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Religious Trauma

Why does this relationship hurt so much?

When you look around you, it seems like your friends and family have great relationships with their faith traditions.

They have a sense of identity and belonging, and they experience support when they’re going through the hard stuff.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been your experience.

Instead, this was a place where vulnerability and authenticity were punished rather than honored.

A place where questions were shut down and dismissed.

A place where abuse was tolerated and swept under the rug – and where fear, guilt, and shame were used to control and manipulate.

The disconnect is getting harder to manage.

You’re scared to speak up because you’re afraid people won’t believe you or that your pain will be discounted.

You’ve already seen how this goes, and you know what to expect. You tell yourself that it really isn’t “that bad” or that “people mean well.”

After all, how can you speak up for yourself when God is (allegedly) on the side of those doing harm? You may have been led to believe that what happened was your fault or that it never really happened. Even worse, “Maybe God is using this to teach you a lesson.”

You have this nagging sense that you’re bad or flawed.

You’ve begun to notice that your body is tense and that you feel anxious. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells – always on high alert and scanning your environment for threat.

And it’s not just when you’re at church; the feeling has become more pervasive and is infecting the rest of your life.

You don’t feel at home in your body. Struggling to identify what you need, you wonder if you deserve what was done to you.

Find Hope and Healing

I know how painful, lonely, and disorienting religious trauma can be. Healing from religious trauma and thriving in the aftermath look different for everybody.

I’m not interested in changing your beliefs, fixing your theology, or imposing my own values on you. After all, you’ve already had enough pain inflicted on you by those who “meant well” but did otherwise.

Your story will be held here with compassion and without judgment. Together, we’ll work on helping you reconnect with – or perhaps even discover for the first time – your core values so that you can heal, learn to trust yourself, and forge a life that is rich, meaningful, and purpose-filled.

If you’re ready to begin the journey of healing from toxic spirituality, call me at (615) 823-0701.