Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network is a project of Vyckie Garrison and the guest writers at No Longer Quivering.

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No Longer Quivering – Vyckie Garrison

Every Breaking Wave – Suzanne Titkemeyer

Under Much Grace and Redeeming Dinah – Cindy Kunsman

The Phoenix and the Olive Branch – Sierra

Wordgazer’s Words – Kristen Rosser

Incongruous Circumspection – Joe Sands

Baptist Taliban and Beyond – Cindy Foster

Mari’s Muses – Mari

Past Tense Present Progressive – Latebloomer

Hopewell Takes on Life!

The Life and Times of Bruce Genercser – Bruce Gerencser

Becoming WorldlyHeather Doney


I Am Phoenix – AJ

Wide Open World – Lana Hope

Feminist in Spite of Them – Sarah Henderson

Leaving Fundamentalism – Jonny Scaramanga

Love is Not Equal to Love – Mere Dreamer

The Talking Llama -Boze Herrington

The Lost (And Found) Mind of Kaleesha Williams – Kaleesha Williams

Living Liminal – Living Liminal

A Heart Like Mine – Nora Woodhouse

When Church Hurts – Ellen

What Really Happened In The Church and Life After The Diocese – HG

Quiver Full of Information

Rethinking Vision Forum



  • http://brucegerencser.net Bruce Gerencser

    Here is a guy that takes exception to our network. http://rabbiphilosopher.blogspot.com/2012/06/upset-christian-bloggers.html Show him some love. :)

  • k.

    Does anyone know of blogs or groups of former Christian Scientists? The only one I have found is a group that have “found Jesus” and gone all evangelical. I’ve left CS and have found agnosticism (and feel better for my choice).

  • Elizabeth

    I don’t know about CS, but you might want to look into an Unitarian Universalist church. You can be Christian, Jewish Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, anyone and everyone is welcome.

  • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com krwordgazer

    I wanted to mention that my blog post “Don’t Talk About It,” which relates a simple experience of my own to the Schaap scandal (in terms of how ministers are shielded by silence), seems to have pretty much gone viral. . .


  • texcee

    I want to ask a question of everyone here, if I may. My question is … am I a victim of spiritual abuse? I was raised in a devoutly Southern Baptist home. My father was a deacon, my mother worked in the church nursery, my brother and I attended every church-related activity there was. My father was fairly passive, but my mother was critical, demanding, and judgmental, especially toward me. Everything was a sin and everyone outside our immediate family were uniformly labled “bad”. Growing up, we weren’t allowed games with cards or dice (gambling), our strongest approved explitive was “wow” because others were taking the Lord’s name in vain, we weren’t allowed to socialize with our peers (see aforementioned “bad”), we weren’t allowed to attend parties unless it was a church affair. Of course, smoking, drinking, dancing, or anything whatsoever to do with sex would send you straight to hell. Discipline was enforced with a belt or, if my dad got involved, with a razor strap. Parents were to be absolutely obeyed and children were to be silent and “honor our father and mother”. I was naturally rebellious so I got punished a lot. I can remember my father chasing me around the yard with a belt in his hand, intending to beat me once he caught me (he didn’t). My mother would frequently threatened to take me to “see the preacher” if I didn’t straighten up. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, but that didn’t matter because I was so weird and goody-goody that no one would look my way. I never missed church and have pins to prove that I went for 11 years without missing a single Sunday school class in all that time. I rebelled once I was in college and marginally out from under my parents’ mantle, but it took me years and years before I began to realize how emotionally abused I was by my mother. She died at 92 and never stopped trying to get me to start going back to church again, because she absolutely equated religion/church with going to heaven and she believed that I had rejected God and was going to hell. I’m an agnostic now, but still hear her voice in my head, chastizing me for something and threatening me with eternal damnation. Is this spiritual abuse as well as emotional abuse? I’d like honest opinions! Thanks!

  • Chxlive

    Yes, my dear, you were most definitely spiritually abused – and physically abused as well. They beat you into submission and twisted your psyche. To be forced into one narrow religious mold like that under such unpleasant and coercive conditions will certainly stunt your ability to experience the transcendent! I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with the work of Alice Miller, a pioneer in child psychology – and a too-rare defender of children. Perhaps this interview would be a good place to start: http://www.alice-miller.com/interviews_en.php?page=4 I recommend all the interviews and articles (top bar at the site), and I wish you all the best. If a religion must be forcibly installed via threats and beatings, it’s nothing more than control in a halo.

  • texcee

    Thanks. I have to ask occasionally because I constantly see my mother’s glaring frown (her habitual expression where I was concerned) and hear her telling me to stop being a whiny baby. She was very proud of my “raising” and was not hesitant to pat herself on the back as to how well she brought me up. She was the master of the guilt trip, too, and in her declining years she would often tell me, “You’ll miss me when I’m gone!” I’d always mentally reply, “Not as much as you think I will.”

  • texcee

    When it became clear last year that my mother was on her final decline and only had a few months to live, I began to attempt to exorcise the anger I had harbored for decades. I began writing a book to myself about my upbringing and may begin a blog and post what I’ve written. I have struggled with depression since adolescence (I’m now almost 60) and have occasionally sunk so deep that I have contemplated suicide. Twice I was pulled back from slitting my wrists by the more sensible part of my brain and realized that I needed psychological help. Twice I have sought that help and managed to get my head screwed back on straight. The last time, I began some really hard introspection to try to find the root of my various demons. Most of them uncovered the same source — my mother. I realized that since my earliest memories she had emotionally abused me, leaving me with extremely low self-esteem, a self-image of being fat, ugly, stupid and useless, and never, ever, ever living up to her expectations of what I was supposed to be. I’m frankly amazed that I’m not on drugs, in a looney bin, or in the graveyard by now. My salvation lies in the fact that I’m extremely smart, intellectually, and that I’m also strong and stubborn as a Missouri mule. No matter how many times she figuratively knocked me down, I would get right back up in defiance and show her that she couldn’t defeat me. Of course, that meant that I had a bad attitude in her eyes and was not properly “respecting” her. I doubt the thought never crossed her mind that she was disrepecting ME. I’ll write some more later, because I’m so glad to have found this site! I hope I don’t bore you all.

