Biblical Counseling: Is it Always Safe? – And Pastoral Response to Abuse Survivor

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.

Matt. 5:3-4

Today I stumbled across a disturbing article at One Lost Child blog.  Blogger Cathy raises concerns regarding the care  women will receive at Freedom Home for Women under Dr. Jim Berg, Executive Director. The article can be found here:   Run! You’ll Find Bondage At “Freedom Home!”

The Freedom Home for Women is a facility using “Biblical counseling” in treating their clients.

 

Below is a brief 1-minute video about the counseling program at Freedom Home.   While watching the video, think about abuse victims:  it was not their sin that caused them to be abused.  Abuser sinned against innocent victims.   The premise of Biblical counseling is sin and addressing the personal sin in one’s life.

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Let’s take a closer look at the core of Biblical counseling:

A proper view of the psychology of Man acknowledges that humanity’s greatest ill is sin. The active sinful desires that emanate from the human heart serve always to move individuals away from God. The hostile, deceptive agenda of such desires promote destruction and corruption within the heart and life of Man. Biblical counsel points counselees to the Active Redeemer that they through Him might effectively confront and crucify the flesh. Romans 7:14-23, Galatians 5:19-21, Galatians 6:7-8, Ephesians 4:22-23 (Source)

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Here is another explanation of how Biblical counseling is used in dealing with behavioral problems:

Biblical counseling recognizes that man is responsible for his own behaviors and that guilt is “real” as a result of sin. It also recognizes that man’s problems result from him being a fallen sinner by choice and being drawn away by his own lusts. When man focuses on his own lusts (feelings) sin is conceived (James 1:13-14). The effects of sin causes problems in the man’s life. These problems then lead to bad feelings. The goal of Biblical counseling is to redirect the focus off of the “lust” (feelings) and onto “thinking” that reflects the mind of Christ.
Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-is-biblical-counseling/#ixzz2e4I0ck8t

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As we think of Biblical counseling with abuse victims, we need to consider first they had to survive the initial abuse – the sin done to them – many times keeping it secret for years.  If they tried to speak out, many victims were shamed, not believed, minimized, etc.  Then, as a result of this non-response,  many turned to behaviors that numb the unbearable pain.  They may have developed addictions to drugs/alcohol, eating disorders, mental health problems, depression, etc.    The foundational issue that resulted in these bad behaviors was not their sin, but the sin inflicted on them by the abuser.  This is so important.

In Cathy’s article, Run! You’ll Find Bondage At “Freedom Home!, she appropriately raises the alarm that care providers at A Freedom Home may not have the proper education, training, and/or credentials to treat such challenging cases such as PTSD, substance abuse, etc.  She contacted them asking specific questions about the care women would receive:

While researching this calls were made asking about what medical care and medical professionals would be available to Freedom Home residents suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, Depression, Suicidal thoughts, etc.  As we spoke the point was made that going “cold-turkey” off alcohol, and addictive substances (Drugs) is not a joke.  It’s frightening both to the person coming off addictive substances and to those witnessing it.  Going off substances “cold-turkey” can cause medical and psychiatric emergencies and in some cases lead to death.

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Cathy, who has a nursing background, inquired with detailed questions to address some of the more challenging issues:

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought I wasn’t being clear.  I mentioned specific types psychiatric and emotional problems they claim from their website they’re going to deal with at Freedom Home.   To make myself clear to them, I even listed out specific needs that would be present in the various things they listed – such as PTSD, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts (by the way the correct term is Suicidal Ideation which can lead to Suicidal Acts.) etc. They said the residents would be forbidden *any* outside contact with medical or psychiatric professionals at least until after the first 6 months.  They insisted that they believe that a Bible discipleship class is the ONLY thing necessary and that they have made the decision that outside resources will NOT be permitted. Clients will have to agree to that before coming and “will be denied access to outside professionals.” 

