Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Turning a Blind Eye

The coping technique I applied to my marriage was much the same as what I used with family problems, cult membership, and sometimes even my health: ignore the bad and it will go away. "Give no place to the devil," as Ephesians 4:27 admonishes, which I seemed to interpret as "brush any problems under the rug and move on to other things."

When my husband beat my son in anger or treated the other children harshly, I rationalized that he couldn't have meant to do that harm. Surely he was sorry. ("I wouldn't act like that, and if I had, I would certainly be sorry," assuming that he would think like I would.) If he was sorry, no one ever heard about it.

Although I did try, I could never talk to him about such things, as he would react with anger or simply leave the room. Years later he told me that because I seemed to "protect" my children and "side with them against him," he felt obligated to retaliate by treating them more harshly. 

Coincidentally (or not), this echoed the same sentiment pounded into me repeatedly by leadership in TFI, namely, that I "favored" my children. I needed to give them to others to discipline and care for, and of course, I spent my days caring for other people's children. If one of my own children happened to be in the group of children I was responsible for, I needed to be careful to treat them the same as, or even more pleasing in the eyes of cult leadership, more harshly than, the others. The one hour of nightly "Family Time" was more than enough for fulfilling the mothering needs of my children, so it was said.

Had I been able to wake up out of my delusions and shake off some of my strongly clung-to mental biases, I would have seen early on that our situation was intolerable not only for me, but even more so, my children.

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