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The Five Stages of Deliverance From Emotional and Psychological Abuse
Stages of Deliverance From Abuse: Emotional and Psychological

Find the stages of deliverance from abuse. Anne tells how she discovered how to be delivered and gain freedom from abuse.

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The Five Stages of Deliverance From Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Being delivered from abuse is something that all victims hope for (or pray for). Victims of emotional and psychological abuse most often put their hope in the abuser changing. In my study, I began to see a pattern for deliverance from abuse. Here are the 5 Stages:

1. Things Get So Bad, You’re Daydreaming About Being Delivered From Abuse

Sometimes, things have to get really bad before you realize you need things to change. Maybe something big happens or things just keep getting worse and worse until you can’t ignore it anymore. It’s like waking up one day and realizing, “I can’t do this anymore.”

2. You Start to Do Something About It

After you decide you can’t take it anymore, the next step is to do something about it. This might not fix everything right away, and that’s okay. Trying to do something, even if it’s small, means you’re learning and getting stronger each time. It’s like practicing for a big play, trying different things to see what works best.

3. You Decide to Change Things and Don’t Go Back

This step is when you decide to make a big change and stick with it. It could be deciding not to do something for the person hurting you anymore, or maybe even moving away from them. It’s like crossing a bridge and making sure you can’t go back to the way things were before.

4. It Might Feel Weird for a While

Even after you’ve made the change, it might feel strange for a bit. You’re getting used to a new way of living where you’re in charge. This time is for healing, finding out who you are, and starting to build a happy life. You might pick up new hobbies, make new friends, or work on your career. Little by little, things start to get better.

5. You Start to Imagine a Happy Life

In the last step, you start to really believe you can have a happy life without being hurt. It feels like seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel. You think about having a safe home, doing things that make you happy, and being with people who treat you well. This step is all about going from just getting by to living a great life, finding out who you are, and doing things you love.

Thinking about a happy life helps you make good choices for yourself as you move away from being hurt. It’s like a light guiding you to a future where you’re happy and safe.

Getting better after being hurt is a big journey. It’s about needing a change, making that change, sticking with it, getting used to the new way, and finally, dreaming of a happy future. It’s a way for people to get out of a hurtful situation, take control of their lives, find out who they are, and look forward to a peaceful and happy future.

You Can Find Deliverance From Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Navigating the Journey From Abuse to Freedom

The BTR.ORG Living Free Workshop and BTR.ORG Message Workshop help women gain deliverance from abuse and ultimately find freedom.

  • Recognizing the Need for Deliverance
  • Separating From the Abuser
  • Reaching a Point of Freedom and Safety

Anne’s Personal Story of Deliverance from Abuse

Anne (00:00:00): Coach Janet is here, an incredible coach at BTR. She conducts individual sessions and leads group sessions too. She’s here to discuss deliverance from abuse, which aligns with BTR’s main goal: to free women from abuse in any form, tailored to their needs and situations.

 For listeners of the podcast, I’ve uploaded a map on YouTube to illustrate these stages. My personal goal was to liberate myself and my children from my abusive ex. Even after eight years, it felt like he was hunting us almost daily. He constantly messaged me, undermined my parenting, canceled my kids’ medical appointments, and manipulated situations to prevent my kids from taking up sports, just so he wouldn’t have to pay for it.

(00:01:04): I was constantly stressed and traumatized. I got really angry because I thought I was great at setting boundaries. I had blocked him on my phone and email for years, yet I couldn’t figure out how to escape him.

The court and clergy wouldn’t help, and neither did other people. How could I make him go away? At this point, I wasn’t interested in him becoming a better person. I knew that was impossible after trying to get him into therapy and to do the right thing. I realized he wouldn’t be a decent co-parent or magically turn into an appropriate father, and it made me very mad.

Studying Deliverance from Abuse

(00:02:05): I couldn’t find a way out. I wondered, is deliverance from abuse even possible? The goal in facing betrayal is to heal from the trauma. People often tell me, our clients, and others—not at BTR, we never say this—but others do, things like, “You’ve got to move on with your life,” or “Maybe forgive him,” or “He’s a jerk, so don’t let it bother you.” 

They say all sorts of things to women in these situations. I want to stress that it’s traumatic every single time they betray you, over and over. When people ask, “Why can’t you just get over it?” it’s not that simple.

(00:02:56): You divorced eight years ago. In my case, he abused me for eight years post-divorce. They think the abuse happened eight years ago. It happened today. When he messaged me today, he lied and tried to undermine my children. 

Why do so many so-called Betrayal Trauma Specialists, not BTR, but those others out there who don’t really understand, think healing from betrayal trauma is just about overcoming triggers? It’s about handling the triggers from the day we discovered he was using porn or from the month we had a tough time, not knowing what was happening, and then realizing he had an affair.

Coach Janet (00:03:40): I think this is a really important question. Many of us have undergone counseling with marriage therapy. Usually, they concentrate on our communication, healing from past events, and improving our communication skills with our husbands or exes. 

We need to keep the focus on the kids. This requires a strong co-parenting relationship. The issue is that communicating with them traps us every single time. Allowing ongoing communication gives him endless opportunities to continue trapping and abusing us using whatever we offer.

