Safety in Optimism as a Learned and Re-Learned Skill

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission. Earlier posts looked at the grand picture in life concerning our expectations for safety in a world where things exceed our control. Camus defines well that we are stuck in the human condition which requires struggle and disappointment that doesn't end. Catherine Marshall looks to the acceptance of what Camus describes but differentiates hopeful acceptance from the pessimism of resignation that seems to be it's own kind of premature death. Today, I'd like to tighten that broad focus on uncertainty down to a more basic and immediate one. … [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...]

Help! I am a Believer, but my Husband is Not

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserEditor's note: Reposting this piece because I believe it's valuable advice for many leaving Quiverfull as well. My mailbox regularly fills up with more emails that I can possibly answer from people wanting to know how to help a brother/husband/daughter/son/cousin who is stuck in a toxic religious environment or from someone trying to hang onto their faith as they are leaving a toxic church. I think much of Bruce's advice here could be useful for many situations.Recently, a new reader sent me several questions she would like me to answer. Her questions and my answers follow. … [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...]

A New Springtime: Daffodils Reclaimed (A glimpse into Stage Three recovery)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission I wonder what I thought when I was old enough to find those scattered daffodils in the woods behind my parents' house. I must have been quite young, for in my mind, I seem to have always known that they were there. … [Read more...]

10 Red Flags About Christian Celebrities and Ministries

Taken from the comments and written by one of NLQ's commenters Abigail Smith on Samantha Field's The Smell Test: 5 Signs of a Toxic ChurchI formulated these “10 Red Flags” about “Christian" celebrities and ministries during my escape from QF over the last few years1) Unbalanced- you just sense something is wrong but it sounds good and holy and everything is “backed up” with scripture verses (antidote: the gospel is so simple that even children can understand it) … [Read more...]

Considering Angst as a Healthy Part of Growth While Anticipating Mother’s Day

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman at Under Much Grace and used with permissionEditor's note: Knowing that holidays can be fraught with difficulties while you are recovering and that many have issues with both mothers and daughters I felt this piece was applicable for our upcoming Mother's Day holiday. May your day be filled with no drama.The Quiverfull and Patriarchy Movements in Evangelical Christianity (which are strongly associated with the Religious Right and with the homeschooling movement among Christians) understand any deviation “from family” as a great moral problem.Family translates for many as only the spe … [Read more...]

Safe Expectations as the Safest Place in Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and  used with permission I used this quote a short time ago, but I read something that brought it to my mind again. There is so much truth to the saying that “we learn what we live.” Alice Miller makes that fact so clear for us by explaining why people who have been hurt often repeat the same tactics that were used against them. But how does this relate to feeling safer? … [Read more...]

Vulnerability and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission One might think that the first stage of healing from trauma involves recounting tragic circumstances, but it is actually about creating a safe place with safe people who can help you heal. In the previous post, I described a situation that I had with a counselor who I don't believe understood trauma very well and didn't use an approach that was helpful for me. … [Read more...]


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