You Are Beautiful

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am Phoenix(Editor's note: Not precisely related to QF or religion but something important to remember in recovery. So many of us coming out of high demand religions have such a down negative view of ourselves that it's worthwhile to sometimes stop an realize we are all beautiful. It's a message that can never be repeated too often. We need to keep hearing this message as we recover.)Can you really fully experience being you if you never get outside of yourself?Do you really know who you are if you've never experienced yourself through the eyes of others? … [Read more...]

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe are approaching our second anniversary of being told that we were not to return to the church.  Whenever I think about that day (which isn’t often), I remember calling my (former) friend, whom I will call “Martha,” and telling her, “We are going to lose all of our friends.”“No, you won’t!” she insisted.  “There are lots of people who love you and they aren’t going to abandon you.” … [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...]

Shame Based and Immature Parenting Creates Victims of Circumstance and Dependency on Self (External Locus of Control)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceOriginally published January 2012. This is part of a series on Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the “Roots of Victimization” All images originals from Under Much More Grace.We've now considered the two primary ways that a damaged or immature parent takes from their child (unloading shame and by siphoning back nurture) which we understand results from a parent's disrespect for the child's characteristics (and needs). With that background, we can now better understand how adults, both parents and grown children, cope with the sense of emptiness that they face. … [Read more...]

The Upper Hand

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI just have to say I had the best time yesterday!  I and my family went to an auction.  One of our former church’s plants has bought an old building in the town where I teach and they were selling off old (and I mean OLD) doors, windows, cabinets, trim, etc.Now, you have to understand that my husband and I were repurposing long before repurposing was cool.  We live in a 103-year-old prairie-mission style home on an acre in the middle of mid-west farmland.  We completely returned our home to it’s original style (it had been “updated” back in the 70’s) using old trim and doors from the local city hall when they renovated, as well as v … [Read more...]

How Dysfunctional Parents Siphon Resources Back from a Child, Depriving them of Healthy Self-Development

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceOriginally published January 2012. This is part of a series on Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the “Roots of Victimization” All images originals from Under Much More Grace. In the previous post, we discussed how children lack internal resources which the parent provides to them so that they can develop their own sense of self, internal peace and what many authors describe as a sense of abundance. … [Read more...]

On ‘Different’ Churches: You’re Actually Not

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Samantha P Field.ComA little while ago I reached out to my followers on Twitter to ask if they’d stopped attending church and why. I was flooded with replies over the next few days, and many of the answers I received were heart-shattering. In the midst of that conversation, the Twitter account for Highlands Fellowship church jumped in, inviting me and another woman to their church because they were “different,” and linking both of us to a promotional video. … [Read more...]

Do Tell!

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI receive many messages thanking me for sharing my story of spiritual abuse via this blog.  People ask if they may use what I have written in their book project, as part of a spiritual abuse presentation or seminar.  People applaud my “courage” and often express their personal fear that, were they to tell their own story, they would suffer serious consequences.The desire to tell their story is framed in several ways.  Some know that telling will help them to heal.  Some want to warn others, or, at the very least, open the eyes of those who cannot see.  They hope that by telling, their friends, family members, church comrades, even … [Read more...]

Not Quoting Quiverfull: Hanging Onto Your Faith After Leaving

by Jennifer C. Martin from the Patheos blog Unfundamentalist Christian and Jezebel.com - How Sexism in the Church Almost Ruined My LifeChurches that devalue women are contributing to the breakdown of religious faith in this country at large. If you tell a young girl that her voice doesn’t count in the house of God, why would she want to go there? If you tell a woman she can’t lead a congregation when her gift is public speaking, how could she believe that she has a purpose with that deity? And if a religious leader tells a man that he’s supposed to control his wife by being the “head of the household,” how can you be surprised when that same wife begins to resent her secondary place? … [Read more...]

Fear Factor

by Ellen cross posted from When Church HurtsMy friend, Rebekah Gilbert, has written a great blog post about Fear.  Her thoughts turned on a light bulb in my head because I realized just how true her words are.  You see, the spiritual abuse that was meted out to me had one purpose only:  to create fear in my heart and in my life.Perhaps the perpetrators’ ultimate goal was to get me to leave, but they did this in such a way that over the decade-plus years of spiritual abuse, I became terrorized.  And, just as my friend, Rebekah, realized, once I began to stand up to my abusers, the fear that they had placed on me returned to them.  Such great fear that their only recourse was to ban me … [Read more...]


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