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She Calls Me Rachel

By | Charlotte's Blog, Emotional Abuse | One Comment

after years of being a Leah, I was indeed Rachel.She’s one of the wiser, matriarchs in my new church. Every time I see Linda, she makes a conscious effort to get my name right. But she has a mental block and continually says, “Rachel, right?”

She’s not short on memory, even though I gently remind her each time, “No, my name is Charlotte.” Then I ask, “May I share a story with you?”

We sat down in the pew. I began to tell her what the story of Rachel and Leah, from Genesis 29, has meant to me for years. Linda was familiar with the story. Her eyes filled with tears as soon as she realized how God was using her.

I will take a moment and share for those of you who may not be familiar with the story of Jacob’s two wives. You may find yourself with tears in your eyes, too.

This is how I tell it. Please refer to Genesis 29 for accuracy.

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Desperate Desire to Heal

By | Charlotte's Blog, Emotional Abuse | No Comments

I had a desperate desire to heal and leave it all behind me. ~ Charlotte Chaney https://charlottessoul.comTriggers of Pain, Human Response and God’s Grace, Mercy and Promises

I suffered emotional abuse for nearly 28 years.

It is hard for me to fathom today. I am sharing a journal entry written after I fled the toxic environment. I cried out to God for healing and forgiveness of my soul. I see now, less than two years later, how His provision surpassed anything I could have imagined.

The torment associated with loss and rejection was unbearable. I had a desperate desire to heal and leave it all behind me. I look back from a new place, where those feelings and reactions to triggers are a distant memory. I stand in awe of God and what He has done in spite of me. I praise God from my core and believe he keeps His promises.

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Remembering What God has Brought Me Through, Steadies My Feet

By | Emotional Abuse | No Comments

I had to put one foot in front of the other and be thankful for what I had, regardless of my trials.Can you imagine walking through a supernaturally separated river, revealing a path of dry land?

After the trauma of severe plagues, the nation of Israel was on a massive relocation to somewhere completely unknown. Talk about trauma! When forty years of exile ended, it was time to enter the Promised Land, passing by the Red Sea.

You can imagine people experiencing spiritual, emotional, environmental, and physical triggers. Doubt, fear, fatigue and facts set into their minds and separated them from what they knew to be true about God.

Don’t we all fall victim to the same unbalance in our faith journey?

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Why Does Anyone Stay with an Abuser?

By | Abuse | No Comments

I blindly began to trust someone other than myself. I traded my instincts to walk a tightrope. I became determined to keep that, for which I was selling my soul.

Why do seemingly intelligent, capable people choose to stay with those who destroy their soul?

Leaving someone who hurts you seems like the obvious thing to do.

Below is a reflection. In May of 2015, I stopped to observe what I believed about myself. I began processing the decisions I had made that impacted my family and me. I see clearly now that I was more committed to the abuse than to the care of my soul. I hope by sharing my truth, others will gain clarity for the decisions they are making. In addition, impact the choices on their family and future generations.

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Passive Aggression: The Isolating of Your Soul

By | Charlotte's Blog, Emotional Abuse | No Comments

I allowed my husband's authority, his lack of respect for my uniqueness and my longing to be accepted to damage the foundation of who I was designed to be. - Charlotte Chaney #https://charlottessoul.comEmotional abuse has many facets. Passive aggression is a primary weapon.

When someone knows in their gut that something is wrong, yet they are made to feel foolish when questioning the situation, they are likely facing passive aggression.
Two Signs of Passive Aggression

  1. If someone in your life does not validate your feelings, that is wrong! Feelings are not facts – but feelings are valid.
  2. Often one partner will begin to ostracize another from family and friends. Long term this slowly damages long-term relationships.
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Emotional Abuse: Are You Empowering Someone Who Loves Power?

By | Charlotte's Blog, Emotional Abuse | One Comment

Many of us step from our insecurities into a “safe” environment with someone whom we hope will satisfy our deep longings.