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Obviously this facility is aware of the possibility of serious mental health challenges because take  a look at just this small screenshot taken from their application form:

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I was diagnosed with PTSD after experiencing a 7.9 earthquake in the Philippines.  I have yet to write that story, but briefly, I attempted Biblical counseling for several months to help with the flashbacks.  All the praying, confessing, forgiving, having faith, reading Bible, reciting Bible verses, trusting God did not do a thing to get rid of the tormenting aftershocks which were eating away at my life.  It wasn’t until I received professional help from a licensed Christian psychologist that I finally found relief.  So reading this story alarmed me.  I know that I could have died had I not received proper care.

Some people reading this will call me a heretic.  I don’t care.  All I know is that God provided the help I needed through a Christian psychologist and I’m alive today because of that help.

On the same blog article, I discovered a very disturbing comment from Pastor Al.  I don’t know who Pastor Al is, but he has the same kind of mentality that I have seen with so many who claim the Biblical counseling has all the answers to all of life’s problems.   Cathy gave me permission to copy his comment here.  Be sure to note that he is addressing an abuse survivor, a victim of someone else’s sin.  What do you observe in his response?

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Cathy,
I perceive you to be very bitter and you likely have not forgiven these people who you claimed “abused” you for their wrongs.

As far as Jim Berg saying he couldn’t help you. He was correct. You can’t be helped as long as bitterness lurks in your soul. The best thing for you to do will be to forgive and move on. You won’t ever forget–God doesn’t command that; but you must forgive.

We don’t know each other, but I also suspect that you’re a very deeply troubled, hurting, and lonely person. Your anger level precludes the possibility of your having too many friends, because bitter, angry people are like wounded dogs who snarl and lash out at those who attempt to get close enough to help them.

Until you see yourself as a sinner in need of God’s live and grace, you will never be healed. Once you’ve found salvation in Christ, God’s grace will enable you to forgive everyone–even your those who “abused” you. The choice is yours–allow bitterness to define your life, or find and extend forgiveness through Christ.

I am praying for you.

Pastor Al

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194 comments on “Biblical Counseling: Is it Always Safe? – And Pastoral Response to Abuse Survivor

  1. “Lydia, your observation is striking; this is a practical issue as much as a spiritual one–that can’t be dichotomized. Yet, note the emphasis on handling these situation is a “gospel centered” way. Add creepiness.”

    These issues should be dealt with law-centeredness – the law that God ordained thru civil authorities for the purpose of dealing with horrific injustices. Perhaps God knew a thing or two about appropriate justice that the church can’t handle. Go figure.

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  2. Lydia, I agree. Anger is a step in the healing process. And I was very clear I thought that seeking justice is different. There’s different types of anger and I was trying to clearly differentiate the anger that is hurtful and basically allowing the abuser to live rent free in our heads and the next type of anger that is seeking justice and taking control of ourselves. I see a difference between anger and bitterness. I don’t think all victims are bitter. And I agree that everyone’s path to that place is different, we all greive differently and heal differently and there is NOTHING wrong with that. I fully support victims finding the help they need to get there, whether they take the path with a few supporting friends or they go to a professional counselor (and I do not include what I know of “biblical counseling” in that category). I was speaking as someone who survived a different abuse than is typically discussed on this blog, but abuse nonetheless. I know the anger first hand. I know the healing that took decades. I don’t credit God or any church actually with my healing. It took time and a hell of a lot of effort to get where I am today 30+ years later. My hope for survivors has nothing to do with whether or not they seek justice. I think for many seeking justice is an iimportant step that they need to take. I don’t think wanting your abusor to face the consequences of their actions is bitter. Sometimes when the victim is blamed for the actions of their abuser, or when they are not allowed to seek justice, when they recieve bad counsel and not the help and understanding they deserve, that hurt can turn to bitterness. When it does, I greive for that person because they didn’t deserve that. There are many of us however, that aren’t bitter. I thought I stated that clearly but apparently not.

