Contempt, Pain, Vengeance, and a Request for Prayer

12

2016-02-25 by Object of Contempt

I am overwhelmed, buried under a mountain of constant contempt. I think I coould breathe, I might even thrive if there were a person who valued me enough to simply validate me. The weight of being consistently invalidated throughout life is suffocating. And the worst of it comes from the ones who give what I call sweet contempt. Those people don’t just devalue, they also deceive. They make themselves look and feel magnanimous for spending money/time/whatever, but expect loyalty, admiration, or submission in exchange. Eventually it becomes clear that I was just a “project”, or a “pet”.

I thought I was strong enough to weather this. It has been so long, so persistent. I’m not that strong. Married for so long to a wife who treats me contemptuously, to the extent of character assassination, emotional withholding and emotional abandonment, I am crushed in spirit. I have lost self condidence and am in financial chaos. I suppose she either sees it as an opportunity to divorce me, or as a way to push me to divorce her. Either way she will receive the support of family, church, and friends. I will be vilified. I will lose the kids and every remaining shred of dignity.

I can’t imagine anyone as callous and cold as she is. She didn’t have to heal my emotional wounds from childhood. All I needed was the warmth of genuine love. It didn’t exist even one day in our marriage. It was all sweet contempt. Manipulation. Silence. Lies. Control. Since day one.

Because of my crushed spirit, things have slowly crumbled around me. For several years finances and employment have been a complete mess. Now, I have no vehicle for my family. My employer will probably fire me when they find out. I’m using the bus and working at night for low pay at a dead end job. It increases my commute from 1hr.20min. a day, to approximately 5 hours a day (conservative number). I can’t afford a new vehicle. Repairing the old one is not an option. There is no warmth. There are plenty who will gloat when my life implodes. A few may celebrate, but many will say I got what I deserved. I would like to see when they get what they deserve.

I used to be baffled by the imprecatory Psalms, when the Psalmist asked for vindication and vengeance. I didn’t understand why God granted vengeance to Samson. Now I do. God loves justice and equity. I do not understand exactly why He gives it sometimes, and not others. I do not think it is always wise to take vengeance into our own hands, but it is not automatically evil, either.

Those who believe God and the Bible, would you please pray for me?

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12 thoughts on “Contempt, Pain, Vengeance, and a Request for Prayer

  1. Dragonfly says:

    Praying for you right now! You are going through some serious spiritual warfare, brother, and yes, I will continue to pray for you.

    Psalm 73

    “The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.
    A Psalm of Asaph.

    Truly God is good to Israel,
    To those who are pure in heart.

    But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
    My steps had almost slipped.

    For I was envious of the arrogant
    As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

    For there are no pains in their death,
    Their body is fat and pampered.

    They are not in trouble as other men,
    Nor are they plagued like mankind.

    Therefore pride is their necklace;
    Violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe].

    Their eye bulges from fatness [they have more than the heart desires];
    The imaginations of their mind run riot [with foolishness].

    They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
    They speak loftily [with malice].

    They set their mouth against the heavens,
    And their tongue swaggers through the earth.

    Therefore his people return to this place,
    And waters of abundance [offered by the irreverent] are [blindly] drunk by them.

    They say, “How does God know?
    Is there knowledge [of us] with the Most High?”

    Behold, these are the ungodly,
    Who always prosper and are at ease [in the world]; they have increased in wealth.

    Surely then in vain I have cleansed my heart
    And washed my hands in innocence.

    For all the day long have I been stricken,
    And punished every morning.

    If I had said, “I will say this,” [and expressed my feelings],
    I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

    When I considered how to understand this,
    It was too great an effort for me and too painful

    Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
    Then I understood [for I considered] their end.

    Surely You set the wicked-minded and immoral on slippery places;
    You cast them down to destruction.

    How they are destroyed in a moment!
    They are completely swept away by sudden terrors!

    Like a dream [which seems real] until one awakens,
    O Lord, when stirred, [You observe the wicked], You will despise their image.

