Friday, February 8, 2008

Spiritual Abuse - Another Heartbreaking Story

Yesterday, after I had posted about it being 9 months and still reeling from the sadness that engulfed me, I googled spiritual abuse in the Blog section of Google. Somehow I came accross a story that broke my heart, encouraged me, and somehow strengthened me. Maybe misery really does love company ;)

A man and his wife in Australia are finding their way out of a horribly destructive charismatic authoritarian cult. He writes poignantly about his life over the past year. Husband and I spent the evening reading and crying along. The words on the page - while what we went through was mild in comparison - jumped out at us and resonated in us. This man knew how we felt and we, in a small way, could relate to how he described his feelings.

I encourage you who are climbing out of a hole of being beat up in the church to read their story and hang around them and love on them as you have me. You can find it at http://weescapedacult.blogspot.com/

How I wish that all of you were in one place where we could put together a retreat center - free of charge- to just let people come and be with us and heal up a bit in a place where others speak the same language of grace and understanding. Cyber will have to do for now.

7 comments:

Elle said...

Barb,
You wrote: "How I wish that all of you were in one place where we could put together a retreat center - free of charge- to just let people come and be with us and heal up a bit in a place where others speak the same language of grace and understanding. Cyber will have to do for now."

I cannot even begin to tell you how that resonates with me. My husband and I have talked for years about wanting to be at the place where we could have people come and stay with us--people who were so badly beat up by their experiences in the church, as we were. A place where it was "safe" to say anything with no judgment. A place where when you cry in pain, we will be right there with you crying along. A place of healing and restoration.

Neither of us is emotionally healed enough yet to be able to do this (though we've come a long way, baby!), but I do hope the day is coming as we continue to walk through the healing process.

Thanks so much for writing this. It makes me sad that it is needed and also hopeful that the day will come when places like you describe will be available to any and all who need it.

You are a wilderness sister, for sure!

Elle

Mike said...

Barb, I second that. Living 3 miles away from a major North-South corridor I have thought how nice it would be to have folks stop in to sit on the porch for awhile.

Don't know if that will ever be possible, but even if the web is less than what we long for, it's more than we ever had before.

For me it has been a lifeline to people like you.

Barb said...

Elle and Mike, if husband wins the lottery this weekend I'll offer you a nice paying job to help me run it :)

Mike, it truly has been a lifeline. I'm not sure what I would have done even 10 years ago. You are so right in that it is less than we long for but more than we ever had before.

Anonymous said...

I have read through some of your blog posts and continue to be amazed at the similarities between all cults, high-demand groups, and spiritually abusive "churches." It has been 7 years since my husband and I left a Bible-based cult and we are still recovering.

I wrote a book about our experience. The title, I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult, says it all.

Another sister,
Wendy

Barb said...

Wendy, I actually found your website just yesterday. I have so many questions for you. Mostly since your husband is in the professional counseling field I am wondering how and where to get help for my daughter here where we live. I think I will email you personally off your website. Thanks for commenting.

Dave said...

I love your blog, Barb. To paraphrase talk radio, Long-time reader, first-time commenter...

You said, "I wish...we could put together a retreat center - free of charge- to just let people come and be with us and heal up a bit in a place where others speak the same language of grace and understanding."

Ironically, that sounds like what the church is supposed to be.

Barb said...

Dave,
You are so right. How could I have missed that which is so obvious? I just haven't seen it yet.
And welcome. With insight like this you are always welcome to comment.