The Good Aspects of ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much Grace Platitudes can be helpful when they're used well and when both parties understand what they're meant to communicate. Much like pictures, they can encompass and encapsulate more meaning that just the words in-and-of-themselves. They're verbal shorthand that can sometimes be more direct and concise than long discussions, and they're especially helpful when one party doesn't have a lot of emotional energy to stop and listen to a long explanation. We can all imagine a tenacious flower like a dandelion that grows in a tiny bit of soil that has inadvertently collected in a crack in a sidewalk. Sometimes life requires our tougher nature to … [Read more...]

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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16 Years After Finding Me After Baptist Taliban-istic Fundamentalism

by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding FundamentalAs of June 28th, we have celebrated 16 years outside the Bible-based cult church I formerly referred to as “The Baptist Taliban.”Although the exodus was traumatic, the effects lasting and the damages permanent, I have never regretted leaving.  Not even for one moment.Sixteen years. It’s a long time.  Years of days and nights-- much time spent chiseling out my own personal beliefs from the mountain-sized, rock-solid, … [Read more...]

Guilt and Shame: Not the Same

by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding Fundamental This short piece was posted by someone from the ‘Unfundamentalist Christians facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UnfundamentalistChristians?fref=ts and appeared on my wall.     The truths expressed are so profound, I wanted to preserve them here since they so eloquently differentiate these two ideas commonly, mistakenly, treated as synonyms. … [Read more...]

Daring Greatly

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.  I am reading this book because it’s kind of a prerequisite for a workshop that my husband and I are going to attend in a couple of weeks called “The Daring Way” and it is based on the work of Brene Brown.I’m fascinated by this book.It’s a book about living vulnerably. … [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...]

Daffodils Grieved 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 After the first stage of recovery where we find safety and stability (things we sometimes must learn about for the first time), we find ourselves in a place of revisiting trauma to see it for what it is. … [Read more...]

The Stages of Trauma in the Flowers of Spring: Daffodils Forgotten

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission I grew up in a house that stood at the edge of a small plateau on the incline of a mountain. It was bordered by unoccupied wooded acreage that sloped down behind it. In the spring, the forsythia and the azaleas bloomed in our yard, but we had no daffodils. Down in the woods behind the house however, daffodils poked their heads above the crisp, brown leaves that had covered them all winter. Nineteen plants grew there within twenty feet of the edge of our land on the hill as it rolled downward toward the city. … [Read more...]