Sunday, August 21, 2016
Profile of a Spiritual Abuser
I got caught up in being spiritually abused. It was very painful. I think finally I can talk about it now a little bit. Queen Spider religiously abused me for years with her enforced Catholicism and pretend piety, well another religious abuser came in my life. I will call her "Mrs. Curses". she was an online friend of many years who got interested in "deliverance work".
Yes it's taken me time to recover from this. I'll be honest, I have dealt with so many wicked people in a very short period of time, I am tired. There's been too many scary betrayals in a short period of time. In real life, I am not socializing very much. Yeah if you deal with enough doozies, you wonder is it "me"? I don't know maybe it's the "clean-out"taking a long time.
I could write an entire novel about all these people. Outside some good friends and my husband, my people picker became very broken. Until I can fix it, I am being wary of anyone new. Finding out how many narcissists surrounded me in my life has been a very scary journey. It has hurt a lot. It doesn't escape my notice, this is someone else I cut off at the SAME time I was cutting off other narcissistic family members.
This spiritual abuser did a number on me as the catfish. This happened a few years ago. I cut her off just some months after going no contact with the main narcissists in my family. What was ironic about the catfish, is she mirrored me telling me she had gone through the same type of abuse, saying someone in a charismatic church in her real life had served as a false mentor from hell itself. Around the time I cut off "Mrs. Curses", then entered the would be catfish.
I met this online older Christian friend some years earlier. [2002?]. I was newly saved when I found her online Christian writings and started writing her. We shared many interests, she was interested in the same politics and was like me in questioning the false doctrine in churches. She seemed like a nice person. We could talk about intellectual and religious topics for hours. We did some phone Bible study and prayer together too. I emailed her and had other correspondence with her for 10 plus years without a problem. It was a supportive long distance friendship. We just emailed for many years and phone contact came in later. In many ways she was kind, helpful and thoughtful during those years giving me comfort and sharing prayers while I was sick but then things turned "WEIRD", she started telling me I had been cursed.
We disagreed about this but under severe health challenges and the extreme weight I was not eating for I gave her theories too much attention instead of telling her to shush up about curse topics. Hey I had read the Stephen King book "Thinner" too, though my life was going the opposite way! I know part of me wondered if she was "right". Why had my life gone so badly? Why was I so poor? Why had I gone almost deaf? Why did I reach a weight that only 1 in 5 million people had reached? I was vulnerable too, back then, I was very sick. I was getting a leg infection almost every 6 weeks instead of a few times a year. Fear of death ruled rampant, and whose more vulnerable to fake religious healers and charlatans then the desperate? Also when things got really weird, is after I moved here, and gotten lonely for Christian fellowship. This was after losing my old church and not having found another and during the time I was in the impersonal IFB I left later. No money ever changed hands, she knew I was broke. Maybe the supply is enough for a few.
Back then around 2009 the doctors told me I may need oxygen soon. I was given 18 months to live from the cardiomyopathy alone. One doctor back then also had a poor bedside manner and told me, I was going to die soon of my cardiomyopathy. She offered no way out but to tell me, "You are going to be dead very soon, you need to start making arrangements'". The next day, I demanded physical therapy and worked my way out from severe cardiac problems which I still have but became far more under control. I think this is around the time Mrs. Curses started working on me. She wasn't bringing out the crazy curses talk yet but talking about finding healing in the Lord, bible studies, and nice neutral sounding topics. She offered me care and concern like a loving friend.
I told her I doubted her theology on curses, but she told me she did "deliverance" work with other people, and I knowing very little bit about deliverance, thought "What harm will more prayer do?" so I said, "Okay you can help me with deliverance". She told me she had experience helping abused people heal. That was one the biggest mistakes of my life. Spiritually, I was letting someone else step in to be "mediator" between me and God. I do not believe in deliverance ministries today, make sure you leave all the priests behind for the true gospel of grace. In the beginning, some of the prayers made sense, the "deliverance" devolved into fault-finding and unknown sins. I kept some boundaries up, when she got nosy, but the idea of deliverance is like confession. I will shout to people worldwide, if they promise deliverance RUN. The charismatic and pente flavored churches are into this stuff but even some of the independent baptists will promote the underlying ideas.
