Defining Spiritual Abuse and the Effect on us as ChildrenBy Darlene Ouimet
What could possibly motivate a pastor, priest or minister, these “so called” servants of God ~ to tell a child that they are evil and displeasing to God when they seek help by disclosing that they have been sexually abused? And not just sexually abused, but ANY kind of abused. When a child seeks help by telling, what kind of evil manipulative motive makes “a servant of God” tell a child that they are unloved, sinning and disappointing to GOD because they talked about this horror that happened to them? Where is a child supposed to go for help when this is happening in their own family? Children are taught to trust certain adult authority figures without question. When those authority figures misuse their power, they have the power to devastate a child for life.
This is spiritual abuse. Some people call it church abuse or religious abuse.
And if everyone else accepts that the church or religious authority IS an authority deserving of trust and respect, the child will be blamed and accused. The child will be labelled a liar a sinner and a disappointment to God or to Jesus. What does that DO to a child? What does that communicate to a child? Have you thought about that? What about if YOU are that child? Have you thought about it that way?
This is spiritual abuse, church abuse and religious abuse.
The child might be accused of being possessed and the procedure that follows that accusation is to be stood up in front of the church, while this “trusted servant of God” announces that you “are possessed with an evil demon, which needs to be cast out and proceeds to “cast it out”. No consideration for the child who is now being re-abused and can now add the terror of an exorcism to the list of other abuses. The child is not heard, not believed and not helped in any way.
That is also spiritual abuse and spiritual abuse causes damage just like every other type of abuse.
Children are accused of lying; they are accused of being “evil” for lying. They are Accused. Not supported, not validated, not consoled, not protected. Only accused. The child’s story is rarely even investigated. Expressions are used such as “we can’t bring shame on the family” or “we can’t bring shame on the church”. What does that do to the self esteem or self worth of a child. How does a child DEAL with that? What do you think that leads to? Depression maybe? An eating disorder? Addictions? It certainly leads to the destruction of self esteem and a fear of telling. This is spiritual abuse. This is the misuse of power. Church abuse and religious abuse are damaging to the person who is discounted and dismissed. This is not LOVE or grace. This spiritual abuse is NOT pleasing to God. How can it be?
Do these adults really think these children are lying? I can tell you that the children that this happens to end up questioning themselves when they are labelled this way. They are taught that truth is false and lies are true. It gets confusing.Children CAN’T deal with it and it stays with them. They take it with them into adulthood.
This is all part of spiritual abuse, church abuse and religious abuse. And all abuse does incredible damage to the self esteem and to the emotional health of children.
I don’t think is it logical that children would lie about this stuff. Where would they get the frame of reference to lie about it? I think it is just “easy and irresponsible” for people to decide the child is lying. Not believing a child who tells about sexual abuse or about domestic violence takes the responsibility OFF the adults to actually DEAL with it. And sometimes it gives people permission to keep abusing these kids. Sometimes it gives OTHER adults permission to abuse the child too. If no one is going to get caught, if no one is going to believe the child, that sends a message to all other predators. It also sends a specific message to the child. That they don’t matter ~ and that defines personhood. The defines a child deeply about their value and self worth.
And defining a child as unworthy and invalid is most definitely spiritual abuse.
These “servants of God” teach truth, honesty and love and they turn a blind eye to abuse in favour of lies and cover-ups. The victims of these crimes (both adults and children) don’t realize it at the time, but these “trusted authorities” are actually teaching a very different story from love, truth and honesty. They teach that the most powerful win. They teach that children don’t matter, that they don’t count and that children are not really “people”. They model that that they can do whatever they want to children without consequence. They teach deception. They teach hatred. They destroy lives. They destroy self esteem, self worth and self love. This teaching that the most powerful wins causes a lust for power in some and a belief in victim mentality in others. This kind of spiritual abuse also teaches that God is a horrible mean and untrustworthy liar. They teach that there is no love or truth. They teach that the teachings in the real bible don’t work.
That is spiritual abuse at its finest.
These spiritually abusive church authorities who have been given positional power in society don’t use their power to empower and nurture. They use it for their own gain. And that is not love. And children are the scapegoats because they are the weakest and they can’t fight back.
And those children grow up with all that unresolved horror; unprotected and labelled as sinners, liars, evil and unworthy even in Gods eyes and they end up struggling while society continues to make judgements on them. New labels and judgements such as “lack of faith” and “unforgiving”, “immature” and “unable to cope” are placed on them and other equally harmful judgements and the cycle continues.
All of this is spiritual abuse church abuse and religious abuse and abuse always causes emotional damage.
And we wonder why there is so much depression, addiction, eating disorders, stress and anxiety related issues and in our world. It all starts when a child is discounted.
I was that child.
Please share your thoughts about this kind of spiritual or religious abuse. Remember that you may use any name you like in the comment form.
Exposing truth; one snapshot at a time.
P.S. ~ I am a contestant in the “I CAN ACHIEVE” contest and I am currently in 49th place overall. (About top 5%) I am asking my Canadian friends and readers to consider voting for me once a day for the next few weeks. First prize is $15,000.00 which would help me to take emerging from broken to the next level. Please help me! Here is the link ~ “I CAN ACHIEVE” There is a daily prize draw of $100.00 per day for the voters too! Thanks everyone!
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