JULY 2011 Newsletter

LUKE 17:3 Ministries
for adult daughters
of controlling or abusive birth-families
A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of
 the Lord, our Father
take heed to yourselves. If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him……..Luke 17:3
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2                                                                                                                           JULY 2011


Luke 17: 3 is the scripture often misquoted, usually by an abuser or his enabler, when he tells you that the Bible says “Forgive and Forget”, or that you must forgive him because you are a Christian. However, Jesus is very specific when he tells us to rebuke the sinner, and if he repents, to forgive him. Have you rebuked your abuser, and has he or she repented?
If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!
Our newsletter is sent to you free-of-charge, as the Lord continually provides. Do you know someone who would like to be on our mailing list? 
If so, please contact:
Rev. Renee Pittelli
Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 684
Chestertown, NY 12817
or E-mail us at:
Luke 173@hotmail.com
Please ask about our Luke 17:3 Ministry in Tennessee, founded by Rev. Denise Rossignol.
Thank you Jesus!
By Rev. Renee
                When I started setting and enforcing limits on my birth-father and his behavior, my birth-mother called me up and announced that her husband was “willing” to go into joint therapy with me. Now to a novice, inexperienced in dealing with really dangerous narcissists/sociopaths, this might sound just peachy. Finally, we’re getting somewhere. At first glance, an abuser offering to go to counseling with you appears to be a hopeful sign. It sounds like he’s willing to change, to make some concessions, and try to work out the problems in your relationship. But before you agree, stop and think twice.
                If an abuser decided to go into therapy BY HIMSELF, then we might assume that at least he’s admitting HIS behavior needs to change and is owning his part in the problems between us. But when your abuser thinks YOU need therapy too, doesn’t it follow that he believes that YOUR behavior also needs to change, and that YOU also bear some responsibility for the problems in your relationship? 
                Abusers sometimes suggest joint counseling, like my birth-parents did, “to work on OUR problems.”
(Cont’d on page 2….)
God’s word
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ..Revelation 3: 17-19.
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved…Philippians 4:1.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord….Amos 8:11.
(Cont’d from page 1….)
But I take issue with the idea that it’s OUR problem. I didn’t have a problem. My abuser did. I actually was quite offended by the insinuation that I needed any kind of therapy, and the implication that I was contributing to the problems caused solely by my birth-father’s abuse. There was nothing wrong with me. In fact, I was finally becoming healthy enough to start standing up for myself, having appropriate boundaries, and expecting to be treated with respect.
                I was not about to let my parents blame me, even partially, for my birth-father’s inability to get along with me, or anyone else. There was nothing wrong in my relationship with Daddy Darling that a change in HIS behavior wouldn’t fix. Then we could all be pleasant and enjoy each other’s company. It was that simple. But he was unwilling to do this. And I, having a full time job, children to raise, and a heavy load of volunteer commitments, was unwilling to waste any more of my valuable time playing games with him.
                I had already literally spent years going around in circles with my parents over their abuse, and getting absolutely nowhere. The joint-counseling “offer” came at a time when I was enforcing my boundaries much more firmly than I had ever done in the past. My parents’ stubborn refusal to respect those boundaries had made it necessary for me to curtail the time I spent with them. The more they acted out, the more I cut back on our time together, to give them less opportunity to inflict their drama and abuse on me and my family. They knew I was getting stronger, and they were losing their grip on me. It had gotten to the point where I hardly ever spoke to my birth-father and pretty much never saw him. Hence, the joint-counseling idea, a typical narcissistic Hoover attempt to suck me back in and get me trapped in the same room with him, having to talk to him and listen to more of his abuse. Daddy Darling always loved a captive audience.
                And an important part of that audience would have been the therapist himself. Someone who was getting paid to listen respectfully to Daddy Darling and take him seriously while he dominated the whole conversation with his mind games and perversions of the truth. Someone who was supposed to be “neutral”, meaning able to be swayed to his side by the wiles of the sociopath (remember, sociopaths always underestimate everyone else’s intelligence and perception). Someone whose job it was to actually pay attention to the narcissist. Someone who, in birth-father’s opinion, would have no choice but to allow him to control and take over with his drama, while I would sit there, trapped like a rat, session after session, never getting any of my points addressed, my blood pressure skyrocketing while my abuser did his best to undermine my credibility and make me look like a crazy person. What better source of narcissistic supply could there be than weekly meetings with two people stuck in the same room with him for an hour, forced to listen to every pearl of wisdom and outrageous fabrication that drooled out of his mouth? And you can bet it would have been quite a show.
