Find healing from hidden abuse

The book, Healing From Hidden Abuse, about psychological abuse and the six stages of recovery which I talked about in this post, is now available to preorder from Amazon! 01 a healing

I’ve read a lot of books on abuse through the years, but this is truly one of the best I’ve come across. Healing from Hidden Abuse takes us into the mind of a psychological abuser explaining the who, what, where, when, how and why of this type of abuse. The author, Shannon Thomas, LCSW, then goes on to explain the six stages of healing which are necessary for any survivor of psychological abuse.

“Psychological abuse is perhaps one of the most hidden injustices of our times because it leaves the targets unable to trust even themselves. It is as if their lives are being violently shaken…and everything is swirling in chaos.” –Healing from Hidden Abuse


Until I read this book the term psychological abuse was not in my vocabulary. I had always referred to the abuse I endured as emotional and/or mental, but the author explains what the difference between psychological and emotional abuse:

“[Psychological and emotional abuse]…are two distinctly different forms of abuse. I believe that people can be emotionally abusive, but still have empathy for others. Loved ones who are struggling with addiction will harm others while living out their compulsions. They harm others while in their own lethal state. Once the addiction is fully addressed through recovery, most of these individuals are able to make an authentic amends for the harm they have caused.”

She goes on to explain about someone who is psychologically abusive:

“On the other side of the coin, psychological abusers damage others–not out of impaired judgement–but because they enjoy the control they gain from abusing people.”

“Psychological abusers play games with their targets, and know precisely what they are doing.”


I cannot say enough good things about this book. My abusive ex walked out in 2009 after 20 years of marriage and although I’ve been out of that relationship over seven years now, this book gave me validation after all these years that 1) it was abuse that I lived with and 2) that it wasn’t my fault.

I am a survivor.

This is the term used by the author to describe what most people, including myself, call victims of abuse. Why does she use the word survivor? Because she believes that people who have endured psychologically abusive relationships have had to learn to deal with an insidious form of abuse and often come out the other side stronger and more confident.

The definition of survivor given in the book:

“To remain alive; to carry one despite hardships or trauma; persevere, to remain functional…”

As a survivor of abuse, whether still living with it or having gotten out, it doesn’t usually feel like you are strong or even able to function, but as Shannon states in her book:

“Showing up for life every day is functioning.”

And if you choose to read this book and do the work to heal from hidden abuse then you are indeed functioning, you are a survivor!

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So, if you or someone you know is living with psychological abuse, or if you are in a ministry or leadership role, this book is for you!



A book review

Last week I was invited to join a book launch group for a new book, Healing From Hidden Abuse, about psychological abuse due for publication the end of August. I just happened to be at the coast visiting my husband while he was there for work and was excited to dive into the book during the mornings while he was working. So I settled in at a local coffee shop with the downloaded book on my Kindle, my journal for note taking and of course, a yummy coffee.

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After reading the advanced copy of the book I was asked to write a review which you can find here: Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery From Psychological Abuse book review.

As a survivor of psychological abuse, or what I’ve always called emotional and/or mental abuse, I have to say this book far surpassed my expectations on the subject.

The author, Shannon Thomas, is a Christian counselor. In her book, Healing From Hidden Abuse, she clearly defines what psychological abuse is, who this type of abuser is and why it happens, and once you understand the what, who and why of this type of abuse, the author outlines six stages of recovery necessary for a *survivor to work through so they can find healing and recovery from abuse.

Shannon’s straight-forward, no nonsense approach to defining this type of insidious abuse left me feeling validated after all these years. Trying to explain what was happening in my first marriage was difficult because most people equate abuse with hitting and battering, but my abuse left no outward wounds only tremendous damage to my heart and soul. I was asked several times after my ex walked out over seven years ago if he ever hit me. And the question was usually asked in such a way as to insinuate that if I had not been hit I had not been abused, and therefore, I had no reason to leave that marriage. I needed to just suck it up, be more respectful and submissive, and deal with my lot in life.


This book should be placed in the hands of every pastor, elder and any other authority figure within the church so they can be better equipped, if necessary, to work with survivors of psychological abuse who seek their help.

Better yet, I hope and pray this book makes its way into the hands of survivors so they can equip themselves with knowledge and help for them to overcome abuse in their lives. I know I will be recommending it often!

If you are living with abuse or think you are, please seek help. There are many resources available to help you heal and recover from abuse so you can live an abundant God-honoring life.

Shannon Thomas

Hurt By Love

A Cry For Justice

Lundy Bancroft

Leslie Vernick – Christ-Centered Counseling

Patricia Evans



*Survivor is the term Shannon Thomas uses for victims of abuse as she believes people who have been in abusive relationships often come out the other side stronger and better able to handle things in life.






When life feels like a prison…

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“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.

I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.

I cry to¬† you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.

Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”

~Psalm 142

…cry out to the Lord. Ask Him to set you free. Take refuge in Him and have faith that He will rescue you from what ever holds you imprisoned.

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Dear reader, may God give you the courage and strength to fling open the prison door which keeps you from living a full abundant life. Allow Him to break away the bonds which hold you captive and rest in the assurance that His love for you is unbreakable.



Start walking, stop waiting

“We spend our days waiting for the ideal path to appear in front of us…but we forget that paths are made by walking…not by waiting.”
~author unknown

We’ve all been at a cross road in our lives and find ourselves wondering which way we should go, which way is the right way.

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Sometimes we wait at that cross road a long time hoping that a sign will magically appear showing us which way to turn. We want to make sure we are headed in the right direction, after all who enjoys making a wrong turn? But often we sit still too long. We stop moving. And you know what? When you’re standing still, you’re going nowhere. And when you are going nowhere, well, you are going nowhere. We wait and wonder why God isn’t leading us but until we step out He will not just move us.

Recently I was reading through the blog I started after my then-husband walked out in 2009 and I ran across this post written on the day I had finally decided it was time to stop waiting and time to finally step out into freedom. It was the day I decided to be brave and finally release an abusive marriage once and for all. It was the day I filed for divorce.

I had stood still for so long just waiting for something — validation? confirmation? — to finally push me forward, to propel me to start moving.

Why did I wait so long? Did I really think he was going to change? Or was I just scared?

I truly had known for a long time I needed to let go and move on. I had no hope that things were ever going to get better and it wasn’t because of a lack of faith, it was because nothing ever changed. Not for years. No matter what I did, things never changed. But deep inside I did worry my faith maybe wasn’t big enough or I hadn’t allowed God the time He needed to change things — as if He needed me to do what He would do! Ha! And it was those deceptive thoughts which kept me from moving forward.

Until one day I knew that in order to move into a new life it was necessary to release the old. While I was stuck waiting in the past for who-knows-what the future was moving on by.

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This post, Moving Forward, shares my thoughts of the day I was finally ready to step out into a new life.