Justice and mercy or criticism and judgement

13 11 2010

I have not posted here for a while. One of the reasons is that I find it difficult to talk about the area of abuse; both in my experience and the experience of others. Its easy for me to go back to the memories of those experiences, to be drawn into the pain of what happened and back into the depression and deep feelings of shame and worthlessness.

It’s easy for me to remember the words of criticism. It’s easy for me to remember the words of judgement and the deep deep internal pain and confusion that comes over me, raises up within me and works its insidious destruction within me. And its easy to enter into that box of entrapment and binds of internal pain.

One way I have learnt to survive is through concentrating on mercy and justice. Because I am a Christian this involves my personal faith of concentrating on Gods justice and mercy towards me and the enablement this brings for me to forgive those who have hurt me in the past and continue to do so now. Justice and mercy helps me to survive in the now. It frees me from the grip of the past. And by concentrating on the good in my life helps me not dwell on the pain of the past.

Recently I was involved in a small group setting in which some emotional, mental and spiritual abuse occurred. I came home burdened and heavy and wrote a letter to two of the leaders of that group. I was talking to my wife tonight about the area of abuse and how I would do two things.

  1. Stand up against any kind of abuse when ever it happened when ever I was able to.
  2. If I wasn’t able to stand up against it, I would run from it. I would run in a flash for there is no way I would ever allow myself to be subjected to what I had experienced in the past and re-enter into the destructiveness of the internal pain of that experience.

So for a large part, my not posting here lately has been my flight response in fleeing from the memories and the pain it produces when I talk about it. However that doesn’t really help the problem. It doesn’t help the men who are suffering now from the effects of abuse. It doesn’t help the society in which we live to be free from this issue. And it doesn’t bring mercy and justice for those who are clearly hurting from the denial that abuse has happened.

I ask your forgiveness for my cowardice. I ask for your prayers if you are a praying person. I ask that you would pray that I would be strengthened to help fight against the injustice within society for all this affects. For abuse affects men, it affects the women and children involved. And by not acknowledging women do abuse, society is failing to help those women find healing. It is failing to help those kids who are victims of that abuse. And it fails to help the men who are deeply hurting also.

There is a tension that I must walk. There is the side where I can turn and run and avoid my responsibility to help others.  And in doing this; avoid re-entering into my own personal pain and reliving the nightmares I once had. The other side is my responsibility within society to help others and in doing so enter into the personal pain of the past and present of those who are deeply hurting today.

Tonight I received a message from a young man, who asked my permission to post my story on his face book page, and link it to this blog. I said yes, go for it. I was deeply touched when I sent him a friendship request and read his status on the link which said,

A very sad story from an inspirational man. Read!

I don’t feel that I am an inspirational man. His words touched me to the core of my being. And it brought about a deep conviction that while I don’t feel I’m an inspiration, telling my story has helped some people and brought a deeper awareness of the hidden problems within society. And in doing so has deeply encouraged me to dig deep and keep working and telling the story of myself and those whom also are deeply hurting within Australia once again.

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3 responses

13 11 2010
Justice and Mercy or Criticism and Judgement | Trinitarian Dance

[…] Justice and Mercy or Criticism and Judgement Posted on November 13, 2010 by Craig Benno I have another blog which deals with issues of male victims of abuse. Particularly domestic abuse from the hands of female perps. While I try and keep the two blogs separate; so that I can concentrate and develop my Christian thoughts and belief here and the story of social injustice there. There are times when the two need to interact. This is one of those times. Please read my latest post there on Justice and Mercy or Criticism and Judgement. […]

13 11 2010
Lynn

I am the child of an abusive relationship such as you describe, the daughter of a dysfunctional mother and a father in denial to this day. I am in my fifties now and still deal with the life long legacy of a family who do not want to accept the abuse happened and do not validate my experiences in any way. I have been rejected and verbally abused by members of my mother’s family because they do not believe me. Even though I am not the only victim, people are reluctant, no resistant, to accept facts in deference for their own fantasy person who is near if not perfect.

People who choose to believe women do not abuse are living in la-la land. Is it a coincidence or by God’s design that many of my women friends had abusive mothers and not present (emotionally or physically) fathers? We have chosen a different path, strengthened by the experiences no child should endure, determined to make our own children’s lives happier, richer, safer and healthier than our own childhood experiences.

I guess that’s the choice we all have; to reflect ad nauseum, to feel and focus on self pity and anger, to feel the injustice and resent the person or persons responsible, or to forgive and embrace the future, knowing we can be different, make healthy choices and, as you have said so well, never endure or stand by watching abuse again without defending the defenseless, protecting the innocent and at very least and validating those who have or are suffering today.

bless you for speaking out with honesty and without bitterness. Your message is being heard, never doubt it, and yes, you are an inspiration!

Lynn

14 11 2010
Craig Benno

Lynn,
Your story is one that also needs to be told.
If its only men who are abusers, then children going through issues like you did cannot be helped. Your experience cannot be validated as being a real one because in the eyes of the authorities and society… if women are not abusers… how can your story be true?

Thanks for your encouragement.

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