Her main message to me then mutated into this: that my life was in ruins and God was not healing and blessing me, because I was a very wicked person and was not serving God or obeying His commandments in the right way. I was not giving myself over to the deliverance and trusting God.
I live a dull life, no drinking, drugs, or cheating, I'm not hanging out in bars or gambling--outside of buying a few occasional desperate Lotto tickets but supposedly my long list of sins, had destroyed my life. Also supposedly if I became "sin-free" and fully delivered from the affects of my abuse, then I would have healing for my health problems.
What I find interesting now, is we both together condemned the prosperity gospel but she was giving me another version of it. The me of today warns stay away from those who claim God will bring blessings in this life or that your sins bring you troubles in this world. Jesus said, we would have tribulations. Those who preach guaranteed miracles, even in more subtle ways are deceivers. This theology is ALL over the churches now, and many push it in a non-direct fashion. Good Christian means "good life", Bad Christian or sinner means "bad life". The Bible doesn't teach this. There is a reason I don't go to church anymore. I am even freeing myself STILL of IFB legalisms since leaving my last independent fundamentalist baptist church. Am I an ex-fundamentalist now? I'm not sure. Some would call my belief in the bible to be that, but all labels seem to be limited. I'm a Christian but analyzing quite a bit. God after all is Who showed me the doorway out away from abuse.
One thing she was right about, was that my family had "cursed" me. Perhaps not in the literal sense but all ACONs discover as narcissists sabotage us especially as victims, we are started off with many "CURSES". Many narcissistic and sociopathic parents curse us openly. I was told I was "no good", would end up being behind the "shopping cart", and "under the underpass" and then my parents made sure to make sure all these things were carried out to the best of their ability. Yesterday I went to an inner city soup kitchen to eat to cover a delay on getting food, while my family travels to Europe and eats out several times a day, they made sure to set things up for me so poverty would come.
So was there a curse of sorts there, sure, but not in the way Mrs. Curses told me. My health was neglected for today's damaged lungs and damaged "lipo-lymphedema" body. She did help me opening my eyes to my completely evil family, but then she treated me the same way they did too. I wasn't good enough for her, and was not a valuable friend, I was just a someone to be "fixed". I was not a human being to her. I was a "thing", an "object". She probably is Cluster B herself. This is why I warn on this blog about how ACONs need to avoid project friends and those who see you as a "fix it project" so adamantly.
She could have "gotten in" more and done a lot more damage but I kept having dreams about her, dreams where I felt WARNED. I also knew about cults and spiritually abusive churches and was never the type to obey pastors and do what they told me. I laugh thinking of the time she told me I had the spirit of rebellion near the end. Her mask of nice friendship had slipped by then.
I did meet her once in person, our visit went okay, but my concerns about her grew especially feeling certain vibes from her that remained under cover. Maybe I learned grey rocking too well. There was times I humored her to keep the peace. She didn't know it. I never applied her legalistic rules to my life, some of those were impossible like the fasting. She lived too far away to control me, but she still wiggled into my head way too much. The me of today chooses to be alone rather then around toxic people but being even sicker back then, and housebound, I was taking all comers. In the early stages of this I thought she cared. She too like the catfish told me, she had been a severe abuse victim, bringing my empathy into play.
I was lonely, she seemed nice, but I let someone very dangerous to my spiritual and mental well-being in the door. She kept hounding on curses, to the point I got scared for her mental health, and thought to be a good friend, I should try and gently lead her away from legalistic theology that focused on Satan and demons to the point they were more in charge then God. I should have worked on protecting myself first.
During the final stages, she called my house telling me a "death curse" had been sent to me. That's the day I should have cut her off. I remember laughing and saying "God is stronger then that, and I may die of my own body anyway" but inside she made me feel afraid and on edge. I finally found myself wondering if this person was really my enemy. They were. When I cut her off, she had called me to tell me one of my family members had sent me a "death curse". I don't doubt that one in the metaphorical sense, surely Queen Spider has cursed my very name for being the one that got away but I think she used my painful time of going no contact for more pain and to drive the screws in deeper.
