Hi, my name is Carolyn.
I’m an abuse advocate who encourages the
relationally oppressed to reclaim their voice, worth, safety, strength, gifting, and purpose.
I’ve lived through battle of allowing an abuser to destroy part of my mind and strength.
At a Christian college, I met and regretfully married an angry, abusive pastor who had severe
mental illness, a personality disorder, and deep sexual addictions. When I left him, I lost all my friends in the ministry, except for one married couple. The few ministry friends who cared to ask what the problem was didn’t believe me; the rest didn’t inquire. Thankfully, my home church’s staff, where I grew up, was very supportive, except for some church members. The harshness that some people dealt me was severe, and I was devastated; retraumatized.
Years later, vindication came when my former husband went to prison because of his addictions that led to sex crimes against children. Unfortunately, family courts don’t understand or care about domestic abuse. It was too little, too late for countless children because the church didn’t perform due diligence in checking out his background.
Every day, courts around the world send children to visit or live with their abusers. Protective parents and innocent children encounter revictimization through post-separation abuse by the court’s legal and financial support of the abuser. Family Courts are dismissive of domestic abuse, a crime until you enter the family court system. Family Courts look at allegations as one angry parent trying to retaliate or emotionally hurt the other parent. The court refers to these as high conflict divorces. The truth is, the protective parent usually won’t turn the abuser in because they know the abuser will harm or kill a family member when they get out of jail, if an arrest even happens. Family Court lives by the false narrative that each parent has a right to have a relationship with their child. I believe children have a right to a non-abusive home. Family Court makes sure that child abuse continues long after the protective parent is granted a divorce for safety reasons. I’ve lived this battle too, and it’s why I’m passionate about changing the laws regulating family court.
I blog about:
- My prayer life – God’s leading and His answers. Ordinary people are the history makers through the power of prayer.
- Toxic relationships – Many people don’t realize they live with a toxic spouse or are in a toxic relationship with family, friends, or co-workers. (I understand tone is lost in written prose so understand the gentleness in which this is said. I’m not degrading those who have severe mental illness). Just because we are Christians does not mean we have to be walked all over, verbally shredded, emotionally manipulated, physically harmed, sexually abused, or backed in the corner by those suffering from severe mental illness, who refuse to seek help and healing, who refuse treatment for their personality disorder, or by those who refuse to turn from their wrong choices. Boundaries are necessary. Safety is achievable. Love is essential.
- Toxic churches – The Christian community, a magnet for abusers, has done little to go on the offense to manage this problem. Worse, they have shamed, disbelieved, turned away, or done nothing to make the institution safe for the future. We need to be on the lookout for abusers so vulnerable people are safe. The church needs to make restitution for the sheep who have been destroyed by predator pastors or laypeople; wolves. We can apply the gospel as we minister to the marginalized among us.
- Destructive marriages fall under the category of toxic relationships. A topic family court’s do not yet understand, while judges and guardian ad litems are retraumatizing countless (mostly) women and children. I desire to educate the church body on helping people in abusive/destructive marriages. For too long Christians have placed the importance of the institution of marriage over the safety, sanity, and health of the abused spouse and children. The Bible has numerous passages on how to deal with unfaithful, emotionally destructive, foolish abusers.
- Et Cetera – Consists of home projects, service projects, and occasionally my most asked for recipes; chocolate and Tex-Mex. My favs! Maybe I should say was…since I now live an auto-immune protocol lifestyle for auto-immune diseases. I’m quickly learning to adjust these recipes for my specific needs.
Are you limping like Jacob (Genesis 32:22-31), waiting on the fulfillment of a calling on your life like Joseph (Genesis 37-47), or being delivered through the fire like Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-nego (Daniel 3:8-30)? Be encouraged. Be empowered. Be on your knees in prayer. Then—be blessed; in good times, in despair, and everything in between.
Christian blogger, St. Louis, Missouri
DEEP ROOTS art used with permission and provided by Victory Road @ Etsy. Find a full line of Victory Road’s DEEP ROOTS merchandise at Society6. In the search bar enter Victory Road to find DEEP ROOTS.
Or check out artist Kayann Ausherman’s website and blog here.