Spiritual Sounding Board: Updating the Legacy – Year 5

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Boy, oh boy, it’s been FIVE years today since the beginning of my blogs, and tomorrow marks five years since being served with the lawsuit by my ex-pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church. It’s a good milestone moment to update the legacy.

Here was my profile summary from the original blog (on Blogspot):

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-4-41-05-pm

 

And here is the comment left on the Google review site wherein my ex-pastor announces that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against me.

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Here is a comment he left online years earlier in November 2009.

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The above comment now makes me laugh. I am currently taking a technical writing class and my instructor has repeatedly shown us how important white space is — the space between paragraphs, the margins, etc. This is important because crowded wording is difficult to read. When you have a crowded paragraph, you are forced to read the whole thing without stopping or you might lose your place because of the wordiness of it. Looking at the above comment without reading it, it feels heavy, like you can’t get a breath or think.

That is exactly what Chuck O’Neal was like: a whole lot of ranting with some yelling, and no breathing room. You felt obligated to stay and hang onto every word until the very end. It was squelching. He types exactly how he preaches. I felt constricted and couldn’t breathe spiritually or physically because we felt like we had to be at church all the time. It was truly an unsafe place. And, just looking at the way he writes, I can see the “my way or the highway” high-controlling behavior he used publicly online against me because I dared to challenge his assumed authority.

Beaverton Grace Bible Church as a church is still going, though it is not nearly the size it was when we were there. Instead of doing Friday night evangelism, each Saturday they now picket and harass the people who go into local abortion clinics and film them without their permission (and sometimes he posts them online without their permission). Way to evangelize, Chuck!  (So, if you notice, those who work full time now have a full weekend of church activities to keep them tethered to the cult/church.)

Shunning still continues. I’ve heard of more families splitting up. Some grandparents cannot see their adult kids or grandkids. There has been shunning in some families going on for over a decade! Why? Because a pastor said so, that’s why. Because a pastor felt threatened when someone didn’t believe the way he believed. Chuck O’Neal will have to answer to God for this. This is cult behavior.

And when someone questions or leaves the church, they know they are at risk for being shunned by their family and friends. This is at great cost because you are kept so busy at the church, you don’t have much time for “outside” relationships. So, to be shunned means you will be completely isolated. All your former friends/family no longer have anything to do with you since you didn’t give them the time of day while you were busy at BGBC. What a difficult place to be.

This year was challenging because of school/health issues, but it was also a very good year. For the first time in SSB’s history, we saw positive change as a result of very carefully investigated and timed blog articles. I am referring to the victims’ accounts of Tullian Tchividjian in which he habitually emotionally/sexually groomed them, and even had sexual relationships with at least three women.

The information provided in the blog posts, along with telling Rachel’s story in her own words, was key to having Pastor Kevin Labby publicly speak out and say that Tullian Tchividjian was unfit for ministry. That was huge. After Kevin Labby publicly spoke out, many other pastors followed suit.

During this time, it became known that Spiritual Sounding Board is a safe place for women who have been groomed and abused by their pastors. Many people for the first time came to understand that pastors and congregants cannot have “affairs” because of the power differential — it is clergy sexual misconduct, a form of sexual abuse. This is also spiritually abusive.

One consistently active behind-the-scenes part of SSB is wives of pedophiles. Women who are searching for help after finding out that their spouse or partner has been a pedophile have found the blog and find support here. This is the post that they usually find. Sometimes they don’t respond, but instead, send me an e-mail. I am able to refer them to Brenda or Anon3 who take it from there. I am indebted to Anon3 and Brenda who help these ladies based on their experience of also having been married to pedophiles, and the extensive research they both have done on the subject and on recovery for themselves.
brad1
I’m so fortunate to have a great team who assists me. Brad Sargent, who has been with me since the beginning, helped me for 9 months on the Tullian Tchividjian case, not only in writing articles, but also a lot of brainstorming and strategizing. Kathi helped me with the Facebook page and kept the Sunday posts going. She also is great at getting me domestic violence information quickly when someone contacts me in a crisis. I tell her the location of an abuse survivor, and she searches online while I’m on the phone with an abuse survivor. It’s so wonderful to be able to send someone help and practical information right when they need it!  Last summer it was great to meet together for the first time in person. And here’s the picture to prove it.

