Battered without Bruises. Are you being Verbally Abused?

Battered without Bruises

Battered without Bruises

Battered without Bruises: Are you being Verbally Abused?

When I was in my 20’s (30+ years ago), I read an article that made a huge impact on my life and I didn’t realize how much impact it would make until years later. It was called Battered without Bruises. It was about verbal abuse and the effects it has on a person’s life, how it takes a toll and how it not only bites you but leaves deadly destructive poison behind. Well, that’s my takeaway in a nutshell.

I always had a picture in my mind of a woman with Band-Aids on her face. I’m a very visual learner and visuals usually leave a stronger impression than just words…unless it’s words that cut your soul and spirit and you can’t put a picture to that. It’s hard to describe your feelings (because YOU aren’t allowed to have feelings, only the other person is) and before you know it you aren’t even in touch with your own feelings.

Then if you start to live in survival mode, it goes downhill from there on the feelings side. If you know how to live in survival mode, that’s great if you’re lost in a forest, stranded on an island or floating on a raft in the ocean but for everyday life … well, it stinks. It’s destructive and tiring. It will drain the life out of you and you will totally lose touch with YOUR FEELINGS.

What Satan can’t prevent, he’ll pervert!

That’s right, you read that correct. It was one of my “life lessons” years ago. I realized what Satan can’t prevent he’ll pervert. We aren’t supposed to LIVE BY our feelings; we have them but you can’t just LIVE with them on your shoulder so to speak or even weigh decisions just on “feelings.” The thing you don’t want to do is live as thou you’re dealing with a FIRE. An emotional FIRE, a constant crisis, rushing people out of a burning building, protecting kids or other family members, all the while YOU have no idea how you feel. You can’t take the time to rest because after all you’ll be called lazy and God forbid if you cry you’re an emotional basket case or unstable. Sound familiar? Now live like that times 5 years, 10 years, 20, 30 …. and how “emotional” do you think you’ll be? Some people will now call you “cold” — *sigh*

Look, you have to know WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST

That one thing has saved my life countless times. It’s pulled me up by my bootstraps and set my feet back on a peaceful path, but it wasn’t easy to get there. It also took standing up to this mess.

I know LOTS of people have been verbally abused (that includes ridiculed, belittled, made to feel less than, told you were stupid, crazy, etc.) or that has thought or said; I’d rather someone take a bat to me then be verbally abused. The scars run deep and long. I know. I’m sorry. Please let those people be “your lesson” of how not to be treated by others NO MATTER WHAT!

So you think you’re being verbally abused? First and foremost, I’m so sorry.

As I noted earlier there is a name for that, it’s called “being battered without bruises.” I even took a photo of my face of what always comes to mind when I think of someone being verbally abused. I reflect back on what I personally went through or when I hear a story that clearly tells me this is going on. Hopefully you’ll see this for what it is; ABUSE and use these points to help identify it and be able to implement what to do about it. A picture says a thousand words, doesn’t it? Well, I hope ripping tiny hairs off my face helps you. (wink – LOL)

This is the way I always pictured “being battered without bruises” … and you walk around in life looking normal (for the most part), trying to smile through the Band-Aids and depression. Trying to carry on thru the fatigue, trying to THINK and remember stuff and forgetting all along you’re not taking care of yourself. You left yourself in a ditch and you have forgotten how to feel.

Looking normal to others on the outside...

Looking normal to others on the outside…

A counselor told me years ago; Rebekah, the hardest thing about you is at your very worst times in life you still “look great” on the outside.

Verbal Abuse does such a mind game on you and others!

Even the strongest, most confident, educated people have found themselves in an abusive relationship.

In my humble opinion, some common questions you find yourself asking might be:

  1. How could someone have done this to me?
  2. I use to not be this way…
  3. Why do I believe this stuff?
  4. Why am I afraid? WHAT am I afraid of?
  5. How did I get to this place emotionally?
  6. Why do I feel like a child?
  7. Why do I view myself “less than” or inferior to “him?”
  8. Why do I keep doing….
  9. …and you believe most things are your fault. Because “he” told you they were.

I’m no psychologist just speaking from my own experience, but if you are asking yourself ANY of those questions you need to turn those WHY’s into WHAT.

Okay?

It’s so that you see this for what it is…and you move OUT of it and away from this type of person. If you don’t….I promise you’ll just keep going through this “classroom” until you pass.

  1. WHAT are you going to do about it?
  2. WHAT choices do you have?
  3. WHAT plans should you make?
  4. WHAT behaviors do you need to alter?

I have noticed over the years, people that are on the road of recovery stop asking why, why, why…and start looking at What.

People that have gone from understanding what it’s like to be a victim and are now victorious start asking God; “HOW can you use this?” WHAT can I do to help someone else?

You know what I really hate?

People that misuse and abuse the word VICTIM also. It’s been overused and underused to a degree.

We’ve all been victims at some point. If you’ve lived and breathed for longer than dropping in the hands of the doctor in the labor room, you’ve been a victim to someone or something or some circumstance. It may not have been rape, torture, being bitten by a shark …but you’ve been attacked somehow, someway. Verbally, Physically or Spiritually. Where there is man, there is sin and where there is sin…there is Satan but thank God…

There is JESUS and there is another side to this life. Literally and Figuratively.

Of course this isn’t conclusive but it’s people that are:

  • Sociopath’s
  • Manipulators
  • Bullies
  • Blamer’s
  • Control Freaks
  • Narcissistic
  • Disrespectful
  • Entitled
  • Jekyll and Hyde’s
  • Envious

Some people think of being verbally abused as just someone who is cutting them down. No, it’s not just that. They are the types of people mentioned above and are famous “table turners” (changing the subject and turning it back to being about YOU), they truly have no conscience or they wouldn’t do what they do. They really could careless how YOU feel. They aren’t going to build you up but tear you down. It will ALWAYS be your fault. These people have major entitlement issues and privileges that you don’t have. Perhaps it’s because they are “the firstborn” or it’s just they have a gender issue. They seem to always be envious people. Do you know envy is much worse than jealousy? People that ENVY want to DESTROY you, what you have or both.

