What should I do? She is my mother I want to honor her, but the abuse doesn’t stop?
A young girl came to one of my classes and asked me this after. “What should I do? She is my mother I want to honor her, but the abuse doesn’t stop?”
I too had a hard time with this. I got so hung up on the __12th commandment . (Honor thy mother and father.) And not understanding it’s complete meaning I kept putting myself in a situation where my mother could still mentally abuse me. (I was older so she could no longer physically abuse me.) Thinking that was part of following that commandment, I had to be around her. I was also putting my children in harm’s way. But everything seemed to contradict my feelings of just walking away and keeping that one commandment. How could I honor someone who doesn’t honor God? After much prayer and study, I found this scripture that helped me immensely.
In 2Nephi 5:1(Read this to yourself and put your name in where the Lord is talking to Nephi.) It says in the scriptures Liken the scriptures unto yourself Behold, I Nephi (I Shawna) did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren (this could relate to anyone that is abusive, hateful, or causing harm to you.) And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me (Shawna) that I Nephi (Shawna) should depart from them and flee…. These passages and many many years of praying gave me the comfort that I needed to walk away from those who were abusive in my life. Or those that were toxic and lied to protect those who committed murder (even if it was fear that made them do this.) I had to surround myself with people who believed in me, loved me, and wanted to protect me. I surrounded myself with people that honored the Lord. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/18.20?lang=eng
In 2Nephi 5, Nephi is commanded to walk away from his brothers. They are abusive and have even threatened his life. When someone is abusing you, regardless of the type of abuse. If they are threatening your ability to have peace, good health, and freedom. Freedom to act, freedom to live, and freedom to see yourself as your father in heaven see’s you, walk away. Find a safe place. I spent the first 30 years of my life praying that I could have a mother that would love me. (you never get too old to want that) But, the entire time I was praying he had answered my prayer. My high school boyfriends mother, Doreen Outzen, loved me I knew that, and I loved her too. She helped me more than she will ever know. My best friend’s mother, Linda Conway, was always there for me. There were times I would be in pain laying on my friends’ bed and crying she would bring me a hot pad, drinks, and anything I needed. Especially Love and kindness.
Most importantly I had a mother at home when I was fifteen. It was my father’s wife. I was so angry and frustrated by the time I moved in with my father that I did not open my heart to loving her. But no matter what I did or how badly I acted out with her she always stayed. She always made sure I had the necessities of life and so much more. I did have a mother, actually, I had many mothers. It just took me until I was 30 to realize that just because my prayers were not answered in the way that I imagined, they were answered on a far bigger scale, more beautifully than I could have possibly imagined. Our father in Heaven cannot make someone love you. But he will send you people that will love you. And he will protect you from those who abuse their free agency and cause harm to those that they are around. We just need to open our eyes and hearts to see the blessings he is trying to give us in the most unexpected of places. And honor those that honor God.