Things got weirder and weirder and in this case I just did a full cut off. No NC letters, nothing. She may see this, she knew of my blog, but I don't care anymore. I hope she has gotten help, and has left the god of legalisms, curses and demons being in charge behind. I cared about her for years but had to face the facts this never was a real friendship. I was too embarrassed to write about this subject though I have mentioned it a few times. I was embarrassed to even admit I allowed someone like this in my life. Sometimes I fear writing about so many relationships gone bad, some will think something is seriously wrong with me instead. I plan to cover these issues very soon with a therapist. My trust of other people has vaporized in one giant going no contact cloud. It frightens me how bad things got with a variety of people. One conspiracy-minded friend even once asked me if I was being gang-stalked or something. I don't want to go to more weirdo places, I just want to deal with the facts. The facts was I had to get the hell away from a LOT of people.
She would write me things like this to give you an example of what I was dealing with. She wrote me when I told her the deliverance was crossing too much boundaries and I was done with it. I told her theologically she was trying to grant herself "priestly powers" in the life of believers. She wasn't too happy with this statement. So this paragraph was from the response I got:
"Deliverance is for the desperate. Only those desperate enough to do what God tells them to do qualify for this miracle. If you are convinced you are doing what God requires of you then I'm not going to say anything about it. The Bible says work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Fasting and praying is how we examine ourselves. If you knew me at all, you would know how often I do this".
How strong can I put this? Be EXTREMELY careful as an abuse victim or ACON in seeking religious help for your feelings of loneliness, depression or sadness. In today's modern churches, which Smakintosh is doing a good job warning about ,even telling a church, "I was abused" is a big no-no. It opens the door to the wolves to come and eat you and there's plenty of them. I was LC during time in my church in my rural community so it was not an issue and in the last one I never mentioned abuse or narcissism. However telling the most recent church I was estranged from my family for religious reasons was enough to earn me pariah status. The wicked churches of today are more likely to enable the abusers. Just look how so many of them coddle sex abusers. Queen Spider is seen as a "holy Catholic woman".
Mrs. Curses was far more legalistic then me, about music, eating and other details. Her list of life rules was too intense. Her "God" seemed easily angered and ready to throw one over the side of the boat for the smallest transgression. Her own life was more stable then mine, well what I knew long distance and seeing photographs, she had children and a husband, a home and the husband worked. But even then, my seeing her in the earlier stages as someone to emulate or as a mentor, was a giant mistake. This idea of not feeling secure in myself left me vulnerable to religious abuse. People who join cults often have been abused.
I would disagree with her telling her the bible says "No curses come undeserved" Proverbs 26:2 but she focused on my imperfections more and more and me becoming a better Christian. As I was becoming educated about narcissists and sociopaths, I find myself wondering about her more too. She was never wrong. She was always right. It was not adding up to a pretty picture.
She would tell me I was wicked for not doing certain things fast enough and if I listened to some old music, I would allow demons into my life. The me of today, now asks, "Why did I let this person put themselves as judge and jury over me?" but I am realizing because of my upbringing, I was left vulnerable. Here too I put up with way too much garbage. I am forming boundaries that should have been formed in childhood. This is a lot of personal work.
Many people who get taken in by cults or spiritual abusers do end up with a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment. I was too embarrassed to write about this until now. Hopefully this will help someone as this is one I post with some hesitation. At least I was disagreeing and questioning her along the way. I shudder to think of anyone who may come completely under her sway. My own relationship with God and knowledge of scripture helped show me the way out. My healing from being abused by narcissistic parents also helped. I went no contact with her, the same as with my family.
If someone becomes a Christian, while there are true mentors out there, there are people with personality disorders and other problems in the churches. ACONS can be very vulnerable to spiritual abuse.
