The Abuse Survivor’s 23rd Psalm

Originally posted on Flourishing Faith:
The Lord is my Light, setting right my confusion. He makes me understand what is right and what is wrong. He leads me to uncover the gas-lighting of my abuser. He restores my dignity. He leads me in an understanding of holiness for the sake of His glory. Yes, though I walk through the dangers of laying aside my walls, coping mechanisms, and survival skills that brought me comfort and aided my survival, I will not fear trusting the Lord; for God is trustworthy and perfect in all His ways. Your Spirit and your Book, they reassure me. You have prepared the way of healing before me in the presence of my abuser; You anoint my mind with truth, my healing overflows! Surely truth and dignity shall fill me all the days of my life and I shall sit at the feet of my Redeemer forever!

Happy Hour: My natural + His super

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet.    It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

I  went through a season of personal transition that rocked my world and took years of prayer for breakthrough from a lie that wielded its power over me. God knew I had spent years praying about the problem and studying what His word had to say about it, but I still didn’t know what to do to get rid of the feeling. You see, I felt like a disappointment to God even though I knew He loved me and adored me.

There are certain people in our lives who naturally carry the power to touch our souls and when they damage our inner being it takes supernatural power to recover. So, God was sweet to take my natural and add His super to supernaturally heal my inner most being. 

I’m currently going through an in-depth Bible study on the book of Esther, and over the weekend I was reminded of my posture in being a woman like Esther who enlisted the help of others for overcoming obstacles that led to breakthrough, answers, freedom…life. Once I let my request be known to others who were willing to pray for me; the lie began to be dismantled within minutes and I was completely and permanently free of it within hours.

I wasn’t shocked; nope, but I was excited! I love when God works in my life to show me He’s like no other. I adore Jesus for showing up and showing off with overwhelming, lavish love, tenderness, and complete healing. I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit comforted me through the process. It’s just like Him!

I knew the ‘problem’ was a lie. I knew the truth in my heart and mind, but couldn’t shake the ‘feeling’. Now that I’m on the other side and have freedom over it I can testify, as I can over other life problems, traumas, divorce, death, severed relationships, difficult neighbors, auto-immune diseases …that God uses these places of transition to strengthen my heart, soul, mind and strength in who I truly trust in and what I really believe. Here’s more beauty in the process: in the middle of agonizing brokenness is where God allows us to experience some of our greatest nearness to Him.

My problem reminded me of what the Israelites were to specifically do in the midst of not knowing what to do.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV). The word deliverance in this verse is translated as victory.

Even though God is never specifically mentioned in the book of Esther His heart and deliverance are beautifully etched in the fabric of the story.

And then there’s these scriptures:

“After having done all; stand.” Ephesians 6:13(NIV).

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

Now I can get back in the place of rest. Ahh…rest. It feels good!

Lies vs truth

 

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

When our wounds are exposed to His wounds; our wounds are healed!

How about you? Do you need a breakthrough in some area of your life? Do you need messy wounds washed clean and the devil’s dirty lies wounded; evaporated? Perhaps like me, you need to enlist people to pray for you

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18 (NIV).

 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18: 19-20 (NIV).

 Cheers! To truth…and to healing!

 

Lyrics:

Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up
You see a girl whose not enough
When you look in the mirror
Some nights all you wanna do is hide
‘Cause every time you look inside
You’re face to face with failure
But you are loved, oh
Not because of what you’ve done, no
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face you’ll know
That you are loved…Oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
You’ve searched for something that will stir your soul
That’ll make you feel less alone
But nothing ever saves you
Well He knew before you ever took a breath
There’d be days when you’d forget
How beautiful He made you
But you are loved, oh
Not because of what you’ve done, no
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face you’ll know…That Jesus
He chose you, He sees you
He knows you, o-o-oh oh
You are covered, forever, beloved, a daughterAnd you are loved
Not because of what you’ve done
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face you’ll know
That you are lovedLook into His face, you’ll see it there
Look into His face, you’ll know, oh-oh-oh
That you are loved, oh-oh-oh
That you are loved, oh-oh-oh
Look into His face, you’ll see it there
You are loved…

 

Prayer and a Massage: Widowhood and Practical Ministry

Originally posted on Spiritual Battles:
Prayer and a Massage: Widowhood and Practical Ministry This post in is honor of, Lavern, who has been a godly, homeschool mom mentor and friend to me for the last thirteen years. I met her on a homeschool field trip to the Pawnee Bill Ranch in Pawnee, Oklahoma, when our girls were in kindergarten.  At the time I lived in Oklahoma so, no, I did not field trip all the way to Oklahoma from St. Louis to check out Pawnee Bill’s Ranch: The showplace of the world renowned Wild West Show entertainer, Gordon W. “Pawnee Bill” Lillie. Lavern is sweet, joyful, sweet, patient, sweet, kind; you get the idea. Her  picture could be placed beside the word ‘sweet’ in Webster’s Dictionary or used on the label of honey jars. Sweet is what she is. She is the Proverbs 31 and Galatians 5:22 woman. I’m sure she has her less then self-controlled moments like the rest…

Recognize and Prevent Emotional Abuse

psy-abuse

This is for those of you who don’t have time to watch the almost hour long video attached at the end of this article. If you are in an abusive relationship and you do have time to watch; you will be greatly validated and encouraged. You’re not crazy…it’s really happening…you’re living through untold trauma, and you are incredibly strong to have endured for so long. My prayers are for you.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I present to you, Patrick Doyle, counselor at Veritas Counseling and theDOVE.us

Recognize and Prevent Emotional Abuse

The core of marital counseling revolves around emotional abuse.

