Twenty-five years ago at this time I was making a heart-wrenching decision, to stay or to exit the only faith I'd ever known. I didn't know I could fade and keep quiet and just seem too busy to attend worship, and that slipping away might be an option.
What I knew was, I had asked questions and the group would find an excuse to expel me because of it. I knew what was at stake if I left. I would lose all my friends, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my father-not to mention my life if God decided to kill me.
If I stayed I would have to shut down intellectually. I would have shut off a part of me that cries for justice and integrity. I would be punished for stepping out of line, shamed for a while, shunned, and maybe let back in after a year, so long as I could say I was sorry for asking questions.
Twenty-five years ago this week, my back was against the wall. I had done nothing wrong and my thought was "You can't fire me. I quit."
Nothing made sense any more. I was waking up. I still believed most of what the group taught. But I could not accept how I was treated, or how other good people were treated. Or how much we judged outsiders and ridiculed them.
I had given the group all of my first 28 years of life, but the leaders had shown no care for me when my spouse abused me, and when I divorced him, the leaders' concern was whether or not I was causing my ex to commit adultery, not whether I was safe now or not.
Twenty-five years ago this week I was finding the courage to stand up against a corrupt system and vocalize that I would no longer participate.
It was the best and hardest decision I've ever made. On May 7th 1991, I found my freedom. I started an amazing and wonderful journey.
In my next post I'll share what I gained by letting go. Until then, my wish for you is that you find the courage to give life to the part of you that cries out for justice and integrity.
My blogs take on all topics related to recovery, including commentary on the intersection of spiritual abuse and current events.
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