So I got into a Facebook argument with a friend from high school last week. What's new, right? That's what Facebook is all about it seems these days, right? ha. No, this was pretty interesting. I didn't mean to get into a Facebook argument.
I went to school with this friend since 4th grade. We graduated from high school together. There were 12...13, maybe of us altogether in the graduating class. Independent, fundamental baptist church. My friend wrote a post about our childhood and tagged me in the post. He was remembering a lot of good people (and they were). My friend didn't know that his trip down memory lane and my subsequent negative comment (which was only party negative) would lead to the equivalence of him yelling at me in his response to me. He was basically telling me to get over it and stop raining on his memory lane parade. Or at least that's how I interpreted it. I commented back "sorry" and he said "OK". Then I decided I wasn't "sorry". I felt what I felt and I wasn't sorry. So I deleted my sorry. He deleted his 'ok' and his rant, but left my comment. We have since discussed and ad a great conversation (via Facebook messenger of course ;-) ) love my life long friends. I really do.
But at the time he didn't know the stuff that I had processed in therapy that week. In essence, in his comment he was telling me to get over it. I mean it's been 28 years. He may have just been talking about the fundamentalism and legalism we grew up in. I was talking about abuse. Not sexual abuse. I want to make that clear. But spiritual abuse. Abuse in power. I had processed some deep shameful stuff that I had never processed before just a few days before. So I'm thankful for Tim.
So, listening to my friend take a stroll down memory lane discussing other people was fine. We had some great memories with some great people. It wasn't all bad. At all. I guess the timing of his post with the timing of my processing just clashed, but it was really a good thing and quite beneficial, because it was really good for me.
No one may really understand this or me or why I feel the wayI do and that's OK. I've processed some heavy stuff the past two weeks. I have never, ever written anything down about the spiritual abuse I encountered growing up in a independent, fundamental baptist church and shared it. Ever.
Yesterday I led a breakout session at a Women's conference. I told a group of women who do not know me one aspect of spiritual abuse that occurred when I was beginning my senior year of high school and it was done by the the pastor I grew up with in childhood . It was an abuse of power on his part and it should never have happened. This abuse has a critical role in my shame with my weight. I have never shared anything like this with people who were not super close with me.
Today, what my pastor, Aarron Schwartz said, most likely in passing, hit me straight between the eyes, was that when people abuse spiritually, it is usually most likely because of a boundary break. I would agree with that. Not surprised by that. What he said next, took my breath away. Those who spiritually abuse, for the most part, are not bad people. But because of broken boundaries, they take on or don't have the necessary boundaries they need so they hurt other people because of it. Wow.
And I think that's exactly what happens in churches where there is no accountability. The Pastor takes on way too much power and before you know it, he thinks he needs to save his flock. And so he takes on too much responsibility and before you know it he is taking on the role as 'messiah' and rescuing and then there is anger, disappointment, and hurt when people don't respond the way he wants them to. And everything gets warped. It was just warped power. The end. And it hurt innocent people. And that is sad.
Anyway, this needed to be written for me. I think it is part of my continued healing. Some may not get it. That's OK. It wasn't written for you.
I have forgiven long ago. People will be held accountable for their actions. Why this has taken so long for me to let go .....SHAME. And I was the one holding onto it. That's why. And that wasn't my fault. Because I didn't put that shame there. But I am responsible for putting it to rest and walking in freedom.
Some people think I"m broken.
A prisoner of the past.
What they don''t understand is that healing takes time.
Because even though I am whole
and even though I am free,
Shame has its own calling card,
Shame has its own address and name.
Shame likes to take up residence in a broken person's soul,
And even though that person isn't broken,
Shame just doesn't seem to know.
Until The Light breaks in and The Door is opened
And memories are brought to light
And the broken is reminded
They had no part in the hurting
No, they were just an innocent one standing by
When you're sixteen or seventeen
You trust the adults in your life
And if they tell you you're pretty
Then you believe them when they tell you a lie.
You were pretty. That wasn't the lie.
It's OK to not feel fondly
Of a place that heaped shame
It's OK to mourn
And it's OK to feel sad
Maybe no one else experienced it,
But you did. That shame called your name.
But now there is freedom
And now there is light
You have told your story
And it shines in the light
Go and be free
For you have always held the key
I have no idea if this poem makes any sense but I just wrote it this afternoon. Along with this blog post. The more things I put to light the less hold they will have on the inside. And I want ALL the stuff that has been holding me on the inside to finally come out. I want to experience freedom like I have never experienced it before.
Thank you for listening.