Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

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Episode 65 – Survivor Story: Kary

by | May 6, 2020 | Divorce, Survivor Stories, The Flying Free Podcast | 7 comments

In spite of numerous red flags, Kary married her abusive partner when she was very young. After over two decades, she was able to save some money and get out. Now she shares some insight into what made her stay for so long and what she would do differently if she had a do-over. 

I asked Kary if she could go back and tell her younger self one thing, what would she say? This is what Kary said:

“Stop second guessing yourself. Trust your instincts and your gut. If you are uncomfortable, that is God speaking and directing your life. Listen to your own heart. You matter. Your thoughts matter, and you are valuable and dearly loved just as you are. You don’t need a man or anyone else to validate your worth. You need to love yourself first and foremost before you can love anyone else. Any man or woman who tries to control you or makes you feel less than is not a safe person. Healthy people build you up; they don’t tear you down. God never asked you to carry these burdens because He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light; so if you are feeling burdened and heavy and weighted down, stop and ask yourself why. Then lay down that burden at the foot of the cross and walk away free. God is not a slave master. He said it is for freedom that He has set us free, so don’t let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Marriage is not slavery. It is meant to be a beautiful reflection of Christ and His great love for us. If it is not, and you are being enslaved and abused, you are free to go. God loves you more than He hates divorce, and He wants you to live an abundant life and not a life surviving abuse.”

Click to Play:

Read the transcript HERE!

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  1. Colleen Bunse

    I am a part of your sisterhood. Kary’s story from episode 65 is so extremely similar to mine especially in the latter years. (And I also gained strength from CrossFit!) I would really like to connect w her if she is willing. Could you let me know if that is possible? Thank you so much for doing what you do! Your ministry is priceless!! -Colleen Bunse

    • Natalie Hoffman

      You would need to tag her in the private forum. Her name is changed here to protect her. Leave a post in the forum, and I can give you her real name.

    • Phyllis Lanier

      Really felt like I could connect. This is so me from the verbal abusive relationship marriage that I had been in for 17 years.

  2. Teresa Strey

    Thank you Kary for sharing your story!

  3. Connie

    You say, about the children, that eventually they do come around. Please don’t hand out false hope. They may not, ever. It’s been 24 years. His abuse is so covert, his smear campaign and flying monkey act so polished, that they treat me with condescension and polite distance. They do love me but I can sense that they’ve ‘forgiven ‘ me. Some more than others. He’s still always dropping little snippets of hints about me, all the while also saying, “You must always speak respectfully about mom”, with a wink that says, ‘ even though we all know how she is’. God is my refuge, plus a few dear friends.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      It isn’t false hope to say that many women will have relationships with their children eventually. How those relationships look will differ from family to family. Many women whose children won’t speak to them would give anything to be able to talk to them, even if it was strained. They would consider that “coming around.” It sounds like you may want something more than that, but even in families that don’t involve abuse, that’s not always possible. Kids grow up and have their own lives and opinions, and they can be very different from our own. That’s okay! Survivors have the opportunity to do their own personal growing and healing so they don’t have to rely on anyone else, including their children, for validation, peace, and joy in who they are. This is our beautiful and powerful work!

    • Iris

      I understand Connie, the smear campaign and covert abuse has been so exquisitely performed that even though the children and flying monkeys have been on the receiving end of the abuse quite often, they are still choosing to side with abuser and now covertly abuse me through neglect and condescension as well, all due to the lies and victim-play acting of the abuser.
      I’ve come to terms with it though, and even though it’s hard to be on the receiving end of so much hate, all for being the only one to call attention to the truth, I’m starting to just focus on myself and to let them stew in their own delusions to their hearts content. They’re all adults, and if this is what they choose, so be it. Much of the connection they keep with the abuser is for financial gain, and for others it’s just a pure unwillingness of calling a spade a spade, no matter what I’d said or done, so they can just keep going about their happy lives with blinders on.
      I’m moving on now and am living ‘minute by minute’ as Kary mentioned, and becoming stronger for it, and though it is quite lonely, it feels so much better than waiting for others to finally get it and see.
      Praying for you Connie, and thank you Kary for sharing your story, and to you Natalie, for all you do, your ministry is providing rocks for all of us to cling to, climb upon, and stand on.


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