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  3. Julie Anne,
    I admit the statement was harsh, and I did retract it, and I would ask her forgiveness as well, but I have a feeling that forgiveness granted comes with Boz kudos attached. That’s not going to happen. Look, I understand where she is coming from. I have heard all about how I am robbing victims of hope by calling out these organizations. But in regard to a “Godly response,” how’s that working for us? I have a question: Isn’t the very involvement of an organization like GRACE insinuate, “nothing essentially criminal here folks.” Doesn’t it put forth the motif that everyone is a sinner saved by GRACE and should meet at the River of Love?

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  4. Here’s the problem with GRACE: since it’s a para-church organization, it will always have the shadow of favoritism following it. Why does it have to be a solely Christian organization investigating these Christian institutions? No matter how good a person Boz is and the rest are, there can never be a real image of objectivity from them. Besides, how many people who have left the church for whatever reason don’t know how the word “Godly” is used as code language? If BJU and whoever has hired GRACE were truly interested in an objective review of their actions and ethics, then it wouldn’t matter whether the organization is Christian in nature. A secular, governmental, or true interfaith (that means Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, HIndus, et al. in addition to Christian) organization would have much more credibility to the average outside observer. Oh, right, we know all those people from other faiths can’t be “Godly.”

    Real people in the real world aren’t interested one bit if a church institution’s actions are judged to be “Godly” or “Biblical”, they’re interested in the truth about the right and wrong of a groups ethics. Of course, any church institution that hires a Christian organization to investigate them have already proven that they’re too cowardly to have the rest of the world take a look at them. The tired old canard of “them gays/atheists/gub’mint is out to persecute us” is nothing but a pile of horse muffins, and everyone knows it.

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  5. Don’t know, but I wonder: in all of GRACE’s literature electronic info, is the concept of “justice” or the word itself anywhere to be found? And if not, why?

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  6. Paul, it’s okay to treat survivors respectfully AND speak out against organizations/doctrines loudly.

    How much time do you devote to this stuff? This is your ministry. You have come to the place where you are with much studying and involvement. It takes time to gain understanding and compound that with trying to recover from abuses, that makes it more challenging.

    Just don’t get upset when everyone is not where you are in understanding. There is so much confusion and really deprogramming which must take place in some instances. Keep on, brother.

    I just took a look at the netGrace.org site and you are right, there needs to be a much stronger message of reporting to civil authorities. Take a look at this article. It seems pretty clear here, though:

    http://netgrace.org/a-public-statement-concerning-sexual-abuse-in-the-church-of-jesus-christ/

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  7. Real people in the real world aren’t interested one bit if a church institution’s actions are judged to be “Godly” or “Biblical”, they’re interested in the truth about the right and wrong of a groups ethics.

    You could be right, Eric, and I think they would view a Christian investigating group as suspect. I think. though, that they the “church” are not concerned about what the world thinks. They want to know what moral “godly” people think. And herein lies the problem. These atrocities happened in the church environment where pastors/leaders were supposed to be godly and moral. Ugh!

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  8. “These issues should be dealt with law-centeredness ”

    Bingo! This is what my judge friend did not understand (I told you all about my convo earlier).

    Why do Christians think there should be special consideration because the pervert(s) or even institutions claims to be a Christian.

    The fact that even pastors need “educating” on how to deal with accusations of molestation, etc, tells us volumes about the real problem.

    And I say this knowing that many pastors and organizations (Latest TGC) have conveniently written about this very thing recently (SGM anyone?) and if you read close you will find in almost every single “policy” or statement, a “leader” gets to make the decision for the church/group whether or not an accusation warrants calling the authorities. Wow, such power. Staying concentrated EXACTLY where is should NOT be. They must have special discernment others cannot have, perhaps?

    Yet many people are cheered this is being addressed at all. It isn’t, really. It is more smoke and mirrors.

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  9. Lydia and Oasis

    Youse boat use dat werd – Christendom.

    ———-

    “If it were not for social media we would not know the depths of corruption in what calls itself **Christendom.**”

    “Is **Christendom** a safe place? I think not based upon what I have seen.”

    “There are huge problems in **Christendom** all over the denominational map. There is serious corruption in institutions who claim to be for God.”