Why Betrayal Trauma Specialists Fail to Understand Continuous Abuse

Anne (00:04:42) The communication never improves, I wrote and recorded the Living Free Workshop to help women understand the difference between a healthy person’s and an abuser’s view of communication. 

They see it as a weapon, thinking, “Okay, I can gather these things and this is how I can use it against her, or to get what I want.” The Living Free Workshop explains all this, helping women understand what’s happening so they can start to gain deliverance from abuse.

Coach Janet (00:05:18): In the Living Free workshop, lesson 26 discussed catching someone lying in real time with full evidence. “You just lied to me. This just happened.” And that gives us a sense of validation. “Oh my goodness, if I just point out these direct points, he’s going to have an aha moment like, ‘Oh, darn it. I own it. Hey, I’m so sorry. I totally just lied to you. 

There was no reason to and maybe I’ll do differently.’ That never happens.” I have a client who thought she could change the outcome if she just communicated and explained it in a way he could understand, almost treating him as if he just didn’t know. If she told him and explained it to him, it would stop.

 However, the opposite happened every single time, right from the beginning when they started sharing the kids 50/50 between their houses and things started falling apart at dad’s house.

The Communication Trap with Abusive Ex-Partners

(00:06:39): And then she got her kids back and they’d kind of dump everything that happened at their dad’s house on her. She was headstrong, thinking, “Okay, I can call him and say, ‘Hey, I can help. The mornings are chaotic. Why don’t you set a timer? 

Wake up at six so you can get the kids up at six thirty, have the lunches pre-made or teach the kids to make their own if you’re busy getting ready for work.'” She really thought it would help. Guess what? It just got worse. More chaos ensued. Then he stopped waking the kids up entirely. They were late to school almost every day.

 If the kids said anything, their dad would start crying and apologize, saying he was trying his best and it was so hard. He’s working so hard and he can’t seem to get anything right. And then the kids would feel bad for saying anything, right? That’s manipulation, and now it’s all on the kids. So, the communication just doesn’t work.

Anne (00:07:51): Living free explains why, so let’s stick to that. It does a really good job at clarifying why they do that and why the opposite happens, and then what to do about it. If you define living free as having nothing to do with communication, court, clergy, or seeking third-party help.

Maybe explaining to the court that he can’t wake the kids up, or make breakfast, or perform basic parenting tasks might show that the kids really shouldn’t be under his care.

Seeking Deliverance from Abuse Through Faith and Scripture

We’re dealing with an abuser who’s essentially a 10-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old’s body, thinking it’s playtime with the kids. But no, it’s parent time. Someone needs to take on the parenting role. 

It baffles us when the court seems to think everything looks fine.

(00:08:55): He seems great, but we’re confused. We know that’s not really the case. We started thinking about deliverance from abuse. As a Christian, the concept of deliverance caught my attention, even though BTR isn’t a religious organization. Many women have suffered spiritual abuse at the hands of clergy, often due to what I believe is a misinterpretation of scripture or Christ’s doctrine. 

This spiritual abuse has led many women to stop attending church, and I completely understand their decision. They’re abused, why should they continue, right? Whether you’re agnostic, atheist, or follow a different religion, you’re welcome here. 

Today, I’ll talk about deliverance from abuse from a Christian perspective because it helped me understand the process of delivering my kids from this perspective. I believe you’ll learn something if you’ll bear with me, but I’m not trying to convert anyone.

(00:09:59): Here we go. We’re going to talk about deliverance from abuse. When I realized the court couldn’t or wouldn’t help me—they probably could but refused—I turned to my clergy. I said, “Hey, our church does not tolerate abuse. What are you going to do about it?” They just stared at me, blinking, clueless about how to help. 

They wanted to, but they simply didn’t know how. I started praying, reading the scriptures, and thinking, “Okay, in the scriptures, Christ always delivers.

Anne Blythe”s Personal Journey Toward Deliverance From Abuse

He saves people from their enemies, over and over.” I figured through my Savior, Jesus Christ, I could find deliverance with enough faith. During my study, I read many deliverance books from different religions.

(00:11:01): In my faith, we don’t have a deliverance ministry, unlike other faiths and evangelicals. I’m not very familiar with it because it’s not my faith, but I read a book by a Catholic and an evangelical about casting out devils. Often, when people think about casting out devils, they imagine it as removing them from a person rather than from their presence. 

You might not have a devil inside you, but one could be around you. How do you get rid of them? A lot of my study focused on this. I’ve written down all my studies at the end of “Living Free” for a visual of those scriptures if you’re interested. 

So, there’s the casting out devils part and the deliverance part. I think, one of the best stories of deliverance is Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt.

(00:11:59): So, I actually went to Egypt and Jerusalem because I wanted to study deliverance from abuse and figure it out. Within six months of returning from Jerusalem, I and my children were delivered. My ex-husband gave up custody and the final say over my kids. 

Now, they don’t have to go with him at all if they don’t want to. The parenting time schedule is only one weekend a month, from Friday at six to Sunday at six, with no midweek visits and only two weeks in the summer. They only have to spend two holidays with him the entire year. 

The Israelites’ Story as a Metaphor for Abuse Survivors

I think I could’ve gotten even less. I mean, I could’ve made him take less, but I needed a break. I included that. My oldest son hardly goes anymore.