God said he was a “jealous God” he didn’t say he was envious.

Envy will lead to slander and lies, people that are envious are intimidated by the one they are abusing also or they wouldn’t want to see them “beneath them” so to speak. Abusers are one way in public and another way in private. Another book I’d like to write is “Behind Closed Doors” – I have a vision for the cover, but anyway, that’s another topic, another time. Maybe.

I hope if you find yourself in an abusive situation you will GET OUT or set some very strict living guidelines or boundaries. I pray you will NOT remain quiet or you will remain the same. Being passive is deadly when it comes to abuse. It is NOT your fault, but it is up to YOU to change your behavior, which is the only person you can change or should attempt to change! Emotional Abuse “wears many faces” and often times learns to function in a very dysfunctional mess. That is NOT normal or healthy! Think about it…is this what you want to teach your children? How to live dysfunctional?

Teaching Children...

Teaching Children…

Also, if you or anyone you know is in the throes of domestic violence of any form, please go online or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-779-SAFE (7233).

A few notes: One of my favorite books over the years to refer people to is Verbal Abuse by Grace Ketterman.

I just got curious about my title “Battered without Bruises” and opted to google it. Interestingly I found this website. Take the time to pray for this young lady. My heart is bleeding for her. Anyone personally know Brad Schimel? He is Wisconsin’s attorney general (#@WisDOJ). Perhaps he could help this young lady?

I am a Christian writer, entrepreneur (founder of Extra You, LLC and White House Home Inventory), artist and wife. I have had my fair share of ups and downs, challenges and eating humble pie … as a wife, mother and just “a regular ol’ person in life.” It’s my heart’s desire to see the broken hearted healed, people restored and walking in the purpose God created for them. My husband and I have two gorgeous grandchildren who reside in Texas, we love to travel and are the proud parents of a Maine Coon spoiled cat. We reside in Charles Town, WV.

My books can be found on my author website, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Goodreads, your local book store or Kindle/Nook. You might run into me on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram

6 Easy Tips for Posting Book Reviews

6 Tips for posting Book Reviews

It’s much easier to do something when it’s fresh on your mind and you’ve learned something, gained some insight or found a nugget of inspiration. It’s harder when time goes by and you know a book “was good” — but you forgot it was GREAT and you’d almost have to go back and read it again (you think) to give justice to the book review. I’m going to give you 6 Tips for posting book reviews and it is based on a review a woman left on Amazon. She read my book “I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick” and left the review February 11, 2016.

I wanted to share the 1 review I do have online and use it as an example about leaving a review for an author.

I think it’s not that people don’t really want to do something it’s more about taking the time to or not knowing what to say….

So I’m going to show you and then I’m going to ask you to PLEASE take the time to write a book review for I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick and / or Psalm of my Heart! I’ll even give you the links and a road map to do so!

However, friends be warned (wink)

SOS for a Review

SOS …for a Review

S.O.S. smoke signals are going out to you personally if I don’t see a review online after this.

6 Tips for Posting a Book Review

  1. What did the book personally do FOR YOU? Like Valentina said; “it made her think, it made her ask herself questions and it challenged her!”
  2. WHAT did you learn? I love how Valentina described what she learned not just that she learned something (which would be vague). The stones of remembrance in the book “I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick” are lessons learned in life and YES…isn’t it important you recognize and know what YOUR lessons are? Personally I think you just keep “going through the classroom of that life lesson until you get it! Then onto the next class!
  3. She pointed out aspects of the book that someone who hasn’t read it wouldn’t know yet….she said; “I was greatly encouraged by the discussion notes.” Thanks Valentina! If I read that I’d think it’s not just a book about life lessons, overcoming but has thought provoking questions in the back. Hum…perhaps it’s great for a GROUP!
  4. She pointed to one of her favorite aspects of the book (it points to the Creator of our lives who loves us) I’m glad to know that message was clear to her.
  5. She went so far as to recommend a target audience. She said; “I highly recommend reading “I am an Eagle not a Field Chick” to anyone who is wondering who they are, where they really belong or even anyone who thinks they are “fine” in life.
  6. Lastly I love how she tells a potential reader that they’ll be surprised the way the book encourages and speaks to them directly. The most common thing I’ve heard verbally is; “I was shocked how that book pulled me in!”

Valentina W.’s Review on Amazon  5.0 out of 5 stars” Beautifully illustrated and easy to read  By Amazon Customer on February 11, 2016

“Beautifully illustrated and easy to read; this book made me think and ask a lot of meaningful questions in my life. There are many great lessons to learn. One lesson I learned is how important it is in life to have the stone of remembrance. It should be a stone and the lesson learned should be remembered, otherwise we are prone to roll back where we were. I was challenged and greatly encouraged by the discussion notes for readers at the end of the book. The best thing about this book that at the end it points us all to the Creator of our lives, who deeply loves and cares for us. I highly recommend reading “I am an Eagle” to anyone who is wondering who they are, where they really belong or even anyone who thinks they are “fine” in life. The reader will be surprised the way it speaks and encourages.” – Valentina W., WV

 

6 Don’ts for Posting Book Reviews:

  1. If you’re a friend or relative, don’t say you are. Not because of other readers but because it holds less weight with Amazon and such. I think their “creepy crawlers” recognized “key words” like Aunt, Sister, Friend, Mother…in reviews.
  2. Don’t just say “it was a good book”
  3. Don’t forget to click on the STARS and rate the book (5 being the highest) – this makes it show up as being rated!
  4. Don’t think your voice doesn’t matter! It does!! Hold a higher opinion of yourself and know speaking up matters…to someone!
  5. Don’t forget we are supposed to encourage one another.
  6. Don’t forget about my SOS warning. (wink)

Where to go to give Reviews

A few variations on websites, but they all are easy cheesy to get to! Below you’ll find directions to Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble to give a review.

  • “Rate This Book” on Goodreads
  • See the Review on Amazon OR click on the book, scroll down and you’ll see “Customer Reviews” – Write a Customer Review.
  • On Barnes and Noble you’ll see “Be the First to Review” after you click on the book you want to review.

