Dr. Wall encourages those abused in previous relationships or childhood to move beyond victim status and embrace life and their future.  It’s too easy, for people who have been stomped on, to wallow in self-pity.  Enough already!

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2

If you were to come to me and say you were abused or your first husband or wife was a control freak or your mom or dad or both were or your uncle was or your brother was and then you pulled out your books on abuse and showed me passages that related to you I would listen. I would mourn with you that you felt put down, ignored, scoffed at, manipulated and lied to. But then I would, after a few sessions maybe, try to steer you in another direction. I don’t want you to spend the rest of your days training yourself to be a victim.

Many people have been helped by ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), Al-Anon, CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) or Alateen. But let’s not make AA or it’s kindred the new addiction.

Hi. My name is Bill and I’m an alcoholic.

Innocent enough. I like that Bill is being forthright and not afraid to admit his shortcomings. But I don’t want Bill’s identity to be that Bill is an alcoholic. If Bill needs to say that for a while to get himself out of the gutter and to breathe fresh air, then fine. If Bill is an adult child of an alcoholic and it’s helpful to see how his past is affecting his present, fine. Let’s do that work and then move on.

It’s the moving on that is the hard part. Let’s not get consumed in our failure. Let’s not wallow in our shortcomings. Let’s admit them. Let’s heal. Then let’s put on new clothes and rise above it.

Hi. My name is Bill and I’m learning and stretching and growing and I can’t wait until tomorrow.

Let’s liken alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, family dysfunction and it’s relationship cousins to stones in a field. The farmer can hardly plant a crop in that field with all the stupid rocks. He’s gonna spend a lot of seemingly wasted effort getting those stupid rocks out of the field. He might have to have some friends or even hire workers to come help him. But once the farmer gets the stupid rocks out of the field, he plants a new crop. He doesn’t sit in despair by the pile of rocks lamenting all the work of removing them and thinking to himself what backbreaking misery and heartache he had taking them out of the field and carrying them all this way. How miserable he was then! All that work. I can’t believe it. What the crap! Stupid rocks.

He doesn’t care anymore about the stupid rocks. He gets out his tractor and goes to work. He’s thinking of next fall’s harvest. He’s thinking of going to the bank after selling his harvest. He’s thinking of what he’ll buy with the fruit of all his labor. He’s already thinking of next spring’s planting. His mind does not wallow on the stupid rocks.

If you were abused by your previous spouse or “relationship” I’m Okay that you need to read a book or two on abusive relationships. But then I’m going to suggest you move on. Rather than focusing on the failure and what your X did to ruin your life (The Stupid Rocks), you focus on your future: Developing your gifts and abilities, filling your tank, finding a mission, reaching out to others.

Need a place to start? I suggest you take a look at the book Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People. This little book, by Jeff VanVonderen, suggests a new way to think about yourself. It’ll help you lay a great foundation upon which to build your future life. This book is basically the subject: Tired of the rocks? Okay. Here’s how to think about your life INSTEAD.

Here’s a few of the book reviews from Amazon.com (each paragraph represents a different review):

The truth in this book freed me! This is the most life transforming book I have ever read. The author’s style is very straightforward and very truth-telling…I have new joy and peace, and am off the “try hard” treadmill, as a result of the truth I found in this book. If you have read other books, and are still “searching”, this one is a must. I almost didn’t get it because I have bought so many books on trying to enjoy life, but this one truly made the difference for me. I’ll be rereading it and recommending it to everyone I know!

This book will help to set you free from legalism and the shame of rejection by other people. Jeff Vanvondren clearly explains the reason for shame, using examples from his own life experience. I highly recommend this book. It should be read by anyone struggling with religion, God, rejection, shame, or any kind of dysfunctional background.

This book deals powerfully with the shame and pain that can be experienced in, and caused by, relationships. It helps the reader to see when s/he is not the source or cause of shame (feeling inadequate and defective), and provides insight as to why many shaming messages are unfounded. This, therefore, eliminated the pain caused by shame. I had to read this book cover to cover twice over to get as much as I did out of it, and originally thought it a five star book. No, I would honestly give it 20 stars out of 5. VERY helpful.

The truth is I got more help from this one book then I did the 25 before it I had read and I wish I had saved all that money. I can not overstate the value of the information and the help found in this book.

In some ways I hate this book, though. When my clients read it, they usually come back once or so to tell me thanks, but they don’t need my services anymore. The book helped them change their focus to the field and the crop and the bank account and the future and off of the rocks. They don’t need no stinkin’ counselor. That’s Okay. My job is to work myself out of a job.


Check out these other blogs by Dr. Wall on healing from broken relationships:

Recovery 101: Healing From Broken Relationships

Healing From A Broken Relationship: Reconnect With God

Trauma Bonds and Terrible Second Marriages


Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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