Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Monday, May 20, 2013
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
HOLIDAYS 2010 Newsletter
LUKE 17:3 Ministries
for adult daughters
of controlling or abusive birth-families
A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of
the Lord, our Father
take heed to yourselves. If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him……..Luke 17:3
* Happy Thanksgiving * Merry Christmas * Happy New Year *
VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 HOLIDAYS 2010
Luke 17: 3 is the scripture often misquoted, usually by an abuser or his enabler, when he tells you that the Bible says “Forgive and Forget”, or that you must forgive him because you are a Christian. However, Jesus is very specific when he tells us to rebuke the sinner, and if he repents, to forgive him. Have you rebuked your abuser, and has he or she repented?
THE ONLY FORM OF ABUSE STILL CONDONED BY SOCIETY. THE ONLY ABUSE IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS CRITICIZED OR ABANDONED FOR TRYING TO PROTECT HERSELF. CHILD ABUSE THAT DIDN’T END WHEN ADULTHOOD BEGAN…THE CONTINUING ABUSE OF GROWN CHILDREN BY THEIR PARENTS.
If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!
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Rev. Renee Pittelli
Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.
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Please ask about our Luke 17:3 Ministry in Tennessee, founded by Rev. Denise Rossignol.
Thank you Jesus!
12 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD
By Rev. Renee Pittelli
AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH PASSETH ALL
UNDERSTANDING, SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS
THROUGH CHRIST JESUS…Philippians 4:7 KJV.
As of this writing, I have been No Contact with my abusive birth-family for twelve glorious years. I stopped spending the holidays with them a couple of years before birth-mother finally cut me off completely, so I am now approaching my fourteenth holiday season with no abusers to deal with. It will be my fourteenth Thanksgiving dinner that I don’t have to sit at the table and eat with evil people, walking on eggshells and waiting for the disagreements, belligerence, insults and bullying to start. My fourteenth Christmas that I don’t have to grit my teeth and buy presents for sociopaths- and then wrap them in cheerful paper with big shiny bows on top.
(cont’d on page 2…)
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end….Luke 1:31-33NIV.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you…..Matthew 7: 6KJV.
I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God....Luke 12:8NIV.
Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told….Habakkuk 1:5
Praise God, Our Savior Is Born!
(Cont’d from page 1…)My fourteenth New Year’s that I don’t have to start out the new year watching my children’s smiles fade when the sarcasm, nastiness and antagonism surfaces. Especially since one of my son’s birthdays falls during the holidays, and he certainly deserves to enjoy it without having to endure hostility and abuse coming from people who are supposed to love him enough not to ruin his birthday. No more. We’re done with all of that. Life is good, praise the Lord.
Do you ever wonder what you can expect in the future, and how you will feel years from now if your abusers are no longer in your life? No matter who disowns whom, doubt and trepidation are natural and normal. Especially if most of our family members are abusers or Silent Partners, setting and enforcing boundaries can mean that eventually we will lose them all. If the only choice they give you is living the rest of your life as a target of their abuse, or losing them- and, after a relatively short adjustment period, living the rest of your life in peace- well, only you can decide if it’s worth it or not.
LESSON #1- EVENTUALLY THEY WILL LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO
IMPACT YOU EMOTIONALLY.
So after all this time has passed, what is it like for me? Has it gotten any easier? Are there any regrets? Do my ex-relatives still monopolize my thoughts, my energy and my life? You know, I think if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m writing about them and doing a ministry for abuse victims, I wouldn’t even think about or remember much about my abusers. Maybe that’s a result of the decades of relentless stress and trauma they inflicted on me? Or maybe they’re just out of sight, out of mind? I don’t know. But not dwelling on them anymore, or even remembering them most of the time, is another example of God’s mercy toward his children.
When I’m writing about them, I have to remember them and how they abused and betrayed me. Then I can definitely get angry and upset all over again. Also, when Daddy Darling pulls one of his Hoovers and decides to contact me, it is mildly annoying. But it used to really throw me. I would be upset for days. Now, hearing from him is no longer upsetting. In fact, the last few times have been pretty funny. Probably because he’s so predictable and I expect to hear from him at certain times of the year- like around the holidays. Now I almost welcome it, because somewhere along the line I’m going to use it to help other people. Eventually every contact from him will be used to write another chapter about his psychopathic antics.
When you first become estranged from people you love, of course it takes some time to get your bearings. You do mourn the loss of these relationships- some more than others. I think the first six months to a year are the worst in terms of missing them, and also the first few holiday seasons. Although missing them is mixed in with a huge sense of relief and even some jubilation.
But being twelve years down the road, I can assure you that over time things definitely get easier and life gets so much better. We all eventually move on, make new friends and family, start new traditions and make new memories- and the narcissists fade into the background and disappear, little by little. I’d say it took about five or six years before I realized I had gotten through a whole holiday season without missing them or even thinking about them. I probably would still be able to do that if Daddy Darling hadn’t found us after we moved away and started sending cards. Once it sinks in that you are finally free, you become almost euphoric about it. And you make up your mind to defend that freedom, no matter what it takes, and never to go back into bondage.