Last, but not least, a special thanks goes to Billie, aka GrandieMAW to 11. I’ve written her story before. She was harmed in the church, but now has time on her hands and anger about abuse that propels her to be one of the best online researchers I’ve known. If you are an abuser in the church, be advised that if I catch wind of your activities and send info to Billie, you will be exposed. She will find you out.

These wonderful people enable me to do what I do best as a blogger and “first responder” — assess crises, and get real and practical help to survivors quickly, using a variety of resources and networking with people I’ve met over the past 5 years. What an amazing journey. Thank you for coming along with me.

Brad, who never likes to forget anniversary dates put the following together. It’s always interesting to look back on the year and see what people like to read. Thank you, Brad, for compiling this!

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Year 5 statistics for Spiritual Sounding Board. There have been 3,462,013 hits on SSB total, as of the 2:19 PM on February 19, 2017. This includes 1,159,039 hits on the home page/archives, and 75,305 comments on a total of 1,062 published posts and 32 published pages.

Top 15 posts, 20,000 to 80,000+ views each:

  1. Christian Domestic Discipline (Wife Spanking): A Personal Story, and a Closer Look at Patterns Connected with this Abusive Practice [82,970 views]
  2. The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking
  3. Wife Undermines Her Husband’s Authority in Front of Children, He Disciplines Her
  4. Calvary Chapel Pastor Bob Coy’s Story of Moral Corruption Leads Calvary Chapel Members to Share Their Personal Stories
  5. Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements
  6. Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 1
  7. Former Long-Time Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Dave Corning Accuses Pastor James MacDonald of Abuse of Power, Lack of Accountability
  8. Compelling Evidence that Vision Forum Inc. is Closing, Liquidating and Doug Phillips “Show” of Repentance Revealed
  9. Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins
  10. Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy
  11. Bill Gothard’s New Program/Ministry: Total Success Power Teams
  12. About Julie Anne
  13. Christian Parental Response to Teenagers or Adult Children in Rebellion
  14. Six Homeschool Brothers Arrested for Alleged Sex Abuse against Younger Sister
  15. Lourdes Torres, Alleged Victim in the Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) Sex Abuse Scandals Files Lawsuit

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Personal Update

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snowI’m sure you have noticed the sporadic blog posts these past few weeks.

After taking off last term to recovery from a hysterectomy, I have gone back to school with a full load this term. I’m still not at 100% and require more sleep/rest than normal. All of the women who told me that this recovery takes up to a year are absolutely right. Whew! I just spoke to my advisor and we mapped out my classes. It looks like I should be able to graduate Spring 2018 with my Bachelors if all goes as planned.

I am trying to juggle a lot of things (mom, blog, school). I continue to do a lot of behind-the-scenes work on the blog. I still have the final post in the series on Tullian Tchividjian to post. Last week, I finally received a statement from a source that I had been waiting for, so that post should be coming soon.

Trying to balance all of the above is a challenge and I’ve needed take my own advice when it comes to self-care. Carrying so many abuse stories in my heart is taxing, so sometimes I just need to take a breather. This is important so I can be a better advocate, a better mother, a better student. I’ve had to mentally give myself the freedom to not write a post if I need to do self-care.

I have no plans on stopping here. There is a consistent cycle of wives of pedophiles who find the old 2013 blog post and ask for help. That has been a unique ministry here as Anon3 and Brenda support these precious ladies.

Although right now I cannot do the in-depth stories that require a lot of research as I used to do, there is obviously a need here, as I keep getting more personal stories. Personal stories are such a powerful way for readers to connect with their own abuse. They also help survivors to validate themselves as they own their stories and use their voice in a powerful way. Personal stories will continue.

I have to think simply when it comes to the next year or so. My upper-level classes are more challenging in my field of study, so I have to allow for that, as well as a possible internship which is highly recommended.

I think I will try to at least post an open blog post each week. This will help give a dedicated space for those who wish to connect, share articles, share if they are going through a difficult time, get connected and support/encouragement. I’m grateful to Kathi who has continued to post the Sunday posts. She has been such a help to me.

I’m so thankful for all of you who have continued to be part of this SSB family, providing support to others, sharing your stories. You’ve all been such an encouragement to me.

~Julie Anne

Personal Story: Wife of Pedophile Shares How Her Husband Manipulated Her from Seeing the Truth

Pedophile, Wife of Pedophile, Sex Abuse


Today I am posting a personal story from a woman named Cindy who left a comment yesterday on the 3-1/2-year-old article, , which has continued to reach women who are searching for support.

