2.06 Kelsey Golz // Refuse to Be Silenced

Presenting Sponsor: Alan and Beth Stanfield, Stanfield Properties

Victims and survivors of abuse can find validation, healing, and hope in stories told by others.  Kelsey Golz joins us to share her story of abuse.  She has written and published her complete survivor story in her book Refuse to be Silenced.  Which of us will break free? Which of us will speak up?

The underlying factor in abuse is control.  Abusers slowly groom victims to accept more and more abuse.  Kelsey talks about gaslighting: how her abuser would do something harmful and then claim he didn’t do it or downplay what he did. Her abuser said things like: Why did you make me do that? That never happened. You’re crazy. Abuse is confusing and disorienting because abusive people condition you not to trust yourself and your own perception of reality. 

Abusers wear masks.  The image an abuser creates is visible to society, and it adds pressure to make the relationship work because of the fear of looking crazy if you break off a seemingly perfect relationship.  

Abusers subtly test boundaries to see how much you will forgive.  Kelsey talks about how she forgave so easily and how the boundary violations became more frequent and more harmful.  This is a common relational dynamic in cases of abuse.  You can forgive and simultaneously walk away. 

Kelsey talks about how she subconsciously learned to adjust her behavior to the expectations of her abuser. The manipulation started out subtly and grew worse and worse.  Kelsey shares how she knew he would treat her badly if she didn’t do what he wanted, but that he would treat her better if she complied.  We talk about how nonphysical abuse is real and incredibly damaging. It paves the way for more overt forms of abuse down the road by systematically breaking down the victim psychologically until they have no voice.

One of the most dangerous times for a victim is right after leaving the abusive relationship because the abuser is feeling a loss of control.

There is a myth that abuse only happens to those who are weak, but abuse can happen to anyone. It takes an incredibly strong person to survive an abusive relationship, whether they are in the process of leaving, have left, or are still being abused. However, there is often shame and embarrassment in admitting that you are being abused.

God sees victims of abuse.  We are never alone because God is with us.  Kelsey talks about how she experienced God’s comfort and incredible peace even in the darkest moments she faced.  She shares how God’s presence and truth helped her survive and eventually leave the abusive relationship.

Music by Kate Short; Instagram @kate_tshort

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Episode produced and edited by Kelly Browning; show notes written by Sarah McDuffee, Marketing Director: Robyn Boren, Social Media Manager: Molly Baize, Episode mixed by Isabelle Le.


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