(00:12:51): I think my other kids will probably visit less and less over the years. Last year, they only went for Christmas and didn’t even stay the whole time. They ended up coming home early, and that’s possible because we’ve been delivered. We can do whatever we want now, which is pretty exciting.

 I have this map of the children of Israel delivering themselves, and I want to discuss some of it. Coach Janet, you can see this. Number one is where they were. When visiting Jerusalem, I was surprised. I went on the Nile, and it’s this huge river. 

I’m just going to make up numbers here, but let’s say 500 feet on either side of the Nile, you have the most luscious, beautiful farmland where they can grow a ton of stuff because the water’s right there, and then suddenly, it turns into a very scary arid desert.

(00:13:52): If you look at this map where the children of Israel are, oppressed under Ramseys’ rule, they’re actually in that lush delta. It’s prime farmland with plenty of water. They’re not living in a hole; they’ve been here for hundreds of years, born and raised without knowing anything else. 

These Israelites have never been to the Promised Land. They don’t know what it looks like; they know nothing about it. Even though they’re enslaved and oppressed, it’s all they’ve ever known. They’re not exactly hungry; there’s plenty of food and shelter. 

The Five Stages of Deliverance From Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Understanding Deliverance from Abuse Through the Lens of the Israelites and Moses

The environment isn’t bad for them. When Moses comes, saying he’s going to try to deliver them, he finds a people who haven’t seen anything else but their current condition. I won’t dive into how Moses gets to this point, but when he decides to deliver them, he realizes that they don’t even know what they’re missing.

(00:15:01): The plagues, the seven plagues. He sends frogs and fire from the sky, turns an island into blood, and all that. In my opinion, it was partly to make Ramseys let them go, but I also think it was for them. If it hadn’t gotten really bad, I don’t think they would’ve wanted to leave because they didn’t know anything else. And it probably seemed pretty scary to them. 

They most likely didn’t want to be oppressed anymore, but maybe they were thinking, “Can’t he just be nicer to us? Maybe we can work it out so we only have to work 10 hours a day instead of 16.” I wonder if they were trying to negotiate with Ramseys in their minds, like, “Moses, why are we going? Maybe we can work this out.” 

They had to go through those plagues too. And I think for all abuse victims, there’s a stage where things get so bad that they know they have to do something.

I’d call that the first phase of deliverance from abuse where they don’t want to do something; they’re hoping something will work out, but maybe they feel like they have to. Then, in this phase, they try pornography, addiction, recovery. How many of your clients have tried some kind of recovery program or couple therapy or something like that?

Insights from a Coaching Session

Coach Janet (00:16:29): I can’t think of one client that the spouse hasn’t tried something either anger management, sex addiction, csat, couples therapy or all of the above.

Anne (00:16:43): And why do they do that? Because they don’t know anything else. Because they’re afraid. They want Ramseys to be a little nicer. Maybe they want to work fewer hours, or they want better food. Maybe they think with a few concessions, we can live together in peace.

Coach Janet (00:17:00): The land holds goodness. This is the man they’ve built a family with; they love him. He isn’t horrible all the time because they’re still in the fog of abuse. They haven’t even had the chance to feel enough relief to realize the extent of the abuse.

Anne (00:17:21): And they also think there’s some good, rather than realizing the good is also bad, which living free explains really well. In my opinion, that was just as much for them as it was for Ramsey. Finally, Ramsey says, “Okay, I’ll let you go.” Then, they have to pack up all their stuff. This, I think, represents separation. 

They have to pack their entire lives into carts. They’ve never been anywhere else, they don’t know anything else, and they have to load it onto carts and such. And when you think about Ramsey, he’s like, “Wait, no, no, no, you can’t take all those animals and you can’t take this cart, but maybe you can take this.” 

There’s going to be a point where they’re trying to figure out who takes what as they start making their way out of Egypt. Now, I want to show you something.

Navigating the Exodus: A Journey of Survival

(00:18:12): Okay, can you see my cursor? Yes. Alright, here’s the delta, and this right here is the promised land on this side of Jerusalem. They should’ve just walked straight across this Upper Sinai Peninsula and come right over here. That’s not the path they took. Instead, they start heading down here, and at some point, Pharaoh changes his mind, saying, “Never mind, I want you back.” 

I think when you first move out before you’re divorced, your trying to figure out your escape, right? You’re wondering, “Will I manage to get a divorce?” Many women in our community face very long, difficult divorces where they desperately want to leave but can’t. 

There are women who attempt to start the divorce process, then don’t go through with it, move back in, and later realize they indeed need to move out.

(00:19:13): Women find ways to stay permanently separated, and it’s actually fine because they’ve established solid boundaries. There are many different scenarios. In some cases, through setting boundaries and emotional separation, and by living freely, he might actually change to the point where living with him becomes possible. 

This isn’t through a couple’s program, pornography addiction recovery, or anything formal. It’s by you setting boundaries for your own safety, and then he might choose to change. I made all this up, so I’m going to stop saying “I think” and just say, this is what happens. 

Divorce and The Red Sea Crossing Analogy: Deliverance from Abuse

This is my interpretation of deliverance. But when they get to the Red Sea and find themselves stuck with Pharaoh after them, it’s a moment of truth.

