judging Hope

Hope is a bitter woman.

At least that’s what people are saying.

People tell her she needs to forgive her husband, and by that they mean she needs to restore the relationship they think she is supposed to have with him. They are sure it couldn’t have been that bad, living with him. He’s such a nice guy. And he’s in church every Sunday and serves on a board and teaches Sunday School.

And it makes them uncomfortable to even consider what it might have been like to be her, to live with an abuser.

But that’s just exactly what they should do. .

Then they would find out that it really was that bad. In fact, they will probably find out that it was worse than Hope told them. She didn’t tell them every detail of the abuse. Some of it was just too horrible to relive in the retelling. And she didn’t think anyone would believe her anyway. And she figured they would tell her the abuse was her fault and that she must be crazy because he’s such a great guy.

Instead of trying to rush Hope through her grief. Instead of siding with her abuser by minimizing his abuse. Instead of adding to Hope’s feelings of being diminished and disregarded, validate her and help her heal and work through her grief by believing her and not discounting her feelings.

The abuse went on for years, for decades. It will quite possibly take years for Hope to heal. Be a part of the healing instead of adding to the pain.

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