Photo of Kathy provided by Kathy Collard Miller
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Kathy Collard Miller continued our interview.
In her words, “When God opened doors for me to write and speak about His help, my desire for His glory deepened. I knew it wasn't about me doing things perfectly, but about how He intervenes in even the most difficult circumstances. As a result, He receives greater praise. I've had the privilege of speaking in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. I never would have expected Him to use my struggle in that way but He is creative and faithful.”
She offered a glimpse of an abusive mindset based on her journey.
Kathy explained, “One main reason I chose to hurt is because I believed the lie that other people made me feel a certain way or do something. When I took responsibility for my reactions, I began to be able to control myself more. Previously I thought once Larry meets my needs, I'll be content and happy. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to blame him for my problem and take out my anger on him. Or, I thought if my daughter would obey me, I could be patient with her. But learning that I was responsible for my reactions helped me see I could control myself. My life wasn't in the hands of others.
I also hurt others because I'd never learned how to deal with my anger. I thought all anger was wrong. Therefore, I tried to stuff it and not acknowledge it. But it only turned into a boiling volcano beneath the surface. I learned that anger is a human feeling that everyone experiences. I don't need to hide it. By acknowledging when I feel angry, I can deal with it, before it grows and overwhelms me.
In reference to my toddler daughter, I recognized that I thought of her as a reflection of me. When she disobeyed in public or even at home, I felt like it was a message that I was a bad mom. Although it's true I was a bad mom, I had to learn that even good parents have misbehaving children. And “bad” parents have good children. Children make their own choices and unless I told my daughter to have a temper tantrum, (which I wouldn't), her temper tantrum was her own choice. Therefore, I didn't have to be embarrassed in public and react in anger. I could calmly give her a consequence for her disobedience. I could continue to love her because I realized children can't be perfect.
In the relationship with my husband, I heard God tell me (in my heart not an audible voice), 'Tell Larry you love him.' I refused because I knew I actually hated him. God persisted and directed, 'Then think it the next time you see Larry.' I agreed to that because I feared if he heard the words, he would think I was giving him permission to continue being gone and not meeting my needs. He worked two jobs (policeman and real estate agent; plus he flew planes for a hobby).
When Larry returned from a flight that day, I made myself think, 'I love you.' Then I added, 'Not really.' It wasn't true as far as I was concerned.
But making that choice to love began to set me free. I learned that love is a choice, more than just a feeling. And I continue to make a choice to love him and do loving things for him. That also released the anger from its hold over me.”
Her advise to other abusers, “There is hope! There is help available. Keeping it a secret only increases its hold over you. Find the help you need. Go to an anger management class. Get professional counseling. Take responsibility for your reactions and stop blaming others. Ask the person you've abused for forgiveness. Tell someone you need help and accountability. There is hope!"
She found love for herself and others and this helped manifest a healthy life.
He life today, “Larry is now my best friend, greatest encourager, fantastic lover, and we love being with each other every day. My daughter calls me almost every day and we see her frequently even though she lives at a distance. I love God and am so grateful that He always loves us, even when we struggle."
Kathy’s passion, “I love to write and am currently marketing three more books. I've worked with a variety of publishers for different projects. I also have over 200 magazine articles published in a variety of magazines.
As a writer, I love to receive responses from my books and articles. I started when the way to connect was through regular mail. Now, I'm thrilled when I receive emails from my readers.
Because I took a sabbatical from writing for five years, most of my books are no longer available. Now that I'm back writing, I hope the three new books I'm marketing will be accepted soon. Three of the books that I self-published from my out-of-print books are:
1. When Counting to Ten Isn't Enough: Strategies for Confident Parenting
2. Why Do I Put So Much Pressure on Myself and Others?: Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist
3. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries: Finding Peace in All Kinds of Weather"