Many leaving Toxic religions don’t realize they were being ‘Spiritually Abused’. With some of these high control religions or groups you normally lose your family and friends suddenly, the trauma can be abusive, even overwhelming.
Follow these steps to recover:
Step 1: Allow yourself time to grieve. Death of family and friends has occurred. You may feel numbness, depression, anxiety, anger even question whether there is a GOD. Those are normal responses and are generally short lived. You must embrace this important process of grieving.
Step 2: Get away from the abusive situation gradually as a fade or quickly, cold turkey. Whatever works for you. It is okay to stop attending the religious services so you don’t hear the abusive voices. Often you won’t heal unless you stop going or stop reading their books, literature and lectures.
Step 3: Remember to love yourself (Mark 12:31; Ephesians 5:29). It simply means you care enough about your life that God gave you to try and save your spirituality. Give yourself some space and stretching room. Create a corner where you can just breathe and pray directly to GOD thru Jesus Christ only, no mention of elders or governing body or your pastor or leader as many do when praying at their religious meetings.
Get a massage, take walks, look around at the creations of God. Smile, wave at people you pass. Take off the headphones and just open your eyes and ears to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the beauty of Jehovah’s creation and thank him, talk to him. Crying is okay, arms above your head and breath in deeply. Now exhale.
Step 4: Don’t think you have to throw the baby out with the water. We never want to get stuck in the victim mode but want to progress and become VICTORS! Explore other religious voices on subjects and yes you can read the Bible by itself and ask God for his Holy Spirit to understand it. Ask in Jesus name, Christ promised you will get help. Read the book of John listen as Jesus says farewell until he comes again. He didn’t come to judge the world but to save it, so don’t be afraid of Armageddon.
Step 5: Be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help to sort out the pieces and put them in their proper places. It could be a counselor or another spiritual person or group that listens. Get involved in things you like to do, that makes you happy, volunteer and enjoy the happiness of giving, it is good for the soul. Smile, laugh, and get tons of good quality sleep without having to get up and knock on doors and disturb others. Give yourself time to recover and make your own decisions. Your sins are forgiven by the shed blood of Christ. Drop them at his feet! http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2013/03/11/how-do-we-manage-guilt/
“Toxic faith has bad results, while real spirituality has good results. Toxic faith condemns; real spirituality releases. Toxic faith is works-based; real spirituality is faith-based. Toxic faith judges; real spirituality is all about grace."
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."
Ephesians 4:32: (ESV) "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
I left from JW in 2008. After that I had to learn to live normal life. I got married had children. There has been many attacks from Satan that has made me the person who I am today. Those experiences made me stronger and fearless. In JW times I was shy but now I’m totally different. If I would have stay in JW I still would be prisoner of my shy cover. Now I don’t even fear to say anyone that I have been a Jehovah Witness.
This latest attack from Satan was so disgusting. He was trying to get me down. Separate my family. He wasn’t able to do that. I kept praying every day from Jehovah to support us in this case and keep my family together. It helped. I’m telling you if you are struggling in Satan’s attacks don’t give up. No matter how disgusting that attack would be. Even if that attack would concern your family members as it was in mine. It might not end right away it might take months, but stay loyal to Jehovah and Jesus. When you survive, it has made you stronger.
Now I’ve totally moved on and left behind JW thoughts. Now I can read Bible with clear thoughts. I have kind of removed old thoughts to recycle bin and now installing new thoughts to my memory.
You can move on after leaving. Change might not happen right away as it did not happen with me either. But we all are different persons.
Marjo, you always impressed me with you knowledge of scripture. I am studying without filtering it thru what I knew from infancy still now. I have always been told the answer and what someone else reasoned. Now I just am confident when I see the understanding. I sometimes don’t reflect on if the old answers were correct. Some say, “that’s independent thinking, the slave has written the answer”. But I ask,”independent of who”. Jesus is the only man that we have to follow his footsteps closely.
So now I say,”what would Jesus do”? I don’t consult any books, I am done with getting the answers there first.
Holy Spirit is so powerful!I like to feel it helping me.
Marjo I will be 70years old on October 31. So my trials are different from yours. But I do remember those types and it almost killed me when my family came under attack many times with my babies. I pray for you my little sister.
You are so Strong with Jehovah’s Power! You survived this. We thank HIM for this mercy and love kindness towards you. God bless you and your poor husband.
My trials comes from different sources it seems these days, but what a support system we little, a “Rag-Tag”, band of Brothers have built up here on the site.
Remember Kent from Sweden? He works hard behind the scene with the site, unseen,so we can hear each other’s voice!
What a blessing He is, as he boldly works thru huddles to help us set up this site and BBB.
We have Dave, he works to keep us together by focusing us directly on scripture proving scripture. And runs interference from any indoctrination.
There’s Greg dutiful in commenting and every Saturday like a clock, he opens up our testimony meeting.
Remember Henry, he speaks up when our little group gets opposition from brothers and others who wants to diminish our worth as a small church group.
CC is a girl, because she is in a high profile job and position she can’t use her name. But she is the mind of peace and reason, she brings us together.
But she is like you in many ways. Family, age, children and struggles. She really studies by herself too and knows some Bible.
So this is just a few in our group, but we have more like Jeff, we know he will ALWAYS be present and is ready to read in an instance.
So you, we have a possee, like Jesus, there are a few more of us also. Rag Tag but following walking now in his giant footsteps!
Take Care of yourself. Love you and praying for you and your family.