I get a lot of people coming to this site searching for help to stop being abusive and I recently got an email from someone who said there is no help available in his country. I didn’t believe him so I searched the internet for places to refer him to but he was right. All I could find was one phone number and it seemed to be for people wanting help to escape abuse not for those wanting help to stop being abusive.
The idea of writing self-help material for people in this situation has come up repeatedly and I have done a few band-aid articles but I have repeatedly refused to get serious about trying to create something. I was fairly sure it couldn’t be done but, if it could be, I knew it would be a massive task to say the least. That, I’m certain, is why nobody has already done it! I had a lot of excuses but the main one was that I didn’t feel up to the challenge.
When I realised it really is true that some people don’t have the option of seeing a counsellor or calling a help-line I felt the presence of God and sensed Him asking me… “If you don’t do it who will?”
I wriggled and squirmed and tried very hard to escape the responsibility but God wouldn’t let me go. The more I thought about it the bigger the task got. Every time I thought of a place to begin I realised I was just scratching the surface and would need to go deeper to have any chance at all of doing it properly.
The project grew bigger and more complex every time I thought about it. Normally I would put such a thing in the “too hard” basket and forget about it but I’ve been doing that for nearly as long as this website has been online! This time I decided to give it a try since God seemed to be unwilling to let the issue drop.
I sat down at my computer and began. Eight hours later I crawled into bed wondering what I had let myself in for. Normally I would not return to such a difficult project and it would sit, like so many things I have begun, unfinished on my computer.
Not this time. This time I found myself at a loose end when the makers of the online game I had been playing for months suddenly decided to scrap the game and take it off line. (Eyes God suspiciously)
Another eight hour stint on the project found it starting to take shape. Over the weeks that have followed I have spent hours and hours on it and I think I know how it will look when it is finished but there is a long way to go yet.
Almost every day I find myself working on it and I can only assume God must really want me to do this to be ensuring I remain so committed. I’ve written the first, and part of the second, sections and I know roughly what I will be writing for the final section but I am facing a big ethical issue.
The first section (with numerous sub-sections) is an in-depth exploration of all the different types of abuse. The second section is a questionnaire and a results discussion. The third section will be as close to treatment as a written resource can possibly be in this area.
The ethical question is whether I should try and run this stuff past other people before I put it online to reduce the risk of doing more harm than good with it. I’m inclined to think I should but who can I get to give me feedback?
The types of abuse section isn’t a big deal. Most of the information in there is easily found all over the internet although not as comprehensive, and not with the same focus, as my version.
It’s the questionnaire I am worried about. I have had university training so I know I should really run it past people who could see any flaws it may have, do some test runs with it to see if it actually measures what it is trying to measure and get the norms for scoring, then check it over statistically to ensure validity and so on.
Usually one would have classmates and lecturers to help do all that but I don’t have either.
I haven’t even started writing section three – the treatment material. I’m worrying about the advisability of putting that stuff online too.
The other thing that comes to mind is more materialistic.
Ever since I was a young girl I’ve been told I write well. People used to say I should become a writer and I always thought I would write a book one day. At first I used to think it would be the story of my life but I got over that idea. Then I thought it would be a fiction story that would help people who work with abused kids. I’ve actually written the first five chapters of that one and it is currently one of those unfinished things I mentioned that is collecting virtual dust in my computer.
Now I look at the stuff I have written for this project and realise there is a book there. It is such a major project I could certainly turn it into a self-help book very easily. If the steady stream of visitors coming to this site looking for such help is any indication there would be a market for it. It might even earn me enough to fulfill my dream of owning my own home and maybe even enough to top up my superannuation so I could retire in comfort when that time comes. At the very least it might earn me enough for a deposit on a house.
The more I wrote the more I realised I could be holding a winning ticket, the first one I have ever had, in the lotto of life. One last chance to provide comfort and security for myself in my fast approaching old age.
Someone will make money from this project I am pretty sure of that. If I put it online people will steal it. They steal the stuff I have already put online so they will certainly steal this.
Some will copy and paste it onto their own sites and make money from adding advertising as they have done with my 2007 blog entry about Angelina Jolie. There is a possibility someone will take it, put their own spin on it, and charge people to access it online. It is even possible that one day I will see it, revamped, in a book that someone else makes money from.
I’m quite certain someone will make money from this project but I am equally certain that the someone will not be me!
God created me with the ability to write and then He arranged my life so I would learn all the things I needed to know to write this resource. He put books in my hands, led people into my life, even arranged for me to go to university and gain the qualifications required to write this thing. I am absolutely convinced He wants me to write it.
I am also convinced He wants me to put it online where He can put it into the hands of those who, like I did when I gave birth to my first child, are praying to Him for help to stop being abusive to those they love.
He answered my prayer then and I believe He wants to use me to answer their prayers now.
So there you have it. For the first time in my life I am holding a winning ticket in the fame and fortune sweepstakes and the question is – do I cash it in or give it away?
I’ve said it before and I will say it again.
There is nothing in this world I want more than for God to be pleased with me! I believe He wants me to give my winning ticket away and I will gladly trade it in for one smile of approval from Him! What happens after that is up to God and I am happy to leave it at that.