If you REALLY want to score “friend points” – send me a photo of yourself with the book, on your coffee table or bookshelf or something creative and fun so I can post it on my author Facebook page and don’t forget to come LIKE my page! But that’s just for extra points (wink).

I am a Christian writer, entrepreneur (founder of Extra You, LLC and White House Home Inventory), artist and wife. I have had my fair share of ups and downs, challenges and eating humble pie … as a wife, mother and just “a regular ol’ person in life.” It’s my heart’s desire to see the broken hearted healed, people restored and walking in the purpose God created for them. My husband and I have two gorgeous grandchildren who reside in Texas, we love to travel and are the proud parents of a Maine Coon spoiled cat. We reside in Charles Town, WV.

My books can be found on my author website, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Goodreads, your local book store or Kindle/Nook. You might run into me on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram

 

What kind of God do you want to serve?

FlowersWhat kind of God do you want to serve?

You know God had a LOT of decisions to make when he gave us a FREE WILL. Have you ever thought about what kind of God you’d want to serve? What would GOD have to do to gain your friendship or attention?

God could have chosen to be a people puppeteer but he didn’t, he opted to give us the ability to make choices. He wanted relationship, so he gave us free will. Like any good parent yes, he has a few rules, but rules still allow free will.

 

A few of ‘our parents” rules compared to God’s:

  • Parents: Don’t hit your friends and share
  • God:       Don’t kill your brother and give.
  • Parents: It’s time to get up and go to church!
  • God:       Remember the Saboath…
  • Parents: Do not steal from people!
  • God        Thou shall not steal.

If you were FORCED to act a certain way, say certain things in a certain tone of voice…is that relationship? Ask yourself what kind of God do you want to serve? If you could MAKE ONE what would that look like?

 

A God that opted to not make flowers so no one would get allergies? Have allergic reactions to medication and die? A God that created amazing bodies with immune systems… that sometimes fail. Would you rather be made of steal and not feel the heat of another human’s hand? The breath of your mate? The skin of a baby? After all kinds of things can happen to skin? From Fire to Rashes. That wouldn’t happen if you were made of steel.

what kind of God do you want to serve?

Should God have given people tree trunk legs so they’d never break a leg or become paralyzed skiing? Maybe he shouldn’t have made sharks (regardless of their purpose in/for the ocean) because they’ve eaten surfers? Well, at least if we had tree trunk legs no one would be thinking of diving into a shallow query and break their neck. It’d be too hard to walk up the bank and “do it again” – like kids do!

what kind of God do you want to serve?

Would you rather not have a nose to smell just because some fool decides to snort coke up his head and then go out and kill someone?

Would you rather not have arms just because someone uses guns for the wrong reason? Or eyes just because someone sees a woman “they want” and she’s raped?

We live in a corrupt world. It’s Satan’s dominion. The Bible is clear about that. Jesus called Satan, the ruler of this world. John 14:30

We live in a corrupt world – NOT because of God. Because of MAN and Man’s choices. Women’s choices, Teens choices.

I chose to love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul. Even if I don’t understand “it all” that’s called FAITH.

Because he first loved me.

Because I appreciate and see his sovereign hand so clearly (sometimes I get a glimpse and I’m wowed) and regardless of my late start or taking the “long way home” his goodness and mercy have followed me, ALL the days of my life!

Am I perfect?

Nope, just forgiven.

Is he looking for perfection?

Nope, just relationship.

A Friend.

Imagine that….

GOD wants you as a FRIEND!

The Woman at the Well,

Those of you without sin….

Cast the first stone,

Rebekah Lea Phelps

PS:   I ask this question to people that say; Well why does God make people sick? Why can’t he prevent ____, why does he allow ____ and what about the people that never heard of “Him” is that fair?

Wow, okay…well, now that you have your excuses…

If you’re so concerned about people that have never heard of “Him” why aren’t YOU a missionary?

Frankly, I just trust He knows what he’s doing and HE SAID; he put himself in the heart of every man… to seek Him.I know, believe and have seen first hand HE IS ABLE. The one who created the world that YOU stand on (& the gravity that keeps you here)  knows what he’s doing!

Divorce or suicide which is easier?

divorce or suicide which easierDivorce or suicide which is easier? I mean put that way, most of us would answer divorce of course, if that were the only 2 options. Yesterday I wrote about what it will be like to meet God and I mentioned how many times can a person marry before, 3 Strikes you’re Out? This is Part 2 of 2 I want to talk about choices that run through people’s minds when they are in desperate need of change, when they are in abusive marriages…when they are contemplating suicide or divorce!

I’m 53 years old at the time of this writing. Many adults I know can say they’ve been married once or twice, would also tell you they’ve lived with someone for a long period (or dated for a long long time but never married), one or both committed adultery, they’ve separated and gotten back together, but sleep in separate beds, live separate lives. Perhaps they agree to remain married but have an “open marriage” or one dies and the other is really relieved not grieved.

Divorce or suicide which is easier?

If you’re over 25 – 30 you’ve seen it too if not, you’ve at least heard about it.
At this very moment I know a lady that is legally divorced, lives in the basement of their home and the kids live upstairs with their dad. MOST people don’t even realize they’re divorced. Their church doesn’t even know because they can’t bear to tell them.
What a shame to LIVE in shame. It’s God to reveal a matter it’s Satan to conceal and if he can keep you in hiding, buried in your shame it’s impossible to live a healed FREE life. You’re “free in the light” and in bondage living in the dark…in shame.

Sadly, there are people who are contemplating suicide that have been married over 30 years but can’t “divorce” — they feel suicide is their only option. What about the people that end up killing their mates? Unfortunately, they can’t see it’s more important what GOD thinks because they are consumed in shame. Reason goes by the wayside and divorce is as high “in the church” as it is outside it.

I know someone else that married such a deceiver (lied about his age, having children, said he’d never been married…. the list goes on) but she doesn’t believe in divorce “no matter what” – okay, so you believe in a facade? In wearing masks? Do you think you’re faking God out? You’re already divorced in your actions and heart! In sleeping in separate rooms? In showing your kids this is what marriage is? In living a fake life to yourself to co-workers and church? I’m sorry but after reading ALL Jesus said; WHO do you think he’d be more upset with? Someone who wouldn’t accept abuse, living with a deceiver or a people pleaser? Someone that just gave up LIFE and committed suicide or killed a partner or divorced?

