by Tonesha Finley ™ – Religion and My Bad Relationship: Don’t question God! Even though I no longer make posts bashing Christianity and I haven’t done so in about a year, it was brought to my attention last night that some people still remember a time when I did. I grew up Christian and when I was a child, I believed everything I was taught in church, but as I got older, certain things didn’t add up or make sense to me and I begin to question God and the Bible.
I would ask my mother about the things that didn’t make sense to me and she would always tell me “We’re not supposed to question God”, so none of my questions ever got answered. As an adult, I started to ask more people these same questions, even pastors, only to get the same response “Don’t question God”. It’s extremely frustrating and confusing to go through life being told that you must live according to the Bible, but being told that it’s not okay to question it or God. It took me going through hell and back to start going to church, which ultimately took me a down the spiritual path to consciousness that finally answered all my questions.
In 2014 I was in a tumultuous relationship where I was not only being mentally and emotionally abused, but also mentally and emotionally manipulated, by a man who was a stone cold, yet functioning alcoholic. Yes, I knew that he drank, I just didn’t know how much until we moved in together. I was cheated on so many times in this relationship, with multiple women and it was killing my already low self-esteem. I knew this man didn’t love me, but I didn’t feel like I could do any better than him, I didn’t believe that I deserved better and even though I knew that I didn’t love him either, I stayed in the relationship. I didn’t want to be alone again and I didn’t want to have another failed relationship or scar on my back. Needless to say, we could only keep up the shenanigans for so long. At one point we were arguing so much that we would argue through text messages all day long, when we both should’ve been working. One day, I just got tired and I told him in a text, it was over and I wanted him out. I had said it before but I was serious this time and I guess he felt it because he left work early and came home. I could smell the wine on his breath so I knew he had been drinking on the way home and he was still drinking while we argued. It got immensely intense between us and in my fury I grabbed the house phone (my cell phone was in my back pocket) and went to the closet. I was about to start snatching his clothes out of the closet but he walked up on me with a look of hate in his eyes and said “Don’t touch my stuff”. I knew that he was serious and I didn’t touch anything. I was scared at this point and I told him that if he put his hands on me I would call the police. I had the phone in my hand and I guess he assumed that I had already called because when I tried to get past him he wouldn’t move and he said “Oh, so you’re calling the police on me” and he barely got the words out before he head butted me twice back to back. I remember the impact and starting to fall, but he grabbed me and let me fall over on the bed. I guess the knot on my head instantly came up because while I was in and out of consciousness, I could see that he was panicking. I didn’t know what he had done to me, but I knew that I was hurt and something was wrong. He kept apologizing and trying to make sure that I was okay. I gathered the strength to walk over to the bathroom and when I saw my face, I knew why he was panicking. I told him that I needed medical attention and he kept saying no because he was going to go to jail. I locked myself in the bathroom, texted a picture of my face to my mom and told her to call 911. That day ended just as he had predicted with him going to jail, but also me taking a trip to the emergency room. When I posted these pictures on my FB page, some people thought that I was posting pics of more than one incident, but I wasn’t, both of these pictures are the result of him head butting me. I had a small fracture that bled under my skin instead of bleeding through my skin, which resulted in me having a black eye for a few weeks.
When he got out of jail, I took him back and now it was even more obvious that we didn’t love, nor like one another, but for the next few months we continued to go through the motions as if we did, and to be quite honest, it was only because we both had so much invested into this relationship–that financially it would’ve hurt us both tremendously to just walk away. The next few months were hell though and it was slowly killing me on the inside. I was sad, depressed, angry, numb, defeated, I just felt stuck in this situation. You could see the stress in my face and the brokenness in my demeanor. I felt like I was no longer living, only existing. By this time in my life I had been through so much that I was once again on the brink of suicide (yes, again) so I started going to church. I’m a mother that loves her children and I knew that I didn’t really want to die and leave them alone to suffer through a life of abandonment and rejection issues that could ultimately place them in a similar situation. Now I will be completely honest, for a while church did help, it had become my saving grace. The people there were amazing, they embraced my children and I, they also went above and beyond to help me get my life back on track. When I finally got to an okay place, I ended the relationship. There had been no peace in this house since we had moved in it, but that all changed the day he moved out. I had peace and I was able to focus on bettering my children’s lives. I kept going to church and I kept falling in love with God, I was so grateful to him for getting me out of this situation.
Growing up being molested by your stepdad, being raped by your cousin and being physically abused by more than one man that claims to love you, can break you. It almost broke me and I can sincerely say that church is what saved my life, because I was almost done. I had already made it up in my mind that if going to church (my last attempt to overcome committing suicide) didn’t work, I was just going to do it. I mean if God couldn’t help me, I knew that nothing else would. The more I went to church and the deeper I got into the Bible, I started to realize that God is way bigger than the little religion box we try to place him in. (I’m talking about God, The Most High, The Almighty Creator, not Jesus). I was so full of life at this point and I was so full of God that I started searching for answers about who he is, how big he is and how powerful he is, and that’s when I came across spiritual consciousness, which was an eye opener and a life changer for me. The more I started searching, the more answers about things I’ve been wanting to know my whole life started coming to me. When I learned that the story of Jesus Christ had been told in numerous forms, in numerous religions and with numerous characters, mentally I was outdone. I kept researching and learning and realizing why certain things never made sense to me, much of it is allegory and metaphors. So yes, I was angry and yes, I felt like people who remained stuck in any religion were deaf, dumb and blind to the truth. I was spiritually immature when I came into this knowledge, so for a while, I made a bashing post about religion almost every Sunday. While I wasn’t the one necessarily doing the bashing, it was my post that opened the door for Christianity and other religions to be bashed. For a while, it didn’t bother me at all because I felt like I was helping “wake people up”, but as I continued to grow and evolve spiritually, I started to see how wrong I was for speaking down on someone else’s truth. Not only that, I saw how putting negativity into the atmosphere was coming back to haunt me. Regardless of what I think or believe when it comes to religion and spirituality, who am I to criticize a faith or belief that helps someone get through the day? I have my own faith, hopes, beliefs that help me get through the day and I would appreciate if people wouldn’t criticize mine, so I stopped doing it. It took me some time, but I essentially grew to the point of understanding that we don’t all have to believe in the same thing for us to still respect each other’s spiritual journey. When it was brought to my attention last night, that some of my posts deeply bothered people and that it still weighed in the front of some of their minds, it made me realize just how profound of an impact speaking negatively about a person’s belief can have on them. I may not necessarily agree with Christianity anymore, but I have grown to respect the fact that others do. It works for them just like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, etc. works for others. I know some of my posts hurt a lot of people, especially my mother, and I truly apologize for that. It was a process that I had to grow through to come to the understanding that it’s okay to not share the same moral or belief system with other people and still be able to respect them where they are on their spiritual journey.
If you are in an abusive relationship, I encourage you to find a way to get out. I spoke of only one incident in this article but believe me, I have several stories. I know the damage that it does to you and/or your children mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. While financial difficulties and fear of being killed seem like reasons to stay in an abusive relationship, they are not. There are many resources available to help you get out of these situations, there are also organizations that help with safety planning because sometimes that’s necessary to help you get out. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline “A good safety plan will have all of the vital information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different scenarios. Although some of the things that you outline in your safety plan may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that in moments of crisis your brain doesn’t function the same way as when you are “calm”. If you need more information for yourself or someone else, visit their website at www.thehotline.org or call them at 1-800-799-7233.
Follow Tonesha Finley™ on Facebook.