    “Having spent most of my life outside of **Christendom** (even as a Christian), I had a much different idea of what made up the Christian world I was missing out on. **Christendom, this is Christendom?** Christianity, where are you?”

    ————–

    Dotcha tink? – Propr speeelink wood bee – Christian-dumb…

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  10. “Why do Christians think there should be special consideration because the pervert(s) or even institutions claims to be a Christian.”

    Whether a perpetrator is Christian or not should not even factor in when the dude BROKE THE LAW. “Minister” to him behind bars, for crying out loud.

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  11. “There’s different types of anger and I was trying to clearly differentiate the anger that is hurtful and basically allowing the abuser to live rent free in our heads and the next type of anger that is seeking justice and taking control of ourselves. I see a difference between anger and bitterness”

    But who is to judge that? From my perspective, only love and mass quantities of it will help overcome bitterness that might develop. (And what brings on the bitterness if you think about it)

    Good Lord! How many have told me just listening to their story and saying, “that was evil what they did to you” had helped them in healing just a tiny bit more. Do victims really have to pay people to listen to them? But that, in addition to therapy can be a huge factor in dealing with such things.

    This should come from Christ’s people . Can you imagine a church full of people doing that? Often they are the ones saying “bitter”, get over it. It is best for you. Or the ones avoiding them.

    Only someone who has a serious spiritual love relationship with the victim has been with them all along can say, it is time to move on a bit more and I will be with you. One. step. at. a. time.

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  12. “Why do Christians think there should be special consideration because the pervert(s) or even institutions claims to be a Christian.”

    Because the word Christian then invokes Tribal Identity. At which point, the tribe closes ranks against the Other.

    There’s a reason most primitive tribes’ names for themselves are “The People” and those for all other tribes are “The Other”.

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  13. “That could be because of the Hyles/Schaap situation which has gotten tons of media attention over the last 10 years and it kept coming.”

    No, the particular person I’m referring to was ranting long and hard about the *ALL* IFB pastors being sex abusers and *ALL* being one big child sex-trafficking ring.

    She actually threw many IFB survivors under her bus, including 100’s of IFB group home survivors nearly a year before Schaap was arrested and lost further credibility when how she tried to handle that case.

    Yes, I’m very familiar with Cindy Hyles-Murphrey. She is one brave woman.

    Her father Jack Hyles and her brother David Hyles are a part of my abusive history.

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  14. lostchild, Pervert pastors give them all a bad name ESPECIALLY when the denomination does not speak up and do all they can to get rid of them. The denomination and make it impossible for them to have credibility. But they look the other way.

    You see this silliness in the SBC. Well, they are autonomous or they have trustees. So what? Speak up or I will think you are like them. As if one cannot speak up because of autonomy. Please

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  15. If any of you can please give me documentation concerning GRACE about how GRACE has responded like Peacemakers, Ambassadors for Reconciliation, or The Christian Law Association, I would really love to review such documentation.

    Peacemakers, Ambassadors for Reconciliation, or The Christian Law Association are NOT independent investigations. Neither is this group ABWE hired after it fired GRACE.

    GRACE is an *independent* investigation. Independent investigations are separate and apart from the group being investigated and done *all* the time. Government agencies (example: US State Department and the FBI are just 2 examples) hire independent investigators. University’s such as Penn State paid for an outside group to do an independent investigation. Sometimes even local and state law-enforcement agencies hire an independent investigator to investigate how a particular agency handled and specific case or cases.

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  16. Julie Ann,
    My comment, “Don’t know, but I wonder: in all of GRACE’s literature/electronic info, is the concept of “justice” or the word itself anywhere to be found? And if not, why?” was an off the cuff remark, but now I would like to pose a challenge here. Why is the concept of justice completely vacant from any of their literature when the concept of justice linked to abuse is absolutely massive in the Bible? God loves justice, and calls the church to make sure the downtrodden see it for their sake. Last night, I taught on the problem of dichotomizing practicality and spirituality in sanctification. If that is the problem with churches dealing with this problem, it’s a big one. And really, I am just asking, what the heck is this statement all about:

    “Surely it is for such a time as this that the Church has been empowered to boldly and bravely embody the Good News to accusers and accused alike, and to forsake our own comfort and position to love the hurting with an illogical extravagance.”