I was aware of a situation involving a woman in another state. Her husband was a very well respected man who early in the marriage; and thereafter, was abusive.  He was a stalwart member of the church who was well respected. The abuse kept going on until finally the woman realized through some counseling, and finding out her husband had a longtime porn addiction, that she needed to speak up. Well, her church didn’t really get it; they didn’t understand what she was trying to say. They genuinely wanted to help but they thought maybe she was making this stuff up…how could this be; we all think this guy’s great. As time goes on and she becomes more and more bold about revealing the truth to the pastor of her large mega church, he finally gets it. She actually went in the pastor’s office and had him watch my (Patrick Doyle) video on emotional abuse. Here are some excerpts from a letter that he wrote to his leadership after watching the video and ‘getting it’… about what the church is going to do to deal with this issue because he’s starting to see that they’ve missed the boat on this.

I am disturbed by the fact that women are coming forward telling me sad stories of long-term calculated abuse by their husbands. I’m aware of 6 or 7 cases that are current. These are good women who have experienced long term, 10-25 years, of abuse to varying degrees.  In some cases the abuse has been physical leading to domestic assault charges and imprisonment. In other cases the abuse is more subversive yet no less damaging. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, roll abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse.  Sometimes I wish they would all just walk into my office with a black eye so I could see the indisputable evidence and call the police. Instead they tend to walk in with blackened and bruised hearts that bleed pain. It is more difficult to discern the extent of non-physical abuse but I am becoming more attuned to the signs of an emotionally and psychologically battered woman. These are not crazy women who are trying to find some sinister way to get out of a marriage; thus, submitting false charges against their husbands. I’m talking about good and godly women who over time have lost hope that they will ever be treated with honor as a wife, a woman, or a fellow heir of the grace of life. I am typically taken off guard thinking that their husbands were charming, gentlemen of God. Oh, what a false front an abuser is able to display.

We all know there is a difference between a difficult marriage and a destructive marriage.  We all have difficult marriages to some extent. There’s no such thing as a pain-free, argument free marriage. There is anger in every marriage leading to disputes, hurt feelings, and the need for healing. I have not called this meeting to discuss difficult marriages, but I am talking today about destructive relationships where one person is being systematically and consistently broken down by the other.

I am most deeply disturbed by the fact that in several of these cases these men are protecting their place within our church while the abused is made to feel like an outcast. The abuser sings in the choir, sits in the front row, leads in the men’s’ ministry, carries the friendship or support of a pastor or an elder, serves on some ministry team, plays in the band while the wife is made to feel like an unforgiving, un-submissive, self-willed, hardened sinner. The wife feels embarrassed around our church people while the abusive husband smiles and drinks coffee with his boys (church members).

Here is a transition: This man wants to do the right thing, but it’s hard because people come in and you don’t know if they’re trying to work you, manipulate you, or what.

Listen, someone who is in an abusive relationship…one thing abusers do is they never take responsibility.

Abusers never take responsibility. This is a key to recognizing one. As Christians we should be leading the way in taking responsibility. With abusers you can never get a clear answer in a question, or there is a constant blame shift, avoidance, minimization, justification, and spiritualization. They shift blame and everything becomes your fault.You start to feel crazy and doubt yourself which empowers the abuser all the more.

In the church what is said is, “If you’ll just love them more, if you just cook them the right meal, if you just have more sex with them, if you’ll just be patient then this will clear up.”

Listen, if you allow an abuser an inch they will take a mile. The more you submit to their abuse the more they are going to abuse because every abuser I’ve worked with is in abject denial. The abuser believes their own rhetoric. They will stand in front of you, look you dead in the eyes and believe what they are saying. When this happens; listen to your spirit!

For outsiders who wonder if someone is in an abusive relationship; listen to your spirit. You may want to ask the woman or her children, in a safe setting, if there is abuse in their home and ask if they need help.

When someone says they are a believer but they have no conviction or comfort—they don’t have the Spirit. I don’t care what they say, how many church services they go to, how much Bible they know—the evidence is in whether or not they are convicted. The conviction will lead to the fruit of the spirit. Right? You can feign the fruit of the spirit for moments at church, in front of your pastor, in Sunday School, at a pot-luck dinner—but behind closed doors with the person who knows you the best…if they aren’t the ones seeing it, then I’m really concerned.

If your wife (and kids) are feeling abused (and I don’t care if you’re an abuser or not)—that’s real—and we have to deal with that. If the wife, or kids, are misinterpreting something it will be easy to fix, but if they’re not then maybe we can heal the marriage before it absolutely is destroyed.

Sometimes they do this sham of responsibility taking…”I’m sorry. I know I did that.” Then they just keep on doing it. Listen, the evidence of conviction is a change in your behavior not just words. God does not convict in general; He convicts specifically. So when the abuser comes to you they need to confess specifically the sinful words, thoughts and actions (to God and to their spouse). Changed behavior is the evidence of conviction. Conviction, repentance and changed action all have to take place.

Are  you abused and feeling trapped (which is part of the abusers arsenal) but you’re at a point where something has to break, something has to stop; you recognize that it’s coming to a head?

I say this with all due respect. Don’t call the church. (Yours may be the exception, but there are tragic stories about women who went to their church and were placed under church discipline for talking poorly of their husband, and/or removed from the church for separating from or divorcing their abuser.) I don’t know if the church is prepared for this; you’ll have to make that assessment. Somebody has to know what they are doing and someone has to be willing to get involved. If somebody comes to counseling he can get involved in a certain degree, but really where the church has the ability to be transformational is to get involved in a big way on a day-to-day basis. That’s how we can really help these people. In my church we’ve set up funds to support women temporarily; to give them money so the abusive husband can’t control them financially. I’ve seen it a thousand times if I’ve seen it once. They start controlling the money. How’s the woman going to live? Those are real questions. That’s where we can come (help) balance the power.

If you think you are, or might be, in an abusive relationship talk to somebody who knows what they’re talking about. If you’re going to go to someone who gets involved and then they back away; that is way worse. In that case, don’t even broach the subject until you know you have support that’s going to stay. This is where the church has done a lot of damage. They get involved and then they back out because they get uncomfortable, in over their head, or whatever.