                Study after study on narcissists and sociopaths shows that therapy never works for them. They do not change and they are never “cured”. They manipulate and toy with therapists, play mind games, lie and twist everything. You cannot possibly make any progress in therapy if all you’re going to do is lie, deny, try to make the therapist feel sorry for you, and blame everyone else for your problems, and that, by definition, is what narcissists and sociopaths do. They also use therapy to learn psychological jargon and the latest fad “personality disorders”, so they can use them as excuses for why they behave the way they do. Then they can claim they’re “sick” and can’t help it.
                Your abusive parent is not going to change. If she really wanted to change so badly, then she would go to counseling without you. The reason she’s willing to go to counseling WITH you is not to change HER, but to change YOU. Back to the way you were, before you decided to grow a backbone and start standing up to her. Everything was fine before you decided to go crazy and change it all. She also wants to get the therapist on her side, and get him thinking, and trying to convince you as well, that YOU are at least part of the problem. If the therapist shows even a hint of neutrality, she will take it as confirmation that a professional thinks YOU have a problem, and you will never hear the end of it. 
                Also, keep in mind that your abuser is NOT going to keep your counseling sessions confidential. She will repeat and twist anything you say, to make herself look good to others and make you look like a nut-job. At the very least she will let the rest of the family know that you are in therapy with her. Since it’s HER therapy, too, she will claim she has the right to tell anyone she wants to about it. She will also do everything she can to imply, if not state outright, that YOU are having “issues” that you need help with, and make it seem like she is heroically donating her time to help you. It’s a huge mistake to make yourself vulnerable to an abuser unless you want your personal business, or rather, HER version of your personal business, blabbed to anyone who will listen and give her narcissistic supply. If you go into counseling with her in good faith, and speak about your feelings openly and honestly, every word you say will eventually be used against you. With narcissists/sociopaths, I have always found it much safer to play it close to the vest and never let them know what I’m really thinking.
                Relationship therapists often insist on SEPARATE counseling first, before they will see a couple together, so each can work on his own issues before they try to work out their joint issues. However, in my case, my “issue” was not that I was sick, neurotic, or had mental or emotional problems, despite the fact that my parents would have loved to make me believe that, and were in fact trying to make it seem that way. My “issue” was that I was finally growing, becoming healthy, and getting stronger, by the grace of God. This was a good thing, not something I needed therapy to undo.
                My answer to my birth-mother’s “generous” offer was “No, thanks”. I informed her that I did not need counseling, because there was nothing wrong with me. It did not matter what any counselor might say, anyway. I had already made up my mind that I was unwilling to continue having a relationship with birth-father if HE did not change. The one who had something wrong with him was him.    
                However, I did offer a compromise, which I thought was quite reasonable, and certainly more than I owed to either of them. I agreed to cooperate with therapy for HIM on MY terms. I told birth-mother that her husband could pick the therapist of his choice, and I would be willing to have a telephone consultation with whomever he picked and bring them up to speed on what the problems were from my perspective. They could then go to work on him with my best wishes. And after six months of therapy for HIM, I would be willing to once again speak on the phone with the therapist to discuss what, if any, progress they felt they were making. This was all the time and effort I was willing to commit to making HIM normal. He wasn’t worth any more than that, and it was a losing proposition anyway. I also agreed to continue consulting by telephone every six months until such time as I was satisfactorily convinced that Daddy Darling was genuinely changing, and only then would I consider a face-to-face joint meeting with the therapist present.   I made it clear that I was in no rush and would not be pressured. I would only take it VERY slowly. 