    Huh?

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  17. LCNF,

    My primary concern with GRACE is their worldview/ideology/theology is the same as PM and therefore the results will be the same and in fact have been the same. Specifically, a Chrsitocentric approach to reality that doesn’t really see horizontal justice as valid. That’s my concern. Didn’t plan on it, but I just might write an article on this based on the stack of research I have in storage.

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  18. BTW, thanks to my lovely wife Susan, I have been able to devote myself to these issues full time for almost 3 years now. Would be amiss not to give her the credit.

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  19. Thank you Barb and Julie Anne. 🙂

    Oasis said,

    If we are not to blame for the abuse itself, then surely we invited any and all aftereffects (I was told I “choose to suffer”), which in reality we never asked for but are forced to deal with as they surface

    Me too! That happened to me.

    After I began confiding in a new Christian acquaintance I made a few years ago, after my Mom passed, I didn’t find out until later that this new friend was a Word of Faith-er.

    Had I known that about her, I probably would not have shared with her personal details about myself as much as I did.

    When I told her I had clinical depression for many years, several of the things she told me – and she was trying to be helpful, she didn’t realize how painful this was to me – was to tell me that I must “want to have” the depression. She was saying when you’ve had depression for as many years as I did that part of me secretly or in some way must enjoy having it, or are so used to it that I don’t want to part with it.

    She told me that in a phone call. I sat there dumbfounded.

    I spent my whole life trying to figure out how to get rid of the depression, in addition to praying to God to heal me of it, reading the Bible, and having faith for a healing, I also taking anti depressant medications, reading books about it by doctors, seeing psychiatrists, took psychology courses in college, etc., and here she was telling me I wanted to have it?????

    I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get rid of it. It was news to me that I was supposedly secretly trying to hold on to it. 🙄

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  20. Unfortunately, many church folk pick up things along the way that they have heard, but it is untested. When you come along with an unusual set of symptoms or life experiences that are beyond their comprehension, then you get the ‘peculiar stuff’ coming out that they have somewhere bought into and have perceived as being helpful, or even biblical, but you are later left with slivers in your fingers from scratching your head! 😦

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  21. “If any of you can please give me documentation concerning GRACE about how GRACE has responded like Peacemakers, Ambassadors for Reconciliation, or The Christian Law Association, I would really love to review such documentation”

    Lost child,

    Please know that I support you in your efforts. I want nothing more than peace and justice for you. I cannot answer your question because I am not so sure it fits. I was actually looking for evidence that GRACE has been able to produce any real justice for victims from their investigations. Restitution? Referrals for convictions? I did read through their site. Perhaps I am missing something?.

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  22. horizontal justice. Great term! I am sad to say many churches do not believe in this. They think in terms of cheap grace. Or, sinners just sin– so get over it.

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  23. “Surely it is for such a time as this that the Church has been empowered to boldly and bravely embody the Good News to accusers and accused alike, and to forsake our own comfort and position to love the hurting with an illogical extravagance.”

    If they are investigating professing Christians committing crimes against other professing Christians, I am assuming they both have heard the Good News. would that be stupid of me? And who are the hurting since they mention both accused and accusers in the proceeding sentence. Very confusing indeed.

    Sounds like something vague but flowery Piper would write :o)

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  24. Reading about how churches and para- church groups usually fail victims (or pile on more damage) got me to thinking that in American society (and possibly British, Australian and others) that there is a tendency to blame the victim, even by Non Christians.

    I was harassed for a couple of years at one office job I had when I was an adult, and as a kid, I was bullied a lot at different schools I went to.

    As a kid, I’d go to teachers for help, but they’d brush off my pleas for help, some wrongly blamed me (they claimed I deserved the bullying or “deserved it”).

