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Kill, Steal, and Destroy

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

The devil doesn’t come into your life like a character in a children’s book with horns and a sinister look on his face ready to snatch your soul. The devils walks in, sits down, pretends he doesn’t know who you are and what you’ve been through, smiles, and starts pulling you down with him. The devil tells you everything you want to hear. He may seem charming, but his motives are not. He may seem sincere, but he has motives unseen.

The devil will intoxicate you with attention. He will steal you away from friends and family. He will control your life.

He will steal your money. Kill your spirit. Destroy your life. He will lie, cheat, and steal. He will use you up and discard you and not care about your well being.

Widows, especially. Take warning-

These people not only exist, they walk around amongst us waiting to catch us in the most vulnerable position so they can attack us when we’re weak. Let my story be a cautionary tale of what not to do.

There are 2 ways to handle being a widow in my opinion, and neither is wrong. Either you become the victim or the survivalist. I chose the latter. People couldn’t fathom the idea that I could actually laugh and be happy and enjoy life while grieving but it is not only possible it’s vital for survival. I couldn’t fathom the idea that there are people out there that would take advantage of me and my daughter so soon after the death of my husband, but I’ve lived it and learned a lot from it.

It’s important to know that, if you find yourself in this situation, this is not your fault. Abuse is abuse- whether it be mental, physical, or emotional. Manipulation is manipulation. Lies are lies. Theft is theft. Plain and simple.

I was in a relationship where the other person tried (and succeeded) in pulling me away from everything I loved. He made me paranoid to be in the one place I clung to during Matt’s illness- my church home. He made me think that everyone was gossiping about me, when people just wanted to protect me from what they knew he was. Abusive people isolate you from the people and places you love because the people there will expose them if they don’t. I walked through church on pins and needles when it used to be my refuge and my safe place. I believe that God will send people to protect you from this kind of evil. I believe that the right people finally talked sense into me. I’m grateful for them.

This was the last contact I had. My hands shook when I typed it. Living in fear is not something I expected when I entered into a relationship with someone. This is what narcissistic abuse looks like. Months of agonizing. Months of apologizing for things you aren’t even responsible for. Months of walking on eggshells. Months of deceit. Months of stress. Months of manipulation. I’m free of it, but scarred from it. I can finally sleep in my house alone again without being scared. Kind of.

Widows, especially ones that cared for terminally ill loved ones, are in a unique position of vulnerability that I didn’t previously recognize in myself. I see it clearly now. When you put all of you energy into saving someone’s life it’s hard just to turn those feelings off. You care so deeply for people, even to your own detriment. You become even more empathetic when met with someone who convinces you they’ve just had a bunch of hard breaks their whole life and that they have been the victim of “vicious women”, when in reality, they are the monster. When someone comes into your life and sells themself as something they’re not, you believe them until they give you a reason not to. If I had a dollar for every time I said “Thank you for telling me that, but I am choosing not to judge him based on his past”. And here I am, thousands of dollars and precious months and sanity lost.

Women- you do not have to let people like this in your life just because being alone is hard and lonely. You know what else is hard? Explaining to your friends and family how the “nice guy” you were seeing swindled money away from you. Telling my parents and Matt’s parents how much and how was one of the lowest days I’ve had since Matt died. Dealing with the aftermath of the abuse almost killed me.

You know what else you don’t have to do? You don’t have to be embarrassed about it. You don’t have to sweep it under the rug or pretend it didn’t happen just because you feel like an embarrassment to your family or your dead husband’s memory. Talking about it openly and honestly helps. Not talking about it protects the abuser and further steals, kills, and destroys your soul.

Standing up for yourself and against what is wrong will never be wrong. Taking back control when you’ve lost it to someone else will never be wrong. Trying to see the good in people when there is none will never be wrong. Admitting that you believed a string of lies and facing the reality that people out there would actually take from a grieving widow and her child may hurt, but holding them accountable for what they did to you and making sure it will never happen to anyone else ever again isn’t revenge.

It’s justice.

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

He comes dressed up as everything you thought you ever wanted.

Clinging to God and the hope that He will protect you and He will be all you will ever need liberates you from feelings of self doubt, guilt for trusting people who were not to be trusted, and all of the pain that comes with betrayal and abuse isn’t weakness.

It’s power.

Psalm 107:13-16 – Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

https://youtu.be/4BpirBRWGUs

“Let every lie be silenced

And all depression cease

Let every dark assignment

Bow down at Jesus’ feet

Let every curse be broken

Let every storm be tamed

And all that come against us

Be bound in Jesus’ name

Your presence is my greatest weapon

Pushing back the darkness

Breaking every chain

My worship opens up the heavens

Crushing every stronghold

When I speak Your name

Your presence is my weapon

Your presence is my weapon

Your strength will not be shaken

Your love will not back down

Death has been defeated

What can stop me now

I hold on to what You’ve spoken

You said that I am free

You’ve given me Your promise

You are my victory

Your presence is my greatest weapon

Pushing back the darkness

Breaking every chain

My worship opens up the heavens

Crushing every stronghold

When I speak Your name

Your presence is my weapon

Your presence is my weapon

Your word and a melody

Are making a way for me

You defeat the enemy

This prison is shaking now

And these walls are coming down

Your presence makes me free

I am free

Your presence is my greatest weapon

Pushing back the darkness

Breaking every chain

My worship opens up the heavens

Crushing every stronghold

When I speak Your name

Your presence is my weapon”

Victims of abuse, I see you. I hear you. I believe you. My friends and family witnessed this. Validation of the abuse is sometimes all you need to help you through it. Having people say “We were there and we saw and heard what he did to you” is all you need. Confirmation that he did this to others makes you feel less alone. The discard phase is the hardest part but you will get through it. These articles helped me understand my complex feelings about what happened. You are not alone. Take back your power. Break the chains and never look back. But talk about it. Because hiding it gives them power they simply did not earn. My therapist encourages me to continue to write and speak out about the abuse I endured. I already suffered from PTSD because of the death of my husband, having an abusive relationship immediately after was a double whammy. Through therapy, writing, and prayer I am healing myself. Oftentimes women are embarrassed to talk about abuse, like they in some way caused it. It’s important to know you are not alone . Don’t give anyone who doesn’t deserve one a seat at your table. And don’t ever be jealous of his next victim. He will not change for her. There is no magic switch that will flip that will allow him to be a good person. He will continue the same pattern of narcissistic rage and abuse long after the last time he hurts you. They do not change, they only change their target and their supply. Be thankful you escaped before they destroyed you, which is always their end game.

https://pro.psychcentral.com/recovery-expert/2019/10/narcissistic-abuse-recovery-healing-from-the-discard/

https://medium.com/bullies-assholes-i-have-known/sleeping-with-the-enemy-bb69754875c7

https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2015/09/ten-tips-for-victims-of-sociopathic-behavior/

As for me and Q, we’re doing ok. We have had some scary times because of all of this, but we are safe and taken care of. I pray every day for protection for us so that we never have to feel this kind of pain and betrayal ever again. She’s all I’ve got. I’m all she’s got. Never again will I ever let anyone use us again. Guarding her heart and knowing that alone is better than abused.

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