The girl who called me wolf.

Emotional abuse is not what happens after you get too tired to fight and the other person isn’t. Emotional abuse is not focused on theological discussions and philosophical differences. Emotional abuse is not being called a dumb ass.

It is when someone targets you inside and out in order to hurt you, to keep you in a victim state. Not often around conversations of Sunday school lessons or heated gospel interpretations or planning the day to day of farm life year to year.

It is disrespectful to every person who has ever suffered actual abuse to cry it like wolf when you only saw a rustling in the bush. It is disrespectful for you to pretend you were silent, pleasant, considerate, when you weren’t. I do not know what therapist let you get away with calling this emotional abuse, but I fervently pray you never learn the reality of such a phrase.

When truly, you got involved with an artist. Maybe you told yourself he would grow out of it. Maybe you just never believed how much he actually believes in himself. But you disrespected his ideas again and again. Not ideas learned from culture, or a head pastor, or bishop over a synod, or schoolteachers or obeying parents or laws. These ideas were conjured up out of nothing but clay mud and back pain. In the same way you can’t tell a parent they have a bad kid, you should hesitate to tell an artist he or she has a bad idea. Whether it’s using crayons on the wall, tracking clay down the hall, or dropping heirlooms like playthings, you do not tell a parent they have a bad kid.

Never once did I have the desire to hurt you. I remember a girl yelling, name calling, arguing right there with the rest of us. Just because I do it better than you does not make it emotional abuse. I’m sorry no one made you accept that you quit something, that they let you throw as many words and phrases on the heap as required to convolute the actual issue buried beneath. You own eternal immaturity and emotional weakness. You have a philosophy of enabling as long as you can and vilifying once you realize you can’t. What you call ministry, all the poor misguided people you are going to suck up into it before the end, I feel sorry for you, I feel sorry for all of them.

But maybe one day you’ll tell them all about this emotionally abusive man. And they’ll hear your stories, and form their own conclusions, not just the ones most useful to you. They will hear how I stayed in our life, fought for it, kept up with animals and responsibilities and the man you promised you would never forsake up until you did. There is a chance they’ll hunger for another take. The truer one. Not your self-soother one. About a girl who cried wolf when her eyes weren’t even open yet. With a ministry built on excuses, and things she’d rather forget.

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