Do your research, ask around the community, take the knowledge you’ve learned to find long-term support because I’ve never seen an abuser who has gone that far and said, “Oh, you’re right. I’m going to quit being abusive.”

It’s possible churches get it and they do want to help; such as the pastor who wrote the email read at the beginning; earlier. They recognized it and set up something in the church to address abusers and the abused. The pastor; along with church staff and leadership took training for it because they care about the people.

Much of this teaching can also apply to parent/child relationships.

 

This is Carolyn speaking: There aren’t many Christian counselors out there who know how to handle abuse in the Christian home. Most will want the abused wife to attend counseling with her abuser. THIS SHOULD NOT BE. When calling a counselor’s office ask them what their policy is for helping abuse victims and their abusive spouse. Separate counseling is best. I’ll give you three recommendations for the St. Louis area at the bottom of this post. They do not take insurance; so you have to file ‘out of network.’ If you’re local and have an excellent referral please comment with contact information at the top of this post. There is also a link in the margin for Focus on the Family: Counseling service and one time free referral.

 

Counselors in the greater St. Louis area:

Terri Dempsey – (West county & Farmington) Encouragement, validation, and practical application for setting boundaries…with humor.  Double majored in Psychology and Theology receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Blue Mountain College.  Received  Master of Arts degree in Psychological Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University in May 1991.  The combination of a Christian and secular education allows her to understand and fit into both worlds.  Scripture tells us to be in the world but not of the world.

She treats most mental health issues and specializes in trauma, personality disorders, and difficult cases in adults, adolescents, and children.  She is certified in EMDR. In treating anxiety and depression whether in adults, adolescents, or children, there is often a common thread – trauma.  Trauma can be the basis of eating disorders, anger management issues, and severe stress as well as identity issues in children and adolescents.  If your spouse suffers from a personality disorder you will find help for staying, or leaving.

(314) 983-9300, by text at (314) 960-7589 and by email at hopecrossingcc@gmail.com

St. Louis Office
Castlewood Baptist Church
1220 Kiefer Creek Rd. Ballwin, 63021

Farmington Office
#7 South Jefferson
Farmington, MO 63640

Dr. Clay Coffee (St. Louis County) received his Ph.D. in Family Therapy from Saint Louis University and his Master of Arts in Counseling and Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary.  He is a Counselor in Training working with couples, families, and individuals.  For typical marital issues he does couples counseling. For family issues he does group family therapy. He has served as a pastor and counselor in church-based settings for over fifteen years: working with couples and families in conflict

providing premarital education and counseling

caring for individuals and families walking through divorce and remarriage.   His additional areas of clinical interests and experience include working with adults experiencing grief and loss

anxiety and depression

the trauma of emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse

spiritual transformation and relational distress

parenting issues and season of life transitions.

Clay has also taught graduate courses on ethics and counseling and presented at national conferences on topics such as addressing family violence in the church and coordinating care between counselors and churches for the well-being of clients. His dissertation explored the influence of at least one partner’s religious conversion on the marital relationship and developed a tentative theory for helping both partners navigate potential loyalty conflicts.

Clay has a wife, 3 children and a black lab named Pepper.  He enjoys playing tennis & golf with his wife, co-managing a fantasy football team with his sons, watching and discussing movies with his daughter, and playing his guitar. (314)720-2710 ext 5  clay@killeencounseling.com 

 

Christy Brimm (St. Charles county) at Kaleo Counseling: kaleostl.com – Her bio states she works mostly with kids, but I’ve been told she is terrific, due to her passion and personality, for women who are in extremely difficult and abusive relationships.
Christy received her Master of Arts in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University and her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. She has gained extensive experience working with children, adolescents, women, and families via her 20+years serving in the Church. Her ministry experience has come in the form of working in children’s ministry, youth ministry, leading a life group for young families, and through leadership in Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). Christy has training in both school and clinical settings and is interested in offering gospel-centered counseling to youth and adults who find themselves in need of healing and wholeness. She also has a special interest in doing play therapy with children and working with families on parenting and relational issues. Christy is a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor and is supervised by Martha Ankney, LPC. She sees clients at the St. Charles office and is an out-of-network provider. You may email Christy at cbrimm@kaleostl.com.

 

 

MOSAIC: Threat Assessment for Abused Women

domestic-stats

Do you realize something isn’t right in your relationship or marriage? Not just inconvenient or annoying, but seriously wrong…hurtful, mean or controlling? Or are you aware that you’re already in an abusive relationship? Do you have friends, who have witnessed what they consider possible abuse, ask you if you are abused? Do you have family members who are concerned for your safety?

A caring childhood friend of mine, who also has a heart for people in abusive relationships, brought a new method of measuring abuse and safety, the MOSAIC method, to my attention. Thanks, Michele!

MOSIAC, created by Gavin de Becker,  is fascinating and helpful in that it “looks at the key elements of domestic violence and all the factors relevant to safety and puts them in context with each other. In the process, it helps filter out personal bias and denial.”¹

“Much like de Becker’s book Gift of Fear stresses the importance of listening to one’s intuition when fear signals arise in the body, in order to avoid dangerous people and situations, “MOSAIC is artificial intuition,’ says de Becker in one of his online videos. He says the test takes all the pieces of a potentially dangerous situation and puts them together, like a mosaic, to see what image emerges.'”²

“MOSAIC an ‘eye-opener’ in that it can help survivors more clearly see the reality of their circumstances, and helps advocates come up with the best safety plan for each survivor.”³

 

Watch this 7 minute video: Gavin de Becker on Mosaic – Assessment of Domestic Violence

 

 

To take the assessment test click here:  MOSAIC Threat Assessment Method

A situation might call for assessment as the result of someone’s intuitive feeling of risk, maybe because of threats or other sinister expressions, maybe because of verbal or emotional abuse, maybe because of violence, or maybe because friends or family are concerned about risk or danger.

