I think the real reason I am writing this post today is because I have been struggling to finish the last chapter of my book: a chapter entitled "Still Christian?" It's not that it's not written - it is.
I have some seriously conflicted feelings about this whole weekend. I know I am not alone in this, either. For many people who have deconstructed and/or lost the faith they once had, major holidays like this can bring up a LOT of complicated feelings. We used to make a big deal out of Easter and Christmastimes, and now we don't really know what to do with it.
The freeze response may occur in a religious context when people feel stuck or trapped in a harmful situation and they don't see viable options before them to get out or find safety. This could be anything from sexual, narcissistic, financial, or emotional abuse being perpetrated on church members, to simple faith deconstruction like questioning whether hell is real in a system where this is prohibited.
We have officially reached the anniversary of Covid being declared a pandemic. If, over the past year (or more) you have found yourself numb, detached, checked out, unmotivated, and in a word, frozen: then this post is for you.
Is there any other time in recent history when our culture has truly needed to be awake to death and allow ourselves to grieve, yet found ourselves so unable to do so? Christiana Peterson’s Awakened by Death: Life-Giving Lessons from the Mystics is prescient, published in 2020 but written pre-COVID. It is a much-needed voice for our time.
The response you probably didn't even know existed. Today we are going to talk about an often-overlooked trauma response that is near and dear to my heart: the Please / Appease response and how it shows up in religious and political climates.
Anybody else raised in purity culture? You know, no sex before marriage, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, purity rings, really awful metaphors about how premarital sex degrades girls' value, belief that girls' bodies cause boys and men to stumble, etc... (*raises hand*). If you were raised in 90s and early 2000s evangelical culture like I was, you know it's a whole lifestyle. And often, a cause of much shame and trauma*.
I began writing my spiritual memoir back in 2013, writing that now feels like the AOL / dial-up internet version of the book I am working on now. I have been transforming those memoir pieces into a book that examines fundamentalist evangelical Christianity and how it so frequently creates trauma in its adherents.
In the House of Friends: Understand and Healing from Spiritual Abuse in the Christian Church. Cults, spiritual abuse, religious trauma. We might think of things that happen in books or only in extreme circumstances, but Ken Garrett presents a very cogent explanation of what it looks like when this shows up in churches and denominations … Continue reading Review: “In the House of Friends”
Winter, long and melancholy, has kicked up its feet; Stretched out, it’s here to stay, an unwelcomed guest in the home of my soul Poetry reminds me of life beyond this gray I crave the greens, blues, whites, and yes even grays of the places I used to live and love recalling the girl it … Continue reading Woodpecker