Should I Leave Him?
QUESTION: I am a 35-year-old newly born-again Christian and a victim of physical and mental abuse from a man with whom I was involved for the past ten years. We have a six-year-old daughter together. I used to live with this former-man-in-my-life for about nine years. Our daughter has heard him say bad things to me and has seen him with dangerous weapons. He used to beat me a lot. One day he stabbed me in my arm and head. I am a police officer with almost eleven years experience. I thought that after rededicating my life to the Lord things would have been different and we would have gotten married. I thought he would be happy to have a Christian wife. But I was wrong. I was so in love with him, that I did not think I could live without him. Instead, things got worse. In order to escape the abuse and to protect my child, I asked to be transferred to a family island as a police officer. He still wants me back in his life. But I am afraid. He drinks and uses drugs, and he is not interested in religion. I am happy I made the move to the family island, and I am doing well there in church and on the job. Should I go back to him?
ANSWER: Dear Friend, Please do not go back to him. It may not be wise. Over the years you have lived with him, he has never shown interest in changing his own life and has never valued you as a person. Staying with him would only be putting your life and your childís life in danger. Many people make a mistake by thinking once you become a Christian or both partners are Christians, then all will be well in a marriage relationship. Being born again does not necessarily mean that there will be marital compatibility or harmony. Keep away from him. Now that it is all over, enjoy your life as a happy single adult. If you find a person with whom you feel attracted to, make sure that you take your time and only share a small part of yourself as you journey down the road of romance. Remember, you do not need a man to be happy or complete. God made you complete. Be happy and if you do find a suitable mate, let him find you happy.
QUESTION: Dear Sir: I am a twenty-three year old woman. I have a great job, a wonderful man in my life, and together we have a wonderful baby boy. However, when I was sixteen years old my older brother sexually molested me. This abuse continued for five months when I became pregnant. When my mother found out, she took me to Florida to get an abortion and that was the end of it as far as they were concerned. I am still having problems. I am also afraid for his children because he was never punished for what he did. I donít think he has changed. He has four girls and I feel they are in danger. What should I do? As for me, I still have hang ups. I have read books after books on dealing with life after abuse, but I am still afraid of him and other men. Whenever a man, other than my boyfriend, tries to build a friendship or gets close to me I get panic attacks. My boyfriend is very supportive and understanding. I try to pretend that it is helping, but itís not and I am messed up inside. I also read somewhere that people who suffer sexual abuse become abusers of their own children, so I am afraid I might end up abusing my son. Please help me.
ANSWER: Dear friend, You are in pain. I recommend that you seek professional help from those who understand the dynamics of your problem. You need someone that will help you let go of the pain and the past. It will take some time to overcome the pain of the abuse. Do not panic, dear friend. All is not lost. It is not automatic that you will abuse your child because you were abused. However, it is imperative that you find persons, friends, and professionals who can provide support and advice.
If you are certain that your brother is abusing his children you have the duty to report it to Social Services by calling 326 0526. Do no hesitate to call so that the children will be safe. You also asked if there is anything you can do legally about the molestation you experience from your brother. You can press charges, it is not too late. However, since the incident took place almost seven years ago, it might be difficult to investigate. Often, there is a legal question as to why there was a long delay to report, thus questioning the truthfulness of the case. In other words, there is a fifty-fifty chance that your case may not be tried.
It is imperative that you seek professional help in guiding you through this difficult time in your life. Most importantly, you want to be able to leave the pain behind and move with your new relationship. I am certain you can do this. Allow yourself the time to heal and do not hide the pain. You must intelligently find ways to release the anger. There are people who can help. Call Marriage and Family Counseling Services, at 242 393 2818 or the Crisis Center at 242 328 0922, or The Christian Counseling Center at 242 323 7000.
Dear readers, continue to send in your questions. Remember you do not have to identify yourself. However, I would prefer you to use your name so I can personally write to you. If you want the question published your name will not be used and I will make any other adjustments to maintain your anonymity. Send your questions, comments, or request for counseling to 393 2818, or write to P.O. Box N-896, Nassau, Bahamas, or email email@example.com