The MOSAIC assessment needs to be taken on a computer that cannot be compromised—hacked. One thing most abusers have in common, which most victims or wives aren’t unaware of, is that abusers regularly hack into your emails, social media accounts, and phones. As of right now, every abused woman I’m in contact with shares story after story of her abuser hacking/spyng through avenues of technology.

Be safe!

Consider using a friend’s computer or go to the public library to use a computer. Use a safe password that nobody could know or figure out. And lastly, don’t tell your abuser or difficult person that you are taking the assessment; not for any reason! You don’t know the immediate or long-term reaction you might receive. Also, allow at least 30 minutes for the questionnaire.

The Mosaic treat assessment covers several types of threats and violence.

  • Domestic Violence (male offender)
  • Domestic Violence (female offender)
  • Workplace Violence (concerning a male)
  • Workplace Violence (concerning a female)
  • Threat by student (school)
  • Threat by student (university)
  • Threats (against public figures)
  • Threats (against judicial officials)

If you or someone else is currently in danger; leave and/or seek help immediately and call the police.

To take the assessment test click here:  MOSAIC Threat Assessment Method

mosiac-threat-assessment

 

¹,²,³https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/threat-assessment-tool-created-by-em-gift-of-fear-em-author#.WE-AerIrLIV

Validation and Help for Abused Women

Yes, yes I did read the Gary Thomas blog earlier this week! My text messages, emails and Facebook messages have been lighting up with the forwarded article.

I’m always grateful to read a godly man addressing an issue that is largely overlooked in the Christian community. More than overlooked, it is commonly hushed, ignored, or mishandled. (*Disclaimer: I’m not including my home church in this statement. I’m pleased to say that they have addressed abuse in the home on multiple occasions and support the abused spouse and/or child in their civil/legal and biblical recourse to report and/or leave an abusive person and seek help and safety.)

The church overall; however, is utterly failing abused women and children. The church often insists on the victim submitting, forgiving, forgetting, enduring, staying, saving the husband’s reputation, the church’s reputation, and…I’ve even heard; not obscuring the name of Christ.

I’m quite confident Christ does not need us to protect his reputation. He is secure in who He is and He will never ask us to protect an institution over an individual.

“I am God, and I’m passionate about one thing; My relationship with you.” Exodus 34:14 Paraphrased

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT

If you haven’t read the Gary Thomas article; here it is. My heart is for every church staff member, leader, teacher and attendee to read, understand, and then step forward when you learn of abuse. Abuse victims need validation, understanding and help achieving safety.

I’m including multiple links to help those living in an abusive relationship. These links are what I consider the cream of the crop. The best for quickly understanding what God has to say about the victim, the abuser, and the means for obtaining help, safety, sanity and healing.

Click the below links for more information. Also, please copy the ‘Enough is Enough’ article and distribute it to your church staff and leadership. An abused woman in your church will be thankful.

enough-is-enough-2-1

Gary Thomas article: Enough is Enough

Leslie Vernick
Leslie Vernick,Photo credit: Twitter profile picture

Leslie Vernick:Author of… The Emotionlly Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. If you are in a difficult or abusive relationship, Leslie’s website is the place to begin for help, hope and healing. Leslie also provides a great blog community of support  for women in destructive and abusive marriages.

 

unholy-charade

A Cry for Justice: Awakening the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse in its midst. 

Jeff Crippen, author and pastor for over 30 years, and Barbara Roberts, author and survivor of domestic abuse, created this website to:

 

visionary-womanhood

 

Visionary Womanhood: Because to live courageously, we need to see clearly. This is another blog community for women who want to recover their sanity by learning to identify and heal from emotional and spiritual abuse.  

 

Lynn Messer: Note, what note?

 Above photo credit: Photo Credit: J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

20161130_131825

 

This letter is reprinted with permission.

Aarron and Abram Messer have been cowriting public letters and posting them under notes on Aarron Messer’s Facebook page.

