So, I've been going though a major spiritual awakening for just over a year now. I don't fully understand it, but one thing I do know is that back in June when I knew it was time to step away from my church, I've been having PTSD reactions to it all.
I've been away for six months now. At first I felt wonderful and free, but I also had trauma symptoms like constant nightmares, aversion and avoiding behaviors, like feeling sick when I drove by my church building, which is only a couple of blocks from my house. Those symptoms are starting to subside now. I have even had a couple of not-nightmares, and have seen my bishop and didn't have that panic traumatic reaction.
Well, I have been posting about some of the less personal parts on Facebook because some of my loved ones are going through the same thing, and I want to help them by being honest about what I feel is appropriate to share. Really, though 99.9% of it has stated private and in my heart. It has pretty much been the biggest life changing spiritual experience of my life, but almost all of it is too private to share.
Today I shared an article on Facebook that I found that somewhat relates to my journey. I always get stress at being open about that kind of thing, but I figured it was safe enough and would be of help to those who are struggling like me. Not ten minutes later, a Facebook friend from my congregation made a passive aggressive post about how all these people who are stepping away are being deceived and if they say they are having nightmares and all that, shouldn't that mean they should realize it's a message that they are stepping away from God and being bad. She pretty much took the article I posted beat by beat, took it out of context and judge people going though it and said she has no desire to judge people, she's just saying.
Then came the choice I have to face sometimes, whether to get in there and set them straight for the benefit of anyone who might be reading their posts and struggling as well, or decide it's casting pearls before swine and pretend I didn't see it. Most of the time, I do the later. This time, I went in and wrote that I am going though this right now (duh, it was me she was talking about) and here are a list of things that are helpful to do for someone going through that like trusting them. They may not have asked for this road, or even understand why this is happening, but they got it and it is, and the best thing you can do is to give them space and tell them you trust them. And things that aren't helpful, like bearing your testimony that if you step away from the church , you are stepping away from God and it is the only path to truth because it puts them in a psychological double bind situation that can increase the trauma responses.
Now I'm feeling a bit discouraged because I'm having a trauma reaction to her post and my feeling the need to respond to it. I thought I was past that. I guess it just shows me how I need more time away from my church and I am nowhere near ready to go back (if that is the best choice for me at all). I'm starting to think it just isn't.
I guess I just wanted to say this out loud and be heard. Thank you.
updated by @sarah: 03/19/17 11:38:59PM