Her comment was posted at 4AM on the West Coast the day after Christmas. It got me wondering . . . maybe Cindy lives on the East Coast and was posting this in the quiet hours of 1AM after a pleasant Christmas day (the story ends on a positive note). What struck me was that she posted this around the time where families are gathered for the holidays. Perhaps she, too, was reminiscing of Christmases past, of what it was like when their family appeared to be whole and happy. But obviously she also thought about the pain and felt at liberty to share that with us the process of getting to acceptance and peace with herself and her family. The memories of living through the destruction that pedophilia brings to a family doesn’t ever entirely leave. And maybe that’s why Cindy shared her story – to personally acknowledge what she went through, to share it in a safe place where others who have walked in her shoes can also identify.

Although this story is not about abuse in church, this is about abuse that many families go through. How can the church connect with these hurting families and support them?  I share these stories because pedophilia is yucky and disgusting. It’s easier to walk away and let someone else deal with it. The reality is that being the wife of a pedophile is a lonely place. Once the pedophile is discovered, their family will never be the same. They don’t need to walk this path alone. Continue reading

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 5

Tullian Tchividjian, Personal Survivor Story, Clergy Sex Abuse


Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

LINKS: My Story: Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4Part #5.

Editors’ Note: This is Rachel’s story, and she is sharing what she recalls of her relationship with Tullian Tchividjian. She is sharing her facts, opinions, and what she believes to be true. Tullian is a public figure of interest. It is not defamatory to share opinions, beliefs, and personal stories publicly. In order to prove that she is being defamatory, it would need to be shown that she knowingly told lies, and did so with malice. Continue reading

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 1

Tullian Tchividjian, Personal Survivor Story, Clergy Sex Abuse


Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

LINKS: My Story:  Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4Part #5.

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An Introduction, from Julie Anne Smith and Brad Sargent

Several of those who have alleged victimization by Tullian Tchividjian have contacted me (Julie Anne) over the past year and a half. Rachel (which is her real first name) was one of them. She is the survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s clergy sexual misconduct in the spring and summer of 2015. She’s also named as “Woman #2” in our recent Partial Timeline post. Discovery of their sexual relationship by staff at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC) led to Tchividjian being asked to resign as Senior Pastor there, and his being “deposed” by the South Florida presbytery (i.e., having his ministry credentials removed).

Rachel’s story is critically important to consider, in part because she tried to inform multiple Christian leaders – mostly men who were supposedly responsible for overseeing or counseling Tchividjian – about what she experienced as his patterns of lies, seduction, and spiritual abuse. She herself admits, she didn’t always do this in the best way, with rants and emotional comments on posts. But she and her family had been harmed, and she was also trying to get Tchividjian to follow through in repaying over $11,000 he had borrowed from Rachel and her husband to hire a private investigator.

So, it turns out that her personal story intersects with the three main ministries that have been parts of Tchividjian’s platform during the past several years: Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Willow Creek (Presbyterian) Church (Winter Springs, FL), and the Liberate Network. At this point, we know of no other survivor whose actions connect with all three. We are grateful she has agreed to share her story so that others can be warned about wolves in the Body of Christ, and also learn about what real repentance and recovery can look like. Continue reading

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 2

Tullian Tchividjian, Personal Survivor Story, Clergy Sex Abuse


Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

LINKS: My Story:  Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4Part #5.

Editors’ note: This is Part 2, a continuation of Rachel’s story which began here. The remaining parts of the series will be posted soon.

Edited to add 11/30/16: This is Rachel’s story, and she is sharing what she recalls of her relationship with Tullian Tchividjian. She is sharing her facts, opinions, and what she believes to be true. Tullian is a public figure of interest. It is not defamatory to share opinions, beliefs, and personal stories publicly. In order to prove that she is being defamatory, it would need to be shown that she knowingly told lies, and did so with malice.  ~ja Continue reading

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 3

Tullian Tchividjian, Personal Survivor Story, Clergy Sex Abuse


Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

LINKS: My Story:  Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4Part #5.

Editors’ Note: This is Rachel’s story, and she is sharing what she recalls of her relationship with Tullian Tchividjian. She is sharing her facts, opinions, and what she believes to be true. Tullian is a public figure of interest. It is not defamatory to share opinions, beliefs, and personal stories publicly. In order to prove that she is being defamatory, it would need to be shown that she knowingly told lies, and did so with malice. Continue reading

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 4

Tullian Tchividjian, Personal Survivor Story, Clergy Sex Abuse


Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

Statue of Lady Justice © Sebastian Duda, Fotolia #35822634.