(00:20:14): They can’t go back. Going back means risking enslavement or oppression again. He’s right behind them. This period, I believe, signifies a kind of divorce. Interestingly, as the Red Sea parts, some women manage to cross, permanently separating them from him unless they choose to remarry. 

Looking at this map, I find it fascinating that they chose to cross here rather than taking a seemingly easier route across the Sinai Peninsula. I think the reason is that once they crossed the Red Sea and the waters fell back, returning became impossible. Without GPS or a clear map to the Promised Land—assuming they didn’t have one—they couldn’t simply turn back and recross the sea.

(00:21:16): When that divorce happens and it’s done, I don’t know any woman, at least in our community, who’s like, “I think I want to marry him again.” I think they feel that in some ways, like, “Oh, it’d be nice not to have my kids go back and forth. It’d be nice not to have so many financial problems. 

It’d be nice not to worry about this stuff.” I don’t think they ever believe, deep down, “I think I made the wrong decision.” They regret the consequences. The consequences are tough, but they don’t actually regret divorcing him.

Through These Five Stages of Deliverance You Can Live Free from Emotional And Psychological Abuse

Delivering Yourself from Abuse by Picking Up Your Stuff

Coach Janet (00:21:55): Yes, I agree. When they’re still stuck and haven’t crossed the water, many of my clients have kicked him out. He’ll go to a program, learn something, and then she’ll let him back in, only to kick him out again.

Eventually, he’ll find a couple’s therapist. “We have kids together. We need to communicate effectively to be good,” they say. And they’re facing this court process, filled with fear, thinking, “Oh my goodness, I have no choice. 

I must do this.” They try couples therapy, but often it doesn’t work, or the court process is too difficult. I have client who was told she had evidence that he wasn’t a good person or father and that she would get full custody. 

However, in court, it didn’t go as planned because her now ex-husband was so smooth, charming, and could afford the perfect lawyer, leading her to lose. Many clients struggle to make it to the other side.

Anne (00:23:19): The water has topped the bottom of the Red Sea for thousands of years; it’s not flat. No one has ever driven or walked across it, so expect lots of rocks and mud. Even if the sea parts and you see a way forward, even if you’re about to get divorced, you still have to pick up all your stuff and start trekking through literal mud to reach the other side. And it’s scary. 

You’re constantly fearing that the water could crash down on you and kill you. The court could crush you while you’re waist-deep in mud. We don’t know how long it took the Israelites to cross the Red Sea through the mud, but it might have taken days. 

Overcoming Fear and Finding Freedom

Thankfully, the Lord kept the Egyptians at bay with a pillar of fire, preventing them from advancing. Before women make that crossing, they’re at a point where they’re thinking, “I don’t want to go through that mud.” Imagine being an Israelite, staring at all the mud and the looming threat of the water crashing down on you at any moment.

 My guess is, although it’s not specified in the scriptures, some people might have proceeded simply because Pharaoh’s forces were behind them, leaving them no choice. However, I’m guessing there were also those who really didn’t want to do it.

Coach Janet (00:24:40): And they didn’t know what was on the other side

Anne (00:24:43): Even if they were going to survive getting through it. I mean, we know so many women in our community who don’t know if they’re going to even survive divorce

Coach Janet (00:24:52): And they don’t know what’s on the other side. They’ve never tasted freedom and can’t imagine what that land looks like. They might freeze at the Red Sea, see the parted waters, and still struggle to take those steps through the mud.

Anne (00:25:09): Well, a lot of people say, “I wish someone would save me.” They pray all the time, kneeling at their beds, saying, “God, save me. Please, save me.” And God’s like, “I want to save you. Pick up your stuff, get out of the house, start walking across the mud.” They think, “I don’t want to get my feet dirty.” I mean, it’s more intense than that, but basically, they don’t want to step in. They might say, “No, I don’t want to do that. 

Navigating the Challenge

I don’t want to move. I don’t want to give up my lifestyle.” For those of us who were young moms, we generally have 18 Christmases with our kids before they turn 18. Those of us who are divorced end up with just nine. Thoughts like that are so heartbreaking. We didn’t sign up to be a mom and only have nine Christmases with our kids before they move out.

Coach Janet (00:26:02): This analogy compares the Israelites approaching the Red Sea, uncertain of what will happen next. Their lives had to worsen to the point where it propelled them to conquer their fear. As they watched the waters part, they faced the daunting task of trudging through with all their possessions, worried the water might collapse on them. 

They had no idea what awaited on the other side or if their enemies might also cross. This scenario closely mirrors our clients’ experiences. Often, it’s the gift of hitting rock bottom that leaves no choice but to pick up their bags, pack, and leave, despite not knowing what lies ahead or how difficult passing through those waters will be.

Anne (00:27:10): Yeah, it’s really hard. We talked about my belief that they passed here so they couldn’t go back. Now, in our lives, unfortunately, water doesn’t fall on them and kill them. We go through divorce, and they’re still chasing us. That’s so frustrating because no domestic violence shelter prepares you for that. 

All domestic violence shelters want to do is help you do two things: get a protective order and get divorced, if they have services available for you. A protective order does squat if you need to co-parent, making things very difficult. So, let’s talk about the other side. 