    For the record, I was always a shy, quiet, insecure type of person. I never started fights with other kids or was disrespectful to them, so I did not provoke or deserve the bullying.

    After being bullied by a boss at an office job (which I did nothing to start or deserve), I did a lot of reading on the issue of workplace abuse to try to understand why it was happening to me, and how to put a stop to it. (Some of that literature and blogs also discuss school bullying, too.)

    I also learned that Aussie and British culture, like American, have a tendency to blame the victim and let the bully/ abuser off the hook, whether it’s workplace abuse among adults or child on child abuse on the playground, and all this happens among Non-Christians too, not only Christians or in church settings.

    I can’t remember specifically any one book I read explaining why.

    I vaguely recall one or two of the books about job abuse mentioning one reason co-workers don’t jump to the defense of the scapegoat (the employee singled out for abuse by a boss), is that they fear if they do so, they will be next – so they either do not protect the victim or they join the abuser in the abuse.

    I think there may be a larger, underlying trend going on in regards to abuse and harassment and how either is handled, whether it’s a church setting, school, or job than just religious beliefs alone, though religious teachings and beliefs are sometimes used to excuse or ignore the abuse.

    People just have a sad, frustrating tendency to stand by and not help when they see someone being hurt, or to blame that person after the fact.

    This is also seen in news stories about crimes, where you read about some poor lady who is being raped, mugged, or beaten up and screaming for help in public, but not a single person will so much as phone the police for her.

    People do not usually like getting involved when they are confronted with evil.

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  25. I am just joining this conversation and have read down through most of the replies. A couple of quick thoughts….pastor Al is a moron. Anyone who would say what he did to someone who has gone through abuse, in my opinion qualifies him for that title.

    Paul, you make some very good points, but I think your dead wrong about Boz. Boz is a former prosecutor and has a great passion to see justice for victims of abuse. I can tell you that he would be the FIRST one to say that if churches and organizations did what they were supposed to do, in reporting abuse, that GRACE would not be needed at all and he would be all too happy to focus his attention to other areas of helping victims. Paul, you are very right about the outrageous teaching that God somehow excuses, condones or even decrees abuse. On the contrary, Jesus warned and even threatened offenders, in Luke 17:2 and Matt. 18:1-14, NOT to harm children or they would suffer severe consequences.

    All of you have made great points and you need to stick together for strength and encouragement. Stay focused on the abusers and those who are defending them.

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  26. STL,

    While I hear what you say about Boz above^ the fact remains that on the GRACE’s board of directors is none other than Duncan Rankin, Assistant to the President of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. Both are bastions of New Calvinism, and ACE members are among the staunchest supporters of CJ Mahaney. Rankin’s association with ACE is particularly troublesome.

    The fact is that New Calvinism isn’t driven by too much coffee drinking, it’s driven by an ideology–the tie that binds, and Rankin is a supporter of that ideology.

    Still waiting for the Boz to show me something other than talk.

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  27. If LD isn’t the current President of ACE, Reformation 21 needs to update their website. But if he is, maybe that’s why GRACE only states that Rankin is the assistant to the “President” as naming Duncan might be a little awkward in light of contemporary news.

    Ok, I could have this wrong, if someone corrects me that would be helpful–certainly I have this wrong.

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  28. http://netgrace.org/about-us/partnerships/

    Paul, back when the petition came out, I checked into their board and partnerships. To say I was concerned about the partnership with “Resurgence” is an understatement. I could not figure it out.

    I first came across Driscoll back in the early 2000’s and knew he was the cussing pastor in Blue Like Jazz. I have followed him since and believe he has consistently exhibited the traits of an abuser. We know he thinks very little of women, period. There is a TON of information to back up my concern. And we know that Mahaney “mentored” Driscoll and the information we gleaned from Joyful Exiles and the incidences of “church discipline” meant he put much of that mentoring into practice.

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  29. Lydia,
    At this point I am being tentative because this is very difficult for me to believe. We are not talking lunch at Applebees, we are talking about a professional association with CJ Mahaney’s staunchest advocate.

