Spiritual Abuse; When the name of God is used to Guilt and ShameBy
I get really angry when I think about the degree of spiritual abuse that is ‘out there’ and how victims are preached LIES about right and wrong and how the name of GOD is used to back up those lies. It upsets me that the name of God is used to guilt and shame abuse victims and survivors into staying silent. This is such a common tactic that controlling people use, it makes me sick.
Take the forgiveness directive for example and how people insist that blind forgiveness is what God would want us to do; even on the EFB facebook page people post daily that forgiveness is the solution to healing from child abuse and that jumping straight to forgiveness is for the victim’s freedom without ever considering that forgiveness in most of the cases WE are referring to, is towards perpetrators and offenders who DENY that they have ever done anything wrong. Here in Emerging from Broken we are not talking about people who are sincerely sorry for what they have done and are asking for forgiveness and making the effort to stop causing harm. We are talking about people who either say that they didn’t do it, OR they stand behind their entitlement for doing it and they don’t want forgiveness NOR are they willing to repent or stop doing the abusive things that are doing. In this way, by being taught that forgiveness for those types of perpetrators is a solution, victims of child abuse (and even ongoing abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment on into adulthood) are further invalidated and re-abused.
Often times, when victims of abuse perpetrated by a family member or close friend try to talk about what happened to them, they are told to “get over it” or “forgive and forget” and a whole host of other little sayings designed to make the victim feel bad about talking. And not just to feel bad about ‘talking’ about it, the victim ends up feeling bad about what happened to them as if it was something he or she did wrong to attract it in the first place and even believing that their ‘feelings’ about it are unfounded.
Talking about what happened to me is not “negative.” Talking about it doesn’t bring shame on the survivor of the abuse, the Church or on the name of Jesus Christ. It brings shame on the ABUSER or PERPATRATOR of the CRIME. And that is as it should be.
Can you imagine Jesus Christ looking down on a little child and telling him or her they need to get over it? Can you picture God advising a child (or an adult child survivor) to ‘forgive and forget’ even before the abuse has been validated, soothed, bandaged and wept over and while the perpetrators are STILL denying that they did something wrong? Do you think that Jesus Christ, God, or whatever type of spiritual power you follow would want these manipulative people and the perpetrators of so much pain and emotional harm walk away without being exposed and if need be charged and convicted? Who would worship THAT god, the god who would be on the side of the abuser? What kind of higher power would suggest that the abusive person in the relationship should NOT be exposed? What kind of loving god would suggest that abuse should be covered up?
What kind of spiritual guru would advise children to suck it up and take it adding that it is ‘for their own good or brought on by the child’ and then when that child is grown up would advise the now adult child to forget about it or tell the adult child that it happened a long time ago as if that has something to do with why we should keep it a secret. What kind of GOD would want this kind of stuff covered up?
What kind of loving being would not care to put a stop to the abuser by exposing him or her?
What kind of “Creator” or spiritually enlightened entity OR individual would teach that telling, exposing or talking about abuse is a negative thing to do? Why would a healthy loving leader want the abusers to get away with the crimes they have committed thus enabling them to repeat the offence? What kind of spiritual entity would want victims and survivors of painful upbringings, domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect and emotional abuse to BE QUIET for the sake of protecting the people who did this harm to them in the first place.
What about the saying “They did the best they could.” Would it make sense to you if someone said to you “forgive him for sexually abusing you, after all, he did the best he could.” I don’t think that God or any Spiritual Power of the Universe would agree that this sexual offender was ‘doing the best he or she could.”
It is this kind of thinking and victim blaming that leads survivors of abuse and victims of abuse to come to the conclusion that GOD let the abuse happen. It is this kind of thinking that keeps victims and survivors STUCK in the low self-esteem that resulted from the damage caused by the devaluing and sometimes dehumanizing treatment that we were subjected to in the first place.
To the people that quote the Bible even the Bible says that we have to follow the law of the land, so why would family or friends of family be exempt from the law?
Think about it; the people who want our silence are people that are afraid of being caught because they KNOW that what they are doing is wrong but their entitlement issues are bigger than their knowledge of right and wrong and they have taught a whole society to believe that talking about this stuff is ‘wrong’.
Abusive, controlling, entitled people and the people who are afraid of them will say almost anything to get you to shut up. They will label you as angry, hateful and unforgiving if you decide to stand up to them and the ways that they regard you. I want to shout at them and to the ones that defend them ~ “What do you think I am angry about???” Anger is justifiable in this situation! It isn’t hateful to stand up for yourself. I had to really think about these things in order to realize the truth about it all. Being labeled as unforgiving because I spoke up for myself towards people that don’t want forgiveness and don’t even admit that they did something that requires forgiveness is baffling to me and when I saw it through new eyes, it didn’t matter what they said anymore; I don’t buy it anymore. I don’t own that shame or guilt that isn’t mine to carry anymore. I gave it back to them. I don’t believe that I am unforgiving or that my anger is misplaced. I am not hateful, I am not fragile, I am not crazy, guilty or vengeful and I don’t believe any of those titles that were given to me when I was under the spell and fear of abusive, controlling and manipulative people. And I certainly don’t believe that a God of love would EVER defend the abuser over the one abused.
I believe in what is best. I believe that Love is about what is best for all, and I will never believe that covering up for abusers and perpetrators of abuse is ever best for anyone. Not even for them.
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