We feel we have finally found the person who will be the cure-all for our hidden wounds.

We find ourselves empowering someone who loves power.

We lose ourselves in the illusion of their strength and the pretense of their care.

We are much stronger than we know, and they are far more insecure than we realize.

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Stepping Into the Vast Unknown

By | Charlotte's Blog | No Comments

Whatever the future held, I was going to be free! #https://charlottessoul.com #CharlottesSoulThe day I signed a one-year lease to rent a condo,

after 22 years of fighting for my marriage, marked the first step I took towards actively caring for my emotions. It is astounding now, to look back, I realize how beaten down I was. I can’t imagine the courage and the faith I had, to step into an unknown future. All I knew was I could not take another lap around the cycle of emotional abuse and whatever the future held I was going to be free. As much as it would hurt to divide our family of six, staying and continuing the lie, was not just killing me, but it meant modeling abusive behavior. I was paving the road for future generations. I wanted more for my daughter in laws. I made a move for them as much as for myself.

Two years later, I assess where I am, the quality of my life and the breadth of my witness. I remarried a man of God who treasures me, models for my children how to love and care for a woman while being every bit of a strong, decisive leader. God planted me in a new town, where I have a vibrant social life, an incredible church, new family, and friends surround me.

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The Ants Go Marching In

By | Charlotte's Blog | 6 Comments

My departure would mean the end of a dream. Today I am going to share a glimpse of how my life was, as I struggled to decide whether to leave the emotional abuse in my former home.

My departure would mean the end of a dream.

It would mean the disintegration of my intact family, which I had poured my heart into for 22 years. I faced the uncertainty of not knowing if by leaving, I was stepping out of God’s will. I knew divorce would lead to the inevitable demotion from any church leadership with which I was involved.

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Beaten with Flowers

By | Charlotte's Blog | 2 Comments

Sometimes, recognizing the passive-aggressive manipulation, can take a life time.

This week I have decided to share a journal entry written the summer after I first moved out of my marital home. That summer, before I met my new husband, was a time when I regularly processed many things through the gift God gave me in writing. What I went through is not unique, but my faith and resilience are evident, as they were in “Heartbeats for Cancer.”

I intend to share more of this journey and how it felt to break free from emotional abuse, despite the urging of the church to stay in my toxic marriage. What I experienced is all too common. It is a darkness that needs to be exposed to support other abuse victims and their families, especially in the church. Many people stay under the misunderstanding that it is God’s will to uphold the institution of marriage despite the brutality pointed towards their soul.

13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Ephesians 5:13

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Being Prepared Emotionally for The Unexpected

By | Charlotte's Blog, Personal Growth | No Comments

Being Prepared Emotionally for The Unexpected - https://charlottessoul.com

Imagine someone crashes into your car while you are at a stop light.

Worse yet, you hadn’t taken the time to put on your seatbelt. What could have been a fender bender becomes that, plus bruises, cuts, and broken ribs? All because you didn’t prepare for the unexpected.

What about having your life in a steady state of chaos when you get the news that your child has cancer? Taking simple steps can prepare you for life’s unexpected events. It will not prevent things from happening, but can certainly equip us to overcome the unexpected.

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Which Part of Me Felt That? Which Part of Me Didn’t?

By | Charlotte's Blog, Personal Growth | No Comments

In my meditation class we were presented with an example of breaking pain into pieces.Many of you know what it means to experience emotional paralysis.

Paralyze as defined by Dictionary.com is: “to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act:”

Over the past few years, I have encountered painful truths that I never envisioned I’d face in my prayer-infused, faith-based bubble. Traumatized, describes my soul when I came face to face with the unfathomable duplicity that existed in my home.

Throughout my emotional recovery, I have gained incredible tools. I trust I can offer fresh ideas for your journey as well.

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Denial is a Liar!

By | Charlotte's Blog | No Comments

When the facts deviate from our paradigm, denial is the coping mechanism that serves to provide a false sense of protection.

