When Love Isn’t Enough – The Musser Family Tragedy – Part 2

musser9

by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids CollideBefore Tommy arrived, Susanna was already exhausted: "Get up half an hour earlier because Daniel will be working with his dad and grandpa all day.  Katie and Verity are still dry; take them to their potties right away.  Have Peter fill the humidifiers.  Need to eat.  Make sure to fit in phonics flashcards with the little boys and catch up on our history reading.  Sit down and breathe in the sweet scent of clean heads. Ask John Michael to do his “cleaning the glass” chore before the therapist gets here.  Ask Laura to write baby bath on the grocery list before I forget again.  Have Joshua scrub up some sweet potatoes and put them i … [Read more...]

Brave New Life Part 6: Never the Same, and That’s OK

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by Melissa cross posted from her blog Permission To LiveThis post is part of a seven part series. To start with the introduction click here.We went to visit for the first time about a year after coming out, it had been almost 2 years since I had seen any of my younger siblings. It was so scary, knowing that just your existence caused so much drama makes it really nerve-wracking  to voluntarily hang out. It makes you second guess each thing you say or do, worrying that something could inadvertently offend or enrage people who have to work so hard to tolerate you. On the other hand, you just want to relax and be yourself, and not try to be something you’re not just to keep the peace. Th … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 3 The Other Shoe Drops

sadmother

by Melissa cross posted from her blog Permission To LiveThis post is part of a series, click here to start with the introduction.We’d been putting in applications for weeks and not having much luck. It wasn’t really surprising, after growing up the way I did, and then having 4 kids I had basically no resume, and Haley’s was entirely ministerial stuff and we couldn’t exactly list them as a reference. We were also in the middle of changing addresses on everything, and getting all of our other paperwork in order. I passed a local coffee shop and noticed a hiring sign in the window, so I printed out my sad little resume and dropped it off. … [Read more...]

What is the Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done?

liontiger

by AJ cross posted from her blog I am PhoenixThe bravest thing I have done so far in my life has been allowing myself to feel.I was able to make it as far as I did  in life appearing on the outside to be normal and functional because I buried the past. Completely. I didn't talk about it to anyone, and I didn't acknowledge it to myself.Being numb to it was the only way I could survive. I purposely hung around with people who didn't talk about feelings or emotional things. I buried who I was, even if it meant I also had to bury my intuition, my creativity, my feelings, my empathy, and any form of introspection. … [Read more...]

1971-1972 Good Baptist Boys Don’t Dance

bruce-gerencser-1971

by Bruce Gerenscer cross posted from his blog The Way ForwardNinth grade school picture, wearing the welfare glasses I got in 1971. It took me all of 4 weeks to earn enough money to get a pair wire rimmed glasses. I was so embarrassed to wear these glasses. Everyone knew our family was on welfare.It’s September of 1971 and I am fourteen and a ninth grade student at Central Junior High School in Findlay, Ohio. It’s time for gym class and today we are going to square dance. Except I won’t be square dancing because the church I attended, Trinity Baptist Church, considered dancing a sin. … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 1: Into the Unknown

winter-sonne

by Melissa cross posted from her blog Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series. Click here to read the introduction.Like I said in my coming out series, when at the end of 2011, we had realized that transition was going to happen, and that our beliefs were not really fitting in the church we were serving anymore, we knew we needed to move on. … [Read more...]

So I’ve Been Spiritually Abused, What Next?: The Narcissistic Pastor – How to Recognize a Spiritual Abuser

Chances are any pastor that is a Narcissist is actually whoring out parts of his personality/life

from the website An Irenicon - The Narcissistic PastorSo what does the narcissistic pastor look like?  I’m a humble person, so I’ll merely recount the characteristics of narcissism as identified by Sam Vaknin (himself diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder). His thoughts are in bold. Like I said I’m too humble to know any of this firsthand. Having worked, lived, confided for, and studied with many pastors, however, I know that it touches our profession intimately. Comments following the boldface reflect my actual experiences working in the church. … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Introduction

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by Melissa cross posted from her blog Permission To LiveOnce upon a time there were two girls. One was very sad most of the time, she kept her head down and did what she was told, because she could not imagine ever being strong enough to do anything different. She hardly knew what it meant to dream, to have goals and ambitions, because her life was already mapped out for her by others, she just had to follow the rules and be the person she was supposed to be. … [Read more...]

The Six Inch Rule: Thou Shalt Not Touch

ruler

by Bruce Genercser cross posted from his blog The Way ForwardImagine for a moment, that you are sitting in the pew of an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church. You are 16 years old and sitting next to you is your 17-year-old girlfriend. Like normal teenagers, you are sitting as close as possible to your girlfriend and you are discreetly, cleverly holding handsThe pastor is getting ready to preach and he asks everyone to turn to 1 Corinthians 7:1,2. With a thunderous voice, the pastor says, THE BIBLE SAYS: … [Read more...]

How I Was Almost Rescued from Abuse

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by Sarah Henderson cross posted from her blog Feminist in Spite of ThemA few months I wrote a post called Navigating the Justice System Part 1: Alone at 9 Years Old. This post is the story of what it was like for me to experience a Children's Aid investigation and a court case, from my perspective as a child. It skips pretty quickly over what the social workers were like and what they did, and I didn't talk very much about the involvement of other agencies and groups. … [Read more...]


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