Do Christians Love Like Narcissus?

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalGreek mythology tells the tale of Narcissus, a young man who, upon seeing his own reflection in the river, fell in love with his own beauty. So entranced was he by the sight, he could not bear to draw himself away. So eventually he died... gazing longingly at the river's image of himself. … [Read more...]

Does the Church Know What Love Really Is?

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal "If You are struggling with any area of [this] information it is your problem, not ours. If you feel a breakdown in trust and relationship it is your issue not ours. If you don't seem to be able to give a righteous response to what you believe was said and done then go and seek counsel. You have been ministered to, you have been included, you have been loved." [Emphasis added] … [Read more...]

Finding Safety in Myths? Camus as Futility’s Starting Point

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission I am by far a greater fan of Master of the Absurd, Franz Kafka, who laments in his writings about the nature of man and his limitations, but I could not help but think of Albert Camus' essay about The Myth of Sisyphus concerning the subject of futility and expectation. Can his writing help us find some footing in recovery from trauma so that we can build some type of stability? Trauma robs us of our sense of safety, causes us to feel isolated, and it obscures our memories of stability if we truly had any as a starting point. Trauma causes us to realize … [Read more...]

‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’ as a Thought Stopping Cliche

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman at Under Much Grace and used with permission. Article is 4 pages long.I'd heard that phrase before, but even now and even with my positive experience with the concept many years later, the phrase still connotes something negative for me.The last post detailed my very good experience with the sage advice of determination to bloom and grow, even if it's not where you want to be or the conditions are not that favorable.ion … [Read more...]

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Safety, Ambiguity, Expectation and Balance

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceThis is part of a series Cindy Kunsman has been writing on recovery from spiritual abuse and trauma. All images by Cindy Kunsman of Under Much Grace and used with permission. As a child, in an effort to comfort me, an elderly woman at my church would encourage me to read what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi. Basically, he says that he learned how to be contented with whatever situation he faced. One of the primary ways of coping with bad situations, according to what he wrote, involves thinking about good things as opposed to dwelling on the bad ones. … [Read more...]

Back to Stage One Healing: More on Safety and Stabilization

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog from Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and from Under Much Grace used with permission. Article 3 pages total.It's been quite a month, and life is settling back into something like normal. Redeeming Dinah, the blog exploring the Duggar Phenomenon as a function of the family agenda promoted among many Independent Fundamental Baptists is up and running. It's been a month since the panel where survivors of the system talked about their experiences. Afterwards, I returned home from Dallas to be met with a couple of deaths of loved ones, some injuries, and the sadness that goes along with them. The dog days of summer do not make … [Read more...]

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For New-Found Victims

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsEditor's note: Ellen is speaking directly to new readers at her blog, but the same words apply here as well. Welcome to new readers here who've been spiritually abused, victimized by religion and are discovering that they are not the only ones.Welcome.Perhaps you found this blog because are just realizing that what you or someone you know is experiencing is “just not right.”  There are many websites and blogs that have information on spiritual abuse.  Some are very comprehensive and detailed … [Read more...]

My Healing Continues

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn recent years, I've become accustomed to certain people pretending that I don't exist. If I won't shut up and go away or roll over and play dead, the only option left, apparently, is for them to refuse to acknowledge my existence.There was a time when it used to upset me. Eventually, I got to a place where it mostly amused me. … [Read more...]

Daffodil Season Ends but Recovery Continues

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. More than a month ago, I learned about some cruel gossip that's being spread about me and it triggered a host of complicated hurdles for me. The questions of others sent me back to revisit my history of hopping around through some truly fringe varieties of cultic Christianity, but I also found myself more affected by the deep personal losses that are all wrapped around that history, too. … [Read more...]

Daffodils of Integration: First Promise of Joy Through Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace James Taylor's melancholy Fire and Rain which laments the unexpected loss of a friend, and I now think of the loss of integration of trauma when I hear him sing “sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.”In a way, that is what trauma does to us. Our dreams break apart, perhaps because they weren't very realistic but sometimes because we don't have time to realize them because we're so busy trying to figure out how to put ourselves back together. Sometimes, we just can't recover all that we've lost. Sometimes, we lose our ability to fly because the pieces lay on the ground, smashed and broken because of what hap … [Read more...]