How many times have you heard, “I didn’t mean it?” after hurtful, angry, biting words found their mark? It doesn’t help much, does it.
The truth is, he did mean it. The Bible says, “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). So, yes. If it came out of his mouth, that’s because it was in his heart first. That’s why it’s so hard to forgive and forget. It’s a real wound. It hurts, stays in your mind, runs in circles, festers, burns, and takes residence in the way you refer to yourself; the way you think about and define yourself.
A separate, but powerful truth is: his heart does not define reality. Unless, of course, he is God. He can impose restrictions, hammer consequences, belittle, threaten and coerce. But he is a force of one. He has a distorted way of thinking and acting because it comes from a distorted, wicked source. “the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45).
Write it down. Tell a friend (maybe you have to find one first–that’s a great place to start!). Call a hotline for help. Read the Psalms. Do what you can to create a fissure between his reality and God’s reality. Look at the things he says and does as a definition of who he is; not who you are. Draw a picture (or photoshop one) and next to it, journal or list descriptors of what he says about you. That will give you a very real, different idea of the man that casts his heart on others.
The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It’s a great starting place….
(Take time to read Julie’s comment below–as a survivor, she has helpful insight and practical intentionality for healing.)