LESSON #2- THEY’RE NOT EVEN IN THE BALLPARK OF
NORMAL, AND THEY NEVER WERE.
Something else I learned after being out of and away from my narcissistic family for twelve years is just how abnormal and toxic their behavior always was. And how abnormal, crazy, selfish and evil they were. What’s weird is that I never knew it when I was enmeshed in it. You get a different perspective on this when you look back at it from a distance. They were the same back then, but I didn’t see it. To me, we had arguments and disagreements like every other family. But it wasn’t like every other family. It was so much more. Even when it wasn’t being openly expressed, simmering just beneath the surface was a hostility, jealousy and hatred so extreme it’s hard to grasp. It’s so obvious now. I really think all victims need to put that space and time between them and their abusive families before they can clearly see the depth of their dysfunction. You don’t realize the extent of their evil when you first go No Contact, even though you think you do. When our abusive relationship ends, we might think we had that one huge last-straw event that finally opened our eyes as to what we were dealing with. But we really didn’t. The scales drop from your eyes little by little, not all at once. It’s a long-term learning process, and you realize more and more as the years pass.
LESSON #3- THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO BE A PART OF
YOUR LIFE AGAIN. BECAUSE THEY WILL NEVER CHANGE-
AND YOU HAVE CHANGED.
Another thing you come to realize as time passes is that they will never change. And you come to accept that they are never going to be a part of your life again. Even though we waste a lifetime trying to set boundaries that they ignore, tolerating, arguing, protesting and being hurt, we still don’t get it. We keep going back for more. We still think they really love us and aren’t hurting us intentionally. It takes a long time to get that they don’t love us and they are hurting us intentionally- and it’s very hard to accept. Even after the final blow up, I don’t think we really believe it’s over. We still think we might kiss and make up. We go through a range of emotions like the five stages of grief, including denial, anger and depression. But as time passes, we come to a stage of acceptance and move on.
I think for several years I harbored a secret wish that my birth-sister and the cousins who I really missed- who betrayed me the most and who were now shunning me- would come to their senses, call me up and mend fences. But they never did. As time passed, I gave up on that hope. And then, as more time passed, I began to realize that they were no longer the kinds of people I would want in my life anyway.
I had made new, godly relationships- with good people. Normal, healthy people. Truly thoughtful, supportive and loving people. For the first time in my life, I had the kind of relationships that folks in normal families take for granted. The old people seemed so toxic by comparison- immature, spiteful, ignorant, nasty, gossipy, small-minded, manipulative, untruthful and just not very evolved. From what I’d heard of them in the years since they disowned me, I realized that they had not changed and probably never would. They were still judgmental, nosy, meddling, arrogant, selfish, self-centered, bossy, temperamental, dysfunctional and unsafe. They always would be. With some surprise I realized that they had not grown mentally, emotionally or spiritually since the 1960s. They all seemed to have a serious case of arrested development. I think accepting this was a big step for me. It’s like admitting to yourself that you are obviously not a very good judge of character, because most of the people you ever loved are narcissists, borderlines and psychopaths. But it does help you get better at recognizing abnormal faster.
Being brainwashed from birth into being a lifelong people-pleaser, I didn’t have very high standards for my relationships before going No Contact. But I have developed much higher
standards now, after my disowning. Now I want to have only normal people in my life. In fact, as soon as I smell crazy, I’m outta there. Now I realize that my ex-relatives are not worthy of me. They’re seriously deficient in all the areas that count. They have far too many character flaws. They are not fit as people to have in my life or in my family’s lives.
I think giving up any and all desire for reconciliation, and coming to the conclusion that I wouldn’t reconcile even if they wanted to, because I finally see them for what they are, was a big step in my recovery. It took me about five years to reach this point. Now, if they ever apologized, I might accept the apology- assuming it was genuine. But reconciliation is no longer an option. That ship sailed a long time ago. I am no longer interested in reconciling, because I don’t believe they have changed, nor will they ever change, into the kinds of people I now allow to be a part of my life. I have made up my mind to seek stability in my relationships, and mental and emotional stability in the people I have relationships with. My ex-relatives just don’t qualify. The only reason I might accept their apology at all is that I really don’t care anymore. I’ve reached the point of emotional disconnect- total indifference. Their apology would be meaningless, and so would my acceptance of it. It wouldn’t change a thing.
LESSON #4- NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO HURT YOU.
THERE ARE SAFE PEOPLE OUT THERE.