    When my heart was embittered
    And I was pierced within [as with the fang of an adder],

    Then I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was like a beast before You.

    Nevertheless I am continually with You;
    You have taken hold of my right hand.

    You will guide me with Your counsel,
    And afterward receive me to honor and glory.

    Whom have I in heaven [but You]?
    And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    But God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.

    For behold, those who are far from You will perish;
    You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful and have abandoned You.

    But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
    That I may tell of all Your works.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just finished commenting on your more recent post, about your teenage son telling you that you are the hero he needs. That was a definite answer to the prayer request in this post! Wow!

    More than thirteen years ago, shortly before my fiftieth birthday, I went through a divorce. It almost killed me. It did destroy the little self-esteem I had remaining, after my traumatic childhood. I hated myself. I have gone through a lot of horror in my life. But nothing in my experience hurts like the pain of hating yourself.

    I was so miserable, I had these song lyrics running through my head: “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me.” The inside of my head was a terrible place to be.

    Then I met a small group of Christians who were not like the judgmental hypocritical Pharisee “Christians” I had known before, who had totally turned me off to Christianity. These Christians were gentle, kind, compassionate, and loving. They did not judge me. They accepted me as I was.

    Their true Christ-like spirit inspired me to open my heart to believing in the reality of Jesus again. Then one day I made a decision. I decided to believe what the Bible says about God’s love for me. I decide to believe what the Bible says about who I am in Christ. I decided to believe that if God is for me, no one can be against me. I decided to believe that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love.

    I have never been the same since I decided to believe God instead of my abusers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, right after I made that decision to believe who I am in Christ, I made the decision to stop the negative talk inside my head. For fifty years I ran myself down inside my head, thinking that I am stupid, crazy, unlovable, a pain to be around, etc. But after making my decision to believe what the Bible says about me, every time I had a negative thought about myself, I immediately replaced it with a positive thought, usually from God’s word.

      If I thought I was stupid or crazy, I turned that thought around by saying to myself, “No, that is a lie. I have been given the mind of Christ, and God does not make junk. He made me in His image!”

      If I thought that I was a bad person, I turned it around with “That is a lie. My sins have been paid for in full by Christ on the cross. I am a new creation in Him. If He can make a universe out of nothing, He can make a brand new sinless person out of the mess I used to be. My sins were cast into the sea of forgetfulness, as far removed from me as the east is from the west.”

      When I thought that I am unlovable, I turned it around with “That is a lie. Nothing can separate me from God’s love. I am a child of God. He loves me so much, He has engraved my name on the palms of His hands! Wow! That’s better than wearing an engraved locket with my picture inside around His neck! So even though my mother and my father did forsake me, and even if the whole world forsaken me, the Almighty Creator God is my Father and I am forever His daughter!”

      In a very short time of doing this thought-reversing, I broke half a century’s habit of daily, almost constant negative self talk. Now, no one can verbally abuse me and make it stick, because today I know who I am in Christ!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My negative self-talk usually has to do with seeing myself as a failure. I have a very strong attachment to the truth, and with so much evidence against me I have a hard time believing I’m anything else. I have a hunch this is a thing that men are more likely to struggle with.

        I have energy to pray, and not much more. I pray for help constantly. Many times “help” is all I can say. But I know He can and will help when He knows it is the right time.

        Thank you for the practical and helpful advice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. I have always thought that women struggle more with self-esteem issues, being so often thought of as the “weaker sex” and not even allowed to vote until not that many years ago. But maybe it is simply a human condition.

        I agree that the truth is of paramount importance. “Fear No Truth” is a motto of mine. I also believe that what the Bible contains the ultimate truth.The Bible says that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. His sins are as far removed as the east is from the west. The Bible says there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. The Bible says God loves each of His children so much, He has engraved our names on the palm of His hand.

        This is the truth. All else is a lie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lady Quixote,

        I have been thinking about your last comment ever since it was posted. I’ve read that emotional and mental abuse cause damage to self esteem pretty universally. The men I have read also tend to add mention of damage to their confidence. I can’t imagine they aren’t related issues, but i think confidence is different.

