Religious Traumatic Syndrome

About a week ago, I posted a blog that I later removed. It was just to vulnerable. I wrote about my experience of being raised in a theology of a judgemental, rejecting God and later dabbling in the world of fundamentalism. It was about how the set of beliefs handed to me effected my life as child and later as a parent.

This morning the following article was posted on Facebook and I am pleased to share it here. It says what I was trying say without having to share my own story. It focuses on the experience of children, but I want to add here that these children go on to be parents who continue the cycle of living with the fear of a rejecting God…but now there is not only fear for one’s own loss of salvation but fear for a child’s rejection by God.

It is good to see this sick distortion of reality named: Religious Traumatic Syndrome

It gives me hope. Cycles can be broken. Understanding is the first step. Here is the article:

Note the italicized paragraph in which the author shares his experience:

Here I am, a fifty-one year old college professor, still smarting from the wounds inflicted by the righteous when I was a child. It is a slow, festering wound, one that smarts every day—in some way or another…. I thought I would leave all of that “God loves… God hates…” stuff behind, but not so. Such deep and confusing fear is not easily forgotten. It pops up in my perfectionism, my melancholy mood, the years of being obsessed with finding the assurance of personal salvation.”

I could have written this same paragraph….even at the ripe old age of 70.

2 thoughts on “Religious Traumatic Syndrome”

  1. This harmful belief system has been allowed to run rampant here in our own country, I believe, because those of us who see its harm don’t want to be seen as bigots. We want to afford others the same freedom of religion that we want for ourselves. But I think the time has come for the harm of such systems to be seen for what it is. Years ago there was a great concern about religious cults and I addressed it in an article I wrote for the diocesan newspaper of Madison Wisconsin (one of the few things I’ve had published.) Any religious organization or even non-religious organization that seeks to control the thinking of others under the guize of “authority” is cultish my mind. Without freedom of thought and conscience, we are doomed. But I have faith that things are changing. I have changed and am continuing to change…my only proof.

  2. Such a great article. I truly hope that some of the people caught in this belief system will read this and take it to heart. If even one parent steps back and thinks about the harm they have inflicted (or are still inflicting) on their children and changes their parenting style it will be a help. My heart breaks for the children who are suffering from this very real trauma, especially those who are brave enough to walk away from the abuse and go it alone. Thank you for posting this link. It gives me hope also.

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