Isn’t God ultimately concerned about the “inside of the cup?” aka: Heart Issues.
I didn’t date long. I married. #1 under great duress.
I didn’t date much. I married. #2 … same story, different year.
I obviously didn’t THINK and pay attention to my own gut with any of them. I married. #3.
And when I saw them for who they REALLY were…I left. No regrets.

#3 Deceived a LOT of people, not just me. My pastor, elders and anyone else around him.
THAT almost killed me.I ended up being under police protection while visiting Kentucky. Long story but point is this relationship could have been deadly.

I’m surprised I made it out alive spiritually and otherwise, but I ONLY did because: God carried me, I crawled home. Who do you think was there when “I got home?” Yep…no one. BUT GOD. At the end of the day however if God is all you got …God is all you need. You have the creator of the universe on your team!

I stayed in The Word because I knew it wouldn’t return void and because HE IS SOVEREIGN and his right hand held me up. I remained IN HIM because HE is faithful not because I am.

What hurt me more than anything was my children were severely wounded if not decapitated (so to speak) By X#3. He wanted nothing to do with them. He didn’t want to be a father figure and told them so, to their tearful faces…asking. How cruel. He was a vicious wolf. It’s extremely sad… knowing what I know.

If I hadn’t spent 5 years SOAKED in The Word (never dating) prior to this marriage I’m positive I wouldn’t have been able to stand, confront and fight when needed.I lived in what I call, the “prayerful trenches” (so to speak) the entire time we were married.

It took me about 7 years to heal after that. I didn’t say to Forgive, I said HEAL. I forgave daily and when I pulled out of the driveway for good. After that, for 7 years I went to church early and left before they dismissed OR not at all sometimes. My dear husband now would tell you I cried in almost every service and have been “involved” VERY little in that time. It was time to HEAL not serve.

Oh by the way, yes…I married again. My best friend #4 (who at 51 had never been married), but #1 for the last 11.5 years very happy years (13.5 together). He says to people; Yes, she’s been married before but never had a husband. So true, so true. I tell him all the time he’s my favorite husband and he says; I’m the only husband you’ve had.

I went through PTSD and EMDR counseling in 2008 which also led to Grief Recovery and PAIRS. Best money I ever spent on myself.

What I can tell you is this:
1. IF you’ve been hurt by religion, so called Pastors, Priest, Parents that used The Word to control or abuse… THAT is about MAN’S failure – NOT GOD.
2. You will never truly heal from trauma until you feel SAFE. You can’t.

You are going to have to separate the two (Man vs. God) to move on.

You have to separate God and the actions of man to heal and come back to the Lord. Who’s your HELP in time of trouble.

I’m sorry you were hurt, abused, violated, ripped apart by “man” using God’s Word or place of fellowship and safety but MAN has always been corrupt and always will be. ON EARTH.

Run to HIM, not away,

If HE will not contend with “man” forever, please don’t think HE expects you too! He’d much rather see you divorce than commit suicide! Your life is of no value to HIM dead. HE wants to see HIS purpose fulfilled in YOU. (Gen 6:3)

I promise, there is purpose in your pain and pain in the purpose. He can use it, let him!
Rebekah Lea Phelps

What will meeting God be like?

what will meeting god be like

I AM YOUR GOD

How many times can a person marry before, 3 Strikes you’re Out? This is Part 1 of 2 blogs about that. First I want to ask: What will meeting God be like?

First let’s ask who makes this rule? I mean who are we trying to please? Whose approval are we seeking? How many times can a person marry before, 3 Strikes you’re Out … by the Church? By Family? By Friends? Neighbors? The list is endless.
How about by God?

What will meeting God be like?

Frankly, He’s my measuring stick, at the end of the day, He’s the one who’s opinion I really care about … what He thinks and it’s HIM who I’ll answer to, all by my little wee-self. I’m not trying to act like it’s no big deal. It’s a huge “deal.”

I had a dream once about walking up these old wooden stairs and at the top of the stair case was the most beautiful, elegant white door I’d ever seen. It had a gold knob. It looked so “out of place” attached to an old worn, cracked in places staircase. Some places looked stable and safe to stand on and some I skipped wondering if I’d fall through on the rotten wood.

However, that’s a cool picture of GOD attaching himself to US.
Yes, little ol’ you.
Little ol’ me.

But I remember in the dream being terrified, my legs were weak and too stiff to move up the stairs at times (due to fear – a reverent fear like nothing I’d ever felt before). Talk about anxiety! I was sweating!

When I got to the top of the stairs and the door opened, there was heaven and the Lord was laughing. The joy was incredible. No joy on earth measures joy’s description beyond that door!

He said; come here Rebekah.
With his arms outstretched, laughing He said; I love you.
With a hug He said; It’s okay…. you’re okay.
Well done.

I began to sob with relief and He said; I know it was tough…

But’cha done good (that’s what my natural father would say). You made hard but right decisions.

You laid your life down for others – that’s love.
You forgave, that’s Love.
You walked away from liars, busy bodies, trouble-makers, deceivers and you kept your eyes on me. Obedience is love.

That dream was incredible so amazing I got off track with what I was going to say to you….

Well, anyway…. we can’t conceive of God’s love for us. We really can’t. We really don’t understand what Psalm 23 means; especially “Goodness and Mercy” shall follow us ALL the days of our lives…AND we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

NOT based on what you did or didn’t do, based on HIS LOVE.
Based on HIS sacrifice.
Based on HIS goodness and HIS promises.
Based on the fact that YOU are HIS child (if you’ve accept Christ as your savior – that’s not my IF it’s HIS) and accepted HIS sacrifice, for YOU…
That’s Love.

One innocent person dying for guilty one.

What will meeting God be like? Obviously I really don’t know, but what I do know is … HIS love is endless and beyond our comprehension. he loved you before you did anything right or anything wrong. after you divorced once, twice or three times+.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about Marriage and Divorce – “3 Strikes you’re Out!”

