Last week, I went to a memorial service in Portland and met someone I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time, Brad Sargent.
As long-time readers know, Brad has been a great help to me during my defamation lawsuit and on the blog for quite some time. Brad spent hundreds of hours writing the BGBC archives because he thought my lawsuit was going to be another way that spiritual abusers would use to harm congregants. He’s been correct. Since then, I’ve reported on other lawsuits or threatened lawsuits initiated by pastors against their congregants or former congregants. The archives have been a help for those congregants who are looking for information, want to know what could happen to them, etc. Most importantly, it lets those folks know that they are not alone, that someone else has walked that path, and no, they aren’t going crazy.
Brad has been studying abuse-related topics for decades and is in the process of writing a book and manual on systemic abuse. So, not only has he been a support to my case specifically, he has also been teaching me as we discuss other cases I’m working on. And he also looks over important posts that I think will generate a lot of interest and proofreads them for me.
Most importantly, Brad is a dear friend. I think the best support one can get for spiritual abuse is the comfort and affirmation from someone who also has experienced it. Brad gets it and has heard my tears. I hear a lot of stories, some of which can trigger what I’ve gone through or am currently going through. Brad is one of my sounding boards. So, after spending countless hours in e-mails and phone calls with him, you can see why I wanted to meet Brad.
I can attest that Brad is the real deal online and in person. Here I am surprise attacking him with a selfie🙂
On this trip to Portland, I also connected with Kathi again. We’ve met a few times – my favorite was when she invited herself to stay with me in Eastern WA (I loved that she invited herself, btw!!!). I specifically wanted Kathi to have an opportunity to meet Brad, too, since we all work together in the same effort, so she was able to get off work early and drive in yucky Portland traffic to meet.
I tell you what, I didn’t seek people to help me out, they just kind of landed here and became part of the team, and I feel so fortunate to have these amazing people in my life. These two have tremendous hearts for hurting individuals. Not only are they great friends, but they are both self-motivated. When they see a need, they take the initiative to meet it — and I’m not just talking about the stuff you see visibly on the blog, but also behind the scenes, which also takes a lot of time. Kathi could be knitting, her favorite hobby, but she spends time giving to others. The same goes for Brad — well, I’m not sure about the knitting part, but you know . . these people are the real deal.
If any of you follow us on the Facebook page, I’m sure you’ve seen Kathi and I go back and forth with each other, many times joking. That’s how we do it. We have a lot of fun even while dealing with difficult and often tragic abuse cases.
Kathi and I decided to do a live Facebook video to share what our plans are for what’s left of the summer. Let’s see if I can embed the video here. Here is a glimpse of what we have in the works and also what we are like when we talk together. It cracks me up. I love us.
Last week, you may have noticed there were no posts. Part of that was summer busy-ness – taking kids to music camp. Another time drainer is that we had a flood in our kitchen in July, so any kind of cooking is now camp style. And I’ve had to spend time picking out flooring, counters, paints, appliances (since we’re doing so many upgrades), carpet, tile, yada yada. Holy cow – that takes a lot of time!
Additionally, there were doctors appointments and lab work done. I think I will make a new post for that. No worries. I’ll be fine. I think I’ll hit two birds with one stone in my next post, and you’ll see what I mean.