        When a man talks about confidence, he is mostly concerned about his ability to perform. Can he convince anyone to hire him? Can he do an excellent job? Can he be sure that his work will garner respect? Can he please his wife? Can he please anyone?

        Confidence for a man is tied very tightly to his role. There is a point where a man (who isn’t too competitive) will want to excel, but a public failure will be an average embarassment, and that’s all. If the failure isn’t moral, or show an inability to do what a good man does (not necessarily a big thing), he is usually okay. Also, if he did well at something meaningful, but his performance was ridiculed, his self-esteem might suffer because he realizes he isn’t valued and it doesn’t matter that he does good work. His confidence would still usually be okay because he can look at his work, and know that he did, and still can, perform and be a valuable man that can succeed. There’s a lot of room for worldly vanity in there, but I think much of it is put there by God. Adam was given charge of the garden and the animals. I think Adam had a need to do what was excellent. No, I can’t really prove that. 😉

        When esteem is hammered from the beginning… when motivation is shot to hell and energy is something that comes from an oil field… when your only way to survival is to self-sabotage so you don’t spend yourself persuing excellence and then have punishment piled on top anyway… There are a lot of ways for a boy to have all his perception of his masculinity and capability turned into a big pile of manure that he hates more than anyone else. And when he wants to get well, can he look back and see success and ability and gain confidence? If the trauma began as a boy, I doubt it.

        As a kid, people expect some failure and offer encouragement and correction. As a man with a family, they don’t understand and have no intention of allowing for the growth that is needed, even if they are kind. I really can’t blame people for not taking a chance on me. I might fizzle out and fail with no good reason. That has happened to me more than once when fears I didn’t know about or expect flattened me and I gained the disrespect of someone who was trying to give me a fighting chance.

        It causes some pretty deep shame. I’ve read some things about shame, but never saw anything about how to overcome this as of yet — especially from a christian perspective.

        Anyway, I was thinking about this and decided that writing down some of these distinctions would be useful. And, now that I’m done writing this comment, I realize it probably needs its own post. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. Wow. Oh dear God. What you wrote has me in tears. Especially because I just wrote a long post about my husband, and published it immediately before reading your comment.

        Wow. You nailed it. I mean, I get it, now. I hear you loud and clear. Yes, this absolutely deserves to be a post. This is amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, I deleted my post about my husband’s war experience, after giving it some more thought. For reasons I don’t feel at liberty to say.

        Thank you again for your comment explaining how it affects you to be a man who is shamed. Our society really does expect way too much of men. We expect men to be like gods, super human. We expect men to fight in wars, to support their entire family, to sacrifice themselves for the safety and welfare of everyone else. Thank you for helping me see that.

        Like

  3. luckyotter says:

    I will certainly pray for you. I can relate to this so much. God does love you. I know that seems hard to believe that now, but he does. Hang onto your faith no matter what. Read the story of Job. (I have to admit I never liked that story, because of the way God allows Satan to mess with Job and take everything he loves away from him, but it’s still a wonderful story about faith).

    I know what you mean about being someone’s “project.” Some churches are like this. When I had lost everything, I attended a church for awhile where the people there seemed friendly and welcoming, and seemed to take me under their wing. But when I failed to “improve” to their satisfaction, they shunned me. I realized then how patronizing and condescending their “help” had been. I was never included in their social milieu. Unfortunately it’s a sad fact in many churches, which are filled with narcissists who make themselves feel better by being “charitable.” But their charity is really all about looking good.

    There’s an article I would like you to read. It includes a video that was life changing for me because of its truth. We were set up from childhood, or sometimes even by people we met later on (like your wife) to be scapegoated by others. It isn’t anything you are doing.
    https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/25/why-family-scapegoats-become-lifelong-victims/

    It’s a cliche to say things will get better, of course, but keep blogging and keep praying. I will be praying too.

    Liked by 1 person

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