Great Blog Post on Recovering from Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse is Invisible Trauma

I don't write about spiritual abuse nearly as often as I once did. I think that's a positive sign indicating the status of my own spiritual and emotional healing. It's not a subject I give a tremendous amount of thought to; nor do I spend nearly the amount of time reflecting on my past or obsessing about how people from my past feel about me these days. There was a time (not that long ago, in fact) when I wondered if I would ever be able to put it all behind me and live fully in the present. But it has happened. Today, I have little more than a passing interest in the current "goings-on" of the group I came out of. And although there are people from my past whom I will always love, I don't need them to love, approve of, or understand me anymore.

That is a level of freedom I could only dream of a few years ago.

I share this for the benefit of anyone reading my blog (or my book) as a result of an online search on the topic of spiritual abuse recovery. I am living proof that you CAN heal and not be stuck endlessly in the hurt, disillusionment, anger and bitterness. It takes time. And it takes help. You need support and encouragement from others you can relate to. But you do not have to feel damaged forever. And since I am a person who has not only survived this experience, but has thrived spiritually and emotionally since leaving it all behind, I always want to be a source of encouragement to others whose wounds are fresher than mine. That is why I wanted to share the above link.

God is doing new things in my life at this very moment. Things I never dreamed of Him doing. I don't know what all is next in my life's journey. But I believe the last eight years have prepared me for whatever God has planned. I'm not a very adventurous person. And I don't like change. But I have learned from experience that while getting outside my comfort zone is only temporarily uncomfortable, it always facilitates and promotes growth.

Even though I'm a long way down the road in my own healing from spiritual and emotional abuse, I still related to the above article regarding the trauma inflicted by those who damage us spiritually and emotionally on such deep and vulnerable levels. I was a victim of emotional, verbal and sporadic physical abuse in the past -- as well as the spiritual abuse I detailed in my book. I didn't scratch the surface of the other abuses that left their marks on me as a woman. And I never will write in depth about any of that. But I am someone who strongly relates to abused people and no matter how complete my healing becomes, I always will.

Comments

everyoung said…
Dearest Shari, I have never been as "free in the spirit" as I am today. I feel all chains are off. I , like you, do not need or care for anyone's approval, except God's. It is a wonderful sense of weightlessness and freedom that cannot be expressed by humanly words. I feel closer to God now, than I ever have. God has restoreth my soul and renewed my strength. I had a recent encounter at a funeral of someone. A person was there who, in his mind, carried Christian authority. As he walked down the aisle greeting people, he turned and walked sideways so his back was toward me for two rows. I laughed to myself. I thought " If you only knew how you looked doing the shuffle at a funeral in order not to have to say something to me." In order to do this, he ignored people from his own assembly and visitors from another church. God saw it and God saw his heart. I am fine with it, very fine. There would have been a time in my life a few years back I would have taken offence, but not now. Other people have been openly rude, but I think it a sad testimony of their growth. I sincerely feel sorry for them, people held captive and do not even know it. I love you and I am so happy that we are both happy, free, and getting unoffendable. God will continue to use you in a mighty way. You are special to him, we all are, and he lets us know and feel his love continuously.
Shari said…
I am just now reading this comment. Thank you for these words. I wrote this blog post Sunday morning, hours before I found out that my son's father had suddenly died.

I will be attending a memorial service for him Friday. I don't know who will be there, how warm or cool they may be, or how I will feel in that setting. I anticipate there could be some awkwardness. But I'm not dreading it. I hope and pray it will be an opportunity for healing. But I know I can handle whatever comes. I hope the extended family members know how much I have always loved them and that I still think of them as family. I did the best I could do in my circumstances. I tried my best to have peace in my relationship with my son's father. When I handed him a copy of my book (he requested a signed copy), I told him that it was not in my heart to hurt him and tried to write as little as possible about my marriage to him. He said, "I know you. I know it's not in your heart to hurt anyone. Don't worry about that." And he thanked me for the gift.

Dennis is someone I have known since I was 15 years old. I was married to him for 27 years. And I have not been his wife for the last 9 years. But he is my son's dad. And that made him a family member for life.

Dennis never found peace in life. I believe he finally knows peace now. He was a man who never believed he was truly loved no matter how hard the people around him tried to love him and tried to prove they loved him. He would literally push you away hard if he thought there was any chance you would ever discard him. I think that is probably the greatest sadness I feel right now. I doubt he ever comprehended the level of frustration felt by people who did love him, but could never prove that to him in a way that convinced HIM. But something my son said to me on the phone Sunday has stuck with me.

"Mom, he gets it now."

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