Do you ever wish you could stop and pause conversations so you have a chance to think and write out what you are going to say? Communication is hard for trauma survivors and hard even more so if you weren’t taught how to communicate. Maybe you will relate to my story.
I have been attempting to join a group at my church for a few months now. The whole process has been a nightmare. I honestly am at the point where I want to say screw it all, life is much easier alone. However, God calls us to be in community with others. My prayers to God have been, “Really, God do I have to?” I sound like a two year old.
I asked a lot of questions about how our groups were being formed, who would be our leader, and why they were forming such large groups. In return, I got a page long email from a pastor I didn’t know who had read what I sent to someone else. That right there bothered me. How come conversations aren’t private anymore?
I was in tears reading his email and wanted to say, “I’m so done with this.” I emailed him back after I calmed down and then I wrote an article about how the church can help trauma survivors. We need to know the how, what, why, when and where of what is going on to help with our anxiety and our trust issues. Most other people don’t get this. You can read my article here, but keep in mind they love to edit my words so it’s only partially mine.
After attending my first two groups with the new leader I had serious reservations about being under her. I had a not good feeling. I prayed about it and asked God to open my eyes. I am aware I am much more sensitive to who people really are than most, and I think God uses that to show me what’s real and not.
Our leader was a practicing yoga teacher, something I had serious concerns about and she also had only been reading the Bible for a year and half. I want someone grounded in the word of God to teach me how to get to that point. I discussed my concerns with another lady in the group and she invited me to a group she was leaving to join. Sounded like a good plan to me. Two other ladies had already left our group because of their concerns.
However, instead of a simple switch I got another call from another pastor at church. (Too many cooks in the kitchen comes to mind to me.) He proceeded to tell me I didn’t handle leaving in a Biblical way as in Matt chapter 18. That I should talk to the leader and explain to her. I disagreed. I saw no reason to further complicate the situation. He wouldn’t get off the phone with me until I agreed, which left me saying, “ok” just so he’d leave me alone. After that I read Matt Chapter 18 and prayed and decided an email would work. I emailed the leader and the pastor back and said the topic was now closed.
All of these people crossed boundaries with me. Way over the line in my opinion and feelings. They also tore me down to where I feel even more worthless than usual. I know you understand that feeling because it’s common after sexual trauma. And here are supposedly Christian pastors who aren’t being very Jesus like to me.
Makes me think God doesn’t want to listen to me and hear what I have to say, because these pastor’s sure didn’t.
All of this so far is what I feel. It isn’t necessarily the truth. It’s feels like it, but the truth is that God always wants to hear from us about every little thing. That’s where I find myself today, telling God that I feel like a failure once again. Here I am no job, can’t seem to handle simple conversations, no family, no anything. I tell all that to God. He listens. He lets me cry and I am confident that He’ll fill me with His love that I truly don’t feel at the moment, but it’s hard. I empathize with you on that.
So, today I encourage you when you feel like this, to talk to God. Cry all those tears you never let fall and let them fall in His lap. He cares for you. He loves you. He wants to hear from you. He will never think of you as a failure. Your identity is only who you are in Him. You are His child. Hold onto that today and in the days to come.
© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.