Releasing Survivors Guilt
We have to move from guilt to gratitude, because ultimately, we cannot feel guilty and grateful at the same time! As a survivor of domestic abuse (with children)..that unfortunately means they were right in the middle of it with me, they witnessed the ongoing emotional & physical abuse of the dysfunctional relationship I was in. As a result, I have carried the guilt of subjecting them to the abuse I received and the aftermath of it. I have beat myself up for feeling my choices will influence their adult relationships and the difficulties they will have learning to trust men, fearing conflict, etc. I have often said the hardest part has been learning to forgive myself for the choice I made to stay in the relationship more than forgiving my abuser. I was supposed to be the mother/ gatekeeper to my children’s safety; they counted on me to make the right decisions and choices that will effect all of us….how could I let them down??
That punishment I was doing to myself surprisingly brought me peace. We have to remember that we are not perfect, but are redeemed. We have to give it- whatever “it” is to God and let him wash it away with closure. We must stop holding onto the guilt and pain of our bad decision(s) & action(s). We are not defined by what has happened to us, we can move past it and use what the devil meant for our demise, for our restoration! We have to stop carrying what God has already carried and stop trying to pay for what God has already paid in full.; hanging on to all of that is only self-defeating and prolonging the process to find closure and release. No one else can bring you closure like God, you have to stop looking for someone else to forgive you and forgive yourself... because you may never it from someone else receive it. You are already redeemed though Christ and that is the only confirmation and acceptance you need.
Now, I look at where I am today and the healthier decisions I have made (and continue) to make in my relationship and the people I allow to be a part of our lives. I work hard to be a better example for my kids, (especially my daughters)just by living the way I want them to learn; ultimately I'm teaching them though my living experiences. I am showing/teaching strength in leaving the relationship and not going back; I am showing/teaching determination in not allowing a man or a circumstance to break you; I am showing/teaching courage to step forward and be a voice so my testimony can save lives… including theirs.. I can’t go back and change the past, but I do play an active role in their future and my own.
Do not carry guilt over things that we cannot go back and change. If you want to be free in your soul and mind, let go of the guilt and find the gratitude in the deliverance.. Remember that deliverance is not a “one hit wonder”- it’s ongoing!