JULY 2012 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 10, ISSUE 2                                                                                                                         JULY 2012


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


            If I asked you what you think is the biggest problem in your abusive relationship, would you say the biggest problem is that there are no boundaries or limits? Well, if that’s what you think, you’d be wrong.  

            You see, there are plenty of boundaries and limits in your relationship, and there always have been.  The thing is, all the boundaries are one-way, and all the limits are on YOU.  Are YOU free to voice your honest opinion, say whatever is on your mind, and do whatever you’d like to do?  No?  Well, your abuser is!  Are YOU able to express your feelings of anger and upset, or to protest something you don’t like?  Of course not.  But your abuser is!   Can YOU let anything that pops into your head pop out of your mouth?  No?  Well, your abuser can!  

            Do you have to think before you speak?  Do you have to walk on eggshells?  Why?  Your abuser doesn’t! 

(Continued on Page 2…..)
god’s word

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…Revelation 21: 3-5 KJV.

“The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you. At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord….Zephaniah 3:18-20 NIV.

(Continued from Page 1….)

            Your abuser never had the slightest problem making it crystal clear to you just how she expects to be treated.  And that’s exactly how you treated her.  You wouldn’t dare do anything else.  But how come nobody ever has to pussyfoot around YOU?

            See, there were boundaries and limits all along.  Set by your abuser, on YOU and YOUR behavior.  And without even realizing it, you’ve been simply toeing the line all this time, adjusting everything you do, say, think, and feel in order to pacify your abuser, without ever requiring anything in return. 

            Aren’t you getting tired of always playing by somebody else’s rules?  Isn’t it time for a two-way relationship with a little give-and-take?  Are you ready to be an EQUAL player in this little game of dominance and control?  Then maybe it’s time to start having some requirements of your own, and to start setting some boundaries and limits of your own.  In a balanced relationship, between equal adults, BOTH people share equally in setting the parameters.

            And by the way, if you really want to know what the biggest problem is in your relationship, it’s that the other person is an ABUSER!  Which means all bets are off.  You can never expect anything normal and nice.  Carrying on this relationship will be an uphill battle all the way.  Still want to try?  Well, then read on…..

            Sister, did you know that God gave you the right to refuse to allow others to abuse you?  Do you understand that it is not sinful or un-Christian-like to refuse to allow yourself or your loved ones to be exposed to destructive behavior?

            You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!  In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.  To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!….2 Corinthians 11:19-21 NIV

            Wow.  Paul said that it’s okay with God if we stand up and defend ourselves from abuse!  Does God actually want us to tell our parent or sibling that she is WRONG? And that what she is doing is EVIL? God not only wants us to speak up, he pretty much ORDERS us to speak up –

            When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.  But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself…..Ezekiel  33:8-9 NIV

            Well, that seems pretty clear.  But what if our relative won’t listen?  Oh well, then he will have to suffer the consequences.  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned….Titus 3:10-11 NIV.   Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning….Ecclesiastes 4:13 NIV

            Having been raised to be people pleasers, brainwashed into feeling unworthy of love, caring or consideration, and indoctrinated into sacrificing for our relatives while burying our own needs and feelings, we have precious little experience in setting limits on the behavior of others. Defining our boundaries, protecting ourselves, informing our abusers what we will and will not tolerate, enforcing consequences for offensive behavior, and standing up to evil does not come naturally.  At first, it feels very alien, and we find that we have to force ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone to do it.  But in time, with some practice and the glorious grace of God, setting limits on our abusers will come more easily.  And one day, it will be second nature, and we will be able to do it without feeling anxious or guilty.

            Yes, our families made us feel unworthy of love and caring, but that’s just another one of the devil’s lies. Do you know that your real Father considers you to be so worthy of love and care that he sent his precious Son to die for you?    So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free…Galatians 4:31NKJV

            Do you know that you belong to God, and not your birth-family?  You are HIS child, not theirs anymore.  Do you realize that God gives no man the right to abuse one of his children?   Now I say that the heir,as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son,born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggardly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?….Galatians 4:1-9 NKJV 

            Sister, are you ready to claim the freedom that is your birthright as a child of God?  Are you ready to stand by His grace?  Are you ready to live in peace as HIS daughter, rejoicing in your inheritance? Our Father wants to set you free.  Will you let him? 

