This Is For All The Lonely People...
Posted by: Servant Victoria ()
Date: August 12, 2017 03:14AM

...perhaps dating myself with that title, for anyone who remembers the song...

For those of us who have left a destructive church, or are in the process of leaving, this can be one of the loneliest times of our lives. I wanted to open a thread for all of us who have tasted this loneliness or might be walking through it...

Leaving something that has been all-consuming, like many of these communities are, can leave quite a void. Our identity and belief systems have revolved around something that has either become abusive to us or rejected us or lied to us or abandoned us or has distanced us from family or has manipulated us in a way we did not perceive when we joined.

Now what do we do with that void? Sometimes we are lonely and we don't realize it... it lies unrecognized below the surface, obscured by the busyness of work or family or other things we have unconsciously chosen to replace that void with. For others, the loneliness is obvious and intense.

Another issue is the difficulty of deciding where to go from here. When you leave a church that has misused its authority or otherwise harmed you, there comes a "baby and the bathwater" decision... are you going to find a way to reconnect with God in a safe, grounded, legitimate church, or are you going to throw out the baby with the bathwater and abandon faith altogether. It is usually not easy to arrive at either decision, and we often find our way to one side or the other rather slowly.

If you've been through this, you know what I'm talking about, right?

Healthy relationship is such a key component to any recovery from participation in a community where relationship was leveraged in an unhealthy way. So I just wanted to open a thread that could be used as a place to talk about this issue of loneliness and where to go from here because we really need a safe place to connect and acknowledge and heal, and if this can be one such place like that, my hope is that it would help someone.

Blessings to all...

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Re: This Is For All The Lonely People...
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 27, 2017 06:37PM

Hi Servant Victoria,

That is a lovely thought and I hope people do find comfort in and discussions to this thread.

There are many that post in the "destructive churches" forum that have had the kind of experience you mention. I certainly know what it is like to feel alone due to the rejection of a church - unable to believe they are right because of the things they do, yet unable to believe they are wrong due to the confidence they have in their message and how much I had invested in that on a personal level.

The only thing is, you may find that not many are able to see this as a generic problem, as the whole power of these destructive churches is the way they claim they are uniquely right. That makes it such an "us and them" situation that it is hard for members/ex-members to recognise that what they are experiencing is actually something that others in other churches have also experienced. If they can reach the point that they read posts on ten of the threads in this forum and recognise that the pattern is the same, they are actually well on the way to recovery.

In my experience, the time people are most lonely and need the most support is the stage before that, where they think that only someone who has been part of their particular church is able to understand why it is so important.

Hope that makes sense, and all the very best with the support you are offering. The need is great, and those who are suffering are almost always really good people who have been hurt because they care about the issues (unlike the leaders, if they cold only see that!)

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Re: This Is For All The Lonely People...
Posted by: Rob alba 67 ()
Date: November 19, 2017 12:57AM

I wish I had had someone to talk to when I left a manipulative church 20years ago. Now, all I have is a partner with dementia who does not understand any of it. I replaced it with beer and family, sadly the beer was a better support than the selfish wasters who claimed to be family.
I only joined the church because it was the first place I felt I belonged after bullying by family and at school. When you are also bullied at church you have nothing left to believe in. They are cruel manipulative people and their God is man made, don't believe in God and don't believe in people who claim to come from God. It's all lies.

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