Post-Divorce Struggles and Seeking Safety

Then they get to the other side and start this 40-year wilderness journey, wandering around. In this first part, they’re getting manna from heaven. They don’t know where their resources will come from. Some of them are like, “Why don’t we just go back?”

(00:28:09): Egypt had so many resources, and it’s maddening that we’re worse off now than before. We have no food. We’re not being oppressed in the traditional sense, but our situation still oppresses us. Unlike the Israelites, Pharaoh actually makes it across the river and continues to pursue us. 

We wander around. This period feels like it’s post-divorce. You don’t really want to go back, but you miss the resources, the food, the shelter, and the comfortable house. Now, we’re living in a tent in the middle of nowhere. We wandered around in the wilderness for a while. When I went to Jerusalem and looked out the bus window, there were actual dirt devils everywhere.

(00:29:07): I was like, “What?” Some were bigger than others, but following that pillar by day to figure out where to go, I thought, “Oh, I can totally see this happening.” Fascinating to me. 

And it was hot. I was there at the end of April, beginning of May, and it hit a hundred degrees. It was so hot that the shade shielding them from the sun felt like tiny miracles. In my faith, we call them tender mercies as they received manna. Women feared they wouldn’t be able to eat or live. 

The Emotional Journey of Post-Abuse Recovery

Let’s talk about that. It amazes me that they’re okay. Going through really hard times, I remember only wanting maybe a pair of shoes when I was in that stage. Speaking of that stage, it’s surprising how most women manage to have enough to eat and a roof over their heads, despite it being very tough.

Coach Janet (00:30:19): All the clients I can think of feel euphoric at this phase because they’ve survived the divorce. The waters didn’t crash down on them. At the beginning, their exes are almost like hurt puppies whimpering, “I can’t believe you left, come back.” 

And the real post-divorce abuse hasn’t really started in full swing. For the first time in however many decades, they can breathe. They’ve built a safe home for themselves and their kids; they have food, shelter, and water. It’s like living for the first time because they can’t even remember life before their husband. 

There was so much abuse that this little window feels like a reprieve before the storms start coming. Have you heard any clients say things like that?

Anne (00:31:33): I’ve heard women say, I can breathe again or at this stage, something like I went outside and I could see color. Have you heard that?

Coach Janet (00:31:45): That they can taste food or they sit there for hours like, wait, what am I supposed to eat? I have the option of choosing what I’m going to eat. It’s like learning to live.

Seeking Answers at Mount Nebo: How to Gain Deliverance from Abuse

Anne (00:32:00): And I think they’re amazed because they receive manna from heaven. They have what they need, even if it’s not what they want, and their lifestyles may have drastically changed.

They’re not starving. Generally, they might not eat the same foods as before or might eat something they don’t love, but living on rice and beans keeps them from starving. 

It feels really good at first. Then, after a while, they think, “Wait a minute. Is this it? Will I live on rice and beans for the rest of my life? Will I deal with this man forever?”

During this 40-year wilderness phase, women also try to figure out their careers and how they’re going to work, leading to the final stage of deliverance from abuse, wondering how he will finally leave them alone.

(00:33:02): I wandered around for a while and visited Mount Nebo, where the Israelites first laid eyes on the promised land, a sight they had never seen before. Mount Nebo sits right here, overlooking the promised land across the Dead Sea. That reminds me of the Great Salt Lake near my home in Utah, my own topography. 

Being in Jerusalem felt very weird, but I quickly felt at home, incredibly so. The terrain resembles Utah’s, with Utah Lake and what we call the Jordan River flowing into the Great Salt Lake, which doesn’t drain. Hence, the Great Salt Lake is much like the Dead Sea, extremely salty, where you can easily float. It’s just the same. Then I headed to Petra, reminiscent of Zion National Park, a favorite spot for many of us.

Seeking a Promised Future

(00:33:54): It was weird. I felt like, “Oh my word, I’m an Israelite. I feel at home here.” The place was very desert-like and kind of cool. Okay, I’m up on Mount Nebo. I’ll share a maybe not-so-funny story. While there, “I’m going to talk to Moses.

I grabbed my scriptures, and on the tour I was on, I was like, “Leave me alone. I don’t want to talk to any of you. I’m going off by myself.” And they were like, “She’s weird. This lady is cray cray town.” I’m like, “I’ll be back, and don’t anyone look for me.” 

I tried to find a place where I could pray and talk to Moses. By the way, I’ve never talked to Moses before, this wasn’t something I regularly did, but I thought, “I’m trying to deliver women out of abuse.”

(00:34:41): Moses knows about this. I’m going to chat with him, fumbling around these ancient ruins where I probably shouldn’t be. I’m trying to find a place to kneel but just can’t find the right spot. I end up sitting on these 3000-year-old stones, likely part of a fence, where I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be sitting.

 And there I am, praying, hoping Moses will come and talk to me while I read the scripture. I thought he’d say something, but when I open the scriptures, they’re not even remotely related. I’m like, what’s he trying to say? No, it’s not working. No, I didn’t talk to Moses, just so you know. It didn’t turn out that way.

Navigating the Promised Land

(00:35:31): As I looked off at the promised Land at that time in my life, I thought I now knew what I wanted my life to be. I believed I had this miraculous decree, what I thought would be best for my kids and me, giving me the final say. 

