Insight from a nun (about abuse)


I was in an abusive relationship as a teenager as I posted before; this person had a lot of power and made a lot of threats and he was terminally ill and why he got interested in me I do not know but he had a habit of abusing much younger people. he made threats of killing other people which were unfortunately realistic given his prior behavior.

however I also felt like I deserved it. so I talked to a nun after he died who said that I was very troubled to feel I deserved this kind of treatment which involved threats, violence and etc. and I was in therapy and we were working with the police but it was hard. eventually we did get effective help.

so after he died people were trying to tell me I did not deserve it and a nun talked to me and said what does it mean that Jesus died for our sins? and I said to save us so that we are forgiven so we don't have to pay the consequences for sins - which is sacrifice she said.

there are times when sacrifice is good like when you are a parent or need to do without or are trying to build character or whatever and there have been people who have been martyrs for the Faith. however there is a sacrifice that is bad and that is when you say to a violent person - I will stay with you even if you kill me, b/c I hope that way you don't kill anyone else.

she said, Jesus died to save us from our sins and she said, who is 'we' and I said, everyone who believes in him - or words to that effect and she said - that means Jesus died to save all of us from our sins. Including the sins of other people. and b/c Jesus made that sacrifice, you don't have to.

now there are times and I've seen it posted in CAF in many situations where it's necessary to hang on and work on troubles with a loved one but I am specifically talking about someone who is, on a chronic basis, threatening to kill you and other people. the fact that this man has not been stopped - and he was very wealthy and prominent and very deceptive - that reflects sin on other people's part b/c they have been warned many times and they have documentation of harm he has done. so if you do it again (another relationship) don't die for someone else's sin.

if someone had explained it to me that way, I would have gotten out much earlier. I would have had to go to great lengths to escape but I would have done it. as it was, hearing that after it was over, made me recover in a way that I would not have b/c the nun - whose name I don't even remember - this was a terrible time - said that excessive self-sacrifice is sinful. and I mean THIS kind of sacrifice. there are very rare cases where martyrdom is a good idea but to stop violent people like this is almost never one of them.

that's b/c he was already breaking multiple laws and many people knew it. This is not like the Nazis or a totalitarian state where you often have to stand up to violence and persecution b/c there is no protection. It's also not about persecution of Christians. This is a case where a lot of people in law enforcement and psychiatry knew this guy was dangerous and mostly chose not to act, although some did.

she said it can actually take resources away from the Church b/c caring people who try to help or heal others can be destroyed by people like this and then they don't have the resources to help themselves or other people without a lot of work. and it's important to care for both self and other people.

when I heard that, I felt a lot better. she said this is not about blame for abuse b/c no one had ever explained it this way but once I heard it I realized there is a difference between repenting of my own sins and living a good life and being trapped in a relationship where someone threatened to kill either me or his daughter every time I saw him. back then it was the mid-80s and I was under 21 so resources were less but she was concerned about me continuing to do this which I have not.

She said you're not Jesus, you can't heal people who are very ill and evil both and determined not to improve - b/c he was in therapy and playing games about it. And you can't save people from other people's sins. Only Jesus could do that. This is not the same as issues on CAF about condoning some behavior or other b/c she was specifically talking about sacrifice. Sacrificing your life for the sins of other people and she said not to do it.




That makes a lot of sense. As someone who has stayed in abusive relationships before, I want to thank you for posting this so that I don't make the same mistake again... One of them nearly killed me during assaults more times than I'd like to admit.

So, thank you, and I hope that you know you don't deserve that.


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