This is THE best article I’ve seen on identifying Spiritual Abuse. By Andrea Matthews via PsychologyToday.com:
Spiritual Abuse, and the hindrances it creates in my quest to be human, has been on my mind lately as I continue to journey towards a more authentic self.
Three times this past week, the same old messages of ‘you are wrong/bad to not see things as WE do. And since we have God, you must have something else….’ left my head-spinning.
Twice this last year, I have been unfairly called an abuser and one that sides with abusers. Why? Because I see the complexity of human relationships. Now, I see how I naturally put others on the defensive with my frankness and raw honesty. But abusive? Who, exactly, am I abusing by speaking to the complexity of the human relational dynamic?
This has been the theme of the past year of my life– do I listen to those whose own lives reveal they don’t ‘get it’ any better than I do? Or do I keep forging on towards this inner Voice of peace and love and mutuality?
Challenging my foundational beliefs about myself and the world around me has left me feeling tired and uncertain. Is all of this inner turmoil worth it?
I have faith that it is worth this struggle to find and enter in by the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14)
And I feel hope. More hope than I’ve ever experienced before.
If I am indeed a sympathizer with abusers, and an oppressor of the already oppressed (as I’ve been told), then how is it that my heart tells me I’m on the right path?
True victims of abuse rarely see themselves as being abused until someone else points it out to them in Therapy. True Survivors learn not to assume that every feeling experienced internally is indeed caused by the external something that triggered the negative feelings. And that’s smart. Because compassion and empathy, humility of thought, and a hesitancy to judge others are very much Christ-like attributes. And as long as we all strive to honor our own selves enough to not allow anyone to continue to treat us in ways that damage who we are inside, or deny the importance of bearing witness to our own human experience, there is no reason we cannot acknowledge the ways we have learned to accept abuse as the norm.
We are of worth.
Even when we are not all-knowing. Even when we allow others to lead us away from our true selves.
That’s who I want to be– The one that finds and knows her own power, wields it back from those that took it away; expects the same out of others, yet recognizes when the strength to do so is, in fact, lacking.
I’m struggling with the last part there. I still lack compassion for those that go out of their way to distort my words for their own purposes (For their own Victim Identities). Instead of reflecting the me I see in Christ. Are they abusers? Or are they just *ssh*les? ( again, can’t find a suitable alternative term. So, sorry)
I believe they are just *ssh*les. I have been known to act like an *ssh*le before. It’s far from being considered evil like the core abuse that occurred to me. Even if it feels the same. It’s not the same.
People are just *ssh*les sometimes. But I’m not going to respond in kind (even though I sooooo want to unleash the beast).
That is my freedom in Christ.
I can continue to be compassionate. Even when others claiming to follow Christ reveal themselves to be anything but compassionate.
Because people are just *ssh*les sometimes.