As I said in the beginning of starting this blog (and in my book “I’m an Eagle not a Field Chick – Seek Mentors)  I am being mentored by a friend and bestselling author, Margie Warrell, who wrote “Brave.” It was her that confirmed I should “make public” my past garbage (as she did). I first met Margie when she self published her first book “Find your Courage” which is an awesome book but not an easy read (unless you aren’t going to be a doer of what you learn).

So I’m doing so…..Sharing info, being Brave and Finding my Courage. Always.

And (I’ll be glad when) I’m “almost done!”

You may be “out with man” but you’ll never be “out with God!” and I personally believe what meeting God is nothing like meeting mankind but take advantage of this “time” and season! Isaiah 55:6

Rebekah Lea Phelps

Grief, Dealing with the loss of a Friend

RIP Kevon Theall

RIP Kevon Theall

Heartbreak is dealing with the loss of a friend, that’s one of the things I said I’d be talking about but I didn’t think I’d be talking about the sudden loss of “a friend” from grade school today. Grief, dealing with the loss of a friend is heartbreaking, nothing you’d want to factor into your day. It’s nothing you expect to happen in the course of the month or plan for during the year.

As I Corn. 15:55 says; “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Rest in Peace Kevon Theall. My memory goes back to the 8th grade (but I think he came into “our class” in 5th or 6th grade). He was one of the guys that I considered “saving me” — my reputation that is. I laugh now but it wasn’t funny at all then. It was terrifying … “some girl” liked “Steve” and she knew I did….and so she did, and then she began calling me the big S-word (slut). I was no more so than Santa is the Grinch. I’m not sure if Kevon, Mike, James and Steve came around me to find out if that was true (LOL) OR they just “liked me” – but they found out I wasn’t and I realized no more liking my age group. That cured me. I wanted no more part of rumors. It is funny now but I attribute “those guys” to digging me out of a nasty rumor and I always appreciated “them” for that – I don’t even think they recall or ever meant to but I suppose by “association” since they were very “popular” they saved my reputation. That’s my grateful-hero memory of Kevon. So handsome – such a movie star smile, adorable in those cowboy boots and hat and what a great friend he was to so many that remained close with him long after high school. I’m heartbroken for our friends, I feel so sad for his girls, parents and co-workers. I wish he had called someone; I wish I could have talked to him. I’m so glad he knew The Lord and I’m so glad for him of what he accomplished. Rest in Peace Kevon. Shalom.

I’ve said this and I’ll say it now and again and again.

Best money I ever spent on myself was Grief Recovery. I took the course through the Grief Recovery Method (Institute) in 2008. Russell Friedman wrote the books “The Grief Recovery Handbook” – When Children Grieve and several others (on divorce & pet related). That did me more good than any amount of counsel ever did. Pretty intense though. NOTE: Adults must walk through their grief issues and that grief book before attempting to walk a child through it!

If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t stall to go get it set properly. You’d go to ER as soon as you could get there. If you were in a car accident and severed your arm…same thing.

I wish I knew years ago what I know about “Grief Recovery” now. But we learn as we go and “in time” or the “right time” for us.

Don’t “wait” to get your heart “set properly” – don’t wait to “recover” – take action soon after you experience SORROW.

It’d be impossible for me to give you everything I learned in 4 long days but I’d like to go over a few things so “my friends” and you have this.

First, The MYTHS about GRIEF and what most all of us learned.

  1. Time heals all wounds
    1. The TRUTH – Time doesn’t heal anything, action does. If “time” heals everything then what’s the “time” we heal? Isn’t 3 years enough? 20? Does 1 person’s time frame nullify another’s?
  2. Replace the loss
    1. The TRUTH – If “puppy dies” you don’t run out and get another puppy. Puppy #1 can’t REPLACE Puppy #2. EVERY relationship is unique. The TRUTH – You can’t replace that friend, father, mother, favorite Aunt, etc.
  3. Grieve alone – “Go on now, leave your mom alone, she’s hurting” —
    1. The TRUTH – well, what about the child? So are we taught to “go to our rooms” and grieve alone? Cry by ourselves. Why are we taught to retreat and “be alone” – directly or indirectly that message is given often.
  4. Be strong for others
    1. The TRUTH – “Non-Feeling or Expression” doesn’t equal strength. It gives the message feelings aren’t correct or appropriate.
  5. Bury your feelings.
    1. The TRUTH – Feelings are KEY to recovery. Children do this so naturally when allowed. Like they’ll say; “Mr. Goldfish, I loved watching you swim, I hated cleaning out your bowl and I’ll miss you!” They state what they loved, what they didn’t like and close with “goodbye.”
  6. Stay Busy
    1. The TRUTH – working longer hours, taking on another job, constantly going, going, going is just going to wear you out. What you’ll accomplish is exhaustion or illness.

Something else that’s “common” but not accurate is the person who died becomes a hero or a villain. An angelic being or a demon. NO ONE deserves to be on either side of that coin. Even the worst of the worst would have something positive and the best of the best has something negative. This sounds kind of cold or harsh but in the grief recovery course the teacher said; “Even a father who was over the top in disciplining a child at least provided a roof over their head.” OUCH…. I don’t like the way that sounds either but it was the point ALL people can have SOMETHING “above the line.”

A more “healing approach” is to take the time to make a graph. For ANY loss.

MAKE A GRIEF CHART

Example Grief Chart

Example Grief Chart

You can see the one I attached, although not entirely accurate with memories and history (including reunions) I did this to give you an idea but couldn’t do this in word like you can with a good ol’fashion pencil.

Make a straight line across a piece of paper. You will write DATES on this line.

On the LEFT side put the date you met (if it’s a parent, it’s when you were born, if it’s a spouse it’s when you met, if it’s a pet, when did you get the pet …or have the child and so on).

On the RIGHT side put the date of death (or loss – you broke up, you got in a fight, you moved away)

ABOVE the line goes anything POSITIVE you can remember. Anything HAPPY, anything that created JOY

The height of the line is the significance of the POSITIVE memory. Perhaps it’s a pencil head high or off at the top of the chart!

