I’ve read countless testimonies of narcissistic abuse victims indicating their belief that their situation is retribution for past sins. This false belief can occur during any and all stages of abuse. It happens because their abuser tells them so, because of the abuser’s subtle suggestions, and/or because the victim’s low self-esteem creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many victims stay in their abusive environment believing they are somehow gaining salvation through “deserved” punishment.
Your abuse and suffering is not God’s will – but due to someone else’s sin. God does not want this and He suffers with you. He has wept with you and for you. In the case of marriage, some individuals take verses of the Bible out of context (i.e., (John 13:34, Ephesians 5:21), believing that they have to submit themselves blindly to their spouse in order to receive God’s grace and love, even in cases of abuse. This is simply not God’s will, and if the abuse continues without signs of stopping, God will understand your wish for a divorce.
Religion aside, many victims autonomously believe they deserve their punishment, aware of mistakes they committed in the past, and stay in an abusive relationship as a form of self-retribution.
If you’re reading this now, and you are keeping yourself in an abusive relationship because you believe you deserve it, you are mistaken. I don’t know what your past consists of or why you might believe you deserve to be abused, but if this resonates with you, you need to forgive yourself. You may feel unloved by people in your life, but that doesn’t mean you, as a person, are unlovable. People act the way they do because of how they feel about themselves, not because of who you are. You need to start loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved. We may make mistakes, but that doesn’t make us bad people. There are only bad choices…ones that can usually be rectified.
Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around. Stop regretting your past and do something to change in this moment. This priceless moment in which you are living and breathing. Retribution can be achieved through love…beginning with accepting and loving yourself.