Aarron and Abram Messer, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Week before last during an interview my father seemingly opened his wallet and showed the world a note that my mother allegedly left when she disappeared on July 8th 2014. That’s it right up there. Of course that’s not all of it. As Kerry said in that interview he couldn’t share the other half because it wasn’t addressed to him. My daughter commented to me the other day almost nonchalantly “grandma didn’t write that.” “What do you mean?” I asked and she said what I have thought and wouldn’t couldn’t say out loud, “grandma didn’t call grandpa, “Pa” she called him “Pop.” Grandpa would get so frustrated and correct her because he wanted to be called Pa, but she called him Pop”. It’s true and it’s just one of many questions and problems with the truth about this note that my dad has now shared.
See on that morning, one I never wanted to experience, I can remember as clear as day hearing about the note from my dad, I was the first person to hear about it. The very first words that were told to me about it led me to assume it was a suicide note. But that is not the case. At 6:30 AM I pulled down the driveway and parked out by the barn. My daughter Emily had a show steer that she needed to work with and mom had left me a message the night before about being sure I was there before 7AM when the summer day would start to heat up.
I had been working at a firework stand in Concordia Missouri several hundred miles away for the past few weeks. The kids had been with their mother in Nebraska and in-between when the kids weren’t with me Kris my Ex refused to bring the kids to work with the show steers like they needed too. The drama between my Ex and my parents is a footnote though. The long and the short is simple Kris would not step foot on the farm so during her summer custody times my mother had been working with Emily’s steer.
Just the week before that steer had stepped on her foot breaking her toe. But that morning while my grumbling teenage daughter stubborn and bitterly began to work with her steer. I listened as the sound of a 4wheeler somewhere on the farm came closer. I saw my dad driving down the hill that’s where my mothers scent trail that the search dogs followed from the house ended, and the path to the back field where we eventually found mom. He came down the driveway and into the barnyard. Emily and her steer were just crossing the barnyard and I was preparing to close the gate to the show ring in the middle of the barnyard when he began to speak.
My dad asked, “What’s your plan today?” I told him we were working with the steer, that I needed to be in Fenton to do a little side work, and that mother was going to watch the kids that morning till I got back. My dad’s next words, I will never forget. “Well, I can’t find your mother, and she left a note that has me concerned.” He explained that he had been looking for her since early that morning when he woke up alone, and then he said, “why don’t you just take the kids and head on home today?” Now I was in total shock and my mind was racing a million different ways.
I asked him if he had checked my house? We had spent the night at my girlfriends 20 miles away and hadn’t been home so my house a mile away just off the farm would be a quiet place to get away too and no one would have noticed her being there. He told me no, and as I stood dumbfounded and confused in the middle of the barnyard he parked the 4 wheeler, jumped in his truck and drove off the farm. Kerry as we found later lied to the investigators multiple times denying he had left the farm that morning. He only admitted to having left the farm after he failed a polygraph in May of 2015, this was the second polygraph he failed. All just before investigators informed us of his new relationship.
I want you to understand and it’s important that you grasp this, in the same breath as learning my mother was missing my dad told me the note existed and that the note was something that clearly had my dad convinced that my mother may have harmed herself. That’s right the very first words about mom being missing and the note that my dad spoke to anyone was that the note caused him to be concerned that she might hurt herself. He said this with a tone that implied mom might have just killed herself. In fact the very first phone call I made to anyone a few minutes later was a weeping overwhelmed conversation with my girlfriend telling her that my mom is missing and that my dad is afraid she might have killed herself.
I want you to contrast this with the intentional words that my father has spoken telling us and insisting that this was not a suicide note, and making the case that my mother was off her rocker because of medication and had maybe wondered off confused in the middle of the night. I panicked but me panicking is a somewhat reasoned response, I searched the farm around me immediately. Now I had no reason to think my dad was hiding my mother’s body, but I will be frank I didn’t know what to do. So, I searched the trunk of their car, their basement, the attics, I searched the outbuildings, the apartment, the loft, I opened the grain barrels in the barn, I ran frantically searching any place a person could be hidden right there in the barnyard.
My daughter had practiced with her steer and she was done, so I sent her to put him back in the backyard. I put my kids in the car and drove home. My overwhelming dread was compounded, my dad had driven off he hadn’t answered any questions he was gone, my mom was missing I hadn’t been home for 2 weeks and the front door to my house was wide open when I pulled up. I had the kids wait in the car and I searched my own home, every room, the garage, the basement, the attic. No signs of anyone. It hit me maybe dad had left the door open moments earlier? I tried to call dad, no answer, I called 911. If my dad has been searching for my mom since 4AM and he hasn’t seen anything we need help.
I like many people had no idea what they could do? After all don’t the police make you wait 24hours before you can file a missing person’s report? Dispatch said they would have an officer call me. I have no home phone and I often lose signal in my home, so I gave them my parent’s phone number. Almost as soon as I hung up I realized dad isn’t home! I called Abram. I asked him did dad call the police yet, “I don’t know… “Well did he tell you about the note? ” just now, he called me and told me to go move the cows… he was up here at 4:15 this morning and he didn’t tell me anything about a note, earlier! … “Well when I was working with Emily and her steer this morning dad said mom is missing and he found some note she left that has him concerned.””
As we talked it became clear Abram woke up at about 4:15AM, as Kerry was trying to open his front door. Kerry asked how the 4wheeler ended up at his house, Abram explained he had driven it home the afternoon before. After asking about the 4 wheeler Kerry turned and walked away pausing momentarily at the end of the house to casually say “well I don’t know where your mother is, and I don’t know what’s going on”. But that was the whole conversation. Kerry never spoke a single word at 4AM about the note, its content or why he was worried about finding mom. Abram went back to bed unaware that there was any crises.
Elizabeth and Abram have reflected their conversation was along the lines of what did he want? He can’t find mom… What? Since mom and dad had been having septic tank problems, they had been using the bathroom over in the apartment across the driveway. She’s probably in the bathroom over at the apartment. Abram reflected, anecdotally commenting to Elizabeth about a time when we where young, how mom had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and found herself turned around in the dining room, and was lost in the dark walking around in circles around the dining room table… They had no idea dad was worried that mom had disappeared or that she had left a note implying she was going to hurt herself the way dad told me.
Moments before I called Abram, Kerry had called him and told him, “move the cows into the bottom field.” When Abram pressed him trying to find out what was going on, Kerry told him “I don’t need you to do anything. Just move the cows and go back home.” As Abram tried to question him but Kerry again responded by telling him “just move the cows and go back home… don’t come down.” While Elizabeth couldn’t go back to sleep after the whole house of dogs had been awakened at 4AM she sat on their porch. She watched around 6am as Kerry drove the 4 wheeler up and checked on the waterer for the cows. Casually, he drove around examining different cows. He looked over at her from the 4 wheeler and shrugged his shoulders with arms outstretched as if to be like ‘well I don’t know?’
Sitting on the porch Elizabeth never heard him drive all over the farm searching for our mother as he claimed later to have done. Frankly after waking them up and driving off he never expressed concern to them again until he heard that I had called police already. So Abram related how the morning had gone and he asked if I had been able to reach dad on his cell phone? Abram had tried to call him as had I, calling his cell and his house phone multiple times. Since neither of us could reach him and the only thing dad had said to Abram was to move the cows we really began to wonder what was going on.
