I’m Eve, a survivor of domestic violence, and LDS. I was sealed in the temple to my abuser over 20 years ago, when the promise of eternal marriage was my fairy tale come true instead of a nightmare. Although I’m legally divorced from my husband now, I am still sealed to him. That thought gives him a cool satisfaction. It makes bile rise in my throat.
I’m grateful for my new life, as an LDS divorced single mom. I’m grateful to deposit a child support/alimony check that isn’t enough to keep us, my three kids and I, above the poverty line. I”m grateful for this small run down apartment. I’m grateful there wasn’t enough time or energy to do laundry today, yet another thing I’ll put off until tomorrow. I’m grateful for this life, not too dissimilar from most single moms out there. It’s not as hard as everyone warned me it would be — it’s so much easier than be married to an abuser.
There are hard days, but it has little to do with being a mom. Taking care of my children is a pleasure, even when money is tight and I tire of telling them no at Target. I enjoy learning to love them better every day. The hard days are the ones that my ex sends a long ranting email; full of lies mingled with doctrine, accusations, and thin threats. It takes me back to when I was still his wife, when I slept in his bed. Fear touches down like a tornado, and everything’s spinning, nothing is sure except chaos. What will he do, what could he do? What should I do, what’s going to happen, what should I say? Are the kids safe? Is he just trying to upset me or is he going to fall off the edge this time?
I’m healing, my instincts are calming and I’m better able to deliberately choose my reactions. In the process of healing it has been important for me to remember. Remembering the past gives me power over the future. Christ leads me forward and I depend on him to walk me through the memories. Writing helps me process what has happened. My healing writings have been private until now.
When I searched for LDS abuse support I couldn’t find much. I needed a breath of clean peaceful air and despite all my gasping I didn’t get enough. My testimony was suffocating as I simply kept my body breathing. Having a source of LDS guidance is essential for a woman who is healing from, or attempting to escape, abuse and wants to retain her faith. There are seeming inconsistencies in our doctrine, there is a lack of understanding and application by leaders, and our fellow ward members (and maybe even family members) flee from our great distress as if it were a plague.
My real name isn’t Eve. I thought it was a fitting pseudonym for blogging. I started something here. Some will not understand the truth and say it’s bad and some will see the light and say it’s good; just as they said about mother Eve. The people who say it’s bad will say, let the past go, to forgive and forget. I say we need to remember.
God forgave Eve, and Adam, for the choices they had to make, and still we remember them. Six days a week in temples throughout the world faithful people review the transgressions of Adam and Eve. That must be at least 100 times each day that their transgressions are remembered! We remember them for the same reasons we review the past of our own lives. This is the entire premise of the scriptures – remember. Nephi tells us that the scriptures are to be applied to ourselves, for our profit and learning.
This blog is a set of faith promoting stories about the lives of sons and daughters of God. I won’t call them scriptures, but they can be applied for profit and learning the same as Eve, Adam, and Nephi’s stories.
I am privileged to follow in mother Eve’s footsteps, to courageously start this blog, to create.
You are a daughter of Eve and carry that same courage in your breast.
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” Psalms 31:24.