What was, in my previous marriage, and what I hoped was there, were two vastly different things.

I experienced an internal conflict between what I knew to be true and what I was led to believe. My insecurities took precedence as I allowed my intuition to widdle away. Rather than facing the facts and risking the inevitable pain, denial kicked in and the problems continued to mount around me until life was unbearable.

When the facts deviate from our paradigm, denial is the coping mechanism that serves to provide a false sense of protection.

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My Journey to Emotional Healing

By | Charlotte's Blog | 2 Comments

wellnessIt was the first Christmas after my yearlong cancer treatment, and I learned that my son would be spending the holiday in rehab. My then-husband gathered our children and lied to them, telling them I had sent their brother to rehab. I was too weak to stand up for the truth, to stand up for myself; I was too weary to fight back. Rather, I watched the lie unfold as the pain suffocated me.

The rest of the family would still be going on our planned vacation, but part of me, my heart, my soul, my life would be left in some drug facility as I writhed in agony without any support.

Like any mother whose child ends up in rehab, I mistakenly asked, “What had I possibly done wrong?” How did I have a child on drugs?

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Trust

By | Charlotte's Blog, Personal Growth | No Comments

When you suffer betrayal, you begin to develop callouses that barricade the tenderness of your soul.

The reason I trust God with everything I’ve got is that He has exhibited Himself to me, through the firestorms of my life. It’s not that He rescued me from them when He most certainly could have, but rather He joined me in them and proved to me He is enough in every circumstance. As the old hymn says “How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,”
-Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.

My faith wasn’t always that solid. In the early days of my walk with God, I was angry. God had saved my soul from Hell but did not fix my devastating marriage. To the best of my human ability, I did all I felt He was asking me to do as a Christian wife and for years I begged and pleaded for Him to change our marriage.

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Arrested Emotions

By | Charlotte's Blog | No Comments

Arrested emotions

When you love an addict or someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, your God-given emotions are taken captive. Not only does addiction invalidate your truth, but it deceives others to turn against you too.

Codependents remain hopeful that things will change. Meanwhile, our emotions become steadily numb. Better not to feel anything at all, then to live with the doubt that our feelings are unsubstantiated.

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Welcome to Charlotte’s Soul

By | Charlotte's Blog | 5 Comments

Charlotte Chaney welcomes you to Charlotte's Soul.Formerly Charlotte’s Heart, Charlotte’s Soul was birthed from a great deal of spiritual kneading, the death of a dream and the progression of vision.

Through excruciating emotional trials, I have moved beyond my broken heart and discovered the steadfast strength flowing from my soul.

I have begun recovery from trauma as I explore a version of myself that is free of the worlds ‘musts’ and closer to God’s design.

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Grace vs. Enabling

By | Charlotte's Blog | No Comments

GraceThere is a fine line between giving someone grace for their raging bad mood vs. enabling someone.  Do you let it go or do you call out their behavior making them feel the pain for their decisions?

With addiction in my home, I found my way to Al-Anon Family Groups. I learned that I can love someone who is not seeking treatment for whatever is ruling their live. I also learned that I can detach from the dysfunction so it does not dominate my life or others in my care.

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Back from Hiatus…Game On!

By | Addiction/Codependnecy, Charlotte's Blog, Latest News, Marriage, Personal Growth | 4 Comments

Back from Hiatus...Game On!
It’s been so long since I’ve blogged, my creativity has been paralyzed by life experiences.  I have come to discover that what I thought was reality, was not. I am now painfully at the finish line of a 23-year marriage, that I gave my all to, and the starting line of more than I could ask or imagine.

Both realities carry equal emotional weight.

I resisted leaving the toxicity of my marriage for years, for many reasons. Besides the longing to give my boys the intact family I wish I had, the church certainly played a role and I cringed at the thought of doing what God hates. Every good Christian knows “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel.” Malachi 2:16 

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