BELOW the line goes anything NEGATIVE – perhaps starting with the impact of the LOSS. Again, the depth of the line indicates the depth of the pain, hurt, tears, anger, disappointment, shock, fear, etc.

Don’t worry about how many lines you have ABOVE the line or BELOW.

Each line UP or DOWN should have a “tiny comment” that YOU know what it means and stem from the DATE(s) on the line across.

NOW for the hard part. But first you need a HEART with EARS person. That means someone to JUST LISTEN.

Listen means listen…no talking. You can nod your head, sounds are good, expressions are fine but LISTEN. If you’re the LISTENER, this isn’t about YOU or anything YOU have been through.

  1. Don’t grieve alone. Saying HOW you FEEL is extremely important NOT just what you remember.
  2. Don’t get so busy you can’t sit down and make a chart. TALK about what you remember and HOW you FEEL.
  3. Don’t run out and think you can just make a new friend, replace a husband, adopt a new pet or latch onto a new best friend. That’s really not “fair to them” anyway (the NEW person). They aren’t them and can’t be replaced or substituted even if it’s a “father figure.” You might eventually have someone you look up to “as a dad” etc. but they aren’t THAT person. They can’t be.
  4. Don’t try and “be strong” for anyone – this is YOUR time of GRIEF. If you want to cry, cry. If you need to be mad…be mad. Just don’t be scared of your own feelings. They won’t last forever, but you need to “empty the jug.”
  5. Don’t wait for TIME to heal anything, action does. If your tire went flat, you wouldn’t pull up a stool and sit and wait for the tire to be inflated or changed. TIME does nothing, action does! What you do in that time counts.

Lastly,

Please don’t tell people “you understand” THEIR LOSS – because you don’t. You can’t. ALL relationships are unique. The reason I say that is just because let’s say “you both lost a dad” – one person could have a wonderful father with fond memories and who was faithful to the core. The other person could have been molested and lived watching their mother get beaten.

One person’s heartbreak could actually be relief and the others devastation. Even within a family. Everyone will respond differently based on what they worked through BEFORE A DEATH happened, where they were in that relationship, what conversations they had prior to the loss, how verbal or non-verbal the relationship was, etc. Some people will openly grieve and others will naturally “retreat” if you will because they have more peace about it OR because that’s what they’ve been taught. Some people have come to grips with a loss (prior – like aging or ill parents) and others feel bludgeoned! EVERY relationship is UNIQUE.

I hope you or someone you know finds this helpful and if you ever need a heart with ears, let me know.

If this only helps 1 person, I’ll be immensely grateful to have gone through enough heartache myself and taken the course “to help” others move through it as well.

Take the time to cry, it washes your heart,

Rebekah Lea Phelps

PS: I’d be happy to speak about the topic of GRIEF

PSS: I’d appreciate your liking my Author FB Page

 

What do you think makes an ideal childhood?

Becca as a Kid

Becca in her childhood years

I had some images in my mind of what I wanted my children’s childhood to be like. Probably looked similar to mine (minus the occult stuff). Other than that, life was normal and my memories outside “of that” are pleasant, fun and many vacations. I remember my little sister very well and we were close and have very few memories of the one 7 years older.

What do you think an ideal childhood would look like?

Does that image of childhood match or has it been heart-breaking and gut wrenching?

I know God himself “had a vision” for what he wanted HIS children’s lives to be like and can you imagine being the one knowing all they could have had and all they forfeited because they wouldn’t listen? Can you image that heartbreak? That long sigh and shaking your head? The tears?

I can.

All because their way overrode what they were taught? What they wanted to try or do, who they wanted to hang out with, etc. All because they let desire rule their hearts and minds, all because they were driven by anger, jealousy or temptation that they yielded to. Our conscience WILL stand up to us but we can sear it if we ignore it (I Timothy 4:2) and you never know “when” Mr. Conscience goes silent.

I’m sure Cain and Able’s mother was heartbroken.

Eli’s kids were awful and walked a completely different path then he chose but you need to remember because he opted to “enable” their bad behavior he also received the same punishment they got. I’d imagine God views “enabling” as condoning, taking part in it, ignoring it vs. standing up to it (or them). Well, that’s the way I view it.

I’d imagine some parents fear “losing the relationship” if they chose NOT to confront or enable their children. Can I suggest you don’t have a relationship to begin with? If you don’t believe me…. STOP enabling them – confront, set boundaries and rules. See what happens.

We know the prodigal’s father probably was heartbroken and he didn’t go chasing after the son he let THE SON come to him after he was finished running around or doing what he wanted to do AND forgave him. I bet he forgave him long before he ever came home. I’ve wondered if the son didn’t just come back for some more cash and leave again. Did he “act like” he was on the right track, enjoyed the party … caught up with friends and neighbors and then when everything was “back to normal” Daddy had to say “Boy, you’re not going to live like that in my house…you’re going to have to leave, again.”

Ugh, been there, done that. It stinks but THEY made the choice.

I’d imagine when the Frank Sinatra’s song came out “I did it my way” – God rolled his eyes (while we were dancing around) and said; oh geez, if you only knew what that gets you or where it will take you!

My kids have had a LOT of stuff happen to them. They were used as pawns to get to me, among many other things.

I’m NOT making excuses for them, but DO recognize they went through a lot and they chose a lot of bad activities that became habits, that turned into character issues, that ended up being lifestyles which is very damaging to them as adults.

Kids may think they are experimenting with drugs, alcohol, skipping school, stealing, etc. and MOST are. The sad part is no one knows “which kid” will end up with a lifestyle vs. an experiment in time.

We can choose our sin, but we can’t choose our consequences. Not really. You have no idea the long term effects for a short term decision will be.

I LOVE the book “Do Hard Things” that some young teens wrote. I’m so proud of them and so glad for their parents. It talks about doing “hard things” when you’re young because your choices and behavior end up as your habits as an adult. Side note: Every teen and every youth group should read that book!

As teens I pleaded with them; “I’m not just raising a teen, I’m trying to train you to be wife and a good father.”

