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...]

A Watershed Moment in Stage One of Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission The message in this meme from The Mighty website speaks so well about how trauma pervades one's life, feelings, and sense of self. I found it to be essential to my own healing, and I often wonder why no one had said this to me much earlier. I'd been to counselors many times before, worked at my recovery, and read about everything I could find. Why didn't someone tell me this during one of my first few visits? … [Read more...]

Balancing Hope and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace and part of her series on healing.All images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. During the last year in a spiritually abusive Shepherding-Discipleship church, I developed all sorts of allergies, partly because of how my body voiced what I could not through new, more intense illness, and partly because of the general hard toll that trauma took on my immune system. Two physicians recommended that I see a hypnotherapist, but I didn't feel comfortable with the idea. … [Read more...]

Desire for and Illusions of Safety in Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission.The previous post listed many factors that increase our vulnerability to people who are not safe for us, but what is probably more difficult is that subconscious impulse to gravitate to people who are unsafe. This comes from a complicated mix of many things, most of which are based on feeling in addition to our lack of good experience with healthy people who could have modeled better relationship skills for us. We end up figuring much of this out through trial and error. … [Read more...]

Trusting a Therapist in Stage One of Healing

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission My husband and I once took in a few feral kittens. He says that it took three years before they would let him touch them. I saw this meme today and thought of the good therapists and the not so good ones that I've seen. It is no easy job to develop trust with a feral cat, and in many ways, I think that traumatized people have much in common with them.  We have forgotten how to trust, and we need someone with great patience to help us remember and learn if we ever knew how to have healthy trust to being with. … [Read more...]

“If You Don’t Limp” – (Another Trauma Trap)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace as part of her series on traumaAll images either from NLQ or by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission Post Traumatic Stress Disorder causes several different changes in the way that the brain works, most notably, the hyperactivity in the anxiety centers in the brain. As noted in a previous post, the area of the brain that is responsible for acknowledging that something applies to the self also shuts down to a great extent. It allows for a sense of distance from the pain of trauma to help preserve a person's function when under threat, but when it fails to shut off when the threat has passed, it creates a … [Read more...]

The Tommy Trauma Trap and Survivor Wars

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAs always images by Cindy Kunsman of Under Much Grace used with permission A few weeks ago, Dwayne Walker graciously allowed me to post his views on what he calls the “survivor wars” among those who protest the abuses of the Independent Fundamental Baptists. Sadly, I see the same kind of vying for the alpha survivor status among many bloggers who write about spiritual abuse within the Patriarchy/Homeschooling/Quiverfull Movement. (Dwayne addresses the conflicts among former Independent Fundamental Baptists, abbreviated IFB.) … [Read more...]

The Most Blaring Contradiction of Them All

by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding Fundamental Recently, I read a poignantly and transparently written post at ‘Stuff Fundies Like’ titled “Pining for the Leeks and Garlic”.  Anyone with knowledge of the Old Testament accounts of Moses and the Children of Israel’s 40 year wilderness journey will immediately recognize the title’s significance.   I’ve followed SFL for quite some time finding the irreverent sarcasm to be perfectly refreshing for those times when I need to laugh at the stupid stuff.  But this one took me back to an emotional place I hadn’t visited in a go Recently od, long while.  … [Read more...]

A Model of Self – Retracing My History and Healing

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman used with permission from Under Much GraceAs part of my own pendulum swing of life extremes, I ended up in Quiverfull (QF) as an adult, though I never experienced the fullness of it. As Julie Anne Smith said to me recently, I didn't suffer the same kind of abuse as QF moms or their children, but I was also a victim of the system's cruelty. On top of my own natural grief and despite the experience of a degree of rejection by both peer groups of QF moms and their homeschooled kids, I did suffer my own heartache. … [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...]


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