  • texcee

    The home I grew up in was devoutly Southern Baptist. We believed that we were the pinnacle of Christianity and every other persuasion was flawed and less worthy than we were. We looked down on the Methodists and Presbyterians because they allowed drinking and dancing. There were some Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Church of Christ in our town, but not enough to matter. The less said about the Catholics, the better. And every other fundamentalist sect were lumped under the label of “holy roller”. They spoke in tongues and that was absolutely taboo. No, we were the best, the purest, the closest to God. Furthermore, my immediate family — Dad, Mom, Brother and me — were the best Southern Baptists there were, with only the preacher and the music leader higher on the ladder. My dad was a deacon and he was considered the Perfect Christian. I was told many times during my life, by church acquaintances, townspeople, and relatives, that my father was “the best Christian I’ve ever known.” He didn’t smoke, drink, cuss, chew, run around, dance, gamble, or have any vices whatsoever. Pretty much all he did was go to work and go to church. He was the shining example that we were supposed to emulate. I tried. I honestly tried, for a considerable chunk of my life. But, of course, I never did live up to that level of perfection, and my mother never let me forget it. It wasn’t until I was in my 50’s and in therapy that I finally came to the conclusion that it was all a crock of sh*t.

  • texcee

    My mother was pretty much a religious fanatic. She raised me with the viewpoint that everything was a sin and I was guilty of commiting all of them. She never trusted me, although I truly never gave her any cause to do so. I was a good kid, a good student, faithful in church, and tried to please her. Yeah, I was hard-headed and a bit rebellious (still am), but no more so than any other kid. We didn’t have an especially patriarchal family because my dad pretty much ignored my brother and me. He was very passive-aggressive and if Mom tried to start a fight, he’d just walk out. I don’t mean he’d leave her, but he’d walk out the door, get in his truck and drive off for several hours. She took her anger out on me, but that’s another post altogether. This one is meant to be about spiritual abuse. Mom’s primary solution to everything was church. She took my brother and me to church everytime the door was open — Sunday morning and evening worship services, Sunday school, Sunday evening bible study, Wednesday night prayer meeting, every revival that came along, even though they were held on school nights. I was in children’s choir and later adult choir. I attended GA’s (Girl’s Auxiliary, the Southern Baptist missionary training for girls). I was made to attend Vacation Bible School until I was 12, when all my peers stopped at 7 or 8. My mom seemed to feel that the more church, the less I would be affected by the sin all around me. If I was “bad”, one of her standard threats was to “take me to talk to the preacher”, with the threat of eternal damnation hanging over my head. I don’t recall that it was ever carried through, but it was always there. Another of her primary control tactics was that I was not allowed to interact with my peers outside of school or church. This was because all the other kids were BAD, meaning that they didn’t measure up to her stringent standards of Christian perfection. Being Baptists, dancing was one of the most heinous sins there was, thus I was not allowed to attend any parties outside of church fellowship, the occasional exception being a children’s birthday party. I can remember attending exactly one boy-girl party in high school and I left early because I was so uncomfortable. There was no drinking, drugs, dancing, smoking, etc. It was just kids in my high school class yakking, drinking Cokes and listening to music, but I didn’t know how to interact socially with them, even though I’d known many of them since we were all 6 years old. (Small town, small school.) And that’s the lasting legacy from all that religious isolation that irks me the most. I am now almost 60 and I still am incredibly awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. I never learned to be around people doing things that my mother drummed into me was BAD. The annual office Christmas party is torture for me. Emotional and spiritual abuse is damaging one’s interaction with others to the point that the victim becomes dysfunctional in normal social situations. I hate my mother for that, even though she thought she was protecting me from the world and keeping me pure. I’ve made certain NOT to raise my daughter the same way!

  • http://www.pasttensepresentprogressive.blogspot.com Latebloomer

    Thanks for sharing about your experiences….I can really relate to the part about feeling awkward and uncomfortable in many social situations, often thanks to the disapproving voice of my mom in my head. You should definitely start a blog to share your stories! I’m sure that others will be able to relate as well, maybe people who haven’t gotten through their low points yet…

  • http://butterflysmemoirs.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    I am a young Quiverfull Daughter. I was wondering if there was any way I could get some assistance from you awesome people.
    My blog was the Defrauded Daughter blog that got talked up a lot (so much so that my dad found it and that is a bad story) back in early 2010.
    I have a scholarship that I am trying to get and it involves people voting for my Essay.
    Would any of you big bloggers be willing to post about it?

    I looked for an email button or direct contact link, but could not find anything.
    Sorry if this is in a bad spot.

  • suzannecalulu

    Jennifer the best way for you to connect with our community and receive help and guidance is by joining our Facebook support group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/375549845838223/ – you have to apply for membership but I will go ahead and approve you after you click that you want to join.

  • http://afterbefore.jimdo.com/ Marija

    Hey there :) I am a big fan of your blog posts and your blog. One could say that I started my own blog because I saw so many cool stuff on your blog 😀 So I just wanted to leave my link here and tell you that if you want a link on my blog I would be more then happy to write a few words abotu you and link back to you :) Love your work!


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