He couldn’t have any say in what the kids did or didn’t have to go with him where I didn’t have to deal with him at all. I stood on man’s evil, looking out there, thinking I couldn’t get there. 

Now, the reason why the Israelites couldn’t get there was that it was full of other people, and they needed to kill all those people in the Bible to get rid of them so they could enter the promised land, which seems ethically wrong since they hadn’t been there for 400 years.

(00:36:22): You know what I mean? Parts of the Bible just don’t make sense to me. Anyway, in our case, we can’t kill him. That’s exactly what they were planning: to kill them and then live the life they wanted. Now, I’m not proposing murder. 

Listeners, please don’t think that’s what I’m suggesting. I know we’ve all thought that if he just got hit by a bus, everything would be okay. My kids are safe now, alright, but why is he still blocking me from the promised land, to stick with this metaphor? 

What do you think frustrates women the most in this situation when they can see the solution? They know what it should look like. They know how to set boundaries, but they can’t achieve it.

Strategies for Peace and Resilience

Coach Janet (00:37:09): I think about a client I’m considering cutting ties with; communication was her biggest challenge. Her court experience, where they portrayed her as gatekeeping and keeping the kids away from him, fueled a mix of fears. She feared him and what he had put her through. 

She constantly worried about not explaining every detail to him, felt she had to hold his hand through the parenting process, and remind him about early out times, even during his parenting time. Essentially, he was living rent-free in her brain. 

To sever that cord, she doesn’t have to communicate with him. In their case, they’re using Our Family Wizard. You message when you’re dropping the kids off, and that’s it. Convincing her that no other communication would lead to anything positive was a huge struggle.

Anne (00:38:30): I developed the message workshop’s tools from years of working with clients. First, you learn the general strategies and specific phrases that work, although applying them can be tough. Let’s turn back to this map. Here, discussing divorce, you understand there’s no going back. 

Another issue is that many women, justifiably, fear the trauma from court experiences, worrying they’ll be targeted again, though not always. Chronic litigators exist. In fact, Carmen from the message workshop, who I helped, had been divorced for 10 years and her ex had dragged her to court for custody five times.

Finding Liberation

(00:39:29): She hit rock bottom and reached out to me for help. Recently, she texted me, saying, “Anne, you’ll never believe it. I think I’m out. I’ve tried everything—communication, all sorts of things. Nothing worked for 10 years. Since I started doing this, he hasn’t messaged me. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen with this case. It’s not moving forward; nothing’s happening.” And I’m thinking, “Really? She thinks she’s done. Give it a minute. We’ll see. I mean, I know these methods work, right? I’m never quite sure when it’s truly over. In my case, I knew it was over when he signed the paper, and I signed it. 

I knew I’d been delivered.” And some women feel the same. They’re like, “He moved to Texas, and I knew I had deliverance from abuse.”

(00:40:19): Instances like that happen. At other times, they just stop writing, leaving you wondering, “Well, he hasn’t moved, what’s going on?” It might take a minute to figure out, but he really has.

He’s checked out; he’s done. I want women to think about this point: crossing this “red sea” means you’re not going back to court because court is expensive. If you don’t initiate it, which we never recommend any victim do after the divorce is over, it’s very unlikely he’ll take you back to court.

 Some people do, but for the majority, it’s pretty rare. They want to threaten you with it, constantly. If you just say, “Okay, no problem, I have an attorney on retainer,” and let them know, that’s one of the strategies we cover in the message workshop.

Strategies for Living Free: How to get Deliverance From Abuse

(00:41:10): They’re like, “I’m supposed to scare you. This isn’t scaring you.” Once you realize court is over and there’s no going back, starting to offload that fear, which we discuss in Living Free, really helps. When you reach this point, you can look at it and see it.

Sure, some people might fear returning to court, and it could happen, right? There are no guarantees, although it’s unlikely. Seeing that and cutting off communication kind of sends the message to clear out the promised land because it turns into scorched earth. I now understand that I’ll never have a normal relationship with him. And it’s not because I can’t have a normal relationship; it’s because he’s incapable of having one.

(00:42:06): And once you finally understand that’s not an option, I’ll stop thinking this conversation will be the one where he gets it. In this case, we’ll say our relationship is dead. You can’t have a relationship with someone incapable of doing it. 

Once you reach that point, once you kill the relationship in your own mind and body and think, I can’t communicate with him like I would with a normal person, you’ll know your deliverance from abuse is close.

Coach Janet (00:42:46): I thought about stopping the communication and trying to explain. I have a client who wasn’t afraid, but she couldn’t let go of wanting justice. She wanted to show him directly how he’s affecting the kids and make him take responsibility. 

Then she realized he was even using that against her. It was almost like he purposely abused the kids to get to her. There’s no justice. She decided to let it go.

The Temptation to Argue and Communicate with Abusers

Anne (00:43:35): What you’re looking for is deliverance from abuse. It’s impossible to move on when you’re being abused, but in order to be deliverance from the abuse, justice is a trap.

(00:43:51): Truth and communication are traps. They’ll use justice as a weapon against you. They’ll keep acting just to prevent you from getting justice, forcing you to keep coming back. Letting go frees us. In my case, I did care about justice, but living the life I wanted mattered more. 

