Issues & Solution: Bullying (PTSD)

Secrecy and Lies

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Deuteronomy 5:20

Who would have guessed a doll could teach me about secrecy and lying?

When I was a child, I received a much-desired china doll, actually named after Florence Nightingale. So, obviously, when my mother bought her for me, I was thrilled, so thrilled, I shared my excitement with the wrong person: my dad.

“Earthquake, thunder, fire and fathers.”
Japanese Proverb

Pins and Needles: Chronic Abuse and Trauma

Our formative years present the potential for self-harm to thrive. Our early experiences, for better or worse, shape us. And sometimes, that shaping can take the form of addiction. Hypervigilance often results from certain incidents, in which trauma somehow established our need to self-medicate.

“… When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally. Later on, when the child or adult is exposed to even ordinary levels of stress, these systems may automatically respond as if the individual is under extreme stress… Adults with histories of trauma in childhood have been shown to have more chronic physical conditions and problems. They may engage in risky behaviors that compound these conditions (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity).” “Effects of Complex Trauma,” http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma

My first memory, a traumatic one at that, was when I was three years old; my parents decided to move the family’s sewing machine from one floor of our house to another. But they neglected to remove its drawers, filled with hundreds of needles and pins. Inevitably, I toddled downstairs, stepping on many of them.

Using Our Recovery Feet

Over the years, I have learned about boundaries and the discernment needed in determining when to stay and when to go.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11


These scriptures often deal with the spreading of the Gospel. And that is certainly the case. But I also see them applying to addiction/recovery matters as well.

1. We admitted we were powerless over a substance or behavior ─ our lives had become unmanageable.

Step One challenges our “I have this under control” lie we often tell ourselves.

I have encountered this from close family members, most specifically, my mother.

I was rather late arriving to the therapy party when it came to addressing my disordered eating/image issues. I wasn’t in therapy as a skeletal anorexic, an impulsive bulimic or a ravenous overeater. No. It was a matter of “years later” when I finally decided I needed to face personal issues about myself. And I did it alone.

I did it alone because, when it came to dealing with those unpleasant and difficult issues, my family was unwilling to participate in unflattering truth’s revelation.

I first encountered this as an emaciated anorexic.

Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop Transcript #2 (of 4)

Transcript for Session #1

Obie Welcome everyone Session #2 of our workshop
Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop: Connecting the Dots of our Disconnected Lives
Finding Healing Through Cooperating with God
(Healing is not instantaneous, there are actions we need to take, attitudes we need to work on. God is our strength and He helps us, but His help requires OUR response)

Without further adieu, I hand the mic over to DvoraElisheva who is leading out workshop

DvoraElisheva Thanks Obie. Hi everyone. I’d like to ask Member #1 to open in prayer.

Phyical, Spiritual & Sexual Abuse Workshop Transcript #1 (of 4)

Transcript for Session #2

I would like to welcome everyone to the Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop. DvoraElisheva is our leader today. She is joining us from Israel.

Being raised in a Christian home did not protect Dvora Elisheva from physical, spiritual, or sexual abuse. As an adult, her memories were more like short video clips with significant parts of the plot missing. In 1982 she moved to Israel. She became friends with a Vietnamese-Chinese family that had found refuge in Israel during the Vietnam war. This led to her 20+ years of work amongst Chinese students, teaching English using the Bible as a textbook.

After having built up a successful life in Israeli hi-tech and within her spiritual community she met her husband over the Internet in 2006. They married in 2007 and she relocated to the US to be with him and a new ready-made family. In 2010 her husband died and in 2011 Dvora returned to Israel.

Well-acquainted with grief and loss, Dvora has been transplanted back and forth between America and Israel, is a Messianic Jew living in a land that views such faith as a betrayal, and plays an active role in a Chinese church in Israel.

The Under-Discussed Damage of Spiritual Abuse (Part 1)

This is a two part article. See: Part Two

When someone mentions the term, “spiritual abuse” today, sexual molestation of a child often comes to mind. We have too many accounts of priests, pastors and Sunday school teachers preying on the children in their care. And yes, sadly, that is spiritual abuse.

But this kind of abuse can also take on a more subtle form as well. Its definition hinges on the manipulation of power enforced by a spiritual authority figure, with the abused party feeling helpless and coerced.

Children, of course, spring to mind as the most vulnerable. But the net spreads wider.

And a heartbreaking reality emerges: loving God does not exclude us from being hurt, even in the seemingly Godly setting of church. We are all susceptible when it comes to spiritual abuse.

“…Many spiritual abuse victims find themselves struggling to make decisions, and may even have a hard time disciplining themselves to do basic everyday functions such as getting out of bed and brushing their teeth. For so long, we allowed the group/leader to think for us, formulate our opinions for us, and make decisions for us. No wonder so many of us struggle for many years learning how to find ourselves again after leaving a spiritually abusive situation…”
“Spiritual Identity Crisis?” www.churchabuse.com
Used with permission.

What’s Your Label?

“Once you label me you negate me.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

What do you want to be called?

As a wheelchair user, I encounter this question more than most folks. Sometimes it’s directed toward me personally, but more often it comes up in an article or interview. The question-behind-the-question is really “How can we label you in the least offensive manner?”

Of course I have my own sarcastic answer …

#2

But the question-behind-the-answer is “Why do I need a label?”

Meddling or Helping – Which One Is It?

One of my favorite television series, “Mad Men” offers up a scene in which one ad mad conveys this message to another character:

“Stay out of it.”

Hmmm. Sometimes, that is sometimes spot-on spiritual advice, isn’t it?

Meddling or helping- which one is it each of us are doing at any given time?

This becomes an especially valid question concerning our own self-interest. And, c’mon, be honest, most of us are EXTREMELY self-interested.

The entertainer, RuPaul states it this way:

“Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.”