I am Healing from Religious Trauma

I am impatient. I have always been impatient even though most of the time I do not let others see this about me. Lately I have been feeling very impatient with my healing. I know this is not something that is going to happen overnight but dammit…why not? I get the whole thing about the journey being part of it but I am tired of being on this bus. I have been on this particular bus for over 2 years now… hold up…. If I really look at the situation closely I have been on this bus my entire life. It is just the last 2 years of this bus trip that have gotten really bad. Like the last leg of a trip back from New York City when you don’t even want to go into the bathroom because of how bad it is going to be in there. What I have experienced the past couple of years is healing that I have needed to do for many years. It was unfair of me to point the finger at one person who was really just a symbol of every single person who had hurt or abandoned me but I did not understand what was at the root of all this. I have had a break through in my life and have finally been able to figure out where my feelings of inadequacy, fear and abandonment come from. Yay! and OMFG… As you may know when we make these discoveries it is great and awful at the same time. My whole perspective of my life has shifted. I have had the most intense tower moment of my life and I am standing in the midst of the wreckage thinking about how I am going to clean this mess up. I am broken and jubilant at the same time. I am truly taking that first step like the fool in the tarot deck.

At this point you are probably thinking what the hell are you talking about? What is it that has influenced your whole life in such a way? I have been sharing little glimpses of it on my Facebook and with close friends but I have decided it is time for me to just let it all out. As a child I was indoctrinated with the idea that I was born a worthless human being. I was told that the only way I would ever be able to pay for the terrible sin of even being born would be to follow a God who killed his own son because of me. I was told if I did not do this, if I was not good enough that I would burn in hell for eternity. I was told that I could not be sexual and that as a woman I was to blame for the sins of the men around me. I was told that I needed to keep quiet and only ask my husband about things in the bible. I was told that everyone I loved who was not of my religion was going to burn in hell. I was told that God was coming back and when he did that so much blood would be shed that it would reach the bridles of a horse. Yeah, that is a thing… WTF???? I really feel this is a form of child abuse. I have been reading about Religious Trauma Syndrome and I know now where the roots of my PTSD come from. I was taught to bow my head to and be afraid of a God that has a description like an abusive husband. The fact that I was able to break away from these perverse teachings years ago and follow a different path is amazing. So many people stay trapped in that way of thinking and let me tell you…. they think they are absolutely right without a shadow of a doubt and anyone else is completely wrong.

I have been told the following by those in my family and that I grew up with since I left Christianity. 1. You are misleading young people who are going to go to hell because of you. 2. You just need to come back to church and then everything in your life will be OK. 3. If you do not come back to Jesus he may strike you with Cancer, take your children or take everything from you to humble you. 4. You are not having mental illness issues you are just demon possessed. 5. One day you will wake up and everyone you love will have been taken in the rapture and you will be left here begging for rocks to fall on you so you can die. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Even typing all that makes me feel anxious and sick at my stomach. When I have confronted them with how crazy this is they just smile and give me some bullshit about how their god is a loving god and it is my choice whether I accept that love otherwise I am the one choosing the punishment. Uh…. you mean like when a woman is being beat it is her fault because she didn’t just do what he said? Or the woman who was murdered by her bf or husband was murdered because she did not obey him? WTF people….OMG how can people believe this shit? Well, at one time I did because I was raised in it and I was not taught to think critically. In fact I was taught that anything outside of those teachings were of the devil and not to be trusted. How did this happen?

As a child I learned bible verses, went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, went to vacation bible school, went to youth group and got lectured at home by my mother on a regular basis about how if I did not behave “the old devil is going to come right up out of the ground and get you.” I was brainwashed and terrified. This is how it starts. I stand my ground when I say that I feel this is child abuse. You are terrifying a child in order to keep them following the path of a religion that when you look closely at it makes absolutely no sense. So what now? I have been listening to people who have gone through major healing in this area. I am reading books and and I am going to be writing more about my healing here. As a woman who has become empowered and a spiritual leader in the pagan community I want to say that I know there are many people in our community like me. We can help each other. It is time to pull the boogie man with the bible out from under the bed of our childhood and run that mother fucker off.

I need you to know that this has been hard for me. I love my family and friends. I do not want to hurt them however, I have to speak the truth about what has happened to me. I have to speak up for those who are still being indoctrinated. I am sure I will suffer some backlash over this but I will stand firm. I am also going to heal from this. This is why I have had issues with relationships all my life. It is why I have had trust issues. Now that I have found the root…it is time to start digging it out. My time on the bus is not over yet but at least I can see the bus stop now.

If you feel you have similar issues I would like to recommend a couple of books and YouTube videos you can refer to.

This book is good for those leaving or who have already left. Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Fold-Marlene-Winell/dp/1933993235?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173232417&sr=1-1

This book was the beginning of my eyes being opened to the issues I was dealing with. You Are Your Own: A Reckoning with the Religious Trauma of Evangelical Christianity by Jamie Lee Finch https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/107524630X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

An interesting article about fundamentalists who have left. https://broadview.org/former-fundamentalists-describe-the-trauma-of-leaving-their-faith/