The Legacy of Spiritual Abuse

by Jang 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jang

    Found this article on the web some time back folks ..... could relate to most of
    it ..... thought it might be of help to all of you too ..


    Spiritual abuse once robbed me of the things listed below. Has it also robbed you?

    The ability to meet people without judging their motives and actions.
    The ability to mind my own business.
    The ability to meet others' stated needs instead of using their need to hide my pain.
    The ability to meet any situation without feeling inadequate or "less-than".
    The ability to hear what people say instead of what I think they mean.
    The ability to allow my (husband/wife/best-friend, etc.) to be the kind of person s/he chooses to be
    instead of how I perceive him/her to be.
    The ability to have an intimate relationship with another human being.
    The ability to have spontaneous actions and reactions.
    The ability to allow God, or the Holy Spirit inside me, to interpret life for me instead of the church or its leaders.
    The ability to recognize when I am in pain either physically or emotionally.
    The ability to allow others to be right.
    The ability to have genuine fun.
    The ability to accept my abilities, accomplishments, talents and assetswithout shame.
    The right to fail, make mistakes, or err in judgment.
    The ability to remember names, details, and/or directions.
    The ability to be emotionally present in a painful situation.

    Within the context of spiritual abuse, boundaries are violated upon such dubious
    justifications as "looking out for your soul", "being my brother's keeper",
    "loving you in Christ", "giving exhortation and admonishment", "preaching the
    Word of God", and a host of others. All are designed with the classic abuser's
    trap of making the victim, not himself, feel or seem responsible for the
    abuse. Anyone who truly feels genuine personal concern for the welfare of
    another would surely take the time to properly earn their trust before
    approaching them on a sensitive issue.

    Healthy psychological boundaries are designed to keep our inner sanctum safe
    and unadulterated from the casual and careless trampling of unwanted
    intruders. Some signs of unhealthy boundaries in relationships with others are
    as follows:

    1.Telling all; unable to discern what is your right to keep private or what might not be appropriate to disclose.
    2.Talking at an intimate level too soon, or at the first meeting.
    3.Feeling pushed into talking at an intimate level.
    4.Pushing others to disclose more of themselves than they are openly willing.
    5.Falling "in love" or becoming obsessed with anyone who reaches out.
    6.Being overwhelmed by a person - preoccupied.
    7.Going against personal values or rights to please others.
    8.Not noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries.
    9.Not noticing when someone invades your boundaries.
    10.Accepting food, gifts, touch, companionship or sex that you don't want.
    11.Touching a person without asking.
    12.Allowing another to take as much as they can from you.
    13.The inability to say "no" or "enough".
    14.Letting others direct your life.
    15.Letting others describe or dictate your reality.
    16.Letting others define you or who you are.
    17.Believing others can anticipate your needs.
    18.Expecting others to fill your needs automatically.
    19.Trying to direct others' lives.
    20.Trying to describe or dictate others' reality.
    21.Trying to define who others are.
    22.Falling apart so someone will take care of you.


  • LDH

    I can see my parents and a ton of my friend's parents in this post....

    Which is why, as JT says, we were 'victims of victims.'

  • slipnslidemaster

    Just your parents???

    I see me.

    . o O (slipnslidemaster)

  • LDH

    Not since I've left.

    And before I left, I would've been so blind I wouldn't have seen me either.

  • slipnslidemaster

    It's almost 8 years and I see the abuse that was done to me in every single relationship that I've had so far.

    . o O (slipnslidemaster)

  • AuSet

    This one really hit home for me. I have been really thinking about a lot of these things lately. Having
    been raised a JW, I really have no idea of what a normal relationship really is. I'm in the process of
    defining boundaries and haven't the foggiest idea of how to begin to do so. I also lack a lot of life skills
    and normal relationship skills that my parents should have taught me but didn't..

    A friend recently gave me a book entitled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" (although in my case
    it was not so subtle) This is an excellent book for someone on their way out of a system, although it
    was not designed to explain what happens in cults like the JDubs, but attempts to explain what happens
    sometimes in your more "normal" religious systems. I highly reccomend this book to anyone in need
    of help! The author's reinterpretation of certain scriptures (contrary to what had been taught to me)
    was a real eye-opener!

    Jang, thanks so much for posting your list, it really needs to be discussed in further detail!!

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