I have PTCS, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome, and I’m hesitant to write this; I mean, the general consensus of secular church-goers are, indeed, folks that love the church, *their* church, and other than typical judgments, have never been hurt by one church in particular.
I envy them.
They don’t have this gnawing pain that eats away at them; this pain like a dormant volcano, can subside days, weeks, and even months, but just a nonsensical trigger – or even one that makes is sense – makes the PTCS erupt like a wild, fiery volcano with subsidiary ash going everywhere.
It may not be the most fitting analogy, but it’s close to how I feel this morning.
I never thought I’d be someone who would allow a group of people to demonize me based on my differentiating views on God, but I did. I have documented a very water-downed version of the most recent unsavory church experience and that’s where I will leave it, but God and myself are very aware of the things that took place that hurt me internally past recognition.
A part of this healing journey is recognizing those emotions and not burying them under a rug somewhere — this journey for healing is understanding that people aren’t perfect, and neither is the church. There are many churches that are exemplary examples of God’s love, and with that being noted, there are also churches (or rather the people inside of them) that are more focused on their cruel intent than facilitating God’s grace to all members of this green earth.
Until late, it’s those churches that I have been neglected by.
All of my pain is internally embedded and for many weeks, months, and years I lost my value, not only as a woman, but as a human being. I *ALLOWED* self-proclaimed people of God to dictate what God valued me as. In the process, they were only projecting their own hurts, pandering to their over-inflated ego, and wanted that authority to, essentially, limit my – and other’s – capabilities and gifts to uplift themselves.
That’s it in a nutshell.
However, I’m not going to minimize my pain any more or allow another person to do that.
It hurts. It bloody hurts. It hurts more than any of the four children I naturally birthed into this beautiful, yet crazy world.
It hurts that I trusted people who I really did authentically love, and those same people spiritually abused me and emotionally rendered me in return.
It hurts to know someone used my loving God against me, and it hurts even more knowing I allowed these bastards…these silly, irrelevant bastards to internally rape me.
That’s the crux of it all for me and MY experience – I was spiritually raped by someone I trusted. I’ve been actually raped before, and as horrifying and degrading as that experience was, this experience has been more horrifying on a more vulnerable scale.
I know, I know, I know that each passing day those severed wounds will slowly generate together to heal. It won’t be easy. It will be hard. It will hurt. It will resonate in the worst way deep inside of me, but I will heal.
I. WILL. HEAL.
It won’t be tomorrow. It won’t be this summer. It won’t be in 2015. But it will happen, but the thing is, after the wound is healed, there will be a scar. Over time, though, the pain and hurt that is synonymous with that wound turns into a bold story of spiritual freedom and independence.
I have PTCS.
You might think I am weird or that I’m making things up in my head, and that’s okay.
I have triumphantly looked at the faces that have attempted to murder my spirit and I pity them. Sure, I’m crying this morning because of a silly virtual trigger which took me back to a time when dominant male forces placed a low value on me as a human being, but I know something else…
Once these tears have fallen my faith in both God and Jesus will persevere over asinine ingrates and misogynists.
These cold, salty tears rolling down my rosy cheeks this morning aren’t just for me, but for every single person that has been wounded by someone in God’s name.
These tears are for you, fellow LGBT brother and sister, that’s been told you are going to “burn in hell” in God’s name.
These tears are for you, fellow women of valor, whose value has been reduced to your genitals.
These tears are for you, brave brethren, whose emotions have been demonized because of your paycheck.
These tears are for you, bullied children, who have been diminished because of your church status.
These tears are for you, wounded leaders and pastors, who have seen the worst of the worst.
These tears are for you, rape victims, who have been told that it’s your fault you were sexually attacked.
These tears are for you, all of you, that’s ever been ostracized and cruelly thrown aside by someone who is supposed to protect your spirit in the name of God.
Yes, these tears are for you.
All of you.