I continue to pray for them and stand on … they were God’s before they were mine.
I know, He’s got this. I’m practicing “casting my cares on HIM.”

Rebekah Lea Phelps

What happens when you’ve been given a date rape drug?

date rape drugSo what happens when you’ve been given a “date” rape drug? For one thing you can’t recall all (if any) of the details or the full picture. I’d imagine there are people out there that have no idea anything happened.

So, prior to marriage #2 (who was a cop at the time) – now he seems to be on the other side of the law. I was raped again by 2 men. I was drugged at work. All I remember is getting on the elevator and a man I knew was standing IN the elevator. He said; Hi…what are you doing this weekend?

I began to tell him “Met a friend in the galleria” and that’s the last thing I remember.

I wonder to this day (not really on the top of my mind – just say’in) how in the world he got me OUT of the elevator and into his car. I mean without people going … and WHY are YOU carrying Rebekah?

Next thing I remember was being scooped up, from the front passengers seat and seeing a Mercedes emblem. I knew I was in a garage (but didn’t know who’s) and seeing the garage door leading into the house.

I remember seeing a kitchen and I was being carried through it. Then I remember looking up at a winding staircase (wall on right, banister on left) and a set of French doors leading into a bedroom.

Then I remember seeing another man walk through the doors (I knew he was a close friend) to the bedroom. I remember thinking what’s he doing here? Where am I? I must be dreaming. Then I remember realizing I was undressed and why are they….

It’s like a dream state or a passout/blackout stage!

I can’t tell you I was traumatized like the first, because I wasn’t. It always felt “surreal” – bewildering, shocking and I’d say puzzling. I had NO IDEA either men would #1. Do such a thing #2. Either would ever risk their family, careers or reputations!

Then “they” put me in my car and I wrecked my car at a 4 way stop. The police came and suddenly “they” were on the scene saying “they’d take care of me.” I’m sure the police thought I was drunk and I have no idea why they let me go. I have no recollection of anything after that except “landing” on my Ex-husband #1 doorstep. I have no idea how I got there, nor does he know. It was VERY late when I arrived.

He knew immediately I’d been drugged. I fell into the floor after he opened the door….
He took me to Denny’s to eat and I remember seeing the cops that pulled me over. I remember thinking, I should tell them but don’t recall anything after that including telling my X #1.

I must have told him everything but have no recall. The next thing I know I’m asleep in MY bed (where I lived with a roommate in a house) and X #1 is on the couch. I slept all day. It was a Saturday, he said he’d called my brother in law (to ask about an attorney) and the local news station. I thought WHAT?! WHY? Then the details above began to trickle back in my head. To this day, that’s still all I can recall but apparently that was enough for the attorneys to know they didn’t want to go to court.

On Monday I was in an attorney’s office. I think “we settled” in a about 20 minutes but it was a long time ago, maybe it just “seemed quick.”

Based on what I remembered. I honestly didn’t care and didn’t care about “settling” – I was still in shock and bewildered by this entire ordeal.

I think I paid for another house for the attorney, his son’s education or at least another car and I walked away with less than $70K – you could say “raped again” – kidding.  I could have cared less about the money. Money didn’t fix my now unemployed status, my heart, my mind or anything else.

I kept 5K and gave the rest “to the church.” To ME it was dirty money and I didn’t want it. I don’t think I could have kept it…so again, I gave it away.
My cop friend was just that. A friend, I’m sure you can guess, once again I felt “safe.” That happen about 5-6 years after the first.

Once again I said; I DO (married)…when I should have said; I don’t now and never will…to X#2.

Looking back, did I EVER have a gut feeling NOT to move forward. Yes, absolutely. But I didn’t heed.

We were as different as mud and wine.

We were from completely opposite families (educated/uneducated), we dressed different, ate different, thought different…you name it. We were from opposite sides of the track, so to speak.

I loved to travel, he’d never been out of Houston.

I LOVED to cook gourmet food, he’d never eaten anything outside of mostly “junk” and instant food. After we married he threw out any recipes / books he didn’t think I needed. Including my entire portfolio (after we divorced).

I was tall and loved to dress up. He was short and wore blue jeans.

We shopped at completely opposite stores; from groceries to clothes.

I wore make up … until after we married (he didn’t want me wearing make-up, dressing up, working or having any friends).

6 months after we married he used my cat as a football and kicked the cat across the room. I thought then…how long until I’m next?

Not long.

He enjoyed being married and having girlfriends. I think that’s called “having your cake…or something like that.” Cops in Texas call it “having a chip.”

I was willing to forgive and move on IF he’d go to counseling with me and IF he’d stop with the control issues and own his stuff.

He wouldn’t, we separated. I wasn’t going to “wait it out” and hope things would change years down the road. I’m just not ever going to be that way, once I see things for what they are…. I want to deal with it, resolve, talk about it OR MOVE ON.

However, I’m awful about feeling bad about “stuff” and needing to make sure he is what he is (as if I didn’t know – of course I did, but you second guess yourself because you don’t want to go through a divorce and emotional abuse makes YOU think it’s all your fault.) So while living apart we decided to attempt to reconcile. Until I met another girlfriend accidentally.

We had a wonderful conversation in the ladies’ bathroom and went our separate ways (me and her and him and I). The last time I saw him he came to my work and said “Choose this day ME or GOD” I laughed and said; God chose me before I chose HIM so my choice is firm.
We were married 3 years too long.

My lessons: Never EVER change who you are for someone else. Never ever compromise what you like, your interest, your aspirations because of someone else’s jealousy.

Never ever leave your drink unattended. However, honestly I don’t walk away from food or drink paranoid something will happen when people I know are at a table.

Lady’s never ever submit to abuse. Never ever submit to settling just because you said I DO. Never ever submit to a man that isn’t submitted to God (operating outside of The Word “over you”) and never ever make decisions under duress!

You don’t have to.

Christ didn’t condemn the woman at the well, he simply acknowledged she had been married.
I wish “The Church” would STOP shooting the wounded. I never ever wanted to go through 1 divorce much less 3.

Christ hates divorce because he knows the pain of it. He NEVER said he hated the divorcee.
He divorced Israel.