                Not to worry, we never got that far. I never heard another word about therapy. My control-freak parents were not about to “obey” me and allow me to take control by setting my own terms and conditions for my cooperation. And of course, my abusive father was neither interested in going, nor willing to go, if it meant that HE would be the one doing the work and making the changes. In his opinion, there was nothing wrong with him. He had no desire to change. He never intended to go in good faith, so he was not interested in going alone. He would only go to JOINT therapy, because he wanted ME to change, and go back to the way I was- once again accepting his abuse. Also, because this was yet another attempt to control me, by forcing me to sit in a room and talk to him, or rather, listen to HIM talk. So much for being sincerely willing to look at himself and be accountable for his unacceptable behavior. This whole charade had just been another one of my birth-parents’ manipulations.
                Just because you are refusing to be abused anymore does not mean there is something wrong with you. You do not need to be “fixed”. I have a huge problem with giving an abuser any ammunition by which to claim, and to tell other people, that his VICTIM is the one with the mental problems. So, if your abuser or her Silent Partner ever suggests it, be very cautious about an offer for JOINT therapy. It’s extremely doubtful that it’s coming from a sincere desire to change and restore your relationship, and all the other relationships she has damaged as well. Someone who is accountable and willing to admit that THEY are causing their OWN relationship problems would be eager to change. They would get themselves into counseling ASAP, and would not make YOUR attendance a condition of THEM going into therapy so they could improve the way they relate to people and make their OWN lives better. The one who has a problem is your abuser, and if she is serious about accepting the responsibility for the results of her own actions, then she should be willing to go into therapy alone and work on herself. You will know she’s really trying if and when you begin to see some positive changes.   
                There is no psychology in the Bible. Therapy for abusers is not their victim’s burden. The Biblical view of abusive people is not that they are suffering from some sickness requiring patience and sympathy. The Bible tells us that people who abuse others are EVIL, not sick. They CHOOSE to cause pain for others. Our only obligation is to rebuke them in the hope that they will see the light, and to forgive them ONLY if they repent (change). We have absolutely NO obligation to “help” them change, in fact we are warned against having continued contact with them. If they do not change their ways, we are instructed to have nothing more to do with them (Luke 17:3; Matthew 18: 15-17).
The Wisdom Of Proverbs
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life…Proverbs 16:31.
Part 2- Continued from the last newsletter….
By Rev. Renee
            Within a few months of my mother’s death, my birth-father began living with his old secretary in her home, but continued to have his mail delivered to his old house, because, as he told others, he had to make it look like it was still his primary residence so he could save on capital gains taxes when he sold it. A couple of years later, Daddy Darling and his old secretary were married, and she began wearing my mother’s mink coat, sleeping in my mother’s bed, and sitting on my mother’s living room furniture, which was all moved to her house. We assume she has my mother’s diamonds as well, since my birth-father claimed he “couldn’t find” anything but her costume jewelry, even though her jewelry was supposed to be divided between my birth-sister and me, according to her will. As if we would believe he would actually SELL his house with all those diamonds hidden in it somewhere!
            Over the next year, we embarked on our legal battle. The devil tried to bargain and negotiate. He promised to put me “back in his will” if I would accept a settlement and drop the case. I refused. He offered several different amounts of money, but I would settle for not one penny less than the $22,000, which was my half of the money he stole. I knew deep in my soul that I must not make any kind of a deal with the devil. The only outcome that would glorify God would be a complete and total defeat of Satan’s evil. If he was able to keep even a few hundred dollars of the money that didn’t belong to him, then he would have a victory.
            During this year, my birth-father’s frat-brother attorney, apparently must have realized I could have had him disbarred for going to my mother’s bedside when she was at death’s door like he did. He sweated profusely during the proceedings, mopping his brow frequently. He had some severe health problems, and a couple of court appearances had to be delayed. A female real estate agent who had done him the favor of witnessing my parents sign their wills, was reduced to tears on the stand. Sometimes he made eye contact with me and smiled ruefully, as if to say “Sorry!”
