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 Abuse.org - 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...]

Safely Tucked in the Middle? Contrasting and Comparing Camus and Christy

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permissionCatherine Marshall authored Christy, the historical fiction novel which was based on her mother's experiences in a remote mountain community in Tennessee. In the picture shown here, I included a rendition of her book which features Kellie Martin who played the protagonist in the CBS TV drama that was developed from the novel a number of years ago. (I figured that her work might be more recognizable that way.)Catherine was a Christian who was married to Peter Marshall, the famed, early 20th Century, Scottish-born, Presbyterian minister in Washington, … [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...]

Elie Wiesel Would Have Been Disappointed in You

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI haven’t posted in awhile.  But the death of Elie Wiesel brought to mind this quote the spirit of which has always been at the forefront of my thoughts on my experience with spiritual abuse.“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel … [Read more...]