I drove back to the farm, with the kids. I sent them to play on the rope swing in the backyard and I grabbed their cordless phone. I frantically reviewed the last few numbers dialed on my mom’s cell phone and house phone considering maybe she had, called her sister, or a friend and had gone with them somewhere. I contemplated calling her sister to ask, but was too afraid of upsetting her and causing a panic. The last few numbers showed no unusually calls or conversation with her sister or friends. The phone rang it was a deputy; he asked a few questions and told me he was on his way out.
Thankful I hung up waiting for them to arrive. Within seconds my dad returned to the barnyard with the truck he had left in. He looked at me rather perturbed like why are you still here? I asked him, have you called the police? He said “no”. But before he could talk further I said, “well I have already, they’re on their way.” But before another sound came out of my mouth in an agitated and angry bark my dad said, “I want you to leave.” My dad was so angry, if steam could have been pouring out his ears it would have been. I just turned and walked to the backyard.
My kids had known that grandma was missing they were with me they understood something was seriously wrong. So they were confused as I asked them to come on get in the car we’re going to go. While I herded my kids to the car, Abram pulled up to the house. He was eager to help find mom, knowing now that something was seriously amiss and coming down despite dads admonition to stay home. Kerry met him in the barnyard Abram asked “What’s going on?” Dad was still seething, “your brother’s already called the cops and they’re on their way, you need to just go home”. But Abram was pushing asking more questions trying to figure out what was going on, only to be met with yells of “GO HOME”. Finally since Kerry was getting so hostile, Abram who was at this point extremely shook up began to head back up the driveway.
As Abram drove up the driveway he met the Sheriff’s deputy coming down the driveway. The officer asked what was going on and Abram related as much of what he knew as possible. As I drove out of that barnyard with my kids I had no clue what any note said or where my mother was. But I watched as my dad walked out of the house towards the gate at the end of the yard to meet the deputy who was getting out of his car. I took hope knowing that whatever had happened at least the proper authorities were involved now.
In 2015 when I confronted my dad and as Abram, Kerry and I talked my dad revealed how in those minutes between getting rid of Abram and I he rushed in the house and made copies of this note. He took those copies cutting the note in two and throwing away half the note. So in the video interview earlier this month my dad lied as he claimed that he couldn’t show all the note because a portion was not written to him and was not his to share, the truth is on day one he threw away the portion of the note that was addressed to Abram. The reason he couldn’t share that portion of the note has nothing to do with to whom it was written but that he threw that part of the note away!
Now for the first 11 months the police refused to allow anyone to see the note. I understand investigators need to withhold information but this was not the case. As they had shared with me, they had refused to show us the note because Kerry asked them not too. In fact my dad has continually tried his best to keep Abram not just from knowing about the note but from ever seeing the portion written to him. So publicly dad says oh that part of the note isn’t written to me, privately he would like to pretend that portion of the note doesn’t exist and Abram should never see it even though it was written to him.
Months later investigators would find out from third parties that Kerry had made these copies of the note. That he had been showing people the note but not his kids. So when they found out that he had made these copies and was showing them to people, they were very concerned. On the first day they had asked him several time did you make any copies or taken any pictures of the note and he insisted, “no.” When they came to him and asked about him having the copies well why did lied about making them? So they asked him “why did you make copies?” and he responded by saying “because I knew this was going to be a long drawn out ordeal, and I didn’t know when I was going to get the note back.” So once again investigators scratched their heads wondering, How could he possibly know that this was going to be “a long drawn out ordeal” that’s certainly not what he told the public, or our family.
Over those months Abram and I both experienced incredible feelings of guilt and shame, as a direct result of his decision to hide the note from us. When you are doing everything possible to try and grasp why your mother would disappear, and you know that some devastating note that made your father think she killed herself is hidden from you and you are never allowed to see it, imagine the thoughts your mind goes through thinking why shouldn’t you see this note? Perhaps it says, it’s your fault Aarron, it’s your fault Abram, maybe that note goes on about how disappointed and how ashamed she is of your divorce, or that her grand-kids aren’t perfect enough, maybe we upset her so much with our lives, maybe she was so upset at us that she decided to kill herself and she said that in this note. Why did we have to go through every iteration of guilt and fear over what that note said? Because, Kerry decided we don’t deserve to read the last words our mother wrote.
Consider how our dad put his photocopied piece of the note on video for the public, but never showed his own family that note. Despite being asked and after knowing fully what the note said he would lie. He had copies of the note he was showing others but not us. During 2014 when Abram asked him about the note he responded by saying “the only thing we know from the note is that your mother is either dead, or will spend the rest of her life in a mental institution.” Now parents want to protect their kids, but consider that while Kerry is putting us through a living nightmare of shame and fear, the entire time he is carrying around a copy of a portion of that note, clinging too it in his wallet. So he takes peace and comfort reading it to himself while keeping us from knowing a single word of what it says.
For the entire time he refuses to tell us what the note says, when we repeatedly ask him what did it say. Abram asked him directly “was I mentioned in the note?” Kerry said “No”, over and over again, “it has nothing to do with you”, “it wasn’t written to you”, “it doesn’t have anything to do with you” and “THIS IS MY NOTE… IT BELONGS TO ME!!” All of which are absolute lies. The portion of the note that you have not seen that I have not seen is addressed directly too Abram it speaks directly to him and it has nothing to do with any kind of note finality as Kerry has said. It is a discussion of things that Lynn and Abram had argued over in the weeks prior to her disappearance.
In one of the more bizarre interactions when the investigators were asking Kerry about that portion of the note, he said, “I told her not to write that.” The officer asking him stopped and said “what did you tell her not to write?” And Kerry said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct myself, I did not just say I told her not to write that- that is not what I said”. Now he has never explained how or what he could have meant by that. Just he accidentally let slip that he watched her write the note, and that he criticized what she had written, and maybe just maybe that explains why he cut out that portion of the note and threw it away. Perhaps he knows that it doesn’t have anything to do with my mother disappearance. I don’t know any other possible way to explain this fact. Either he watched her write the note on the morning of July 8th or had he watched her write the note to Abram on the Thursday before when they had argued? Does that explain the forensic results?
Investigators have been evaluating and examining this note for years now. It has been evaluated by the foremost forensic handwriting specialists with the FBI. Looking for clues as to the mental state of the writer, considering their emotional state, hesitation in their writing, was it written under duress, who wrote it? All these things were examined, and in the end the best information shared has been that investigators cannot definitively say even if my mother wrote the note. I would love to be able to share the note with you but too this day I have never seen the original note or read the entire thing. Even this picture he submitted to the media is not remotely close to the same thing as the original note. What? That’s right look at the way the note looks crisp clean, do you believe it’s the same note he has carried for two and a half years in his wallet? My daughter said again to me what I didn’t want too, that’s not been in his pocket for years. If I carry a note in my pocket for a day it fades, the paper looks blue, that note was just put in his wallet.