LINKS: My Story: Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4Part #5.

Editors’ Note: This is Rachel’s story, and she is sharing what she recalls of her relationship with Tullian Tchividjian. She is sharing her facts, opinions, and what she believes to be true. Tullian is a public figure of interest. It is not defamatory to share opinions, beliefs, and personal stories publicly. In order to prove that she is being defamatory, it would need to be shown that she knowingly told lies, and did so with malice. Continue reading

Julie Anne’s Intruder, Softball, and Issues

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I promised an update on me and so here goes.  It seems that my generation and older seems to squirm about personal issues, but frankly, I’m tired of that. So, I’m posting what’s been happening with me because more often than not, when I do post on something personal, several people will usually e-mail me and tell me a similar story. We really are not alone in this world and I’m absolutely fine with this discussion. Continue reading

How our Pastor’s Biblical Interpretation Can Affect Our Understanding of Scripture and God

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This is a very insightful statement from C.J. Mahaney.

 

Continue reading

Help! My Family Member or Close Friend is Trapped in a High-Controlling Church or Cult. How Can I Encourage Them to Leave?

How to help a family member or friend leave a high-controlling church group or cult: spiritual abuse, trapped, thought reform, mind control, freedom


 

“Mind control is the process by which individual or collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that involves a set of basic social psychological principles. Conformity, compliance, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, guilt and fear arousal, modeling and identification are some of the staple social influence ingredients well studied in psychological experiments and field studies. In some combinations, they create a powerful crucible of extreme mental and behavioral manipulation when synthesized with several other real-world factors, such as charismatic, authoritarian leaders, dominant ideologies, social isolation, physical debilitation, induced phobias, and extreme threats or promised rewards that are typically deceptively orchestrated, over an extended time period in settings where they are applied intensively.”
Steven Hassan, Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults

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I’ve heard it said that losing a child to death can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Now imagine having lost your adult child and their family, not to death, but to a high-controlling church or cult. Imagine not being able to celebrate birthdays or major holidays together. Imagine having only limited contact with your adult child and their family. How could your loved one entirely dismiss you, act like you are a stranger or enemy when you did nothing to them? Continue reading

A Brief Blog Respite and JA’s Back

Update from Julie Anne

Well, I didn’t intend to be away for so long or I would have posted something. Truth be told, every day I planned on posting something “tomorrow,” but as I followed my gut, that “tomorrow” didn’t happen, so obviously it wasn’t meant to be. I guess I needed the down time. I’ve been going to school even in the summer for two years now and didn’t realize how exhausted I was, physically, emotionally, academically.

Two years ago, I was only a high school graduate with a busy family and busy blog. Today, I now have my Associates degree (2 more years to go for my Bachelors), with a busy family and a blog that still has a bunch of readers who keep coming back for more, even though I haven’t published anything for the longest time in the blog’s 4-yr history. Thank you for your patience and support. You all are so gracious.

Here is how I’ve spent some of my time unwinding:

I taught my youngest how to do rug hooking.

 

I’ve been chauffeuring my youngest two back and forth to their Fun with Clay class each day. They already have their first project ready to go into the kiln and there’s still three weeks of class left. I love this. It’s 2 hours every day where they get to use their creativity and do not get distracted with technology.

 

The kids and I have been playing lots of Sequence. 

 

We’ve been picking raspberries from our prolific bushes. We already have picked enough for a few pies. If you haven’t ever had fresh red raspberry pie, they are amazing.

 

 

Last year I started making succulent arrangements. I had one arrangement outside and succulent pieces dropped in the soil beneath. This year, those little pieces have come up as volunteers, so I’ve created a little area and have helped them along by transplanting more starts so they will take over an area by our front walkway.  We live next to the Columbia River, and the rocks are river rocks we dug up from our yard. We have so many, so it’s fun to find creative ways to use them. I took this picture of the succulents a few days ago and there has already been significant growth in those few days. We probably won’t see any soil here by the end of summer – it will be full of succulents. I can’t wait!

 

 

I planted these perennials last year and they have quadrupled in size.  Kathi helped me discover the name: Rudbeckia hirta (Gloriosa Daisy). It’s been  fun to dig in the dirt and plant new annuals and perennials in the yard. I have missed this hobby.

 

 

And last, but not least, I’ve cast on a new knitting project. It’s been too long since I’ve last knit, and now I can enjoy a little down time while catching up with some favorite Netflix shows (currently Call the Midwife). I forgot this kind of bliss without school deadlines!