My ex, being an attorney, blocked that life for me. I expected a certain lifestyle, thinking I could take yearly trips or buy new shoes, but that didn’t happen.

(00:44:52): Part of it was letting go, which then enabled my delivery. I don’t want women to think we’re asking them to just move on, but rather, would you like deliverance from abuse? I invite you, as Christ would, as your savior. 

He’d say, as your savior and deliverer, do you want to be delivered? And we’d say yes. Then he’d ask, do you trust me more than Satan? Hopefully, we’d say yes. Christ doesn’t even let evil spirits speak in the scriptures. It says he doesn’t allow them to speak.

Finding Deliverance From Abuse

 He doesn’t want to engage with these guys either. He’s not thinking, oh, maybe if I talk to him, I can help him. No. In fact, I believe it’s either the second or third temptation of Christ, where they’re on the building and he’s like, Satan, throw yourself off the building.

(00:46:00): I truly believe the temptation was more about communication than throwing yourself off a building. After all, no one finds the idea of throwing themselves off a building tempting. You know what is tempting? Arguing with someone about how absurd it is for them to suggest you throw yourself off a building. 

If it were me facing Satan, I’d be like, “Satan, what’s wrong with you? Why would you even suggest I throw myself off a building? And Christ could do that and win the argument because it’s probably the stupidest temptation in the universe. 

It’s not tempting at all. He doesn’t get trapped by the real temptation, which is the temptation to argue. Instead, he says, “Get lost.” There’s no reasoning with Satan, and throughout the scriptures, it’s all about separating yourself from the wicked. I feel like Christ is inviting us to be delivered. 

That’s what I’ve included in “Living Free” and the message workshop. To achieve it, he’s given us some guidelines, and if we follow his teachings, he will deliver us. 

It will take a lot of effort. I mean, even if he saves us, we still have to walk through the mud and cross the desert. There’s no deliverance from abuse story where God just picks them up with a helicopter or something.

Anne (00:47:31): Even though he saves them, he drops them off. There are miracles, like manna being a miracle and parting the Red Sea.

Five Stages of Deliverance From Abuse: Emotional and Psychological

From Mount Nebo to Seeking Justice

Let’s look at one of your clients who’s at this point. They’re on Mount Nebo, looking down, seeing it but not doing it. 

They keep thinking, “I didn’t do it,” because they’re either giving themselves reasons or maybe they’re giving you a reason why they didn’t. I once asked someone, which I think came off as offensive because I didn’t mean to blame the victim, “I don’t care why you did it, when will you use these tools?” 

She couldn’t give me an answer at that moment. I wasn’t trying to call her out; I genuinely wanted to help her. What can we say to victims struggling to apply it?

Coach Janet (00:48:29): Thinking of a client and three things sets off pure anger for the situation where she wants to communicate her anger and fear. If she doesn’t reach out, will he take her back to court, or could she could get in trouble.

And then there’s the justice piece, feeling so worn out from the unending abuse, like being tumbled by waves, coming up for air only for another wave to hit. The exhaustion from trying to communicate, whether through Our Family Wizard or some other way, overwhelms her.

She realizes it doesn’t matter the reason, because every form of communication and every “why” leads to a different trap. End of story. Close the box, put it down, and walk away.

Anne (00:49:57): Walking away is really hard because, first, you should feel angry. We all should. If we didn’t, what would we be, robots? That’d be weird. I mean, some people don’t feel angry, and that’s okay. If you don’t, you’re not weird. Shine on, my friends.

The Path to Healing  

Coach Janet (00:50:13): There’s plenty of anger.

Anne (00:50:14): Shine on if you’re not feeling angry. Mostly, it’d be weird not to feel angry. You should be angry, seek justice, and fear is natural. These people are dangerous; they’ve hurt you and your family. Don’t let those feelings prevent your recovery.

 It’s a trap that can hinder your healing. Yet, you can be angry, seek justice, and feel afraid, and it’s thrilling. Use the tools from the Living Free and message workshops to heal. Share your feelings with a safe coach, like a BTR coach, or with other women in BTR group sessions.

(00:51:13): You can share them with your mom, your sister, or any other safe people in your life. You can also share them with God. The Living Free and message workshops focus on deliverance from abuse, but they don’t tell you to let go, move on, or stop giving away your power, or all that stupid stuff everyone suggests. I say, hold onto your anger. 

It’ll serve you well. Yes, you should seek justice, and I promise, you’ll get it, and it’ll be thrilling and loved by everyone. I’ll be like, “Yes, justice. I love justice.” The cool part is, if you do the exercises, have you heard about the power stance? 

It’s supposed to make you feel better. Similarly, using the tools makes a difference. At first, I was so mad and didn’t want to do it.

(00:52:02): There were so many of those tools that I thought, “What? I’m supposed to write this? This is ridiculous. This is stupid. I don’t want to do this.” But I did it, I pushed send, and thought, “I don’t want to do this.” Yet, I kept doing it. Eventually, it started becoming kind of fun.

Strategies for True Deliverance from Abuse

It wasn’t because I was trying to become less angry. I became less afraid, not because I was trying to, but because I was starting to actually live free since I wasn’t being abused anymore. The only way to get justice, the only way not to be angry all the time, and the only way not to be afraid is if you’re not being abused. 

