“It’s Just That, We Care About You…”


I’ve been thinking a lot about a one of the last comments made on my post “Groomed to Doubt Through Spiritual Abuse.” The writer said in a nutshell that the people who voiced strong disagreement with my posts were people from my real life who really just cared about me. Words like this can be “catch words”, cause us to stop and second guess… especially in the process of recovering from abuse of all kinds which teaches us to doubt ourselves in the first place. It’s not my desire to pick apart readers’ comments, but it’s the idea behind this particular comment that I want to put under the microscope.

I’ve been writing a lot about spiritual abuse, and it strikes me that so much of spiritual and church abuse happens under this confusing umbrella of “we care about you.” We want you to become a Christian because we care about you. We will confront you about sin and reprimand you with Bible verses because we care about you. We will stand you up in front of the church and tell people about your wayward ways because we care about you. We will talk to so and so and so and so and so and so behind your back and ask them to talk to you or send you an email to correct you because… we care about you.

If the person saying they care about you has known you your whole life, there’s an extra layer of confusion. Somehow, it seems like their opinion should hold more weight, as if they know everything about you.  A statement like that could easily put me into a self-doubt spin. My deeper thoughts flashed through my head:, “Carla, these people say they care about you, that they are confronting you because they care. It’s pretty gutsy of you to doubt them… They’ve known you your whole life, so surely they know the real you better than you know yourself…” These doubts come from that old mentality that didn’t know my own true value and didn’t know how to define myself, myself. When I tune in to my true heart, legitimate questions put holes in their claim of “care”. Do they know me now? Have they bothered to contact me in person and have a real conversation? Do they know my true state of happiness and fulfillment in my life? Have they walked the path with me to see how far I’ve come? No, they haven’t. So when they throw accusations and corrections at my new way of thinking, it strikes me as a flat out lie that they really care about me.

I used to think like them too. I believed that pleasing the “system”, keeping myself and others within its rigid walls, would lead to my ultimate salvation. It felt easier to gauge myself and determine if I was okay or not if I kept following the rules rather than following the adventure of a free willed heart… But the truth was that living in these rigid walls was squashing me. My soul was dying a slow death because as hard as I tried, I could not find my salvation in the rules and constrictions of the system. The system DID NOT care about me. It only cared about numbers and keeping those who were blindly following, blindly following. It only cared about protecting itself.

There have been other people in my life, close friends, who have challenged me. Their challenges have not always felt comfortable. But when I ask myself the same question about them, my answer is very different. I do feel cared for by them, because I know that their aim in challenging me is to help me become all I am meant to become. They have no ulterior motive to keep me thinking the same as them or to keep me in line with their rigid, controlling system. They aren’t trying to keep me boxed in, shut down, small minded, and pliable. They want me to become more myself, stronger, less pliable, more fulfilled and deeply happy. There is a huge difference… and I can feel that difference.  Real caring encourages real life, not slavery. Real caring cares about the individual, not the system that the individual is questioning.

As we grow and change, there will be those who will try to lasso us back to where we have come from. They are afraid. They are still trying to find their salvation in the systems they are trapped in and they are protecting themselves and that system. We don’t have to fall for this claim of “I just care about you!” We can doubt them instead of doubting ourselves. We can trust that our feet are taking us in the right direction, deeper and deeper into the life we were meant to live. No one has the power to stop us from reclaiming life giving freedom and reconnecting with our true hearts. No friend, no parent, no sibling, no pastor, no relative, no organization, no leader, no spouse, no in-law. I want to send big encouragement to all of you as you keep pursuing your wholeness. You are worth it and you have what it takes.


A Special Note from Carla

These past seven months have been an amazing journey, sharing my truth and getting to know and interact with all of you here. I have been feeling a strong need to take some time to focus on myself and get more clarity on a few foundational things about “me”. In the theme of true caring, I have decided to take an indefinite writing break from Emerging From Broken. I will still be working a bit “behind the scenes” and hope to share a post from time to time and stay connected. I want to thank Darlene for her amazing support in the process of me making this decision, as it really has not been easy! I also want to thank every one of you for engaging with my posts to this point, and for sharing your incredible journeys with me and each other. With much love, Carla

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



Rock on girl. Don’t let anything stand between you and ‘the voice’.

