"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp
I used to dream every night about escaping concentration camps. Inwardly, a concentration camp is our psychological reality. It used to be my every day reality and it seemed my subconscious mind was trying to give me clues how to get free.
When you are married to a sociopath, even if outwardly you appear to be the "ideal couple" as my husband and I were once perceived by the world, inwardly you are isolated, imprisoned, and voiceless. It's a mental concentration camp.
There is a way of escape, I promise! When you get to the point where everything of evil is turned around into Good, which always happens sooner or later for God's beloved child (you!), you will feel gratitude for the honor of entering into His suffering for this broken world. But in the meantime, I need to keep this fear at bay, out of my way.
I am begining to see my enemies differently. Injustice no longer stings, smear campaigns, gaslighting, and the dark works of evil no longer feel like they are torturing me. I can't control what other people choose to be and do. All I can control is how I respond. My choice is to respond in a way that makes me less vulnerable, that helps me to avoid the path of evil people.
My freedom is not dependent on my situation, my abuser's change of heart, or anything else except my own choice to live as Abba's beloved daughter… gifted with everything I need to overcome every evil… and more, to rule in the midst of my enemies!
I will embrace the lonelieness, the isolation, and the exile. I embrace the suffering, for in doing so, it loses its power over me.
Most of our pain comes from fear – fear of lack, fear of not being loved and accepted, fear of poverty, fear of being alone, and so much more! Fear leads to shame, guilt, grief, and other negative emotions that rob you of life, that shackle you to a prison of desperation, despair, and depression. That's concentration camp living.
What I don't confront will not simply disappear. I am the catalyst for change in my own circumstances. Mostly, this means how I perceive my reality.
I have more power inside of me than I presently know or feel. The Risen Christ lives within me. This is my new reality. This is my new family legacy!
It doesn't feel like it all the time, yet. I still get scared. How can I survive in such a complex, unfriendly world when inside I am only a shell of who I once used to be. I'm traveling on a unique path that is mostly uphill, very narrow, and rocky. I'm bloody and exhausted!
I'm making it one day at a time. I don't know exactly how. All I know is there is daily manna, daily grace, and moment-by-moment glimpses of the Risen One who wants to live within me. Even when I felt too bloody, broken, and bruised to take one more step, I do it anyway – I plunge forward, stepping into the Light.
Once I take the step, I realize it was safe all along. Fear runs away when it's directly confronted with the Light. It's here and now that we live. Not in some future time when everything will somehow be better.
Today, you're life begins… so get up and dance. Especially if you don't feel like dancing… Seriously, there is so much liberty in dancing, even if all you can do is tap your toes or hum…
With all my love,
Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.
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