It’s the only way out. You can’t continue to be abused and not be afraid. It just doesn’t work like that.

Coach Janet (00:53:17): And finding that peace where you’re not being abused, you’ve stopped putting yourself in harm’s way, took my client some time. 

She saw the benefits, but when she started using strategic messaging, he just shifted tactics to attack her from a different angle. You have to play it from all angles. She struggled a bit before she could finally walk away.

Anne (00:54:08): And for good reason, they’re purposefully setting traps to catch you. It’s not your fault if you think, “Oh, I’ve stepped in the trap again.” You’re just walking like a normal person. Then, you begin to identify the traps. However, at no point is it your fault. You shouldn’t have to look out for traps. It’s entirely his fault.

(00:54:31): When you sign up for Living Free and join the Message workshop, don’t expect to be perfect. I once thought I nailed it until I actually developed the workshop and started working with other women. Looking back at my messages, I realized I missed the mark multiple times. 

Lessons from the Living Free Workshop

Now, after helping other women for a long time, I’ve become really good at it. But it’s a skill you need to learn, and it’s not always fair. It’s like surviving a plane crash in the mountains.

 It’s not your fault, but if you don’t figure out how to find water and make your way down to a city, you’re going to die, regardless of fault. Wanting to be saved, regardless of whether it’s your fault, isn’t your fault at all.

(00:55:27): You need to learn these skills to achieve deliverance form abuse. From a faith perspective, these skills work universally and aren’t spiritually based. In creating the living free and message workshop, I made them secular so everyone would feel comfortable, which is crucial since many women have experienced spiritual abuse. 

I decided to remove any spiritual bias. Personally, I believe these principles, which I discovered in the scriptures through prayer and study, including casting out devils and deliverance from abuse, will have an extra special effect for women because of Jesus’s kindness, mercy, justice, and love. 

I’ve been delivered using these principles and have seen other women find deliverance from abuse too, which truly makes me happy. They were always there; it’s just that men wrote the scriptures and interpreted them. Often, they tell women only to love, serve, and forgive. 

No, we’re going to read the scriptures ourselves and take from them what we will.

Coach Janet (00:57:01): Absolutely. And we must stay kind to ourselves as we process with our clients, as they work through messages, trip, fall, and get stuck in traps. We should see these as learning experiences. Each time, I learn not to repeat the same mistake and just keep going.

Support from BTR Coaches

Anne (00:57:25): And I think too, there’s nothing like a learning experience to realize, “Oh, he’s really wicked. He’s truly evil. This is really scary.” That’s the other cool thing about being kind to him in the message workshop.

(00:57:45): There’s nothing mean or literally nothing in there. It’s how Christ teaches us to deliver ourselves. Christ does it this way. You can find examples of Him doing this throughout the scripture, which is really cool. This is also why we have the best coaches at BTR.

 They’re amazing. They validate women who’ve been victimized, they’re kind and gentle, and they help women meet them where they are. They navigate women safely through experiences that aren’t their fault. And I appreciate the listeners.

I’m not a coach. I’d probably just say, “Stop doing that. Stop. Do you want to get deliverance from abuse or not?”

Coach Janet (00:58:34): Get over here right now.

Anne (00:58:36): And they’re like, oh, wow, Ann, she’s intense. I am a little bit intense, but I really, really want you have deliverance from abuse. Is that so bad? That’s my fault that I want that.

Coach Janet (00:58:49): No, that’s your gift. You’re right where you need to be, right? Doing what you need to be doing.

Anne (00:58:56): Yes, I’m so grateful for the BTR coaches. They can really help women apply these concepts in a gentle way that benefits everyone. So, thank you, Coach Janet, for being here as I pontificated about the stages of deliverance from abuse. Yeah so many women go through this and desperately need support, which is why we have our daily, online Betrayal Trauma Recovery Support Group.

The Message Workshop Strategies

Coach Janet (00:59:14): Thank you for having me on and discussing this. I love the map and how you walked us through the deliverance from abuse process, and the Living Free workshop benefits any woman at any stage. If she’s overwhelmed in the fog of abuse but wants to escape, Living Free makes it so simple. 

The lessons are very short, like your best friend holding your hand and guiding you through each step. You can rewatch it if you feel like you missed a concept. Just go back, watch it again, print out the workbook, and follow all the steps at your own pace. It really simplifies the process, and I wish I’d had it at the beginning of my divorce.

Anne (01:00:10): These strategies work if you’ve decided, “I don’t want to get divorced, but I also don’t want to be abused.” They’re a safety strategy for any woman at any stage. These strategies and tools work with both Living Free and the Message Workshop. The Message Workshop specifically targets separated women using Family Wizard. However, the principles still apply if you’re living in the same house. 

If you grasp the fundamental strategies and tools, you can apply them in your communication. I aimed to make them simple because everything about abuse is overwhelming.

I believe it’s the only way out, whether you stay married or divorce, at any stage. Thank you. Coach Janet is incredible. She’s available for individual sessions, and she facilitates our daily group sessions. We’d love to see you in a session today.

Coach Janet (01:01:39): Thank you so much, Anne. Have a good night.


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