Why Tell My Story of Healing?
Because so many asked me, because there is an enormous need, and because I care. It’s really that simple.
After the posting of my TEDx talk online last year, I received countless requests: “Please write a book and tell us how you finally got away, how you healed.”
I read your earnest pleas: “Okay, so I left a cult or toxic religion. Now what? I need to move forward, but…how? No one taught us how to live on our own and make our own decisions, without a man directing our every move. I don’t even know where to start.”
I felt your exasperation with a man and a system that failed you miserably and had completely controlled your thinking, your emotions, your relationships, your life. Now you, who had been confined and pushed around for years in an emotional and spiritual stroller, are expected to leap out of the stroller to walk on your own with no support? How? You wonder if you still have the ability to take even one step on your own.
I was there. I remember the confusion. I lived the fear. If my years of learning to walk on my own can help you begin to do the same, nothing would give me greater joy.
You may be scratching your head wondering, “How did this happen to me? I’m too smart to end up in a cult. Why didn’t I see what was going on right in front of me? I trusted that guy – how blind could I be? How could I have led my family into such a manipulative environment? How could I have been so brainwashed?” You may blame yourself and feel like years have been wasted. You may feel like a lifetime has been wasted.
Not so. Nothing is ever a waste – if you choose to turn it into something valuable. That part is up to you. You can indeed walk away on your own two feet and find meaning in life. You can regain your balance. You can dig deep and find the strength you need.
And you, dear one, can heal.
Healing has no timetable. There is no right or wrong way to restore your life. It’s a process that is different for everyone. For some, 12 Steps are sufficient. For others of us, it’s been more like 112 Steps!
While I will be offering suggestions for healing in this book and will share with you philosophies and practical concepts that helped me on my journey – it is indeed based upon that – my journey.
Your journey is uniquely yours - your abuse, your story, your way through your fog, your healing. Only you can do the work and find your way. No one can do it for you. I can’t give you an exact formula for the balm that will heal your wounds. But if I can help you do that, I would be honored. If I can hold your hand along the path, it would be my privilege. If my message can be a catalyst for you to transform your own life, then my own arduous journey has been worth it.
If you’re looking for something that will offer theological discourse about false beliefs and practices of the IFB or other toxic religions, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you want Bible verse after Bible verse addressing fallacies and false doctrines, you won’t find it here.
I’m not an “in-your-face-with-God-talk” kind of person, for obvious reasons. Been there, done that, suffered from it, makes me nauseous. In my opinion, excessive God-talk is often a repellent or trigger with victims of religious abuse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-God, just not pro-imposing-God. I will never throw God in your face and use the Bible as a tool to “fix” you. That’s been done to you enough already - and not what you need. Not now. There are many wonderful books (some that are listed in the resource section of this site), blogs, posts and articles written from a theological perspective full of God-talk . If that’s what you want, read those.
But if you’re looking for a friend to sit next to you, offer validation and say, “It’s gonna be okay. You can do this. You aren’t crazy – those things really did happen…to you, but don’t lose hope. You’re going to heal…you’re going to be just fine.” - you’ve come to the right place. If you are searching for healing and don’t have a clue where to start, you are welcome here. If you think perhaps you can learn something from my years of wandering through the maze of life after fundamentalism, I invite you to do so.
I don’t have all the answers, will never claim to. But I’ve been through hell and back in my recovery, and perhaps what I have been through will help you, encourage you, motivate you, inspire you and instill courage and hope within you.
You don’t need to do this alone. Let’s do this together.