            They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.  Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.  But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked…..Psalm 129:2-4 NIV



Part 2
By Rev. Renee

            In Part 1, we discussed the first three ploys used to keep you toxically enmeshed when it looks like you might be tasting some freedom- Increasing The Abuse, Escalating The Argument, and Putting You On The Defensive. In Part 2, we will discuss two more controlling tactics which appear to be aimed at pushing us away, but are really meant to keep us attached. We will also discuss some examples of strategies that we can use in return to stand up against our abuser’s tactics.


Strategy #4



            I was a witness to an interesting conversation between my friend Rachel and her birth-father, with whom she has had a strained relationship all her life, and especially since her parents’ divorce. 

         Daddy dearest is an arrogant, obnoxious, intimidating, belligerent man who had spent years bullying Rachel and her mother. For some reason, when Rachel turned 30, he suddenly decided it was time to improve his relationship with his daughter, because she was now “old enough to make her own decisions.” (the implication being that his ex-wife, rather than his own behavior, had turned Rachel against him.)

            So he summoned Rachel to a pow-wow, and she asked me to accompany her for moral support. Although I remained silent for most of the meeting, I did have some insights which I was able to pass on to her later. The most obvious problem to me was that every time Rachel very clearly expressed her thoughts or feelings to her father, he “gaslighted” her by pretending he had no idea what she was talking about.

            For instance, when she told him he had been “mean and cruel” to her mother, he asked her, “WHEN was I mean or cruel?”. If she recalled a specific incident of abuse, instead of acknowledging her accurate memory, taking responsibility for what he had done, and showing some remorse, he would put her on the defensive by asking, with feigned innocence, “WHEN did I do that?”

            NOTICE HE DID NOT OUTRIGHT DENY what she was saying. That might have caused her to become angry, and ended the conversation. He only QUESTIONED what she was saying. This tactic was not only designed to cause her to doubt her perceptions and memories, but also to force her to keep answering him. When she answered, instead of admitting anything, he would ask yet another question, thus prolonging the conversation indefinitely. 

            Whoever is the one asking the questions has taken control of the conversation and the direction in which it is headed. Rachel’s father knew that if he could keep it going long enough, eventually he might be able to lighten things up a little, share a few “good” memories, or an inside joke, and basically soften Rachel up. The point of this strategy is to seduce the “weak-willed” victim into continuing to accept the status quo and maintain a relationship with the abuser without requiring anything of him.

            Questioning you interrupts your train of thought. It literally gets you off the track of what you wanted to discuss. It puts you in the position of answering your relative while getting none of your questions answered, and none of your points addressed. It makes you stop and think, forces you to remember details and to repeat dates, circumstances, etc., to the abuser, even though HE ALREADY KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. It is just a diversion, but a very effective one.

            Rachel was uncomfortable with the direction the conversation had taken, which included many abusive or overbearing tactics and numerous veiled criticisms of her mother. She could see that they weren’t getting anywhere, but every time she tried to disengage and end the discussion, her father kept hammering her with questions and overwhelming her with chatter. It’s amazing how long a skilled control-freak can drag a discussion out, while still managing to duck all accountability. After three hours, we made a break for it, and he followed us all the way out to the parking lot and kept on talking for another half hour until she finally closed the car door in his face.

            Thinking about it later, Rachel realized that none of the issues she wanted to address were ever resolved. Most hadn’t even been discussed. Her father had totally monopolized the whole conversation with his agenda. Rachel’s goal for this meeting was to give her father a chance to show he had changed, and hopefully to repair the relationship. But her father’s ulterior motive was to seduce or coerce a relationship with Rachel without being accountable in any way for the things he had done to her and her mother, and without committing to any changes. 

            If fences had truly been mended and a happy reconciliation had taken place, both parties involved would now feel joy and peace about their relationship. But Rachel came away from this discussion feeling stressed, unsettled, and uncomfortable, because she realized that nothing had changed and she still could not have a relationship with this man. She was exhausted, drained and felt like she had spent three hours being browbeaten.

            What upset her the most was knowing that down the road, her conniving father would use this whole episode against her, claiming that he couldn’t understand why she still didn’t want to see him after they spent such a “nice” afternoon together, cleared the air, and parted on such “friendly” terms. He would never look to himself, but would either claim that her mother had turned her against him again, or that Rachel must have some kind of mental problem to still be “carrying a grudge”. And she was right. A few weeks later, that’s exactly what he did.

