Confused by Confusion

Overheard:

“I’m always a little confused by my own mind …”

Sitting in abuse healing groups week in and week out over the years, I have heard this said – or some variation of it – hundreds of times.

As a survivor, I’ve experienced it myself, so I get it: sometimes your own mind can be the most confusing place to find yourself.

We seek truth, yet we shy away from it. We want to know, but we feel better off not knowing. We want to understand, but some of the pieces necessary for that seem to be missing.

On top of that, when we are high-functioning in at least one area of our life, the confusion confuses us: “Why am I so confused so often, and why can’t I figure this out? I do so well (in whatever area of life I am high functioning), yet I suck here.”

One of the reasons for this kind of confusion is that there is a part of us that has learned to survive by keeping the deepest truths in the shadows.

If what we believe to be true about ourselves is indeed true, then we are even worse that we believe ourselves to be. That would then means that we are beyond help and there is no hope because all of this evil that happened is about our “being”, and not about somebody’s “doing”.

And the village of “Shame-filled Hopelessness” is the worst place in the world to live.

The remedy to the problem is simple but is also one of the hardest for survivors of abuse: The safest place to be is the scariest place to be, and that is leaning into and walking through the junkyard of the painful memories of your life, seeing them as they truly were and not as what they have come to look like.

What that means is that we learn to re-examine the hurtful things that have happened and, instead of thinking, “When ‘so-and-so’ did ‘such-and-such’ to me, it wasn’t because there was ‘something so wrong with me’, but ‘there was something really wrong with them that they would do this to any child, including me.'”

We get these things into the light where God’s power is activated and released, out of the darkness and the shadows where our Enemy lurks and works. W don;t do this alone, but we pursue the truth because THAT is where our freedom really lies.

Yes, it is scary. The fears we have are real fears. But we have to remember that, while feelings are real, feelings ARE NOT FACT!

Feelings change; facts do not.

When we learn to see things for what they were instead of what they have come to look like, the truth shines through and the confusion clears. We learn to file things in the right folders, put proper names on things, and call things what they are.

Jesus’ promise that, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) is never more true for a survivor than here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

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4 thoughts on “Confused by Confusion

  1. Mia says:

    Hi Anna,

    I am a woman who “woke up” to the reality of a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage (10yrs) about a year ago. I am now struggling with whether to stay well or leave well. I have tried staying well for about an year with boundaries but the abuse continues.. Though more covert now… Which makes me feel confused and crazy.. As I wrestle through this decision I realize that I always feels stuck when I read other stories of abuse that seem so much worse than mine. Then I feel I have big rounds to separate…

    Though for years I haven’t felt emotionally safe and at times physically safe around my husband and I worry about my children as he often threatens physical harm ( like I am going to smash your head so hard) but says it is discipline…

    Can you help shed some light? For me I have always been the object of his rage and anger. Constant put downs,criticisms.. Rage at not keeping the house just so or forgetting something small… Blaming me for everything!!!
    Jeckly and Hyde persona – which he ONLY exhibits to close family. -for me all spells more confusion. ..

    • Warren Lamb says:

      You are describing someone who believes you and the children are visitors in his universe, that you are things that exist to please him – or else.

      As a Biblical counselor who has been counseling primarily abuse survivors for going on 30 years, two things you need to know: This is NOT your fault, and this is NOT okay with God. God created you worthy of love, worthy of dignity, worthy of being treated with respect.

      The threat of doing physical harm is, in many jurisdictions, considered either abuse or assault. Biblically, it is both. Think and pray about what the children are learning about their worth as human beings created in the image of God. And what message is your soul being saturated with about your worth?

      You need to recruit someone to walk alongside you as you gain the wisdom and strength to do the best that God would have you do. God knows every detail. he knows every possible scenario and every possible outcome. He knows every question and every answer. And He knows what His best solution is for all of you.

      Partner with a helper. Love your children enough to do the best thing for them. In the process, you will be walking out God’s best for you as well.

      God Speed. We will keep you in our prayers.

      • Mia says:

        Thank you for your words..I think the Lord has provided me a helper…and I think he is showing me the way. It is hard when so few understand these dynamics and when there are no visible wounds.

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