 

If you have sent me an e-mail in the last month or so and I have not responded, please try again. I’ve been trying to dig through the pile.  I’ve been working on a few ongoing situations that have updates, and also have had some deep thoughts on a new topic that hasn’t been discussed. So, hopefully, you’ll see more regular posts for the next few months while I”m on summer break.

Special thanks to Kathi for keeping the Sunday gatherings going each week!

 

The Challenge of Dealing with the Effects of Sexual Addiction, Pornography, Pedophilia by Family Members or Friends

Sexual addictions, pornography, pedophiles, family and friends of sexual addicts, S-Anon

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

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Thanks for bearing with me as I’m getting hit with year-end activities for my children and me at school. I’m in the middle of cramming, finals, and looking forward to having a Summer break this year!

While the blog articles have tapered during my busy school schedule, the activity behind the scenes continues and I’m grateful for all I have learned in walking with people who are going through challenging and very difficult times. Last night was one such example which I’d like to share.

Last night, I attended an S-Anon meeting. It was my first time going to a 12-step meeting of any kind. I attended at the request of a new friend who, understandably, didn’t want to go to this meeting by herself.

 

What is S-Anon and for whom is it geared?

S-Anon a 12-step group that meets weekly for family members or friends of people addicted to sex (pornography, relationships, etc).

With any addiction, family and friends become a part of the addict’s system. Family and friends are impacted by their loved one’s addiction. It can affect them personally and in relationships, present and future. Additionally, how they respond to their addicted love one can have ramifications. Is the sex addiction talked about openly? Or is it the elephant in the middle of the room that people know exists, but refuse to talk about.

 

Would S-Anon be a good fit for me? The sexual addict I know is not in my immediate family.

At first, I was thinking that I really didn’t qualify to be at this meeting since there’s no sex addict in my immediate family and I don’t have close friends addicted to sex (to my knowledge, anyway). But then I realized that my in-law certainly has affected my immediate family. He is a pedophile, and our family has had to make very clear boundaries on visitation rules; for example, he is not allowed in our home, period. We allow time for meals, etc, but my kids are always reminded about safe touching, not being alone with him, etc. So, yes, I would benefit from these meetings, as would my adult children. There is a teen version of S-Anon, so that would be an additional option for my younger kids.

While the sex addict in my family is not in our immediate family, the situation has presented challenging issues for our family. We have had to broach the subject of sex and sex abuse at a very young age and in very clear terms with our children. We have had to grieve the loss of a normal grandparent-grandchild relationship.

I remember the day it struck me that my dreams of leaving our kids with the grandparents for a special weekend or a few days was completely out of the question. My children have had to find other “adopted” grandparents to fill some of those roles; but it will never be the same as most families where grandparents are an integral part of their lives. That’s just one of a number of losses we have faced due to sexual addiction. This is definitely something I could bring up at a future meeting that has affected me. Do I have anger about it? You bet! I wanted my children to have the best childhood possible and that was robbed from them (and me) due to the pedophile.

 

S-Anon, wife of pedophile, pornography, sexual addictionsWhat about other areas of sexual addiction are discussed?

Another area that I’ve seen an increased amount of discussion is the issue of a husband’s use of porn (including child pornography) and it’s effect on marriages and families. This is a very real and ongoing problem many Christian families face. The sense of betrayal, lack of trust, self-blame, body shaming issues really come to surface for wives of porn addicts. With porn, the marriage bedroom becomes very crowded and complicated. This takes its toll on wives, and the ripple effect on the children can become very apparent. If the sexual addiction interferes with a job and the addict gets fired, obviously this will have severe consequences on the family.

Because sexual addictions are such a secretive sin, children might sense that something is wrong, but not know quite what it is. They might not understand why mom is so depressed. It would be good to explore this topic more and I hope to be able to share personal stories because I know it is a growing issue that is rarely addressed from the pulpit. I wonder how many wives of sex addicts are sitting in the pews each Sunday at church wondering how their church can help them. It’s typically not  a topic that pastors address. Where will these wives turn for help?

Over 3 years ago, I posted the first article on wives of pedophiles, Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles. This was written by a SSB reader, Anon3, who shared her experience and offered words of hope to another wife of a pedophile. I wish I had kept track of how many women have found that blog post and responded. Looking back, I would say that on average, one person per week has either comment or sent an e-mail asking for help. Those are just people who land at the blog by doing using search engines. Wives of pedophiles would certainly be welcome at A-Anon meetings.