Profile of A Spiritual Abuser By Pam Witzemann
I am a Christian and my experience with spiritual abuse is in the Christian context. However, spiritual abuse is not limited to Christianity. There are abusers in every faith, religion, and philosophy. Where ever human beings gather, there will be, at least, one abusive person. Spiritual abuse is differentiated from other abuse only by the use of God and the abused’s faith in God being used as a manipulative tool. All abusers want power and control over others and spiritual abusers are no different. This power over others can be used to carry out all kinds of evil and is at the root of the terrorism we experience today. It isn’t the philosophy that does the evil but the power hungry abusive men who lead them. It is impossible to clear all faith organizations of spiritual abusers but there are ways to spot them and follow a course of action in protecting one’s self from them. The following is a profile of those who spiritually abuse.
A spiritual abuser often appears almost angelic. They seem to have their lives and their families in perfect order. They are often popular and will have a following. Sometimes, they are leaders in the church but often, they are lay persons who use the church as a place to build a reputation and a following. They usually have few close friends but the closer one is to them, the more they must maintain control over that person. A spiritual abuser mistakes admiration as love and will do anything to protect and maintain their source of admiration. When they speak of “protecting their testimony” they aren’t talking about the testimony of how Christ is working in their life, they are speaking of their image in the community. The public image they create is highly important in their quest for and obtaining of admiration.
It is easy to feel inferior around someone who appears to be a near perfect Christian. An abuser works hard to engender such feelings of less than and is diligent to maintain them. They are expert in finding the weaknesses of others and seek control over them by pointing out the differences between their victim and themselves. They will offer themselves as a source of advice in overcoming whatever they define as missing in the person they are seeking to control. They will constantly point to themselves as successful in comparison to most others. A spiritual abuser won’t tolerate anyone close to them who does not cow-tow to their point of view. They will also seek to destroy the reputation of anyone who dares to criticize anything about them. To do so is to threaten the false image they have of themselves and portray to the world. Threatening an abuser’s false image will put the person who they once desired to control in danger while the easiest way to remove one’s self from under their spell, is to refuse to give them their needed admiration. If they can perceive no personal benefit to themselves in maintaining a relationship, then they have no use for that person and in their mind, they simply cease to exist.
It may be more difficult to first recognize a member of clergy as a spiritual abuser. Churches expect near perfection in their pastors and ministers and since these people are in a fish bowl, they often feel forced to live under a certain amount of pretence in fulfilling what is expected of them. However, a leadership role in a church is a perfect seat of power for a spiritually abusive person. They have the pulpit as an aid in maintaining control over others and it isn’t uncommon for them to criticize those who see through them or simply disagree with them over some matter from the pulpit. Sometimes, very personal information is shared in this manner. If you are the one who’s personal problem is being announced before the congregation, it doesn’t matter if no one knows who the pastor is talking about. The threat is made clear and in a very public and authoritative way. These kind of preachers will always point out sins but seldom point to Christ as the cure. Instead, they will create and teach rules for their congregations to live by. People who are constantly focused on their short-comings and struggling to maintain rules that often make them stand out in the larger world, are downcast and easy to control. This is when the spiritual abuser steps in between God and the people in his congregation. He takes the place of mediator and bars the way to God for those who don’t comply with his standards. The abuse may go no further than this or it may become more sinister as a means of supplying victims for sexual abuse. They may also use their power to gain monetary wealth from the people they rule over. In the extreme, cults are formed around these kind of leaders. Once completely cut off from the outside world, followers have been led to killing themselves and even murder.
A spiritual abuser is happiest when his/her following offer so much admiration that it borders on worship. They rejoice in being able to control what “their people” wear, watch, listen to, and even eat. They leave no room for the direction of God in others but insist that they themselves be the source of spiritual enlightenment. One sure way to detect these persons is by their attitude toward God. A true believer will have a healthy respect for God and be fearful of crossing God’s boundaries. Spiritual abusers will talk a lot about God but will live their lives by their own pleasure. Their convictions will change with the situation and the person that they desire to control. A true spiritual abuser sees themselves as God and persons who truly believe as foolish and as marks.
