AJ

SASBN member AJ blogs at I Am Phoenix

Hi! I’m AJ. I grew up in a spiritually abusive cult. It was based on the teachings of Bill Gothard and was heavy on patriarchal control. I have two brothers and three sisters, so six of us in all. We experienced emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual abuse, but thought it was normal because it was done in God’s name. When I became an adult, I moved far away from home and finally was able to breathe and live a fairly happy life. But because I feared what would happen to me (God’s wrath and my family’s judgement), I still held onto the beliefs I grew up with.

Over time the stress of repressing the trauma from childhood built up in me and I developed severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, and Adrenal Burnout. I had to move back home, but my parents turned their back on me and wouldn’t open their doors to me or help me. I was shocked. I was the black sheep in their eyes because I wasn’t going to church or following the rules of the cult, but I was their child. I couldn’t believe the cult had them so blinded that they couldn’t help their own child. At that point, I started seriously evaluating this religion of theirs. Over time, the blinders fell off my eyes and I began experiencing truth. I am now so free and joyful.

I’m married to a kind man who was once temporarily deceived by the cult, but saw his way out of it quite recently. We are in the process of building a life for ourselves that is based on love and freedom. Every day I wake up, I feel so invigorated that I can finally see clearly and know that I am love.

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