Good morning, Dear Readers!
I was thinking about something recently. It started in a conversation about a month ago when I said I had to deal with someone I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with. I was told that I needed to, “put on my big girl panties & deal with it.” While I know it was meant to make me smile, it still hurt my feelings. Not long after, it was suggested by another person I’m close to that I give two people who have hurt me badly another chance by welcoming them back into my life.
These conversations got me to thinking. Why am I always the one who has to “put on my big girl panties”, “understand him/her better” or be the “bigger person”? It made me angry! The people who have mistreated or blatantly abused me are always given the free pass- they are allowed to get away with being cruel, verbally abusive, or even physically abusive. Why am I the one who is always supposed to just overlook that while they don’t even have to apologize? It’s not fair! I don’t deserve this, yet it has happened to me over & over again.
Sadly, I believe this phenomenon isn’t just happening with me, but with other victims of abuse. How many women whose husbands beat them have been told something like, “You should just do what he wants. Stay out of his way & he won’t hit you again”? How many daughters in-law have been mistreated by their husband’s mother, yet since their husbands refuse to confront their mothers, these women spend holidays, etc. with these cruel women?
People should NOT want you to be hurt either physically or emotionally. They will not push you to do anything you are not comfortable with, & they will respect your boundaries. They will respect your decision to stop tolerating abuse in any form. Unfortunately, dysfunctional people exist. Some more mildly dysfunctional people probably will want what is best for you, yet still suggest you “turn the other cheek” or “be the bigger person.” And, as a survivor of abuse, often we seem to attract those people, the ones who think we need to “be the bigger person” or whatever.
I’m learning some things since this has come to my attention. For one thing, no one has to blindly do what they are told. The way I was raised, I thought that was the case for most of my life. I always thought I was too stupid to make my own decisions, & that I was here to serve others, disregarding my own thoughts, needs, feelings, etc. That is not God’s way, however. We must do what we believe in our heart is right for us, no matter what others think. Whether it is a major decision such as whether or not to have children, or something smaller such as a career- no one can determine what is right for you to do. Ask God what you should do, & listen to your heart. He will help you make the right decision on what to do or not to do.
I’ve also learned that these situations can tell you exactly how healthy your relationship is. If someone tells you to overlook someone’s mistreatment of you, that person may not have your best interest at heart. Forgiving abuse is great- God wants us to do that, & it’s really best for our mental health. Forgetting, however, is VERY unwise. It sets the stage for further abuse! Besides, people need to face consequences of their actions, good or bad. If someone thinks mistreating others is acceptable behavior, they will continue to do so. However, if that abuser is suddenly alone, because all of his/her victims refuse to be abused any more, that person may see the error of their ways. If this concept is foreign to someone who is telling you to give an abuser another chance, that is a sign this relationship isn’t healthy. Either the person is dysfunctional (even if the intentions are good), or the person has bad motives such as wanting you to be hurt, not caring if you are hurt, or putting his/her desires ahead of your well-being.
I hope this helps you, too, if you are facing a similar situation. May God bless & keep you, Dear Reader!