As with preventing all abuse, I believe it is important to set boundaries that will protect us from falling under the control of a spiritual abuser. I begin by not expecting out of any human being or group of human beings, what only God can give. I look to God to solve my problems and not the church or leaders in the church. I also refuse to give anyone the power to speak for God in my life. I can pray, I can read the Bible, I can think and I can make my own spiritual decisions. No one else knows God’s plan for my life. That is between me and God. When someone attempts to spiritually abuse me, I speak out against it and remove myself from their presence. These simple boundaries make it impossible for a spiritual abuser to take control of my life. I’ve found that they will seldom persist and will move on.
I am a Christian and I can speak for no other faith but my own. There is a common misconception that when people believe in, Jesus they receive morality. Jesus instead, offers eternal life to those who accept Him by faith. One isn’t immediately transformed into a perfect person. Both believers and nonbelievers often expect more of Christians than they are equipped to give. Christians are just people who believe in Jesus and struggle with the same problems in life that everyone struggles with. If I keep this in mind, I’m not surprised when someone who calls themselves Christian does something that is unchristian. This differs from spiritual abuse as it isn’t wrong-doing for the sake of control. Some well meaning individuals may teach a twisted understanding of a portion of scripture because they have been taught it that way. They may also behave in an unbecoming manner as the faith has been modeled to them wrongly. They too are victims of spiritual abuse and usually, can be corrected and will want to change in order to please God. A true spiritual abuser cares nothing about pleasing God but uses Him as he uses all others, for his own purposes. Spiritual abusers like to think of themselves as gods but they are just frail humans like the rest of us. They can be spotted and it is possible to protect one’s self from them. I always check what I am taught by the Bible and I take time for my own personal study of scripture. I also know that Jesus is my mediator to God and I need no other. I’ve found this the best prevention in protecting myself from manipulative teaching and control by spiritual abusers.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Lipedema, Part 1: Lipedema vs. Lymphedema
Lipedema, Part 2: Stages and Progression of Lipedema
Lipedema, Part 3: Types of Fat Distribution and Diagnosis
Lipedema, Part 4: Possible Causes and Associated Conditions
Lipedema, Part 5a: Traditional Treatment Options
Friday, August 19, 2016
[warning some of these videos I worry are more on the lines of helping one become a better narcissist, Don Draper isn't exactly a nice guy. There's also faith based sensibilities to to think of but I am worried about my lack of verbal combat skills. Well keep reading]
The doctor gave me that same "condemned feeling" inside that my family gave me. When he told me, my sore was a PIMPLE, that hurt my feelings. My husband has told me he will talk to the nurse and help me confront this doctor too. I told my husband, I wonder how bad the abuse would be if I was single. I hate when I think of "comebacks" way too long after the fact. Like, "Yeah like I want to play phone tag with you idiots over a pimple" or "Sure taking antibiotics is fun and so is laying in bed for hours feeling too tired to move, I love having this "pimple"!
When I sat back, I thought, "Damn, I told those people at the home visit doctors office, I didn't know what the stupid sore was". I knew it was an infection because I felt like puking and had extreme fatigue. I described it in detail. It's just like narcissists to withhold and never share information. It's healing but the stupid thing still looks scary and is so big.
Let's all be done taking people's crap. I need to work on my verbal skills under pressure. I'm one of those people who is too quiet and then when I get pushed past a certain point, I start yelling. Because my temper got so bad, especially after my days in Chicago where I got "hard" and ready to verbally fight someone on a dime, I tried to mellow myself out, maybe I've gone too far.
Maybe I should have my husband do role-playing with me so he can pretend call me up act like one of these people and then I can learn to tell people off quicker. My stair-case silence is still getting me into massive trouble. Where is that coming from? That propensity to mutism? Am I chicken? I don't think that it is. It's like my mind freezes up. It's hard to explain.
I cried and asked my husband, "Why did I go silent?"The narcissists catch me by surprise and I freeze up. I am too slow to defend myself. I need to seriously learn some verbal combat skills or I am going to spend my life being screwed over. Even with the possible fake Aspie, I wish I had just said right to her face, "Why aren't you talking to me, and What is your damn problem?" With one ex-narc friend she insulted me in my living room and I went quiet and only gave meek defenses and then later said Adios. I better well quit being such a verbal coward. There's times I have spoken up to people don't get me wrong especially if another underdog is being kicked around. It is bugging me however to go silent so much.