Now that may not mean a thing but think about it. My dad orchestrates an interview yes he has shut out the media, NBC has been preparing a documentary on my missing mother for months and he has refused to speak with them. But he calls reporters and invites them over, sits on my bench in front of the apartment I rent from him and pretends to make an impulse decision to open his wallet and share the note my mother wrote him. He says he has been carrying the note… But he shows a fresh copy probably one he made that day it has one set of fold lines, that aren’t crisp or aged, the paper he pulls out and pretends to be emotionally unable to read on camera is clearly a brand new note he just put in his wallet.
My dad told Abram and I the same story in 2015 when we confronted him about his secret girlfriend and he admitted and told us how he had demanded that investigators keep the note from us. He threatened the detectives saying that if they showed us the note he would not cooperate with the investigation. When we confronted him Dad opened his wallet and pulled out a faded old paper that looked completely different than the one he just put on camera. He read it to us, explaining how it was written too him and it belonged to him and he was livid that the police would violate his demand to keep it from us.
So the picture above, the note he prepared ahead of time, which I feel has been enlarged and clearly was freshly folded and placed in his wallet for the purpose of pretending to pull it out and read it. It fails to demonstrate exactly what my mother wrote anyone. What I do know is the note that was given to investigators, is written in two different colors of inks. Investigators believe it was actually written at different times, clearly it was not one thought but two separate thoughts both written on the same page. Why would anyone sit down to write a note with one pen write two lines then switch to a sharpie write something completely different to someone else and then go back to the other ink pen and write another line which also doesn’t fit with anything else you had written?
The first half was written above and the rest was written directly too Abram. It discusses a biology text book from high school and refers to the chapter on human reproduction. Abram had brought several issues to my mom’s attention and had discussed how she had lost her temper with his kids. That she had developed a habit of ambushing his wife with complaints. She would let her concerns build until in an overwhelming moment of frustration she would unload on people. When mom argued that she had never ambushed anyone Abram shared how, in high school, the kitchen full of teenage girls participating in a home economics class mom was teaching that a discussion unfolded where the class of girls laughed at Abram for not knowing what a sanitary pad or tampon was for. Abram embarrassed and being humiliated by mother who stood outside the bathroom door in front of kitchen full of teenage girls, explained in specific detail female menstrual cycles.
Abram hid in the bathroom mortified that his mother would ambush him in such a harsh way. That example was one of the issues that Abram had just discussed with our mother and had been a major discussion regarding why Abram would be upset that mom lost her temper and snapped at his kids while they were working with their 4H steers. She had made repeated outlandish comments to her grand-kids about how if they didn’t work harder with the show steers that there would be no money.
Mom was always devastated and terrified that the family was broke. She was not allowed to know the details of her financial affairs because my dad insisted on keeping that hidden from her. She was not allowed to know what the balance of the checkbook was. She was incredibly upset that if the steers did not show well at the fair that coming weekend that they wouldn’t sell for a good price and they would lose thousands of dollars already spent in feed on the steers. In fact she repeatedly called her sister imploring and begging her to buy one of the steers at the fair almost terrified in her pleas that if they didn’t buy one of the steers maybe there wouldn’t be food to eat. Of course after Kerry calculated the cost of the feed and the final sales price of the steers the kids each sold their steers for more than a $1,000 more than was spent raising them.
So this note Kerry says he found the second portion is written to Abram and it talks about the textbook and the discussion between Abram and Lynn. In fact the note was left on top of that textbook for Abram. But Kerry never allowed Abram to read it or told him anything about how it was written too him. While, Kerry had not been present for the argument between Lynn and Abram he was fully aware of the context that the note was written in. In fact he said so during the confrontation between my dad, Abram and I during the spring of 2015. Kerry lied to the investigators saying that he had no idea what the note meant and he hid the details of the argument with Abram and its relevance to the content of the note.
In interviews Kerry has claimed that he had no idea about the argument and that he never understood the second portion of the note until discussing the details with us in the spring of 2015. This is a lie. In fact he discussed and brought up the argument with Abram numerous times with investigators. During my confrontation with Kerry, he also acknowledged that he knew that Abram and my mom had made amends. He knew that as soon as Abram realized that he had lost his temper with mom he immediately apologized and made a commitment to her that he would make sure that he took proactive steps to make sure they would not let stress build up between them.
The day after their argument Abram and his family had gone to a get together with my mom and dad at a friend’s house for the 4th of July. Clearly things had been settled between Abram and mom since they had a great time together eating, talking and laughing late into the evening together. It has become clear that Kerry has viewed and used the note as a means to indict Abram claiming that he had driven Lynn off the mental edge. There is no doubt from the numerous times Kerry has said exactly that too me, that my dad has convinced himself that my mother is dead today because of Abram. Or at least that is the story that he is telling behind closed doors. If this were in fact true, do you really think my mom would have spent hour after hour with Abram and his family the very next day laughing and talking over dinner, fireworks and a bonfire?
Kerry’s relationship with Abram has deteriorated not simply because of Abram’s questioning of dad, but because Kerry has tried to blamed Abram from day one. He knew that the note the second portion was not written too him, it was too Abram and he has expressed that he would like to pretend that that portion of the note doesn’t exist. While Kerry has privately excused his lies too Abram, investigators, and I about the note as some type of attempt to protect Abram from feeling guilty, he has in fact blamed Abram and actively shifted guilt and blame too Abram. What has really happened is Kerry has blamed Abram completely and to hide his own feelings and or actions he has lied over and over again.
In April of 2015 the detectives sat down with Abram. They explained to him how that Kerry had told them that if they showed anyone the note, or talked about it that he would no longer cooperate with the investigation. They continued to outline the problems they were experiencing in the investigation. That Kerry was no longer cooperating with the investigation. In an effort to have some questions answered they showed Abram the note. It is also important to know that on the morning of July 8th 2014 Abram had told the investigators in specific detail all about the argument that he had with mom. The investigators knew from the beginning the context which that portion of the note was written in… in spite of Kerry’s lies about not having any idea what it meant. It was in fact the nature of conversations between Mom and Elizabeth, and Mom and I about Abram that investigators first focused on.
It is important to know that mom would often leave notes for us. Many times she would leave notes for Abram and Elizabeth sometimes at their house and sometimes at her house. The fact that a note exists would not be unusual by any means if anything it would be ordinary. So when you read the note understand that its content is not atypical but is more passive aggressive than typical. As I mentioned previously the note is written with two different types of ink most likely at two different times. The top lines are written with a fine blue pen the middle section written to Abram is written with a green Sharpie marker and the closing line is written with the same blue pen as the top two lines.
The text of the note as best as Abram could relate are as follows.