            Finally, a decision was about to be made and we had a final appearance in court. I was nervous about facing my birth-father, whom I now knew to be demonic. I had not been face-to-face with a demon before- at least not while knowing it was a demon. I felt as if I was going into battle with Satan himself. For weeks, we prayed for victory and God’s justice. Our family and friends joined us in prayer. All my life, I had a physical reaction of anxiety, tight throat, knotted stomach, and such, when thinking about my birth-father- a symptom of the Post-Traumatic Stress I suffer as a result of his abuse. I prayed for courage and strength. When I felt like running away and forgetting the whole thing, Jesus told me he would be there right beside me. I felt a calm resolve come over me. I knew I was a warrior in this battle of good vs. evil, and I couldn’t let evil win.
            We were in church the Sunday before our court appearance, when the choir began to sing a song I had never heard in all my years in church. Some of you may know it- it was “I Will Go To The Enemy’s Camp And Take Back What He Stole From Me”!!! My jaw dropped as I listened to the words. I whispered to my husband Frank, “Listen to what they are singing!” A stunned expression came over his face as he absorbed the words. We knew this was a message of encouragement meant for us! I went through the rest of the week with thanksgiving and praise, and the cool calm peace of knowing we were going to win. I knew the Holy Spirit would help me know what to say.
            Court day arrived and the lawyers went back and forth having conferences with the judge before we were all to be in the same room together. At one point my lawyer came to talk with us in hushed tones. He told us the judge’s opinion was that I wasn’t really entitled to anything and I should have been happy with the last offer the devil made. With peace and joy, I looked at him and explained that we WERE going to win- every penny- because the Lord had spoken to me very clearly. He was not going to let Satan win!
            At one point, I came face-to-face with my birth-father in the hallway. He fixed his gaze on me and tried to intimidate me by staring me down, but I did not avert my gaze. I felt a chill, as if I was looking into the icy cold eyes of Satan himself. Just when I thought I would wither and collapse under his intense stare, I felt Jesus standing next to me, on my left side. He touched my spine with his hand and I felt it stiffen and straighten. Instantly all fear and anxiety left me. I returned Satan’s stare without being intimidated, until he became so frustrated that he could not stop himself from speaking to me. “You’re scum,” he sneered, “You’re the scum of the earth.” That was apparently the worst thing he could think of. Perhaps he was trying to make me cry, or better yet, to become angry and make a scene in the hallway, so that he would look good and I would look like a lunatic, or a bad, bad, disrespectful child. But it didn’t work. By the grace of God, I stood my ground and didn’t let him fluster me. And, unfortunately for him, he said it in front of witnesses, who then reported it to the judge.
             I felt no emotion on hearing his insults, only amusement that someone who had done all the things he had done, was calling ME scum, just because I had the nerve to defy him and sue him for the return of the money he stole from me! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! It is hard to imagine a father calling his daughter such a name, although I was pretty used to being called names by him, anyway, so by then it had kind of lost its impact. But then, how many fathers STEAL from their children? I just knew that Jesus was there with me, and I could face anything with the strength he was giving me.
            Soon it was my turn to talk to the judge. I explained all that had happened over the last few years. Our case was based on my mother being forced to sign the power of attorney while she was not competent due to her brain tumor. The judge told me I would have to be able to prove that, and I replied that I could indeed prove it. All I needed was to subpoena her medical records from the hospital. The power of attorney was dated during her hospital stay, and the medical records would detail her symptoms and the condition she was in when she signed it. 
            Then I was tested. The judge, perhaps showing a little disapproval that I had sued my birth-father, looked at me and said evenly, “You know the Bible says to honor your father and your mother.” In the blink of an eye, the Holy Spirit gave me the Scripture from Ephesians 6:4. I answered, “It also says ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’” The judge smiled slightly and said, “You’re a student of the Bible.” I replied, “I certainly am!” From that moment on, the whole atmosphere changed. It was almost as if the judge began scrutinizing my birth-father’s behavior a little closer, and showing more disapproval of him. The judge was also very displeased to hear about the name my birth-father had called me out in the hallway just a few minutes earlier.
            To make a long story short, I was awarded to entire $22,000, and not a penny less- Praise the Lord! In addition, my birth-father was ordered by the court to have all of my mother’s jewelry catalogued, which is not unusual in estate proceedings.   He would only admit to knowing where her costume jewelry was, claiming he did not know where the real jewelry was. We had many photographs and videos of my mother wearing her good jewelry over the years, so I could prove what she owned. I wanted a list of the pieces he claimed to have, in case any of the missing pieces showed up in a pawn shop, or to be reset, enabling me to charge whoever had them with possession of stolen property. 
