Doing the Right Thing

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“We must take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometimes we must interfere.  When human . . . dignity is in jeopardy . . . sensitivities become irrelevant.  Wherever men and women are persecuted . . . that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”  Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day … [Read more...]

Cranio-Rectal Inversion and Cognitive Bias

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. (You can't live very safely if your head's up your _____.)The title of this post conveys a rude image, but I find it sadly and uncomfortably true. In pondering my own recent disappointments in life and establishing safety in trauma recovery, I found myself looking squarely at my own cognitive biases. And I realized that you can't see and hear if you've buried your head away somewhere, even if it is self interest. … [Read more...]

Falling Down

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalI have to confess that I found myself reacting the other day to some words which had triggered me, and left me hearing repeated echoes of past abuse. I reacted. I struggled. I felt like I'd lost my footing and was flailing around trying to find my balance. "Not again," I thought, attempting to regain my equilibrium.And as I wrestled with that reality, I was dragged down by the weight of failure. After all, I'd experienced so much healing since I lived in that old head-space. What on earth was wrong with me!? … [Read more...]

Fly Away From Dream Squashers For Safety and Stability

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceWhen preparing to write this post, I kept thinking about a scene on Everybody Loves Raymond where one of the characters named Robert says something quite true about what he calls “dream squashers.” Deborah, his sister-in-law, discusses returning to her career while the rest of the family focuses on the negative aspects of the idea. I identify with how Robert recounts his childhood dreams as he encourages Deborah to “strap a rocket on her back” so she can fly away from the naysayers – the dream squashers. It helps me make light of things, but the statement that he makes is very valid. … [Read more...]

Information About Spiritual Abuse

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsThis page is dedicated to helping the reader understand how to recognize spiritual abuse.SurveyOften, books, websites, and other information regarding spiritual abuse focus on cult situations or blatantly abusive issues such as sexual abuse in the church.  But, the well-kept secret is that spiritual abuse is much more pervasive than that.  Perhaps the best definition of spiritual abuse is found in the book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen: “The individual is left bearing a weight of guilt, judgment or condemnation, and confusion about their worth and standing as a Christian.” … [Read more...]

Managing Ignorance and Knowledge 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.Ignorance (lack of knowledge) affects all of us. Recognizing that you lack knowledgeable about something and seeking information or advice shows strength of character as well as wisdom in decision-making. The true problems arise for us when we don't realize that we're ignorant about a matter and to what extent our knowledge reaches. In the discussion of risk, often times, no one has information about uncertainty, but just that knowledge alone can help you make wiser decisions. So while you may feel like you're standing on the edge of a precipice … [Read more...]

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...]

Why People Support Abusive Leaders in the Church

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsIn those crushing months after we left our first abusive church (read Part 2 of my story), one of the things I struggled with was, how could the people who knew that abusive behaviors and situations had happened to me as well as others not step up and speak out?  I didn’t ask myself that question after we were tossed out of our second abusive church.  Maybe I just knew that they wouldn’t.  After all, not only had I been through this before, but I have talked to many others and read widely on spiritual abuse, and I am well aware of the way that people rally around abusive church leaders. … [Read more...]

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...]

Quoting Quiverfull: Tithing Food Stamps?

From the blogs at Spiritual - Tithing Food Stamp MoneyEditor's note: One of the most outrageous stories I've seen to come out of spiritual abuse! If you have very little and what little you have comes from the hands of the government you should be pretty much exempt from tithing. Tithing should be done or not done at the discretion of the the church member. What things were you pressured to  in your old churches dear readers? … [Read more...]