Law of Kindness: How Christianity Affects My Ethics

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Samantha P Field.comI’m a spiritual abuse survivor, fundamentalist cult survivor, abuse survivor, and rape survivor; I’m part of the LGBT community and, as a feminist, have experienced harassment, rape and death threats. Because I don’t have access to a decent therapist I’ve found myself dealing with all of that trauma primarily through online support groups. Over the past three years I’ve faded in and out of a variety of groups with a multiplicity of purposes, mission statements, and moderation styles. … [Read more...]

Part 10 Pendulums and Plumb Lines – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. Like a swinging pendulum, when we exit a group, we can easily get caught up in the drama of life and created excitement, mistaking it for healthy living. (And keep in mind that as dynamic beings, we do swing out to extremes now and then, but we tend not to live in the extreme all of the time.) … [Read more...]

Part 8: Hypervigilance in the Wider World – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and used with permission from Under Much GraceHigh demand groups manage tension and pain which arise from natural and healthy disagreements and differences by forcing uniformity. Again, we come back to the fact of life that we human beings are very dynamic and diverse, something that a group purports to “correct” for the member, giving the illusion that they've resolved that healthy tension. Anyone who espouses beliefs that are different from the group are discounted or demonized which further galvanizes the control that they hold over a member. In doing so, they force and reinforce the idea that t … [Read more...]

Part 4 – The Map is Not the Territory: Adventures in Abiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images in the piece by Cindy Kunsman and used with permission. And the territory is definitely not the map.   This saying came from a scientist and philosopher named Alfred Korzybski who launched the study of how human understanding and the nervous system intersected, particularly concerning how language shapes our perceptions. He was a Polish-born Russian who served in World War I as an intelligence officer, but he became a citizen of the U.S. In 1940.The original phrase that Korzybski coined in 1933 illustrates the problem of mistaking an abstraction of something for the genuine article. Another wise f … [Read more...]

Positive Affirmations and Manifesting

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixLife has changed so much for me the last several months. I honestly am still pinching myself. I got myself out of a living situation that was not conducive to healing, as well as a location that was physically not the best for my health. I'm living in Florida now, which has been my dream for quite some time... I'm finally free of the cold NY and PA winters. I'm surrounded by a totally new set of people... no one in my life now knew me before, and no one from my past contacts me now except two sisters. There is a possibility that I can work again in the future, get my career back. My physical health has been coming back to me faster than I im … [Read more...]

Part 3 – Self-Regulation? What? How?: Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceEditor's note: Cindy has oodles of very cute cat and kitten graphics at her site to illustrate her points. You should take a look at them on her site!)How can I possibly know anything about emotional self-regulation? I was faced and am often still faced with the quandary of growing up without it, not really knowing that I lacked it, and then trying to figure out how to develop it. And though trauma therapy helped me make great strides to develop it, I still have my days...The process works out differently for everyone, and some people have less difficulty than others.  This represents what I experienced in my journey … [Read more...]

Part 2 – Emotional Self Regulation: Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceIn the previous post, we explored the problem created by the black and white thinking that was forced upon us in a high demand religious group. This is especially difficult if we grew up in an ideological group, because we likely didn't see anyone model moderation or another way of thinking. We end up adopting the strategy that if one thing is bad and unsafe, it's extreme opposite is likely the best safe alternative.High demand groups don't tolerate uniqueness, and they make the mistake of defining uniformity as a type of unity. They don't tolerate much of anything that falls outside whatever their group defines as … [Read more...]

Part 1 – Black and White Thinking After Exiting: Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceI spent much time studying chemistry, thinking about the Bohr Model of the Atom, and I was so fascinated by the periodic table.  I suppose that along with math, it seemed like one of the few consistent things in my life.  Language could be misinterpreted, but chemistry presented a fixed, definitive type of truth.  And I lacked that in my life.How can something be true and untrue at the same time? … [Read more...]

Open Thread: How Has Thanksgiving & Other Holidays Changed For You?

Yesterday it seemed like Facebook was filled with all sorts of tales of hostile Thanksgiving pasts and worries about how sideways the holiday could go due to the presence of fundamentalist Christian relatives or your loud uncle Larry that drinks a little bit and then proceeds to yell out his love for the most awful politicians ever. Turkey Day's filled with pumpkin pie and indigestion.Benjamin L. Corey has a very funny Formerly Fundy Bingo card up on his Facebook page that suits what some have to deal with from friends and relatives during the holidays. … [Read more...]

Leaving Before You Are Ready

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixHow easy is it to leave a cult? For me personally, the answer is "not very." I pay close attention to the stories of those who have left a religious cult. I admit I am a little envious of the females who made their escape from their family's cult by marrying a man who whisked them away from it all. I wish I had that ticket available back then. It wasn't available to me because I was terrified of men. I was especially afraid of Christian men because of the religious Christian monster my father was. And I was also scared of the so called secular, worldly men because linking up with them meant my life would be cursed with demons attacking me, an … [Read more...]


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