“I am sorry pa to put

you through this

I love you with all my heart.

Abram on the table you will find the biology book. the last chapter has the stuff that you were told to read but we never discussed. there is also the bible study book with the information that I “never taught” you. I am sorry I made you hate me.

Sorry everyone”

The wording may not be exact because Abram is recalling it from memory only seeing the note once, but this is the most accurate reproduction we can make. As you can see the note is certainly not cohesive and seems to be completely separate thoughts collected on the same page. If you look at the actual note that was written to Abram it would make total sense if she wrote the note to Abram on Thursday the 3rd of July given Kerry’s admission saying “I told her not to write that.”
So to conclude, my mom wrote a note. A note to her family, to everyone…maybe. A note was written either way. Mom, wrote a note to Abram and dad hid it from him, from me, from everyone and lied and lied and lied about it. Dad manipulated the investigation, has misrepresented what he knows about the note to the public, to his family, to investigators. He has used the note to control us, the investigation, to try and get pity from you. We don’t even know if mom wrote the note, or maybe he did? At least the portion written to Abram looks like mom’s hand writing. So the note doesn’t answer many questions but it certainly doesn’t indict Abram for having driven mother over the edge. Speaking of which, we need to talk about my mom, she was upset. She was depressed, she was overwhelmed and she didn’t get help. My dad knows that, he denies it but he knows it. My mother’s mental health is the subject of our next discussion.

 

 

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin for more articles.

Who is Spring Thomas: By Aarron Messer

  This article is from Aarron Messer’s Facebook page. He has given me permission to print it in its entirety. Our frustrations can be overwhelming. There are so many questions we do not have answers too that at times you wonder if there is anything you can do? One of those questions is what role if any has my father’s relationship with his girlfriend Spring Thomas played in the disappearance of my mother? I can’t answer that question. I can’t because I don’t know. However I can answer several other questions that can help you understand why our family is so pulled apart. I will not be proposing theories. I will not be speculating. What you are reading are only facts that I know too be true from personal observation and direct statements from eye witnesses, detectives, Abram, Kerry and myself. Some facts may be denied by others or glossed over. This does not invalidate them as facts. Dr. Thomas,

read more Who is Spring Thomas: By Aarron Messer

Difficult, Disappointing, or Destructive Marriage?

Listen to Leslie Vernick’s 4 1/2 minute video to find out the difference between a difficult, disappointing, and destructive marriage.

Talking about destructive marriages, I want to submit to my readers that the patriarchal movement qualifies as destructive. I have heard of, and read of, leader after leader in the patriarchal movement falling to significant sexual sin. Of course, this is not universally true, but it seems to be a breeding ground for men with ulterior motives for engaging in this movement. I have received numerous communications from women who are, or were, caught up in the movement. In these cases; men were given authority over all areas of the wife’s life and it led to situations of unrighteous domination and huge sexual addictions, sin and abuse by the husband.

Hopefully you’re in a terrific marriage! If so, you can watch the video to better understand what a friend or relative may be suffering through in their marriage.

A past contributor to my blog, Joy S, who wrote on the subject of, “Narcissistic Parents: Parts 1,2,3 & 4” reminded me of the following quote for this specific topic:

“The Woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” Matthew Henry

20 More Narcissistic Red Flags

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Because I know there are those of you who woke up today asking, “Is it me? Am I crazy? This all has to be my fault! I can’t do anything right. My defects are continually pointed out; character traits that I thought were good, positive and helpful, are identified as terrible and wrong. I feel like I should just go sit on the shelf and be quiet until I am asked for and needed. I thought I was strong, intelligent, capable, a good friend, generous, happy and hospitable. Now I feel empty—sad…erased. Where did I go?”

Perhaps it isn’t you! No loving, empathetic human would treat another like this. Maybe it’s time to look at your difficult person through a new set of lenses.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

So here, I’m handing you a new set of eyes. While I’m at it, I’ll lend you a new pair of ears so you can recall if these are phrases you often hear. Do the below statements reflect how you have felt, how your heart has ached, questions you have asked, or statements that have been made to you?

If so, you may want to study narcissistic personality disorder. If the below problems identify a relationship you are in, you will need professional help; along with, prayer and bible study to make it through to healthy thinking, wise boundaries and an emotionally safe relationship.

You can do it!

 

NPD 12NPD 32NPD 33NPD 34NPD 35NPD 38NPD 75NPD 44NPD 45NPD 47NPD 48NPD 49NPD 51

NPD 73

NPD76NPD 52

 

 

 

 

 

NPD 53NPD 54NPD77NPD 56