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  30. Really? Driscoll? A “partnership” with one of the biggest abusers out there? On the one hand you fustigate Mahaney, but on the other hand you have a board member who is a ministry assistant (probably a paid position since ACE brought in 2.5 mil last year) to Ligon Duncan? He put out a public statement supporting CJ Mahaney. Folks, unless I am wrong about this, I can longer take this discussion seriously.

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  31. Pingback: Bitterness – Stumbling Upward

  32. Thanks, Randy. I saw that it worked this morning (followed a hit back to your site). Thanks for reblogging and helping to shine the light on this disturbing topic.

    I’ll be sure to take a look at your article!

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  33. I was reading this and saw the snarling dog illustration.
    “Oh crap! The dog!” Is what flew out of my mouth. I’ve had that directed at me. I can’t remember who or where but I remembered when I read it.

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  34. “I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get rid of it. It was news to me that I was supposedly secretly trying to hold on to it.”

    Daisy, it sounds like you went through hell with your depression. I am so sad for you, having to carry that heavy burden around for so many years, wanting to be free!

    The acquaintance who unjustly blamed you for your own suffering sounds like someone I know, who ran out of patience with me after I was unexpectedly upset by something I saw on TV. I have only just begun to heal from childhood abuse, but she thinks a quick pep talk should be enough to stop me from being triggered. According to her, I want to suffer. Both she and her preacher father, who have no psychological understanding in this area, have decided that I am the problem. Thankfully, I know not to listen to any of their balderdash.

