Happy Holidays – Open Thread

First time in eight years I've put up a tree and decorated the house.

by Suzanne TitkemeyerSince we are mere days away from Christmas and I'm sure many of us here are in the middle of holiday preparations. Right now my kitchen looks like the Keebler Elves Hollow Tree exploded as I'm baking up Christmas cookies.So my question is: How did your holidays change after you got out of extreme Christian fundamentalism?Bruce Gerencser wrote an excellent post about his holidays through the years on his blog - The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser: Christmas, 1957 - 2014.  … [Read more...]

There Is No Formula For Culture Shock

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by Lana Hope cross posted from her blog Wide Open GroundI recently thought of this post, I wrote on Christmas Eve from my phone while with a few teenagers in Asia. We spent Christmas day floating around a pond in 80F/26C weather in shorts, and in the evening when the temperature had dropped to 68F/20C, I read a book out on a lawn chair while the kids were swimming.Then I thought how brutal the last two years have been. I mean, freakin TERRIBLY DIFFICULT PUCK ME UP, kind of brutal. … [Read more...]

Late Bloomer

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixThere are a number of life events that I have arrived at quite late in the game. The biggest life event has been marriage. And there are a few milestones in life I have avoided altogether, such as motherhood, even though most females my age have looked forward to and reached this milestone long ago. … [Read more...]

Day 14 of 21 Days of Healing: I’d Rather Be…

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by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe have peace with God through our Lord Jesus . . . ” Romans 5:1 Think on this calming thought today.Day 14Yesterday, I talked about the “To-Don’t” list and how I took some time to just stop and rest. I took more than a day and I hope that you will, too. I rested until I was tired of resting. And once I was tired of resting, I started thinking about what I’d rather be doing. In other words, what would my day look like if I could do whatever I wanted?Because, for the longest time, I did what I thought other people wanted. Or what people told me God wanted. Whether it was doing or being, I was always focused on fulfilling othe … [Read more...]

Gently Gently During The Holidays

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by Suzanne TitkemeyerI just could not take it any more after looking down and realizing in the bright winter sunlight flooding into my living room that my television remote control looked like it had been dipped in some sort of combination of Cheeto dust, coconut oil and the sands of time then sat out to dry for a decade. Yes, yes it was encrusted and gross. I'd noticed it before, but in the past I'd sighed and mentally made a note to disinfect my hands after using the remote because to give it the scrubbing it needed would surely involve ruining the electronic function of this most sacred of male totems. … [Read more...]

Day 13 of 21 Days of Healing: Making Your “To Don’t” List

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by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsGod loves you. God loves you. God loves you. How is your brain change going?Day 13I’m sure you’ve heard those worn out lines like: Christianity is just a list of “don’t’s.” Don’t drink, smoke, swear, sleep around, lie, etc.At my first abusive church there were a lot of “don’t’s.”At my second abusive church, there were a lot of “do’s.” … [Read more...]

Day 12 of 21 Days of Healing: God, Where Are You?

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by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsThe Lord is the strength of my life. Do you sense that your thoughts are becoming more positive as you focus on the truth of God’s love and presence in your life? (Brain change.)Day 12When I had my first spiritually abusive experience, I remember being so positive. The pastor at my first abusive church was upset that I was stepping away from assisting with worship/music preparation for a few months. He knew there would be questions about why I was taking a break and he feared that without my help, the music would suffer and he and the associate pastor would not look as good. So, when he spoke against me to the elders, saying th … [Read more...]

Leaving Before You Are Ready

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixHow easy is it to leave a cult? For me personally, the answer is "not very." I pay close attention to the stories of those who have left a religious cult. I admit I am a little envious of the females who made their escape from their family's cult by marrying a man who whisked them away from it all. I wish I had that ticket available back then. It wasn't available to me because I was terrified of men. I was especially afraid of Christian men because of the religious Christian monster my father was. And I was also scared of the so called secular, worldly men because linking up with them meant my life would be cursed with demons attacking me, an … [Read more...]

The Smoke and Ash of Melting Memories

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by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace What are your earliest memories like?I remember some events as what seem like still photographs from when I was very young – like the yellow diaper service pail on the front porch with an embossed stork on it, though the pigment in the pattern had faded. I remember my mother sitting beside my white crib, reading different books to me. Though I could not have had a visit with him after I was three years old, I remember my orthopedist. He had jet black hair and wore a smock like doctors wore in black and white movies. I remember really liking him, but I don't remember talking to him or why I saw him. I remember my grand geek fas … [Read more...]

Gaslighting Heated Up

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by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsYou can read Part 1 here.In my last post, I had just touched my toe to the cess pool of gaslighting and how it had impacted my experience with spiritual abuse. But then a comment on that post prodded me to delve a bit deeper into the practice of gaslighting. It wasn’t long before long-dormant memories were being stirred as I read, listened, and learned more and more about how gaslighters operate and how their behavior impacts their victims. … [Read more...]


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