It is time to stop the ‘Curse’

by Ruth V. E. Phillips last modified 05 December 2018 03:44 PM

05 December 2018

I am a 51 year old pastor who grew up in a Caribbean family which was punctuated with fights and beatings between my grandparents, my aunts and their husbands or boyfriends, my mother and my father, and my mother and my sister’s father. All on my mother’s side of the family. I made up my mind that that would not be me!

Then one day before I thought of being a pastor (I heard the call late), I met a man who I thought could have been my husband. (That happened a few times in my life.) We went to New York together for a holiday with my friends, and he got jealous of how they responded to me, and he kicked me. My first fight ensued, in a foreign country, among people who I did not know and among persons who knew when my mum and dad fought in the early days. I was so angry - and embarrassed.

It came back to me that I once said, what happened to my mother, my aunts and my grandmother, would never happen to me. I have to break the curse. The curse has to stop at me. This was in 1993.

When I got back home in the Caribbean, I was terrified to share this incident with my mother. She is my rock. I did not share the incident with her until several years later, when I felt that she would not take any action against the man and what anger she may have had about the situation, would be less because it was so far after the fact.

I have been since called a bully, bossy, domineering, having a heart of cement, among other names, by men who have tried to ‘court’ me.

It is time to stop the curse!!!

I know that I am not the names that I have been called, thank God.  I know this because of Christ who lives in me. I know this because other men still seek my advice on how to understand their wives or their girlfriends; and they take my advice.

The curse can stop.

The curse has stopped.

No longer will I be abused.

I am no longer abused. Spiritually. Emotionally. Verbally. Psychologically. Physically.

What about you? How did your story begin? Where did it begin? How will it end? How do you want it to end?

The Domestic Violence Awareness Mural: "A Survivor's Journey" (2010) by Joel Bergner. Photo: Elvert BarnesThe Domestic Violence Awareness Mural: "A Survivor's Journey" (2010) by Joel Bergner. Photo: Elvert Barnes.

How I broke the curse…

I did not have the knowledge and understanding then that I have now. But I knew what I was living through was not for me. I had a different view of what my life should be when I grew up. Honestly, I was not sure what that life would look like, but I knew that it was different from what I was living at that time.

I knew how much it hurt me when these events occurred. There seemed to be no love. No love between the men and the women in my family. We are such a large family. There was no love during the week – Monday to Saturday, when the abuse was taking place. Love was only on Sundays – after church, after lunch, in the afternoon. Therefore, I did not want Sundays to end.

I did not think about seeking professional help. I did not think about talking to my pastor, or any pastor for that matter. (In hindsight, seeking professional help is not a bad idea.)

I started to talk to me. I was not crazy.

I told me over and over that I did not want a life like my family.

I looked for love …….in all of the wrong places.

I started to love me. I was not being conceited.

I started to appreciate that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I remembered hearing when I was at primary school (Age 5 – 11) that what is inside of you will eventually come on the outside. I knew that I was beautiful on the inside, and I believed that with all of my heart……and that beauty was certain to come on my outside.  One of the things that I ‘learnt’ from the abuse around me, was that I was not beautiful; thus I made sure I affirmed daily that I was beautiful.

The more I saw the beauty inside of me, the more beauty I saw around me. The more I moved away… in my mind, in my spirit, in my space… the further away I got from the abuse.

It may sound cliché to some when it is said that ‘prayer works’! As a child of God, a follower of Jesus the Christ, we must believe that prayer works.

I worked my prayers, and my faith in believing that I must have a life different to the life my grandmother, mother and aunties had, have brought me to where I am today. Praise the Lord. No longer does the abuse happen in my family because I teach my son that love does not strike to cause pain.

I teach him by example of the way I live about abuse. I talk it out. I pack the hurt with love. I forgive.


The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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