He knows what it takes to get to the place of saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Again I’m not “pro-divorce” but I’m not “pro-stay” in abuse, adultery, with a deceiver, thief, liar or criminal (molesting your children). just because you can’t face the shame. You might feel you can’t stand in church without feeling “condemned by man” – you don’t have to answer to man, you have to answer to God.

GOD works through YOUR conscience, pay attention to it! Don’t ignore it or you’ll eventually sear it.

Never worry about what people will think — people don’t have to live under your roof.

THOSE very people will stay because of SHAME from MAN, shame due to religion, shame feeling like they failed and they can’t show anyone. SHAME is NOT from God and never ever stand in the sandals of SHAME for very long. I’ll talk more about divorce later.

I can live with the decisions I MAKE; I can’t live with the decisions other people make for me.
Opposites may attract but afterwards they’ll drive each other crazy. The very thing you loved, you’ll hate and you’ll realize the passion was lust not love. How do you know? Because LUST is a TAKER.

Be FREE,

Rebekah Lea Phelps

PS: I started to write my FIRST book when we were married (a Christian children’s dictionary) and he tore it up and said no one wanted to hear anything I had to say AND the world had enough dictionary’s and children’s books. I find it very ironic how “the enemy” “tore into my destiny” LONG ago and now I’m writing.

NOTHING God has ordained for you will pass you by!
NOTHING

Why book reviews are important to authors

I'm an Eagle not a field Chick

I’m an Eagle not a field Chick

Please, if you have read either Psalm of my Heart OR I’m an Eagle, not a Field Chick please leave a review.

Why book reviews are important to authors:

  1. If the only people that post reviews is your family and close friends then the authenticity of the book is called into question. Of course your mother will love your book, a high school chum, an Aunt or your spouse!
  2. Kirkus reviewed my book Psalm of my Heart and that’s a HUGE honor. They get about a thousand a week and only review a hundred a month! But not everyone knows about Kirkus (I didn’t until I published – nor did I know about Clarion ForeWord Reviews) But the general public doesn’t review here.

Most people know about and leave reviews on: Amazon, Kindle, BookLikes, Goodreads, etc. and when books start getting reviews and attention then an author makes it to their “best books to read” list. But that takes people…living, breathing people to take the time to do that for you! It’s hard, really hard and I’ve only been at this 5 minutes…I mean, not even 2 months!

So after you read a book (*hint*) log into one of those sites above, click on the book and scroll down and look for customer reviews.

I found an article listing “The Best Book Review Sites

Thanks in Advance. Just leave an honest review!

Rebekah Lea Phelps

PS: Here is the unedited version my Aunt Shirley’s review she sent me today via private Facebook message:

I’m at the Seattle airport, I read your Psalm from Yakima to Seattle. It is awesome! One of the best most uplifting I’ve ever read! I love it and will cherish it! You are soooo talented in the Lords work and being greatly used by Him! I’m proud to call you MY NIECE! Love you!

Out of Spiritual Darkness Into the Light

 

Out of Spiritual Darkness, Into the Light. Sorry about my lack of finishing this up. I took “off” for Thanksgiving. No guilt

out of spiritual darkness

Spiritual Darkness

So in regards to “my giving up” – my exit plan. Exiting or “excusing myself” from this life.

My mother talked about suicide at various times. And before I go on about this it is NOT to condemn her or judge her AT ALL. I get “pain you don’t know what to do with.” I get not knowing how to conquer it, I understand unresolved grief issues and/or depression and I get if that’s all you know as a solution or all you can think of, then I get that. NOT condoning it or agreeing, I just get it and accept it.

I am extremely sad to hear when someone has successfully done this BUT…I get it. Suicide is NOT “always” about mental illness but desperation to stop pain, unbearable pain or shame. Not knowing how to “get out” of _____. More on this subject “soon.” I know 2 people who recently reached out to me over severe “pain” – They said they are contemplating suicide. Again, more on this SOON, esp. since they came to me about it.

Out of Spiritual Darkness, Into the Light

Anyway, to me it was “just a choice if you got fed up or tired” I heard it my entire life – as far as I knew everyone heard their mom say “I’m going to kill myself.” I use to walk in the house after school in the 3rd grade, make my sister stand outside … while I checked to make sure my mom wasn’t dead. I didn’t want her involved with seeing that just in case she was. Obviously NOT “everyday” just when she’d say something about it before I left for school. I wasn’t sure when SHE “was full.”

However, this “lesson” (saying things to kids you shouldn’t) kept me from sharing emotional hurt with my kids, talking bad about their dad, making threats (manipulation) and with others so if that’s what I got out of it…I’m grateful for that classroom.

I just got too tired to carry on and finally at 21 I attempted suicide. I collected up lots of pain pills and called the hospital to report “a friend” had just taken them.

So I tried and failed in 1983, but that’s another story. That’s when I officially met The Lord. Six months later “violence” struck (1st rape) and within 6 months after that Marriage #1 happened. 9 months after that news of “Baby #1” would be here in 9 months.

Deception Deception….what a stink’in dark thing it is. BUT – I’m grateful. I’m grateful I see it from far off now in it’s various shapes and forms.

Out of Spiritual Darkness, Into the Light

What is apostasy and how can I recognize it?

Another aspect of true believers is that they have been delivered out of spiritual darkness into light (Ephesians 5:8) and therefore will not deny core truths of …

It seemed to follow me around like a shadow. Like a lost puppy.

But I think (& The Word states) when you open your home and those in it to darkness you are opening those people up TO DECEPTION and “it” doesn’t leave willingly. No way…”it” has a home.

I’m extremely grateful for lessons I’ve learned, the classrooms I’ve been in and it is my hope that if 1 person hears the truth and The Truth sets them free, then it was all worth it to share.

I have always been happy to share 1 on 1 when it was appropriate or asked direct questions. After lots of prayer and lots of confirmation and another well-known author mentoring me (who told me to openly & candidly blog about my history as “homework”) I am sharing to make this info public and to help others who live in “the dark” – who live in shame, to help someone heal and move past The Past into The Future.

In HIS Love,

Rebekah Lea Phelps

Don’t give up!