Coming Out of the Cult Closet

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixThe last year has been full of shifts, most of them tumultuous, but most of them ending up being quite positive. In the actual moment, each change didn't feel positive. It felt like I was wearing skin that didn't fit me anymore, and I was trying to wrestle out of it. Much like a critter shedding it's old skin. Painful, itchy, uncomfortable, exhausting. But then each time I shed an old layer, it felt great afterwards to relax and sit in the sun, so to speak with spanking new skin that felt all new and glowing. … [Read more...]

Part 4: I Submit and “Resign”

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by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn the weeks following that meeting with the board, there were many communications (mostly via email) which just deepened the wounding. As dramatic as it might sound, I felt like I was fighting for my very life. I begged for someone to listen to me, to hear what had been going on and help me find a way out of my pain. By this time, elder M had given up hope and resigned his membership. I desperately wanted to believe there was a better way to go, that people who claimed to follow Christ should be able to work this out together, that we didn’t have to stay trapped in an endless repetition of history! … [Read more...]

My Recovery Story: So I’ve Been Spiritually Abused. What Next?

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by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Come Weary MomsAn entry to the "So I've Been Spiritually Abused. What Next?" series.Four years ago, our family left a church organization which was and is facing major issues with legalism and abuse. It wasn’t easy to be there at the end.  It wasn’t easy to leave.  It still isn’t easy to navigate what I believe and how I relate to people.  Despite my deep disappointment and disillusionment, I have continued to rebuild my own spiritual life.  I have also looked back on several things that helped me transition out of more than one less-than-ideal-for-me situations.  I’d like to share these with you. … [Read more...]

Stand Up and Speak Your Truth

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixI have always had a hard time standing up for myself. I chalk it up to the way I grew up. I grew up in a cult where women and children weren't allowed to speak up for themselves, especially when we were abused. We weren't allowed to ask "Why?" even in a quiet voice. We were to take abuse quietly, submissively, like Godly females would. Otherwise, all hell would break loose. So, my sisters and I grew up with blank, obedient minds. We were trained to obey male authority without question, and we had a healthy fear of the chain of command above us. We were Godly, submissive sheep who obeyed at the blink of an eye. We grew up with no defenses … [Read more...]

Pensacola Christian College & Me

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by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Defeating The DragonsIf you’ve never meandered around xoJane, well, now is your golden opportunity. I’ve been a loyal reader for almost a year now, and it’s a pretty cool place. So, when an xoJane editor reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to tell a piece of my story for them, you can imagine that my reaction looked a bit like this: … [Read more...]

Part 3: Things Come to a Head

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by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalThings came to a head a couple of months later when the church was invited to participate in an annual prayer event. It seemed like a no-brainer, yet after praying about it, both elder M and I felt unaccountably uneasy. Elder R was overseas at the time (an increasingly regular reality) and was happy to abide by the decision of rest of the team. Elder J, however, was insistent we participate and after several quite painful communications between the three of us, declared his intention of announcing our involvement to the rest of the church that Sunday. I was beside myself by this time! … [Read more...]

Then and Now

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixI'm becoming more and more aware that I don't need to "aware" of my beliefs in order for them to affect my life.My beliefs shape the way my life is branching out right at this very moment, even if many of these beliefs were formed many years ago and I don't give them much thought today. … [Read more...]

Quoting Quiverfull: Shop Window Porn?

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by Veronika Winkels from Ladies Against Feminism and Mercatornet.com - Shop-Window Porn Violates Children's Rights, So Let's Fight It My sister Anna and her husband Jacob have four young children, all daughters whom they are trying to raise to value their own dignity and face the world with self-esteem and confidence. … [Read more...]

Part 2: Alarm Bells Start To Ring

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by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalAs we engaged in the journey forward, there was a strong acknowledgement of our own brokenness and our total reliance on God - which was why we obeyed when we believed God was telling us not to call another pastor (“do not to ask for a king!”). … [Read more...]

Sexuality & Shame Part 2 – Sexperiences

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by Kaleesha Williams cross posted from her blog The Lost (and Found) Mind of Kaleesha WilliamsBy the age of thirteen I'd gleaned enough of a sex education from Stephen King books and porn magazines to start seriously writing erotic fiction.  According to the responses I received on the internet, I had found something I was very good at.It was exhilarating.  I pleased the opposite sex.  I had power. … [Read more...]


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