“Deep within your being I will implant my law……I will write it on your heart”

’nuff said….


I love that Ron. Thanks so much for sharing!


Someone I know said he cared about me and the next day he had me arrested on trumped up charges, just to show his wife he didn’t care about me too much. Well I care about HIM so much that I’m going to sue the bastard.


Wow a very moving piece and so very true. I have been busy typing up a inner healing course that sheds light to our true need of wanting to be connected because God ordained us to have that need and in abusive situations that need is what is used against us. That “I care about you” lays a heavy weight and as you pointed out it causes us to stop and think and even doubt ourselves. But the truth is not every person that says “I care” really has the right motive for caring no matter how nice they may seem.

Carla I have really enjoyed your blogs they have been so helpful to me and I do understand your need to step back and respect that though you will be missed (((HUGS))) and may God bless you on your journey. with all my love, Nikki


thank you Carla for posting this particular piece prior to your hiatus,,, it has touched me where i needed the touch. being a survivor of church abuse, this has aided in loosing those deep tentacles that have the tendency of causing doubt [once again],,, it also aided in confirming who does care,,, again, thank you for posting this and enjoy your time away,,, breathe, take notes, and share the abundance upon return. Much Love and Respect,,, Lisabeth


Tiggy, that sounds like a painful situation… All the best to you as you sort out the best course of action.

Nikki, that’s another good point- sometimes when someone says “I care about you so reconsider what you’re doing”, we can feel an extra weight of responsibility to somehow agree with them so that they will feel better… That’s old thinking as well that doesn’t serve me anymore. All the best to you with this course you’re writing! That sounds really exciting Nikki. Thanks for the (((HUGS)))!- 🙂 I send some right back at you! Love to you too, Carla


Carla, you are going to be soooo missed! I love your pure spirit and vulnerability in sharing your thoughts and your heart with us, and your ability to draw us into deeper thoughts about our own struggles in our journey to inner freedom. You have great gifts and a beautiful heart and I have felt so honored to have gotten a glimpse of the Carla who is blossoming!

I absolutely agree that when our inner voice tells us it’s time to do something, whether move in another direction, or whether to just sit back a bit and let growth come in a different way, we need to listen. That inner voice knows what we need! Kudos to you for having the wisdom to hear it and follow! Huge sign of growth and being your own person!

I hope we will hear from you as you feel to be right.

Much love and hugs!


And one more thing!!! I TOTALLY agree with your post above, I am dealing with this very thing and it’s so difficult, the emotional roller coaster ride of being pulled in a direction that you know is no longer true and yet feeling that doubt because of the way people word things when they attempt to draw you back in. It takes a great amount of courage and fortitude to stay your course, the one you know is right for you in the face of all of this pressure from friends and family.

Thank you for being courageous and sharing your heart, once again, and staying true to YOU!



Jeanette, I feel the same hope, that this decision will take me to my next stage and next phase of growth, whatever that looks like. I love how you word that! Thank you Jeanette- your support is amazing! And your own journey is always an inspiration to me. Much love and many hugs to you too!!!


Lisabeth, welcome here! It is good to meet you and thanks for commenting, sharing your experience and sending your well wishes. I like your excellent advice! Take care friend, Carla


Interesting column and insight into “I just care about you.” I just found this blog, but I’m sure it takes a lot of time and energy. My husband and I facilitate a support group in the Dallas area for people who have experienced spiritual/cultic abuse. Your readers can check out our website if anyone is interested. http://www.dallascult.com


I so love your insight and the way you share it; you shed light on the path, inviting others to look if they so choose and when ready, without influence – the light shines for them that they might then share and shine the light for others. What a wonderful natural web you weave:)

Take care Carla.



Carla, you will be missed. Taking care of yourself and your needs is so very important and you are sharing your recovery even as you take time to care for yourself. So many of us who have been abused don’t know how to care for ourselves. Sometimes taking quiet time away is what we need the most at certain times in our lives. You are wise to know that about yourself and in sharing that you are a great example of recovery in action. Now I am off to have a glorious day of visiting with my grandchildren who are here visiting from Idaho.


