Editor’s note: Letters to Rhonda and Dr. Cheri come from around the U.S. via our website and are not necessarily from Prescott.
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I have a sister and a brother and we are in our early forties. My brother is caring and we talk often. My sister, however, has disowned me since I tried to commit suicide, twice.
The first time I took pills and passed out on someone’s front lawn. No one found me. I just happened to wake up. I told my sister, who I thought would understand, but she didn’t, even now.
She got angry with me and asked how I could do that to my kids. I felt horribly guilty. You’d have to know me to understand I would never hurt my kids.
I live with a sick-o husband. My sister has never understood what it’s like to be emotionally abused by my husband.
It wasn’t about trying to hurt anyone, it was about losing my sanity. I wasn’t trying to get attention. I really wanted to die because I couldn’t stand the reality of how my husband twisted things and hurt me.
After my sister abandoned me, my brother comforted me. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted my sister to love and understand me.
The next time my husband berated, belittled, and mocked me, I lost it worse than the first time.
I think I had a breakdown, because I don’t remember trying to kill myself again. But I did.
I should have died. I went into the hospital and I was there for more than 24 hours. I had to go to a psychiatric hospital for a week.
I believe God give me a miraculous second chance. I vowed to God that I would never try to kill myself again, with His help. I divorced my husband and then my sister disowned me and said I was selfish. My brother said to stop worrying about her but I can’t.
I love my sister
Our hearts break for you. We understand you are in a deep, dark world of pain and grief.
We believe you have started to see and feel your worth through the love you feel from God. When you made a vow to Him, you also made a vow to yourself to accept the miracle of life that He gave back to you.
You will start to heal when you can start forgiving your sister, your husband, and yourself.
Forgiveness is a process. You have been wounded emotionally, spiritually and mentally. You are a victim, but you do not have to stay one.
Here’s what you cannot change:
-Y ou can’t make your sister understand;
You can’t make your “sick-o” ex-husband un-sick;
You can’t deny that you were a victim of domestic abuse;
You can’t change that you tried to kill yourself (this isn’t a judgment – it’s a fact);
You helped your kids and your sanity when you divorced an abusive man.
Here’s what you can change:
You can choose to accept your brother’s love and care, and stop focusing on your sister’s judgment;
God has already defined your worth. You can start loving yourself;
You can stop being a people-pleaser and start being a God-pleaser;
You don’t owe anyone an explanation, except God;
You can live the miracle second chance God gave you because he loves you and you are worth it.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
All girls ages 8-13 and their moms (or big sisters) are invited to our FREE Leadership Academy. Learn how our Triangle of Triumph can help you get unstuck from being a victim and how our 5 C’s will help you both become great leaders. Nov. 5th in Prescott. Call-928-515-9996 or go to rhondastopbullying.org.
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org.
Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.