustain got thrown onto the ground while he laughed at the sheer pleasure of wasting my heart’s resources.
Unfortunately darling, fate has gifted you a different hand. In the conservative Christian community that you are indelibily imprinted into, divorce is the greatest sin. Not lying. Not cheating. Not abuse.
No! Other people abusing you is YOUR sin. We can’t explain how, but someone has to hear our ignorant judgements on the matter and you’re right here, vulnerable and tearing up. Prepare for eternal guilt & life long atonement!
Abuse, naw. Not that bad. Isolation? Beatings? Sexual abuse? Gaslighting? Oh suck it up. Submit to your husband! That’s what God wants, for men barely aware of your existence to dictate your life based on a Book that doesn’t even say what they’re demanding you do.
As in times past us by thousands of years, he owns you! Women don’t have rights when you throw the church into the midst. How naive of you!
Guess what your future is now? You thought it was going to be freedom, healing and perhaps, in the distant, rosy future, the promise of a sweet, kind love, huh?
Pah! That ain’t going to happen. You’re far too independent now! Who wants a woman who can survive the seemingly impossible? Who wants one who can run a house, cook damn good meals AND work with the outside world? Who wants a woman of emotional maturity, one constantly striving to better herself? Who wants a strong woman, one who isn’t a fainting flower, one who struggles onwards towards healing, mental health before she goes out to give to others? No! Self sacrifice is the way!
Throwing yourself onto the hot coals of suffering is the only way to achieve the grim nod of approval from the one who died to set you “free”.
So you thought grace meant freedom to live in, well, freedom? Naive child! You are now locked into the chains of everlasting guilt, dusty old opression and church doctrine that considers you another little women charge who is empty until attached to a man. Except you ruined that chance, so now you can only hope for someone to take pity on your incompleteness
Jesus suffered, so we should live our lives running on the brink of disaster and do the same. Haven’t you heard of the great gospel of constant stress and rushing around? Our Lord and Saviour is much praised when we follow the dictate of suffering & stress. He didn’t come to make us happy now, so don’t you dare smile. No! Smiles! Ever!
The world doesn’t have enough suffering in it as is so therefore, we must add to it by enabling unhealthy abuse/negativity/control/focus on everything else that is dark. Somber, sorrowful and painful abuse is exactly the way that we show the great joy of following our Saviour.
Do not take into account any passage of Scripture that teaches of the love & joy of the Lord. And God forbid that you enforce healthy boundaries!
Spiritualness like that is just for children, don’t you know? Coming up in the real adult world, you gotta play with the big dogs. Don’t be naive, love is a wishy washy thing that doesn’t win. You need a good dose of hypocrisy and self righteousness to succeed here.
Thank you for reading! This piece is obviously satire but sadly based on various religious publication quotes, personal anecdotes and doctrine preached in all seriousness & judgement. Being abused, left and eventually divorced often gets more verbal criticism than if I had ended my marriage by secretly taking up swinging. Here’s looking at you, Church. Let’s all get back to loving & serving people instead.