I still have some hurt left over from the ways that people showed and didn’t show that they “cared” about me. Upon close examination, it seems so much more likely that they cared about how much control they had over me. Your post is such a great example of the misuse of power from certain people in your life. If we go with the teaching that the proper use of personal power is to empower, then how can all this judgment and correction be the right use of that power?

It especially bugs me that we are so conditioned to take whatever is dished out. That we are so conditioned (from childhood) to believe that these actions from so many others are based in love and concern. This is exactly what Hitler did with his child army by conditioning children to see things his way, but he only wanted to control and manipulate them. He didn’t love them at all, but he loved what they could do for him.

It bugs me that no one even wants to acknowledge how much more happy you are now, then you were before you had this new understanding. That you struggled with depression before, and now you are learning to live Carla’ life for Carla. How can that be bad??

This is not a problem that resides only in the Church or organized religion. When Jim and I were going through our marriage counseling and he was giving up some of his control over me and we were becoming equal partners, I was shocked at how upset his family was getting about it! HE WAS SO MUCH HAPPIER… and yet no one wanted to see that. No one would see that or even consider that. All of our relationships outside our marriage would have improved if people had let us be who we are in the first place. Instead, these people refused to accept our changes, and now we have no relationship with them.

I love this post and the passion that you have written it with.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for the insight. It is so true. I am a cult survivor and the approach you descibe was used over and over again in the group I left. I will revisit and read more. “I just care”.. so I will run over you to prove a point…
Helaing… the only direction to take.




Hi Carla,
I said something last week that applies to your case here. If people have not “walked a mile” in your shoes then they just are not qualified to give you advice. So you don’t have to listen to them even if they are well intentioned. Most of the problems that we have today are because of well intentioned people. “We thought we were doing right by you.” You may well have to say “No thanks!” to these people and tell them directly that they just wouldn’t understand. A good example of this is a woman who is raped and the church is thinking that she had something to do with it. Clearly, if another person hasn’t been down that road it is near next to impossible to know what the other person is going through and much less help the person with their real issues. Now that I’ve said that nice and bluntly, let me add that Church goers are “political” in a sense that they need to stick to the Church’s agenda on what “help” is defined as. So people try to “help” you from their point of view but maybe not necessarily in your very best interest. Only God can know what is best for you and we as humans should only get prompting from God’s spirit not what a church says in order to comfort you or help you. Stop listening to those who don’t understand and just refuse to understand you. The are hard hearted or hard headed even though well intentioned. You may need to change churches or denomination if these people are relentless. You need time and space to heal completely and just be free and just be yourself. I want to say something to all of the church goes out there – the point of God’s word is not for you to clobber someone with it — it’s for you and God to become closer and through that relationship, you feel the pain and needs of others, and because of your love for others are prompted to reach out and love them, cry with them, pray with them, suffer with them and be with them, and if God himself would have you speak to them, then HE will prompt you to do so but with love and not your words but his.
Carla, you are God’s precious child and will forever be. No one can ever change that or interfere with that relationship. You are his forever and He is yours forever.
God bless,
Your friend,
Manuel Jones


Susan and Patricia, thank you each so much for your support and thoughts. I am so blessed to know you both, and glad that we can share in the journey together.

Darlene, your thoughts add so much. Thanks for widening the lens, once again, and helping others to see my point in so many other different areas too. What you say about Hitler really sums it all up: “He didn’t love them at all, but he loved what they could do for him.” Thanks Darlene.


John, welcome here! Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t know a lot about cult groups specifically, but can imagine from what I do know, how confusing all the manipulation is that happens in that kind of controlling environment. I’m so glad that you came out on the other side and are here sharing your journey. All the best to you John, and I do hope you’ll revisit often!

Manuel, thanks (again) for making some really awesome points! What strikes me is how easy it can be to feel that because someone is good intentioned, we should comply with what they’re asking of us. This is one aspect of living as a victim, living like someone else’s intentions for you hold more weight than your own, or, as you’ve said, God’s. Thank you for stressing the importance of relationship. I really appreciate your friendship Manuel, and all you bring to these discussions.