            When I was in the real estate business, lawyers would often call me to negotiate deals at 11 PM or midnight, claiming they were “tied up in court all day”. Eventually I realized that this was a strategy they used to catch me when I was not at my best. If I was tired or sleepy, I would not be thinking clearly, and they might get me to slip up and make a mistake, or make a concession I wouldn’t normally agree to. When I realized what was going on, I began turning my phone off at 9 PM. There was nothing so urgent that it couldn’t wait till morning, when I was refreshed and clear-headed.

            An abuser who keeps hounding you long after you have tired of the discussion is using this same strategy. He is trying to WEAR YOU DOWN. He is trying to exhaust or confuse you until you are no longer thinking straight, so you will either give up on holding him accountable, or be convinced to concede some of his points and “see things his way.”

            Sometimes, you think the argument is over, that everything is settled, or even that the relationship has ended. Then, the next thing you know, your abuser is back on the phone starting the whole thing up again. This is because she does not feel she “won” the first time around, so now it’s time for round two. But just because the donkey brays doesn’t mean you have to answer him!

            When the conversation is just going around in circles and nothing is ever getting settled, it’s time to say, “We’re not getting anywhere with this” and END IT. Enough is enough. You can always revisit it later if you see any indication that further discussion might actually accomplish something.


Strategy #5



            Out of all the tactics utilized to keep you enmeshed with her, being disowned by your abuser is my personal favorite. It is inherently fascinating just because it is so contradictory. It’s like the oxymoron of abusive artillery.

            Disowning is a threat, or an implied threat, that is rarely carried out, although it might be, which in most cases would be a blessing. It ranges from pouting, to hanging up on you, to refusing to speak to you, to shunning you from the family, to cutting you out of the will. It is telling you that if you don’t toe the line, you’re out. It is blatant emotional blackmail.

            Disowning is often threatened or alluded to, but rarely carried out simply because the abuser does not really want the relationship to end. After all, if she loses you, she also loses the ability to control you, which is what she lives for. Also, if you are out of her life, who is she going to have to use and abuse? Let’s face it, all this time your relationship was unbalanced at best, one-way at worst- with you doing the giving and her doing the taking. What idiot would want to give that up? Your abuser doesn’t really want to set you free (you might actually like that!), she only wants to keep you in line, hence the threat to cut you off.

            Occasionally, an abuser really does carry out her threat and stops speaking to you. When she senses that you are growing stronger and distancing yourself from her anyway, this is often the last-ditch effort of a control freak to remain in control, by dumping you before you can dump her. Of course, actually changing her ways in order to make a pleasant relationship possible is out of the question in an abuser’s mind. Treating you with love and respect is simply not an option. Somebody dumping somebody is the only alternative as far as she is concerned.          It’s a matter of pride. No way is she going to let you take control and make this decision. She wants to end the relationship before you do, just to prove that she’s still calling the shots (But be prepared for her to lie to the rest of the family about what really happened). She is going to control the path of your relationship right down to the bitter end, and sometimes even from the grave!

            When your abuser disowns you, or threatens to, the last thing she expects is for you to shrug, say “Okay, if that’s what you really want”, and let her go. She has watched one too many soap operas. What you are supposed to do is start crying and begging her not to leave. You are supposed to hang on to her ankles, screaming “No, please stay! I’ll do anything you want!”, as she drags you to the door. Then, when you have properly humbled and humiliated yourself, she can forgive you and agree to stay, but only after making YOU promise to change YOUR ways!

            Thankfully, this tactic usually backfires on abusers. Many victims are relieved and only too happy to let their abusers go, and can then move on with a clear conscience- knowing it was the abuser’s decision to end the relationship even though the victim was willing to try and make it better.

            In my case, when my mother disowned me, I made the decision to leave well enough alone and simply do nothing further.   BUT IF THE UNBELIEVER LEAVES, LET HIM DO SO. A BELIEVING MAN OR WOMAN IS NOT BOUND IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES; GOD HAS CALLED US TO LIVE IN PEACE….1 Corinthians 7:15. I felt very strongly that the Lord had removed me from a very toxic situation that he no longer wanted me to be a part of. So I did not call her or make any attempts to get back together. I figured that she had been the one to end our relationship- if she had a change of heart, then she needed to be the one to restore it. I was heartbroken at first, but eventually I became at peace with it. And after a while, I felt relief, joy, and profound gratitude.   I understood that my Father was protecting me, and that he loved me so much that he had taken this burden from me. This testimony helped me write the three-part article “Who’s Your Daddy?” in the Our Real Father section on our site.




