Seven years after separating from my abuser, a nervous breakdown revealed the reality that time alone was not going to heal the horrors of abuse.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn’t make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn’t release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had over me.
As I started putting my shattered life back together after being separated from my abuser, I still felt his compelling control shaping my every thought and action. I didn’t feel like a domestic violence survivor just because I was no longer with my abuser. In fact, I felt like a remotely-controlled, confused puppet still shaken by residual influences in my mind.
In order to become a true survivor, knowing that the thoughts in my head were mine, I had to:
Identify the deeply rooted lies of my abuser that I believed were true
Extract the lies
Lean on God’s strength to defeat the lies and replace them with His word
Acknowledge that the trauma experienced from the abuse left physical and emotional scars that needed to be furthered explored
Eleven years later, being a domestic violence survivor means being free and open to living again. It means I am open to making decisions, building trusting relationships again, and eventually feeling love again. It means that the thoughts in my head are mine and mine only. With the emotional abuse removed from my mind, God’s grace and love have taken over. It's a calmness and peace I never thought possible.
"My first few months of a 32-year career in law enforcement taught me to never be surprised at the horrific things people do to the ones they supposedly love. In fact, after several responses to calls of domestic violence, I became jaded, believing there were many more cases of domestic violence going unreported. So, with this jaundiced, suspicious perspective, how did I miss knowing that a dear friend, coworker, and high-performing law enforcement officer was herself a victim of domestic violence? Susan's daring, heart-wrenching story is one of strength, love, and bravery, with an appropriate ending to a horrific first marriage. With a reconstructed foundation built on faith, friends, and family, Susan shares her pain, the flawed reasoning that kept her in a damaging and demoralizing relationship, and how she found the strength to rise above it. But her book also quietly exposes how 'we'—the friends, family and coworkers of abused and abusers—can be truly blind to what goes on behind closed doors. Susan's page-turning, hopeful exposé is a testament that even law enforcement officers, highly-educated executives, and other leaders are not immune to the lies of abusers, but gives hope of freedom to those who have been held in that harrowing grip."
– Colleen McGuire, Brigadier General, US Army (Retired), Former Provost Marshal of the Army, Commander, Criminal Investigations Command, Commandant, United States Disciplinary Barracks (Federal Penitentiary)
"Sue Parisher's book is a compelling account of one woman's journey of abuse—from victim to survivor. This is an easy-to-read introduction to domestic violence based on Sue's own story. Like the title suggests, it dispels myths and is faithful to the Christian Scriptures."
– Nancy Nason-Clark, PhD, FRSC, Professor Emerita, University of New Brunswick, Director, the RAVE Project