Let me warn of something here: Greyrocking isn't always a great idea. I did it for too long while I was low contact. It taught me to suppress emotions in front of people too much! Because my mother fed off any negative emotions, I learned to suppress them, to appear like a robot. Even today I am afraid to loosen up in front of many people. It is an incredible social problem. I am afraid of sharing real emotions, opinions and more. Any information is seen to be used as a possible getting screwed. People are easily offended today. Maybe it's easier to be hated. I never outgrew sinking into the wall paper to a certain extent. My mother had a way of turning any emotions against me. So be careful of grey rocking. It stinks. It is better to AVOID the evil, as the bible tells us to do.
Have any ACONs here done well in learning verbal combat skills? What did you learn? The only concrete skill I have learned is when someone insults me is to agree with them and turn it back on them. One thing about me I can out-argue even lawyers, if something specific comes up, so I am not talking about that, but more personal events.
One thing with this doctor even I noticed when I was "bitchier" he treated me better. Once he was going on about the pharmacies, and I told him "Look I didn't invent the damn computer program switch it to paper scripts or leave me alone" and he backed down. But I get tired of the constant combat narcissists seem to lust for. I am not always alert and aware every second for their bullcrap.
I agree AVOID is the first point of action, but I have to learn to not be weak when it comes to unavoidable verbal confrontations. I need verbal combat training.
Verbal Self Defense
The south always has seemed far harsher to the poor. Arresting people for not being able to pay rent is INSANE. One thing racism will bite others too. Oppress one group of people, the oppression will come to others as well. ALL the poor down south I believe are treated WORSE because of the historical racism.
I've read FunHome before, honestly the story about the cold homosexual in the closet father, and her mother in a different graphic novel, I believe will resonate with ACONs no matter your views on the lifestyles presented. That said, I wish I had learned these computer techniques before doing my present comic. My main reason for posting this is to show how she did her comic on the technological end. The video is from 2009, so I'm sure some of that has changed since then.
I think how much better it would be. I have a "Bamboo" board which was a present from a friend. While I have tried some graphic art...here's a quick drawing from an online free drawing service called "Pencil Madness". I seem more unsteady on computer art then regular. I haven't been able to achieve a real tight grasp of computer art. Maybe it is something that takes more practice, I'm not sure.
I really need some who knows something about graphic art to tell me if it is possible to transpose a hand draw comic on bristol board and being able to tighten it up on a computer. Could I get it scanned, put it in a computer and then erase and change parts? What program would do this?
I was even thinking if I could change the bubbles to typed and drawn more firm, it would tighten up the entire comic by quite a bit. The lettering gets weaker in some places. My comic is really old school, not crisp and polished, but I have wondered if there is any way I could transition it to a more polished media. I don't even know what computer program people use to do comics on. When I was in art school, they were breaking out the flat paint and letrasets, yes I am that old, the computer lab didn't come in until far later.
I did get the basic steps of the comic done. There's a 140 panels, but it needs so much more. I don't know what I am going to do with it. If I could learn computer art it would help my life. I am trying to work on my bamboo [a gift from a friend] more lately to transition to clean up on a computer and wondering if I can afford to get it scanned. At the very least, it will become a pin money zine or a gift to friends. I have to test how the story pans out and make adjustments. It's based on life here. If you have read this blog long enough you can imagine my comic, the main thrust of the story is my 400lb weight gain paired with the narcissistic family. Drawing some of the comic was a weird emotional journey.
The art is really good in places but I can see some panels where probably health made me waver on the quality and there is some reworkings to be done. I need to buy more bristol board and ink. It's almost coming out of my ears.
Some friends will get to read it for free once I can afford to get it copied, to tell me how it comes across. Like test marketing. I don't want to pass out 2-3 zines where people are saying "What is this?" I even wonder if writing should be included with it.