            Let’s be honest. When everyone is acting in love, asking for a favor (such as a positive change that will improve your relationship), and coming to an agreement, should take all of five or ten minutes, at most. When it starts to drag out longer than that, it is only because someone is being stubborn. When it goes on for hours, days, or weeks, then someone is refusing to cooperate and is intentionally obstructing a resolution. That person is deliberately preventing the confrontation from ending. Abusers are not interested having constructive conversations that result in nice solutions. They are only interested in WINNING.

            Because we are so predictable, our abuser knows we are going to react the same way all the time. This is how we wind up repeating the same patterns and getting dragged into the same arguments over and over again. In order to free ourselves, we need to start being unpredictable. Our relative manipulates confrontations to keep us engaged and force us to respond to her. The only way for us to fight this is to do just the opposite of what she is trying to get us to do- which is to DISENGAGE and STOP RESPONDING.

            After all, you wouldn’t spend time arguing with the patients in a mental asylum, would you? It is just as futile to continue arguing with an unreasonable, hostile abuser who says nonsensical, preposterous things and acts in crazy, irrational ways. We need to let go of the need to set the record straight, defend ourselves, and get things resolved, and embrace the need to just have a little peace and quiet!

            As long as we continue to respond to a control-freak’s nonsense, she wins. When we stop responding and LEAVE, we win! The idea is to DETACH, leaving her no one to argue with. If we disappear when the same old arguments start, she will be left all alone with no one to listen to her and plenty of time to think over her mistakes and change her attitude.

            No matter how hard you try, you are never going to convince an UNWILLING person to start treating you with love and respect. We need to train ourselves to recognize the point at which further discussion ceases to be productive. A general rule of thumb is that this point has been reached when you find yourself REPEATING OR REPHRASING YOUR REQUEST FOR THE THIRD TIME.

            That is when we need to STOP, pick one of the following statements, say it, and WALK OUT:

            “We’re just going around in circles. I’ve had enough.”

            “We already discussed this, I’m not going to keep rehashing it.”

            “I’m going to take that as a “No”. I’ll just have to go ahead and take other measures to protect myself.”

            “I’m not going to waste any more time on this. These are my terms. Take it or leave it.”

            “I’ve made up my mind and I’m not going to discuss it anymore.”

            “We’re not getting anywhere with this. I’m leaving.”

            “I’m not going to repeat myself again. If we’re going to see each other anymore, then this is the way it has to be.”

            “This discussion is going nowhere, so I’m ending it. I’m hanging up now. Don’t call me again until you agree with what I’m asking of you.”

            “I told you what I need from you and it’s non-negotiable. You’re either going to do what I ask, or not. When you let me know your decision, I’ll let you know my decision about continuing this relationship.”

            “I can’t explain it any better than I already have. If you refuse to get my point, then there’s no point in continuing to discuss it.”

            “I can see we’re not going to agree on this. Let me know when you’re ready to do what I’m asking of you.”

            “I’ve made myself perfectly clear. I have nothing more to say.”


            What is the bottom line here? Basically, control freaks want attention. They have nothing positive to offer, like kindness or love, that would persuade you stick around and pay attention to them, so they manipulate you into sticking around and paying attention to them by picking a fight. They maneuver you into repeating your pleas over and over. They upset you, and manipulate you into asking why they are doing this to you, so that they can involve you in an endless, pointless discussion. They have exasperated you so many times before, but you always stuck around and tried to resolve it, and that’s the reaction they’re counting on this time, as well.

            So this time we need to spring a little surprise of our own. We need to break the old pattern, be tough, and let them know firmly that enough is enough!   We need to say, “Okay, I tried. I’m outta here. Bye!” And then REFUSE TO DISCUSS IT ANYMORE, DISCONNECT, DISENGAGE, LEAVE, HANG UP THAT PHONE, WALK OUT THAT DOOR, END IT! If, sometime down the road, our relative decides to honor our request for a change in behavior, she can always let us know. Showing your abuser that you mean business is the only way to get through to her.



The wisdom of proverbs


He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue…Proverbs 28: 23.


Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah….Psalm 68:19 KJV.

Thank you Lord for all our blessings! We give you praise!

Psalm 36


The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit; he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.


Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!


Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. 


O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.