 

What are the meetings like?

The meeting we attended was quite small, but it varies at every location. The meeting is structured and begins with reading excerpts from their S-Anon book which establishes the rules, objectives of the meeting, and a focus topic area. There is a time where people are allowed to share and a closing. It is confidential and what is said there, needs to remain there.

What I did find is that it is a safe place to gather, share personal stories, get encouragement and support. So many times when we are dealing with something by ourselves, we take it personally, blame ourselves. When we open up with others and exchange stories, we will see familiar behavioral patterns. This is similar to the familiarity many of us have had with spiritual abuse. We have a common denominator with similar, but not exactly the same experiences. (More questions about meetings.)

I think in time, an S-Anon member can get clarity and understanding why they have responded the way they have: why they may have trust issues, why they may have anger, etc.

Knowing and identifying these patterns will be helpful when learning to make healthier decisions and setting appropriate boundaries with the sexually addicted loved one. This is not an easy process. It takes work, but I have spoken with several people who have said the program has given them great tools.

I sensed that those who were at the meeting last night found confidence, understanding, and a tremendous amount of weight lifted from them as have traveled this journey. Rather than trying to survive, they seemed to be thriving AND have enough energy left to help others along in their journey. That was very encouraging for me to see.

For those who have just found this article via a search engine and who are dealing with a sexual addict, welcome.  You are in a difficult place, but you are certainly not alone. You are always welcome to comment here on the blog. I also have a private forum you may ask to join. (Email me at spiritualsb@gmail.com). But I also encourage you to seek out a local S-Anon for ongoing support. You definitely do not need to walk this road by yourself. Many have done it before you and would like to offer support.

Here are a few questions from a longer set of questions at the S-Anon website:

Is S-Anon for you?

  • Have you felt hurt or embarrassed by someone’s sexual conduct?
  • Have you secretly searched for clues about someone’s sexual behavior?
  • Have you lied about or covered up another person’s sexual conduct?
  • Have you had money problems because of someone’s sexual behavior?
  • Have you felt betrayed or abandoned by someone you loved and trusted?
  • Are you afraid to upset the sexaholic for fear that he or she will leave you?

You can see if there is a local S-Anon group in your area here.

Note: Although I used men as addicts in the examples above, women are not exempt from having sexual addictions.

 

JA has put herself in blog time-out

 

 

image

So, yesterday I read a tweet that left me reeling. It made it difficult to concentrate on my school work, and got me thinking and emoting quite a bit. I’ve tried numerous times to put up a blog post today and yesterday and realize that I just need to let my emotions simmer a bit.

I guess this is a reality check for me (and my readers) about the effects of spiritual abuse. Most of the time it comes and goes and I can function normally. Sometimes, however, it hits hard, and I know I need to face it head on. I had several good cries yesterday and thought I’d be fine today, but apparently, I need to chill a bit more (except for one college test due by midnight).

I’ve learned the hard way that if I bury my emotions, they will resurface with a vengeance, so now, even though it’s inconvenient, I try to deal with myself honestly and ask the tough questions: why does this have so much significance for me? Why does it make me cry? What do the tears represent?  This is the grieving part – coming to the truth of what happened and its effects on me.

Once I’m done with that part of the process, I can finally move on to acceptance. I accept that I am where God wants me to be, even if it was not what I expected, and that it’s okay to move forward now.

I’ll be fine. I hope to be able to type out what happened and why it affected me so much. I think there are many who will relate.

Thanks for your patience with me as I go through this bump in the road for these couple of days. I’ll be blogging this coming week.

I’ve also wanted to say thanks for your patience as blog posts aren’t as timely as they used to be now that I’m a full-time student.  About 3 years ago, a friend and I were talking about college. He said, “Four years is going to come whether you like it or not, and you’ll have a degree or you won’t. Which do you want?”  It took one year to get the courage to register for school. Those words have come back to me many times in this process. After Spring term, and after 2 years of school, I will have my Associates degree  (half-way there). I’m truly thankful for all the support you’ve given me.

Spiritual Sounding Board: The Legacy That a Defamation Lawsuit Left to the Survivor Community

A guest post by brad/futuristguy.

Today marks the four-year anniversary of what turned into a five-plus-month lawsuit by Charles O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC) against Julie Anne Smith and four other defendants.

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The Fallout of Spiritual Abuse on Our Children

Children Harmed by Spiritual Abuse

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