Covert Operations

WhenChurchHurts

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsMy friend quixie over at quixoticfaith posted an excellent video about covert narcissists. I have been told that I shouldn’t call my former pastor a narcissist because he isn’t an overt tyrant as many definitions indicate.  The video you can watch from quixie’s blog post is an excellent description of a “covert” narcissist and aptly describes much of what I observed in my experience with spiritual abuse.  Thank you, Quixie, for your post and video! Perhaps the most important section of the video is at the end when he discusses the effect on the victim.  I have written posts about how my self-confidence, my faith, my physical health, a … [Read more...]

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Not Quoting Quiverfull – Litmus Test To Avoid Abusive Churches

Notquoting

From the new blog Flee From Christian Fundamentalism - Escape from the Abuse at ChurchEditor's note: Good list of things to look for in any new church you might attend.  But keep in mind that the author is a Methodist and there are also Methodist churches that would fail this list. Every church has the potential to have any one of these things going on, even the mainstream ones. … [Read more...]

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Spock on Abuse

Image from Living Liminal

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalSpock obviously understood how abusers operate: … [Read more...]

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Self Esteem, Self Efficacy and the Locus of Control

Image from Under Much Grace - Cindy Kunsman

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceEditor's note: This was written in response to some of the discussion over Cynthia Jeub's blog posts. That is not why I am sharing it here. This is something that everyone in recovery from spiritual abuse or religious trauma syndrome could benefit from watching and thinking about the issues brought forth.Religious lifestyles that demand a great deal of conformity can create a lot of relationship tension as children venture into adulthood as those adult children begin to make their own choices about life and belief.  If there is too much reliance on the identity of the family of origin or if the family demands the adult to … [Read more...]

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Day 16 of 21 Days of Healing: Get a Bigger Bucket

deepwinter

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsGod delights in you. (Brain work.)Day 16By now, you probably have figured out what’s coming today. Yep, that’s right. What are the big things you want to do?All my life I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Guess what? Last spring we went. The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, The Petrified Forest, Sedona, the Rocky Mountains and much more. What beauty! What majesty! We were awed. And delighted. We came home with something like 14,000 pictures between our camera, phone cameras, and two iPads. Absolute splendor. … [Read more...]

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“Un-Friending”

unfriend

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsYesterday, I was asked to list three things that have happened in the past year that I can celebrate. Immediately, I wrote that both of my sons graduated from college and both have jobs in their fields of study – not always an easy task these days. … [Read more...]

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

pleachedalley

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...]

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

hazelmountainoverlook

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...]

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Day 9 of 21 Days of Healing: No Strings Attached

treatyou

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10I hope you focus on this verse today because if you have suffered spiritual abuse, you have encountered a thief intent on stealing, killing, and destroying you. So cling to the life that Jesus gives – abundant life!And that’s what today’s post is about, too. … [Read more...]

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Gaslighting

Lamplighter Lighting Gas Street Light

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts Editor's Note: We've covered this topic before but it never hurts to revisit some of the basics of harmful practices in churches and the world.I’ve been reading a bit about gas-lighting lately and at first I didn’t think that it played a part in my spiritual abuse. Maybe that’s because many of the articles and blogs that I read assumed that we all know what gas-lighting is already and so they didn’t give a very complete description or definition. I think it was the word “crazy” that finally hit home with me. Essentially, as I started putting it all together, I determined that gas-lighting is when someone tries to make you believe y … [Read more...]

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