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  35. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME…
    DEAR FRIEND,
    I AM A 56 YEAR OLD WHO GREW UP IN A FATHERLESS HOME (BY DEATH).
    MY “DEVOUT CHRISTIAN” “MOTHER” (JUST LIKE HER MOTHER!) DID NOT TALK WITH OR SPEND TIME WITH ME. YET SHE DID BUY ME THINGS! SO IT APPEARED THAT SHE CARED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS.
    SHE ATTENDED MY BROTHERS AND BROTHER’S FRIENDS BAND CONCERTS, FOOTBALL GAMES……………ETC. THE OTHER BROTHER WAS TREATED LIKE A PIECE OF TRASH!
    SHE NEVER HAD THE TIME TO SEE ANY OF THE GAMES I CHEERED AT FOR 3 YEARS, ETC………..
    ZERO-HERO!
    SHE ADORES 3 OF MY BROTHERS AND THEIR FAMILIES! THEY CAN DO NO WRONG! SINLESS! SPOTLESS!
    SHE IS THE SWEEEEEEEEEETEST PERSON TO THEIR KIDS, AND AVAILABLE TO TALK WITH THEM.
    I CAN DO NOTHING RIGHT! BROTHERS WOULD PICK ON ME AND I WAS TOLD “DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE” “OH…….DON’T TAKE THINGS SO……..”
    MY HUSBAND AND I MET WITH HER TO CONFRONT HER ON THE HATEFUL BEHAVIOR. SHE GOT ANGRY AND SAID THAT “SHE EXPECTS HER BROTHERS TO APPRECIATE HER!” WE SAT THERE IN SHOCK AT THE HEARTLESSNESS.
    I LIVE ~ A MILE AWAY FROM “MOM” AND TWO OTHER “CHRISTIAN” BROTHERS.
    ONE #1 LOCAL BROTHER AND HIS WIFE HAVE BLAMED MY HUSBAND AND I FOR THINGS WE HAVE NOT DONE, JUST SO THEY CAN DIVERT ATTENTION AWAY FROM THEIR OWN ABUSIVE, DECEPTIVE POWER STRUGGLES. BY THE WAY, MY BROTHER IS THE “NICE” HEAD USHER AT THE LOCAL CHURCH!!
    ANOTHER #2 “CHRISTIAN” BROTHER MOVED TO OUR TOWN A FEW YEARS AGO. HE WAS SEXUALLY ABUSIVE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. HE HAS NOT EVEN CONTACTED MY HUBBY & I TO LET US KNOW THAT HE HAS MOVED HERE! HE ACTS LIKE WE HAVE ALREADY DIED!
    WE ARE OFTEN EXCLUDED FROM “FAMILY” GATHERINGS. WE HAVE FOUND OUT “AFTER THE FACT” THAT RELATIVES HAVE VISITED AND WE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THEY WOULD BE IN TOWN.
    MY OTHER “CHRISTIAN” BROTHER #3 –WHO LIVES OUT OF STATE-IS THE GOD OF ALL!! MOM WORSHIPPED HIM FROM DAY #1. WE GREW UP HEARING ALL ABOUT WHAT HE DID RIGHT. MY HUBBY AND I TRIED TO TALK WITH HIM WHEN HE CAME TO TOWN ABOUT WHY WE DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING TO “FAMILY” GATHERINGS ANYMORE. HE TOLD US THAT MOM IS A “DEVOUT CHRISTIAN WOMAN.” I TOLD HIM THAT I HAVE TRIED TO HAVE RELATIONAHIP WITH HER, I TRIED TO REACH OUT. HE SAID, “ALL I’M HEARING IS THAT I’VE TRIED.” I AM NOT DOING ENOUGH!!!!
    THE OTHER BROTHER SHOWS UP YEARLY FOR RELATIONAL CRUMBS. WE NEVER HEAR FROM HIM EITHER! WE SPEAK UP, AND WE ARE DISCOUNTED, BLAMED AND WRITTEN OFF.
    I CANNOT LIVE THIS WAY ANYMORE! I DECIDED TO GET SOME HELP, AND WENT TO A “BIBLICAL COUNSELOR.” I WAS GIVEN HOMEWORK TO DO ON BITTERNESS AND TO READ THE BOOK ON FORGIVENESS BY NANCY LEIGH DEMOSS. I AM TO FORGIVE, WHICH I UNDERSTAND, AND ALSO TO “LET GO” OF ANYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED! I TOLD HER THAT IF THIS IS CHRISTIANITY, PLAYING CHURCH WHILE LIVING A LIFE OF DR. JECKYL AND MR. HYDE, THEN I DO NOT WANT IT!
    HUBBY AND I HAVE BEEN INVITED TO ATTEND THANKSGIVING DINNER AT “MOM’S” HOUSE. (FOR WHAT?????) MOM SAID THAT IT’S GOOD FOR THE “FAMILY” TO BE TOGETHERI HAVE STOMACH ACHES ABOUT GOING AND CANNOT SLEEP.
    MY COUNSELOR THINKS IT IS MY PROBLEM! SHE SAID THAT I AM TO HONOR MY PARENTS!
    I RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL FROM MY COUNSELOR. THIS IS THE FONT THAT SHE USED.
    I CANNOT CARRY THE WEIGHT OF THIS BY MYSELF!
    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    “Trust you are letting go of the years of bitterness toward certain people in your life…When you harbor it, you’ve accepted it as your own and it will control your emotions from that point on! Not worth it!

    There is freedom in forgiveness! Review once again the pages I gave you before on bitterness/forgiveness, and finish Nancy’s book on forgiveness. This is what you can control….not what they did, but your response to it! :)”

    I AM WILLING TO FORGIVE THEM, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WANT TO RETURN TO THE TRASH CAN.
    IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS EXPERIENCED THIS CRAZINESS????

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  36. Pastor Al seems a self righteous pharisee without an ounce of love but as long as you append ” we’re praying for you “that makes the grosses unchristian treatment seem okay doesn’t it. Uggh. Basically what he said is “its all your fault, no one likes you, you’re a loser and you have no friends”. Oh and don’t forget the use of prejudicial language as in those people you claim abused you; so she is also a liar to boot. Hey Pastor Al, don’t stand too close to the hind end of Balaam’s ass, we might not be able to tell you apart. Okay that wasn’t very loving of me. But I do think you are lacking in any personal knwledge of Jesus and what He is like and it shows in your ugly words to Cathy.

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