Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Karen's story

From time to time, I'll be posting with the author's permission emails or private messages that I've received. Some of these people have shared their story with me and I feel that others can relate to what they've written and would be encouraged to read about their experiences.

My friend, Karen, has been a victim of spiritual abuse and is still working through the process of healing. As part of this processing, she recently sent me several lengthy messages expressing her thoughts. She has graciously agreed to allow me to post excerpts from her story. Because of the length of the messages, I'll be sharing her thoughts in two separate postings.

Since spiritual abuse can appear in many forms, I know many of you will be able to relate to her experiences. Her story is important and by sharing it here, I hope many of you will be encouraged as you continue your journey to wholeness.

Thank you, Karen, for letting me share your story. Here are excerpts from the messages she sent me:

"To begin with, no spirituality can be healthy if it spawns a dysfunctional subculture.

Are certain personality types drawn to this sort of thing? Are people so threatened that they have to build a rigid structure around them so they can feel secure?

It struck me that their whole view of reality was almost like a fantasy role playing game.

A performance trap, but with the additional poison of the Garden of Eden temptation: “You shall be as God”--and people grasped at personal power and a sense of significance that they lacked in their daily lives. What I really found weird was traveling with these people to a conference: we were in the car for a few hours, but nobody talked! The p&w music played and everyone was having their special god time, and that couldn’t be interrupted. Even on the way home, nobody wanted to talk about what they experienced or heard at the conference. This is true in the Church services too…. It was just individuals seeking their touch from God, no sense of corporate interaction. It occurred to me that these were all God addicts trying to get their next “hit” of the warm fuzzies and were willing to do what it took to “get the anointing” or get high on Jesus. And the sharp demarcation between the spiritual and physical world ensured that mundane existence didn’t have anything to do with God, unless there were some “divine appointments” in which you could escape for a while into that “other world.”


mellow roc said...

Hello Ida, I discovered your blog via robbins and plan to come back again. Your topic Spiritual abuse is of interest, and we are somewhat similar in being introverted and participating in on line groups. I would say a lot of bullying seems to go around, and think that some things we call abuse may in actuality be better termed as being bullied. My intent is in no means to discount what you said but to suggest a little wider parameter if you will. Forgetting some of the former on line things I used to be interested in are my goal for this year with God's help. Hope you intend to continue blogging and will be back in the near future, thanks.

Aida said...

Hi mellow roc. I’m glad you stopped by and I appreciate you taking the time to post a comment.

I think you’re right. Bullying is probably a better term for the type of abuse we see happening on online groups since it’s really only one aspect of spiritual abuse. Although intimidation is a part of online bullying, it doesn’t have the mind control aspects that are prevalent in spiritually abusive groups. Thanks for clarifying what I was trying to say.

I’m looking forward to the new year and I expect that for me blogging will be a very important part of it. I enjoy it too much to give it up. I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog and what I have to say.