            When the appraisal discussion started, conniving Daddy Darling began attempting the typical pity ploy so often pulled out by sociopaths. Several times, the judge asked him how much time he would need to get the jewelry appraised, and he kept evading the question by pretending to have medical problems he needed to take care of. He refused to give the judge a direct answer. He kept saying he couldn’t specify a time frame, because he “had to go to the V.A. and pick up his medications” and he had a “doctor’s appointment.” Finally, in response to the judge’s third request for a time commitment, he just hemmed and hawed and said, “You know, I’m not a well man”. At this point, the exasperated judge banged down his gavel and said, “Two weeks!”
            The judge then sent Daddy Darling to an expensive jewelry store in a very upscale town nearby to have over three hundred pieces of costume jewelry pinned on black velvet, numbered, photographed, and appraised. If our birth-father had honestly allowed my birth-sister and I to just simply split the diamond jewelry which it was my mother’s intention for us to have, then getting appraisals for all of her costume jewelry would never have been necessary. I was later told that this little bit of treachery cost him over $8,000!
            When I received the lists and photos of my mother’s jewelry, I chose only two pieces for myself- a sterling silver filigree cross, and a small gold cross with a sapphire in it. I was not going to leave any symbols of our Lord Jesus in the hands of the devil. This enraged my birth-father even more, because he had spent all that money and gone to all that trouble having every piece appraised, and all I took were two little pieces. But he had no one but himself to blame. He sent me half of the remaining pieces anyway, although I had not requested them, I suppose to avoid any further problems.
            When the court proceedings had ended, my birth-father’s attorney looked at me and rolled his eyes in relief, as if to say “Thank God that’s over with” (or maybe, “Thanks for not having me disbarred!”). I felt as if he was trying to disassociate himself from all he now knew his client had done. I hope he was vowing to himself never to get involved with this man again, after all he had dragged him into.
            After our victory, my husband, my lawyer, and I, stood on the top floor of the big granite courthouse, marveling at what God had done, trying to absorb what had just happened, and looking over the balcony at the lobby two floors below. Beneath us passed my reprobate birth-father and his lawyer, on their way out to the parking lot. My birth-father was obviously agitated, gesturing with his hands, and grabbing onto his attorney’s arm. His attorney pulled his arm away several times and walked briskly out the door, with my birth-father trotting to keep up. I smiled as I thought it didn’t look like those two were getting along too well anymore.
My husband Frank gave us all a good laugh when he said, “I feel like I’m in a Cecil B. DeMille movie. Here we all are, way up in “heaven”, looking down on those two, so far below us- like they’re way down there in hell!” The symbolism was striking!
            I give all the glory to Father God, his Holy Spirit, and my Lord and Savior Jesus for helping my family and I during this several year-long ordeal. Jesus is my Rock. He is my strength and my courage. He protected us against the evil of the reprobate, and gave us the victory, in his blessed and holy Name. When we are hurt, anxious, grieving, or scared, and it seems that so much is against us, and we stand almost no chance of winning, never lose faith! AND WE KNOW THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE…Romans 8:28 NIV.  GOD WILL NEVER LET THE DEVIL WIN!
            My birth-father is a textbook case of someone with a reprobate mind. A reprobate doesn’t have to be a relative. It could be anybody you know. The reprobate is marked by deceit, conniving, ruthlessness, scheming, cold-bloodedness, evil, wickedness, unrepentance, and a complete lack of conscience, and all who tolerate him are tainted. He is extremely dangerous. Our prayers are with you if you have a demonic person in your life. There is nothing you can do to save such a person. You must avoid him at all costs. You must permanently remove yourself and your loved ones from his evil presence and sphere of influence, and have nothing further to do with him. He is a servant of Satan. The Blood of the Lamb is the only protection against his demonic contamination. 
            Glory to God! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Holy Ghost!
Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless…Psalm 119:89-96.