A nice side effect of ridding your life of abusers is that after a few years, you start relaxing more around people. You lose a lot of the anxiety and defensiveness you developed from a lifetime of dealing with narcissists, borderlines and sociopaths. You begin to realize that not everybody is looking for a fight, not everybody is trying to manipulate or swindle you, not everybody is going to criticize and judge you, not everybody is going around behind your back gossiping and lying about you, and not everybody has ulterior motives and hidden agendas. With normal people, you don’t have to watch every word out of your mouth. You don’t have to be one step ahead in order to protect yourself. You don’t have to be on your guard all the time. You need to seek out the normal people, and make up your mind that you will never again allow yourself to get involved in a relationship with anyone who is not normal.
LESSON#5- WHEN YOU LEARN TO REDEFINE WHAT YOU
ALWAYS THOUGHT WAS NORMAL AS EVIL, IT HELPS YOU TO
RECOGNIZE ABNORMAL QUICKER SO YOU CAN STAY SAFE.
I think the biggest hurdle for us Adult Children is learning to redefine normal. Coming from abusive families, our version of normal is just so skewed. We think we’re accepting “eccentricities”, “personality quirks”, “mood swings,” or whatever. But we’re really accepting abuse. That’s how we’ve been raised. It takes a while to get off the crazy train. I think that unconsciously, we feel comfortable with and even drawn to other narcissists, because they remind us of our lost families and we’re looking to replicate our history and replace what we lost. It probably took me about eight years before I got good at spotting narcissists when I first meet them, so I can avoid them and keep them at arm’s length. We have to retrain ourselves to take that attraction to the familiar and replace it with revulsion so we can stay safe.
When I think back on my ex-family and their behavior, what I once took for normal I can now see was actually terrible, selfish, cruel and abusive. I can’t believe how bad it was, but my eyes were veiled then. It was all I had ever known, so I guess I was just used to it. Now, after a over a decade of normal, if I saw anybody else’s family behaving the way mine did and treating the people who loved them the way mine did, I would think they were the rudest, most despicable lowlifes on the planet. Out from under their black cloud, I have learned what a normal, loving family is supposed to be.
LESSON #6- HEALING TAKES TIME, BUT YOU WILL HEAL. GO
THROUGH THE PROCESS, BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF, LIVE
IN THE TRUTH, AND LEAN ON JESUS.
I’ve also learned that recovery is a process. Just when I think I’m done, there seems to be something else to work through. But it’s hugely less than it was. Life gets better every day, praise the Lord. So I would mostly say to anyone who has recently gone No Contact to give it time, lean on Jesus, keep in touch with your normal relatives, and make good friends who will support you and care about you. Whenever you begin to doubt yourself, make a point of remembering the truth about your narcissistic family and all they did over the years to hurt you. And then throw them back into the sea of your forgetfulness and move on. One day you will wake up and barely remember the narcissists- and when you do, it won’t be so bad. They will lose their ability to upset you and whatever power they had over you. Now, after twelve years, it’s like all of that happened in another lifetime. It just has no effect on my reality anymore. If I had to do it all over again, my only regret would be that I didn’t do it a couple of decades sooner! I really wasted forty-seven years of my life, filled with sorrow, stress, aggravation, walking on eggshells, miserable holidays, and volunteering for target practice- when I could have had so many more years of peace, freedom and joy!
THEY HAVE GREATLY OPPRESSED ME FROM MY YOUTH, BUT THEY HAVE NOT GAINED THE VICTORY OVER ME. PLOWMEN HAVE PLOWED MY BACK AND MADE THEIR FURROWS LONG. BUT THE LORD IS RIGHTEOUS; HE HAS CUT ME FREE FROM THE CORDS OF THE WICKED…Psalm 129:2-4.
Like this article? It’s an excerpt from Sister Renee’s new book “Narcissistic Predicaments: A Biblical Guide To Navigating The Schemes, Snares, And No-Win Situations Unique To Abusive Families.” You can find it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
The Wisdom Of Proverbs
Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith; remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness…Proverb 25:4-5NIV
Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…..to a land flowing with milk and honey”…Exodus 3:16-17
Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there. I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”….Ecclesiates 3:16-17
Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me”….Ezekiel 3:16-17
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.”….Daniel 3:16-17
The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel….Joel 3:16
When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, he will invade them with his troops….Habakkuk 3:16
In that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing”…Zephaniah 3:16-17
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on his name. “They shall be mine.” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him”….Malachi 3:16-17
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him….Matthew 3:16
John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”….Luke 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life….John 3:16
And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all….Acts 3:16
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are…..1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away….2 Corinthians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your
Seed,” who is Christ…..Galatians 3:16
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man….Ephesians 3:16
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind….Philippians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord….Colossians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all….2 Thessalonians 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory…..1 Timothy 3:16
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?.....Hebrews 3:14-16
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy…..James 3:16-17
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed….1 Peter 3:15-16
And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked….2 Peter 3: 15,16,17
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren….1 John 3:16
…..Above verses from the New King James Version
You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young…Isaiah 40: 9-11 (NIV).
Dear Sisters and Brothers, A blessed and peaceful abuser-free holiday season to you with love from us.
Sister Renee and
Glory to our King!
Copyright 2002-2013.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we're sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.