Love, Carla


Commenting on Darlene’s note. We do not purchase someone when we get married, there is no receipt – it’s a partnership of two equals, where no one should try to control the other. What saddens me is the unfair treatment of women by both men and women. Women are of the same value as men, period! Once that gets settled then we can re-arrange our erroneous thinking habbits. Young boys and men especially should be taught the value of females as equals so when they get grown the correct attitudes will come from within. Were different in ways but equal all together.


What I mean by “re-arrange” is to discard our erroneous thinking habbits. My point is that error happens when we look at things from a distorted perspective. In contrast, I like to live my life by correct principles. In this (Darlene’s note) would be the principle of women and men are equal. So now I can base my decisions on this correct premise (perspective). Now my perspective is correct.


Wendy J, it is great to meet you~ I warmly welcome you here and thank you for offering your site (and your book) as a resource.

Manuel, AMEN Brother!! What you say is so true- change starts with our beliefs and re-arranging our fundamental principles. I think there have been big steps towards change in this specific area in our society overall, but in practice, especially in relationships between men and women, there’s still a lot of change necessary. Thanks for articulating this message here Manuel!



I really appreciate this post Carla and I like how it really ties the last few posts you have written together. It is a common thread. I think that “It’s just because I care about you” could often be literally translated as “It’s just because I care about me.” Although sometimes it might be intentionally used as a tactic, I think it more often happens on a subconscious level, behind the closed door. It’s not an intellectual statement, its emotionally driven. I feel like the people who have “lovingly challenged” you on these posts are simply EMOTIONALLY REACTING to what they read after it was processed through their twisted grid of understanding. (sounds harsh, but sometimes the truth is….) They are not reading intellectually to see the TRUTH as it was written and respond accordingly, often times debating topics that aren’t even on the table of discussion.

I am super proud of everything you have written here and hope that you feel encouraged by the GIGANTIC response from loving people have read these posts properly and been touched on a deep level. Who knows….. You are probably saving lives!

Love you.


Adam, thanks for your comments! I agree with you~ it’s really easy to react to new information that challenges your current way of thinking or functioning in the world. I love how you highlight all the amazing positive stuff that happens here- that is the whole point! I wrote these posts to offer hope. Love you too Adam! ~Carla


Living with integrity means:

Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others.

Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension.

Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values.

Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.

(Barbara De Angelis)

This is a definition of integrity that I have posted on my fridge. It reminds me of Carla. Over the last few years, these qualities have been gradually taking place in her life. At times it was hard for me to accept because I struggled with the traditional standards of conduct for a “Christian”. I worried what people would think. I was afraid that Carla would loose her faith.

Carla has been a catalyst for change within our family…positive change. She speaks the truth even when it causes awkwardness or disrupts the outwardly “happy family” appearance. This promotes discussion and encourages us to be more honest and open.

Over the last several months on Emerging From Broken, she has displayed much courage by “…speaking her truth, even though it might create conflict or tension” and I am so proud of her for it. What she has written hasn’t been preachy or aimed at trying to convince others to think her way. It has been HER truth, HER experience, HER story. How can anyone argue with that?

Concerning her faith, Jesus was all about promoting freedom and telling the truth. I don’t think I have anything to worry about there.

Carla, your posts have been enlightening and encouraging to me and to many others. Thank you so much! I look forward to see what you will do next.

Love, Mom


Thanks Mom. Your support is a gift and it means a lot to me. I love the quote that you shared; thank you for sharing it with everyone here too. I love you too Mom! ~Carla


“It’s just that we care about you”. In my case it was translated as “It’s for your own good”; I’d completely forgotten about this, another way of them justifying punishment and keeping me compliant. Really it was just to make life easier for them; another part of my past to get annoyed about!


As painful as it may be to realize now, I hope the uncovering of that lie (and the bondage that goes along with it) will pave the way for the truth and more freedom in your journey Sam… Thanks for reading and for responding too! ~Carla

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